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Series Theme:  "Faith Sermons"




















































Title:  20. Expectating Righteousness



A. Righteous?


•    Christians are often unsure about righteousness
•    Crucial questions are:

•   are we able to be righteous?

•   are we able to remain righteous when things go wrong

•    Defn. righteousness = thinking, speaking and acting rightly, according to God's design & leading
•    Righteousness is to a goal that we expect to achieve.



B. Can we live righteous lives?


a) The example of Job

•   The account of Job is all about righteousness.
•   Job 25:4 – Bildad – “ How then can a man be righteous before God? How can one born of woman be pure?”
•   Job 27:5,6 Job – I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.”
•   Job 1: 8 – God – “he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”


b) The Testimony of Scripture

•   Consider some other references in Scripture:
•   Gen 6:9 “ Noah was a righteous man , blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.”
•   Deut 24:13 “Return his cloak to him by sunset so that he may sleep in it. Then he will thank you, and it will be regarded as a righteous act in the sight of the LORD your God.”
•   Psa 1:5 “Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous .”
•   Psa 68:3 But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God
•   Prov 2:20 “Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous .”
•   Prov 10:3 “The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry”
•   ‘The righteous' in all of these cases (and very many more in the Old Testament) are those who walk with God and follow His ways and are morally upright .
•   Scripture assumes it IS possible to be righteous
•  in our behaviour
•  in our relationship with God


c) The New Testament teaching about righteousness

•  Righteousness is clarified as

i) a state and

ii) the behaviour that is the outworking of that


i) The State

•   Gen 15:6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”
•   Rom 4:5 “to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.”
•   i.e. God declares us righteous when we believe what He has said about Jesus and our salvation


ii) The Behaviour

•   1 Jn 3:7 “He who does what is right is righteous, just as he (God) is righteous.”
•   Rev 19:7,8 “For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)”
•   i.e. right behaviour IS important for the Christian!



C. Life often is Difficult  

•    But what about when things go wrong?
•    Beware the superficial Christianity that preaches that life will always be wonderful and everything will always go well. It won't!
•    We live in a Fallen World and things go wrong.
•    We live in a hostile world and have an enemy who wars against us.
•    We are redeemed sinners that God is sanctifying (disciplining & changing)
•    We find people against us
•    We find circumstances seem to go against us
•    We cause hurt to ourselves by wrong decisions, words, actions etc.



D. Beware the Excuses


“I reacted badly because:

•   It all went wrong and it wasn't my fault
•   It was Satan attacking me
•   It was the fault of other people and I just responded
•   It was the circumstances that I just couldn't cope with

•   We cause hurt to ourselves by wrong decisions, words, actions etc.

•   Reacting badly is still unrighteous behaviour – the cause is irrelevant!



E. How do we remain righteous (in behaviour) in the face of difficulties?


•  We hold on to God what has said – what He asks of us in His word

•  We draw on the resource of His Spirit – and find grace

•   to face up to our responsibility
•   to say sorry
•   to determine to walk rightly
•   to be able to walk graciously, in humility, exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit


•   We may feel weak
•   We may feel frail
•   But He is there to help us walk rightly



Helpful Verses:


2 Cor 9:8 God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.


Phil 4:19 my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.