Righteousness

—that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.
— Philippians 3:8-9

What , then, is the righteousness which is of God by faith? It is simply the thing that God wants every man to be, wrought out in him by constant obedient contact with God himself. It is not an attribute either of God or man, but a fact of character in God and in man. It is God’s righteousness wrought out in us, so that as he is righteous, we too are righteous. It does not consist in obeying this or that law; not even in the keeping of every law. To be righteous is to be of such a heart, soul, mind, and will, as would recoil with horror from the lightest possible breach of any law. It is not the love of righteousness in the abstract that makes anyone righteous, but such a love of fair play toward everyone with whom we come into contact, that anything less than the fulfilling, with a clear joy, of our divine relation to him or her, is impossible. For the righteousness of God goes far beyond mere deeds, and requires of us love and helping mercy as our highest obligation and justice to our fellow men—those of them who have done nothing for us, those even who have done us wrong. Our relations with others, God first and then our neighbor, must one day become the gladness of our being; and nothing then will ever appear good for us, that is not in harmony with those blessed relations. Every thought will not merely be just, but will be just because it is something more, because it is live and true. The light of our life, our sole, eternal joy, is simply God, and all his creatures in him. He is all in all; not to be true to anything he has made is to be untrue to him. To be in God is to know him and need no law

Commentary

by Dale Darling

Faith in God does look like righteousness, because faith, with works, is alive. Thank God for such a gift, life in faith, the media that ears hear and eyes see.

By faith, the progress of the disciples, one I am of, we follow Jesus from birth through ascension, the promise of being co-seated at the right hand of God, reality in the eternal present. God speaks, the believer sees or hears, and in obedient faith does the present duty, whose light shines, penetrating the dark of Satan's world economy. Nothing is done by comparison; all is done in the light by the measure of faith each possesses: do with what you do have.

Faithful love of thy neighbor, the act of righteousness, exposes His disciple. The action of the whole man, made whole in Christ, turns to good, turns his back on all that is opposed to righteousness, walking in the Way in which he must go on growing more and more righteous, discovering more and more what righteousness is, and more and more what is unrighteousness in himself. Who knows what's next? The disciple has all that is required to do the next right thing, and will know.

In giving Self to God, a change of heart in response to His initiative, the disciple abjures evil, and goes on discovering, determined to be just.

Near his neighbor by loving his neighbor, manifest righteousness does the next right thing.

Seek first the Kingdom: God, and His righteousness will be added to you. Love thy neighbor.