“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly…but his delight is in the law of the Lord…for the Lord knows the way of the righteous…”(Psalm1:1,2,6)
God’s Word shows us the way to righteousness. It is not about any norm of morality or religion but about the righteousness that comes from God’s will. It is God who shows us the way to righteousness. He is righteous who willingly follows and remains on this path with a firm heart. The author of Psalm 119:30 testifies: “I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.” This means: I have made Your righteousness my guiding principle for my life. And that’s exactly what God expects from us! The way of the righteous is not about doing what we want. It isn’t always an easy path, but it is a path of child-like innocence and leads to great gains. And that’s exactly why God created this path for us.
We know many of the laws of our country, such as regulatory laws, tax laws, traffic laws, etc. We have to submit to these laws, no matter which country we live in. Anyone who observes and fulfills the legal requirements will be considered just because they do not conflict with the law. Experience tells us, however, that injustices can often be contained in human laws. Sometimes, the demands of a law contradict God’s Word and deliberately complicate the life of believers. How many times has this led to bitter hardships, persecution, and suffering for innocent people!
These facts clearly show that the path of the righteous is not always easy. We also see this very clearly in the life of our beloved Lord Jesus. Even in Old Testament prophecy, He was seen as “just” and as “a helper.” No sin, no injustice, no deceit was found in Him (see 1 Peter 2:22 and Isaiah 53:9). Even Pilate cried out during His interrogation: “I find no fault in Him!” (John 18:38) However, He was rejected by His people.
He was rejected by His hometown of Nazareth. The officials wanted to take His life, and finally He was mercilessly nailed to the cross! A poet wrote: “He carried His cross, the Holiest of all!” He, the Righteous, suffered for the unjust because He wanted to create a way of righteousness for everyone. And in spite of being horribly misjudged and ridiculed, He stayed firmly and decidedly on the path of righteousness. And that is exactly what led to His victory and gain.
Jesus’ disciples were very familiar with the way of righteousness. He had told them of possible suffering but also of the high gains and advantages of this path. The way of righteousness is profitable for all who walk it. A few biblical statements confirm this:
King Solomon spoke of a crown of honor that can be found on the path of righteousness. He states: “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18). “The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous” (Psalm 118:15). – “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart” (Psalm 97:11). – “Righteousness exalts a nation” (Proverbs 14:34), and it exalts us. Through righteousness, we gain the well-being of an innocent and clear, unencumbered conscience. The truly righteous suffer no inner accusations or frightening thoughts. He is allowed to live in peaceful circumstances and quiet repose. Isn’t that a huge blessing and an amazing gain in a person’s life? Proverbs 14:32 tell us: “But the righteous has a refuge in his death.” Wouldn’t we all wish to end our lives with this assurance? This is the blessing of righteousness!
In 2 Corinthians 5:21, Paul speaks of “righteousness that is valid before God.” It is this righteousness that is important! Choosing our own righteousness is not enough. Therefore, this question is important: “How do we obtain this righteousness that is pleasing to God?” Paul explains: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
No one but Jesus could fulfill the righteousness before God. Through His death, He acquired salvation for us and made us righteous. Paul writes in Romans 8:33-34: “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died [for this purpose]” and “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
This is the path to real righteousness. Thank God that there is this path for us and no other. Only through Christ can we become righteous and blessed. And this path, dear soul, is open to you!