There are several scriptural passages that says there is no righteous person in this world, and this raises the question is there anyone righteous in this world?
As a matter of fact, some of those bible verses are.
As it is written: “there is none righteous, no, not one. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.(Romans 3:20, 23)
For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.(Ecclesiastes 7:20)
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.(1 John 1:8)
In this sermon therefore, we are going to try and answer that question.
Is anyone righteous in this world?
Yes, there are righteous people in this world and below are some of the proof we find in the bible:
- Paul relates to himself and co-preachers as righteous.
- Paul also adviced Timothy to pursue righteousness.
- Anyone who practices righteousness is righteous.
- The Bible mentions righteous people in several instances.
1. Paul relates to himself and co-preachers as righteous.
Paul who confirmed to the Romans about Solomon’s claim in Ecclesiastes that no one is righteous wrote to the Thessalonians about Himself:
You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blameless we behaved ourselves among you who believe,(1 Thessalonians 2:10).
Paul also adviced Timothy to pursue righteousness.
After telling his godson, Timothy the bad things he should not involve in, for instance: Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure. (1Timothy 5:22)
Paul advices him to pursue righteousness as we can see from the scripture below:
But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.(1 Timothy 6:11).
If there was no righteous person in this world, how then would Paul would not have told Timothy to pursue righteousness?
He who practices righteousness is righteous
In 1 John 3:7, the scripture assures us that anyone who practices righteousness is righteous; just as Christ is righteous.
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
The bible mentions righteous people in several instances.
In several biblical passages, we read about righteous people who existed in this world at one time or another.
Some of them have names, while others are without names.
Consequently, below are some of those biblical passages.
Bible verses about known righteous people.
This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. (Genesis 6:9)
Then Joseph her husband being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. (Mathew 1:19)
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, (Luke 2:25)
“that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. (Mathew 23:35).
And delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked. (2 Peter 2:7).
And the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (James 2:21)
Now from the above scriptures, we can see that Noah, Joseph, Simeon, Abel, Zechariah, Lot and his cousin Abraham were righteous men who walked this earth.
Bible verses about unknown righteous people.
And apart from these people, whom we see as being righteous, there are several other righteous people the bible mentions who have no names. As a matter of fact, let’s look at those bible verses.
“that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.”(Mathew 5:45)
‘but go and learn what this means; ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.(Mathew 9:13)
‘he who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophets reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.(Mathew 10:41)
‘for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. “So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just.(Mathew 13:17, 47, 49)
“woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monument of the righteous,(Mathew 23:29)
“then the righteous will answer Him saying, ‘Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, r thirsty and give you drink.”and these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”(Mathew 25:37, 46)
‘and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just”. (Luke 14:14)
“I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than ninety nine just persons who need no repentance.(Luke 15: 7)
“I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.(Acts 24:15)
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “the just shall live by faith”.(Romans 1:17)
(for not the hearers of the word are just before God, but the doers of the law will be justified.(Romans 2:13)
Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.(Romans 3:20)
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.(Romans 5:7, 19)
Knowing this; that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate. (1 Timothy 1:9)
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect.(Hebrews 12:23)
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.(James 5:16)
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers;(1 Peter 3:12)
Now if the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?(1 peter 4:18)
“Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruits of their doings. Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for the rewards of his hands shall be given him.(Isaiah 3:10-11)
The wicked man does deceptive work, But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. As righteousness leads to life, So he who pursues evil pursues it to his death. Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the LORD, but the blameless in their ways are His delight. Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; but the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.(Proverbs 11: 18-21)
And with these numerous passages proving that there are righteous people in this world, we come to a point of confusion where we ask: were these men insane when they were writing the former epistles and afterwards change their minds when they came across such scriptures as we have seen?
To get an answer to this question, please refer to our follow up sermon on the topic: There Is No One Righteous, Not Even One Meaning.