STRENGTH FOR TODAY - Dr. Harold J. Sala (The Philippine Star) - January 13, 2019 - 12:00am

No, O people, the Lord has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8 nlt

There are some words which are frankly difficult to define, and the word righteous is one of them. The Hebrew word for righteous is tsedek, and that word was used some 120 times in the Old Testament. The New Testament word dikios is used about 60 times. Both words mean essentially the same thing. In a biblical context, righteous means upright, just, in conformity with what God requires.

The word was used of a scale that had accurate weights and measurements, hence it was just. The same word was also used of individuals who had integrity and were upright.

The prophet Micah came as close to defining the word as anyone, saying, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). Isaiah said that our righteousness is like filthy rags – not very complimentary.

In the New testament Paul said: “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). But Paul does not stop there. He says that there was one who was righteous, and He both died and rose again, and that God imputes or extends His righteousness to those who believe on Him. God made Christ to be sin for us so that we might be considered righteous in the sight of God – because of what he did.

The worst sinner in the world whose faith is in Jesus Christ, whose sins have been covered with the blood that was shed at Calvary, is considered righteous before God – a sinner saved by grace. Paul put it like this: “He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5 NLT).

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Used with permission from Guidelines International Ministries. To learn more about Guidelines and the ministry, send an e-mail to info@guidelines.org. You may also visit www.guidelines.org.

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