Posts Tagged ‘righteousness’

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 12:17 A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies.

Truth proves a man is righteous, and he helps matters of controversy for righteousness. Therefore, a man who speaks the truth is valuable for court and friendship. A witness that misrepresents the truth has a deceitful spirit, and he affects controversies by confusing justice and righteousness (Pr 14:5,25; 19:28; 21:28). He is to be despised and avoided.

Truth and righteousness are inseparable. There can be no justice without truth, and there can be no truth without justice. Equitable relationships among men, whether private or public, require honesty and truth. If these are compromised, then righteousness is also compromised. If less than the truth is presented, then deceit has entered to that degree. From economic transactions to religious declarations, righteousness depends upon truth.

The God of the Bible, Creator of heaven and earth, is a God of truth (Deut 32:4). So much is He a God of truth, He cannot lie (Heb 6:18; Titus 1:2). His Son Jesus Christ is the Faithful and True Witness (Rev 3:14; 19:11). His written revelation, the Bible, is very sure and true in every word and all it declares (Pr 30:5; Ps 19:9; 93:5; 119:128,138).

God hates liars. They confound and overthrow righteousness in the earth, whether private or public. Their misrepresentations deceive men into believing things that are not true, which perverts decision-making, misleads people into trouble, condemns the innocent, protects the wicked, destroys His gospel, and promotes frauds and scams. Therefore, all liars shall spend an eternity of torment in the lake of fire after this life (Rev 21:8).

God hates liars. “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him – a lying tongue – a false witness that speaketh lies” (Pr 6:16-19). Therefore, good and honest men reject liars! David said, “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight” (Ps 101:7).

God hates liars. One of the Ten Commandments condemns false witnesses (Ex 20:16). The LORD warned men to stay far away from any falsehood in trials (Ex 23:1-7). If a man perjured himself in court, he received the punishment that was being deliberated, even if it was capital punishment (Deut 19:16-21). What a way to enhance the memory!

God hates liars. And He loves to expose them. Be sure your sin will find you out. Achan lied about stealing from Jericho, but he was discovered, stoned, and burned with his family (Josh 7:1-26). Ananias and Sapphira lied about their large gift to the church, and members of the youth group buried them that day (Acts 5:1-11). What an object lesson!

God hates liars. The first liar in the universe was the devil, who lied to Eve and damned the human race to eternal death. He is the father of all lies, and there is no truth in him (John 8:44). Anyone telling a lie is following his wicked influence and showing that their heart is under his control, even ministers of the gospel (II Cor 11:1-4,13-15; Eph 2:1-3).

God hates liars. When men prefer lies over truth, the God of truth will send them lies to believe, as their just punishment (I Kgs 22:1-40; Ezek 14:6-11; II Thess 2:9-12). When men reject the obvious truth that is revealed in the created universe, he blinds their minds and leaves them to disgusting same-sex perversions (Ps 19:1-6; Is 44:9-20; Ro 1:18-27).

Therefore, let every reader tremble before the God of truth. Let every reader hate lying, exaggerating, slandering, perjuring, misrepresenting, fudging, or any other form of deceit. Let every reader prove and show his righteousness by always exalting honesty and truth, no matter the circumstances or situation. Let him be honest and open at all times.

Let every parent teach and enforce truth in the home, so that children grow up hating and avoiding lies and liars as much as their Creator. Parents should require sufficient research before opinions are declared. They should punish exaggeration. And on the hierarchical scale of offences, children should know clearly that lying is the worst sin of all.

Thankfully, the God of truth sent His Son to save some liars from their sins, which He did by paying the eternal debt of punishment for them. He then created in them a new heart that loves truth and hates lies (Eph 1:3-12; 2:1-10; 4:24). The gospel of Jesus Christ found in the Bible is the only source of truth in the world that can save a person from the devil’s deceit and destruction that is on every side (I Tim 6:3-5,20-21; II Tim 3:13).


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 2:9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. 

Here is treasure! Righteousness! Judgment! Equity! Every good path! Can you have all these in life? Yes! This is the best news you will get this year. If you will pursue wisdom, God will bless you with these things. The rewards are great; the requirements small. God offers this treasure for a little effort from you to obtain wisdom. Reader, go for it, today!

The Preacher, King Solomon of Israel, pressed his son to apply himself to the pursuit of wisdom and understanding (Pr 2:1-4), with the promised reward being the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God (Pr 2:5). Upon this foundation and reward, Solomon then promised that God would add many blessings, including these special four (Pr 2:6-9).

What is righteousness? It is being right. It knows and does what is right. It is justice and uprightness. It knows and does what is acceptable and pleasing to God. It is having your mind conformed to the divine standard of God’s perfect mind and laws. And if your thoughts and actions please God, then they will certainly please other men (Pr 3:1-4).

What is judgment? It is the ability to judge correctly, to form accurate opinions, to arrive at the proper notion of things; it is discretion, discernment, wisdom, understanding, and good sense. It is what men mean when they say, “That person has excellent judgment.” It is the ability to analyze a matter correctly and arrive at the correct conclusion about it.

What is equity? It knows what is fair and equal for any situation, through seeing differences that require charity and nobility to reach an equitable and fair conclusion. It is fairness, impartiality, and evenhanded dealing with things appearing unequal. It is what makes others trust you, no matter the circumstances, for they know you will be fair.

Solomon stated that Proverbs was written to teach these three wonderful virtues (Pr 1:3), which are very rare in the world today (Is 59:14; II Tim 3:1-5). Furthermore, they are aspects of God’s glorious and holy nature (Ps 98:9; 99:4), and they are character traits of the Lord Jesus Christ (Is 11:4). What hinders you from pursuing wisdom to obtain them?

Consider a very small sample of the righteousness, judgment, and equity of the Bible. It protects mother and baby birds (Deut 22:6-7), teaches that all races have the same blood (Acts 17:26), provides for working oxen (Deut 25:4), puts the burden of marriage and family on the father (Eph 5:25-29; 6:4), provides for the poor (Lev 19:9-10), teaches that mercy is more important than sacrifice (Matt 12:7), allows one church member to bring any matter to the church (Matt 18:15-17), financially rewards virginity (Ex 22:17), requires churches to take care of widows (I Tim 5:3-16), and teaches that the true love of God can only be shown by loving others (I John 5:1-2). No other book compares!

Compare a small sample of the righteousness, judgment, and equity of the world. It kills over ten million unborn children annually by extremely violent means, and yet demands funds to protect animals and birds on seven continents. It prohibits corporal punishment of children, but incarcerates the resulting criminals like animals in cages for decades. It subsidizes debt and slothfulness and penalizes credit and diligence by income tax laws. It claims to protect and honor women, but yet advertises lascivious fashions, promotes casual sex, protects pornography and prostitution, and allows divorce for any cause.

But these three things are not all that is offered to the man seeking wisdom. The proverb also offers, “Every good path”! What is every good path? It is every other virtue and grace not in the list of three. Reader, is there a better sentence in any language? If every good path is offered, then the means for your perfection and pleasure is being offered.

How can you get these four wonderful things? Humble yourself before the Creator God, and diligently seek His wisdom in His inspired scriptures. Can you humble yourself and admit that God and His Word alone are right on all subjects (Ps 119:128)? Can you reject the world’s vain thoughts (Ps 119:113)? He will reward you with these wonderful things.

The Bible can make ministers perfect for their great work (II Tim 3:16-17). Consider how much it can do for you. There is no light in this world apart from the light of the Bible (Is 8:20). It is a lamp for your feet and a light for your pathway through life (Ps 119:105). It is a light to which you should give serious attention and honor (II Pet 1:19-21).

Under Gods Command:

Mathew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 To “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” means to turn to God first for help, to fill your thoughts with his desires, to take his character for your pattern, and to serve and obey him in everything.

Lets Bring it Home: What is really important to you? People, objects, goals, and other desires all compete for priority. Any of these can quickly become most important to you if you don’t actively choose to give God first place in every area of your life.

 Matthew 14:29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!

Peter started to sink because he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the high waves around him. His faith wavered when he released what he was doing.

Lets Bring it Home: We may not walk on water, but we do walk through tough situations. If we focus on the waves of difficult circumstances around us without looking to Jesus for help, we too may despair and sink. To maintain your faith when situations are difficult, keep your eyes on Jesus power rather than on your inadequacies.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 22:8 He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed

Sin will not work. Hypocrisy will not work. If you sin with a goal in mind, you will lose it. Sin will bring vanity – profitless and worthless loss. If you use anger or violence to pursue your sinful way, it will not work. You will fail miserably. Do not lie to yourself, for only godliness and righteousness will succeed and bring a good reward (Pr 11:18).

You reap what you sow. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal 6:7). Why the warning about deception? Because men believe they can get away with sin. But God will not be mocked. You cannot make light of His word by sinning against it. He will grind you to powder for rebellion. Repent!

Anger or violence will not bring success to sinful ways. You may temporarily force others into submission, but your wicked ways will not succeed. There is One much higher than you, and He will crush your feeble attempts to promote yourself and defend your sinful life (Eccl 5:8). Consider foolish Sennacherib (Is 10:5-19)! Consider Pharoah!

Not all anger is wrong. The anger condemned here is the rage or violence of a man living in sin. Phinehas was angry in a righteous cause, and it brought him a great blessing (Num 25:1-15). Jesus was angry, but His rod did not fail at all (Mark 3:5). Sinful anger fails!

You cannot cheat God’s laws and succeed. He will not allow it. If He allowed it, then His justice and righteousness mean nothing. If you compromise in any area of your life, you will pay for it. No matter what your intentions, they will not be achieved. You lose!

David tried to enjoy Bathsheba without consequences, but she conceived. He got her husband drunk to cover the sin, but he was too faithful. He cruelly killed him and married his wife, but it cost their child’s life and brought much judgment. David lost terribly!

A hypocritical father using anger to dominate his children will lose horribly in the end – guaranteed. A wife defrauding her husband sexually to protect pride will lose miserably. A husband sneaking pornography cannot press his wife into a loving relationship. An unfair employer will not survive in the end no matter how he plays his managerial cards.

Covetous men who do not give will not keep their estate by diligence or frugality (Pr 11:24; 21:13; Hag 1:1-11). A rebel child will not advance far no matter how energetic he might be to prove himself (Pr 20:20; 30:17). The joy of the religious hypocrite, who pretends on Sundays, is very short (Job 20:4-29). Be sure your sin will find you out!

But there is forgiveness from God for those who confess their sins, repent from their errors, and turn back to righteousness (Pr 28:13; I John 1:9). If you then sow godliness, you will reap God’s great reward of blessing and favor (Pr 11:18; Ps 19:11; Jas 1:25).

Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out a pure heart. 

Running away is sometimes considered cowardly.  But wise people realize that removing themselves physically from temptation often can be the most courageous action to take.  Timothy, a young man, was warned to flee anything that produced evil thoughts.

 (Don’t forget 1 Timothy 6:11: But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness)

Lets Bring it Home: Do you have a recurring temptation that you find difficult to resist? Remove yourself physically from any situation that stimulates your desire to sin.  Knowing when to run is as important in spiritual battle as knowing when and how to fight.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 12:28 In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality. 

Is immortality possible? Is enjoying life while never dying possible? Ponce de Leon sought a fountain of youth. Men try exercise, diet, supplementation, and alternative medicine to enhance life and extend life, but they die as painfully, quickly, and surely as others. Are immortality and eternal life possible? This proverb teaches they are possible. Life without death is found in the way and pathway of righteousness (Pr 10:2; 11:4,19)!

Man’s greatest fear is death, and this fear enslaves him to religious lies and all sorts of deceptions and scams (Heb 2:15). If evolution were true, it would have evolved death away long ago as the greatest weakness of each species. But evolution is a lie, for it has not even altered life expectancy in the 4000 years of recorded history. Men can only wish to be saved from death. They have no means to slow it down or stop it (Eccl 8:8).

What is the way of righteousness? It is the life of wisdom – fearing God and keeping His commandments (Pr 8:12-21,32-36; 13:14; 14:27; 16:17; Matt 21:28-32). It is the highway of holiness and road of righteousness – it is the King’s highway – the strait and narrow way of Jesus Christ that leads to life, which only a few ever find (Matt 7:12-14; 22:14).

What is death? It is a physical body dying – and much more. It is also death to fellowship and joy with God (Luke 15:24; I Tim 5:6). It includes the dead state of your soul by your first birth (Gen 2:17; Eph 2:1-3). It is dying before your time by the judgment of God or men (Ps 55:23; Eccl 7:17). It is the second death in the lake of fire (Rev 20:14; 21:8).

Fools face early death by men or God. If they commit capital crimes, the magistrate kills them. If the death penalty is neglected, the Lord kills them. They die from STD’s, jealous spouses, other fools, violent accidents, drug overdoses, and suicide! Parental discipline could save them from these untimely deaths (Pr 23:13-14). And righteousness as simple as honoring their parents could add to their life expectancy (Pr 20:20; 30:17; Eph 6:2-3).

Foolish rebels reject righteousness and reap the grim consequences (Pr 8:36). Do you remember Eli’s sons, Jim Morrison, Amnon, Princess Diana, Ananias and Sapphira, Jimi Hendrix, Absalom, Marilyn Monroe, Adonijah, Adolph Hitler, Haman, Alexander, Judas, Eva Braun, Herod Agrippa I, James Dean, Nabal, Al Capone, Onan, JFK, Lot’s wife, Pharaoh, Goliath, MLK, Belshazzar, many rock stars, many rap artists, etc.?

Fools who do not die early die without hope, go to hell, and face the second death. While they lived, they were dead; when they are dead, they have yet to die! They hide their dead and dysfunctional lives with alcohol, plastic surgery, fake smiles, and drugs. The horrors of death and hell will take them down, down, down. They will rue the day of their birth; they will grieve in anguish; they will beg for annihilation; there will be no relief, ever!

Reader, righteousness extends life! Wickedness shortens life! In this world and the next! Solomon had seen it among his own brothers and many others of his generation. He repeated the advice and warning many times (Pr 3:2,16; 8:35-36; 9:11; 10:16,25,27-28,30; 11:4,7-8,19; 12:3,7; 13:9,14,22; 14:11,32; 15:24; 19:23; 21:12,15,21; 28:10,18).

Righteous men enjoy the good life now (Pr 3:18; John 10:10). They are passed from death to life already and shall never be condemned (John 5:24). At death, their souls go to heaven; their bodies sleep in the grave, waiting for the resurrection (John 11:25-26; Acts 7:60; I Thess 4:14). The second death has no power over them (Rev 20:6,15). Where can you learn more about immortality? The gospel of Jesus Christ (II Tim 1:9-10; Tit 1:1-4)!

Ponce de Leon is long dead (1460-1521), but those in the way of righteousness mock death! They shout in confident derision against their once fatal enemy, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? … But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor 15:55-57). Are you wise enough and courageous enough to leave the wide gate and broad way to join them (Matt 7:12-14)?

Under Gods Command

 Dead to sin, Alive in Christ

Romans 6:16-19 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves.  Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever –increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 

It is impossible to be neutral.  Every person has a Master-either God or sin.  A Christian is not someone who cannot sin, but someone who is no longer a slave to sin.  He or she belongs to God.

Lets Bring it Home:  Who is your Master?

Under Gods Command
Dead to sin, Alive in Christ

Romans 6:17-18 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you WHOLEHEARTEDLY obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

To obey wholeheartedly means to give yourself fully to God, to love him “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). And yet so often our efforts to know and obey God’s commands can best be described as halfhearted.”

Lets Bring it Home: Are you still serving your first master, sin? Or have you apprenticed yourself to God?

Under Gods Command

 Dead to sin, Alive in Christ

Romans 6:13-14 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. (14) For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. 

The phrase “instruments of wickedness” referred to a tool or a weapon.  Our skills, capabilities, and bodies can serve many purposes, good or bad.  In sin, every part of our bodies are vulnerable.  In Christ, every part can be an instrument for service.  It is the one to whom we offer our service that makes the difference.  We are like lasers that can burn destructive holes in steel places or do delicate cataract surgery.

Lets Bring it Home:  Will you give yourself completely to God, asking him to put you to good use for his glory?