Seeking Righteousness

Romans 3:10-11 … “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. seeking righteousness

If Paul says no one seeks righteousness, why should we even bother trying?

Proverbs 15:9 says, “The LORD detests the way of the wicked, but He loves those who pursue righteousness.”

Wait a second Solomon! Paul completely disagrees with you. Or does he?

What is righteousness? In Biblical terms, it is being acceptable to God as only possible through God. If not through the power of God, we can never obtain righteousness. It is not by any of our own labors that we will be made righteous. Romans 1:17 … For in the Gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

 

Self Righteousness

Most people attempt to earn righteousness, in other words, be self-righteous.  But God instructs against this “self-righteousness” in His Word.  Romans 10:3 … For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.

Ephesians 2:8-9 … For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Self-righteousness, boils down to the belief that so many of us have, that we are better than most other people.  This also falsely assumes that God judges us by comparing us to other people to see if we are better than the average person.

2 Corinthians 10:12 … Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

There are several reasons that the natural man does not seek after God. Enjoying fleshly pursuits over God is one. Another is pride, and feeling that we know what’s best for ourselves better than God knows.

Psalm 10:4 … In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

Seeking righteousness means recognizing that there is no way for us to please God due to our sinfulness.

Romans 8:8 … Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

When we recognize our current state, we turn from trying to be righteous by our own actions and accept God’s mercy poured out on the cross. God wishes for us to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus.  Romans 8:29 … For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

There has never been a time when righteousness could be a product of anything other than God’s mercy through our faith.  Even prior to the incarnation of Jesus, He was the focal point of the faith. While we as New Testament believers look back upon His life, death and resurrection, Old Testament believers looked forward to His coming.

James 2:23 … And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.

Biblically Seeking

At the outset of this message, we presented Paul’s statement that no one seeks for God.’ (Rom 3:11). Now that we have unpacked the previous verses from God’s Word, we can see that the Apostle was saying, that until we accept that justification is through faith in Jesus’ work on the cross and that He and He alone can change us, we will never seek true righteousness.

Galatians 5:25 … Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

So we must fully surrender to Jesus and allow Him to truly be our Lord, and not only our Savior. This requires that we be humble and mindful that it is a moment by moment pursuit to be changed into the image of Christ.

Is everything that we do filtered through the spiritual knowledge God reveals to us for creating Himself in us? Does everything we do pass the bar of His standards? 1

Micah 6:8 … what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Lamentations 3:25 … The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;

Praise God that He has granted us the knowledge that is so clearly spelled out in the words of scripture.

Matthew 6:33 … But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Hebrews 11:6 … without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.

 

1 Ritenbaugh, John W. The Offerings of Leviticus

 

~ a BeFreeinChrist writing ~

 

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