In this sermon we are going to see what makes a person righteous according to the bible.
It is rather unfortunate that so many Christians think there is no way they can ever become righteous.
This often stems from the fact that they read several scriptures which shows that there is no one righteous, not even one.
And this then raises the question is anyone righteous in this world?
In the light of this understanding therefore, we shall aim in this sermon to reveal, according to the bible; what really makes a person righteous.
What makes a person righteous according to the bible.
According to the bible, the following are what makes a person righteous.
- Repentance (Ephesians 4:22-24)
- Faith (Hebrews 11:4-8)
- Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36_27)
Now let’s explain the above points one after the other.
First of all Paul shows us in clear terms what we must do in order to attain righteousness:
That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.(Ephesians 4:22-24)
From here let us move further and examine this particular scripture that points out how all the righteous men seen above were able to receive the gift of righteousness.
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks, be faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”.
For before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.(Hebrews 11:4-8)
From the spiritual understanding of the above passage; we discover that ‘faith’ is the bedrock, the foundation, the substance, the all in all that leads men to righteousness.
For the scripture says:
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.(Romans 10:17)
And it doesn’t stop at just hearing but putting the word into practice as it is written:
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.(James 1:22)
So we can understand now that all the men above were quick to act on God’s word; whenever it came to them, and because of that they were made righteous.
And the scripture makes us to know that we too are entitled to this righteousness; if only we are able to follow the examples of these men.
It singles out Abraham as the spiritual father of all who will believe in God and are accepted as righteousness by Him. (Romans 4:11). And the believe in God is always obeying Him as their spiritual father did.
That is why Abraham through faith “was accepted as righteous by God”. The words “he was accepted as righteous” were not written for him alone. They were written also for us also for us who are to be accepted as righteous, who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from death.(Romans 4:23-24)
Beloved, the secret to being made righteous is wrapped up in one word “faith” which is rightfully interpreted as “obey”.
How to obtain faith from God.
And if you don’t have this gift, you can as well obtain it from God by prayers and fasting; as Jesus advices His disciples.
And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to him, kneeling down to him and saying, Lord have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. “So I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
then Jesus answered and said, “o faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?
Bring him here to Me. And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘why would we not cast it out?” so Jesus said to them, “because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there, ‘and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
However, this kind cannot go out except by prayer and fasting.(Mathew 17:14-21)
Instead of being overly righteous as the Publican we saw earlier; commit yourself to God in prayers, asking Him to give you the faith that will enable you put all of His words to practice. Remember the scripture says –
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.(1 John 3:7)
3. The holy spirit.
Now this sermon will be incomplete if we don’t look into this very and most important way of how to attain righteousness.
Beloved, God has seen that we as humans have been unable to obey the commands He has given to us from the beginning of time.
So He finally decided to send us a helper; Someone Who will live inside us and cause us to obey His commands; and that One is none other but His Spirit:
“I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will keep my judgments and do them.(Ezekiel 36:27)
And through this Spirit He will be able to will us to do good:
For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.(Philippians 2:13)
But then this Spirit will only be given to those who will believe in Jesus, the Man He will send.
‘He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will Flow Rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him will receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.(John 7:38-39)
And the believe in Jesus means that the believer must repent and be baptized in His name for the remission of his sins, and that way he or she will receive the Holy Spirit as given.
“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(Acts 2:38).
So as a believer you must access your behavior to be sure that you indeed received This Spirit and He is performing His duties of righteousness in your life.
Beloved, if anyone tries to deceive you that there is no way you will ever attain righteousness, keep it in mind that your aim as a believer is to inherit God’s kingdom, as well as meet Him face to face in eternity.
Therefore, never let these scriptures depart from your heart at all times:
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9)
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outburst of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in the past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21).