What is the Righteousness of God?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Van, Jul 8, 2015.

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  1. Van

    Van
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    Sometimes it seems we think the righteousness of God is some good gravy that can be put (imputed) into our spiritual vessels, and thus "made" righteous. But first our spiritual vessels must be drained of the awful unrighteous gravy produced by God's wrath over our sins.

    But the Bible does not teach that the righteousness of God is "good gravy." God is holy and blameless and perfect, His every action is perfectly just and ... well righteous!

    Sinners then might seek the righteousness of God through the Law. But alas, no flesh is justified through the Law. So, Sunday School Graduates, how do we attain the righteousness of God?

    First we must come to our senses and realize our status, a sinner separated from God.

    Next, we must realize we cannot obtain the righteousness of God through works, for in our state, all our works of righteousness are as filthy rags to God.

    Third, lets consider Philippians 3:9,
    Forth, but what are we talking about when we refer to "Christ's faithfulness? Lets turn to 2 Corinthians 5:21,
    So at the end of the day, the lost can obtain the righteousness of God by trusting fully in Christ and having God transfer us from being "in Adam" to being "in Him" based on crediting our faith in Jesus as righteousness.

    In Christ we are made holy and blameless and perfect, and thus we obtain the "righteousness of God."
     
  2. JonC

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    How do you define the "righteousness of God"? What I mean is are we speaking of a moral correctness (perhaps God's moral standard) or something else?
     
  3. Van

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    Thus the rightness or perfection of God refers to the absence of any flaws. Those not "in Him" are lacking these qualities, i.e. they are not holy, they are unholy; they are not blameless, they are condemned; they are not perfect, they are deeply flawed.

    Second, therefore the righteousness of God is not a moral standard, but a state of being. Thus once God puts us spiritually in Christ, we become the righteousness of God.

    I do not think I can state it any more clearly.
     
    #3 Van, Jul 9, 2015
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  4. JonC

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    Basically you mean the righteous of God is ontological perfection (perfect in being). If so, then for me ontological perfection would have been more clear. Do you think that there are relational aspects of this righteousness (covenant aspects) as well?


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  5. Van

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    I think scripture is crystal clear, we become the righteousness of God in Him.

    Relational Aspects? Lets see, in Adam, not in Christ - you have no New Covenant relationship with God. In Christ - you have a New Covenant relationship with God.

    This should not be this hard. :)
     
  6. JonC

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    ok. I don't see the definition of divine righteous but I'll bow out of the conversation. I'd hate to have my ignorance cloud your thread.


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  7. Van

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    It wasn't your ignorance but your presuppositions.

    Romans 10:3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.

    God is holy and blameless and perfect, His every action is perfectly just and ... well righteous! That might not pass muster as a definition of divine righteousness, but that is how I see it. :)
     
    #7 Van, Jul 9, 2015
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  8. Van

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    We become the righteousness of God in Christ. Period.

    James 1:20 For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.
     
    #8 Van, Jul 9, 2015
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  9. JonC

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    Sorry, what presuppositions?


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  10. Van

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    Hi JonC, in post #2 you asked how I define the "righteousness of God." but in the OP I had (or so I thought) provided a definition - "In Christ we are made holy and blameless and perfect, and thus we obtain the "righteousness of God." Then in post #4, you seem to want to define it as "ontological perfection" or perfect in being. The idea of being made holy and blameless and perfect in Christ seems a better more biblical and less theological/philosophical definition. I file that under never use a four bit word when a two bit word will suffice. But, I assume, you have been exposed to far more complex views of the "righteousness of God."

    Clearly the idea is not an Old Covenant, via the Law, relationship with God. Paul expresses the concept as not through the Law.

    For me, the righteousness of God is a simple concept, He is flawless, and in Christ, we are made flawless. Thus we become the righteousness of God.
     
  11. JonC

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    :thumbs: Thank you. I did not mean to define it a righteousness based on God's being, but was asking if that is what you were doing. I really do not have a good definition for the "Righteousness of God." It seems that some definitions reason away the term while others never get around to defining it.
     
  12. Van

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    One of the keys in thinking about "righteousness" is to turn away from the works perspective, behaving in a godly manner, and toward a righteousness that comes from God through the faithfulness of Christ.
     
  13. Van

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    Lets consider Romans 1:17, "17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

    First, "for in "it" refers to the gospel, so we could understand the verse to say, For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed.

    Second the gospel, the good news refers to the opportunity for salvation for everyone who believes. So we could understand the verse to say, "for in the gospel the righteousness from God is revealed. Out of faith in the Old Covenant and into faith in Christ Jesus, i.e. from faith to faith.
     
  14. JonC

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    Hey Van,

    I have a little time, so I'll link in an article that I've been thinking of since you started this tread. The article below addresses some of the questions I had regarding the "righteousness of God." I cannot see how it is a righteousness can actually mean "the absence of any flaws" and still carry a significant meaning since God is (by nature) absent of any flaws, and He is His own standard.

    I do not necessarily agree with the author of the article on all issues (maybe not even on most questionable issues), but I do think that Paul has a covenantal relationship in mind when he speaks of "righteousness."

    http://ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Becoming_Righteousness.pdf

    Anyway, just food for thought.
     
  15. Yeshua1

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    It would be one keeping perfectly the law of God, internally and externally, and only Jesus has ever done that, and God credits to us the perfection of Law keeping that Jesus did in our behalf...
     
  16. JonC

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    But Abraham was reckoned as righteousness by faith and apart from the Law. This is why I lean towards it being related to God's covenantal relationship with man. Abraham's part in the covenant was faith. I'm just not sure it is the Law (or even the moral law) that is in view. But perhaps so.
     
  17. Van

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    Thanks JonC for the link. But let me first address your " I cannot see how it is a righteousness [that] can actually mean "the absence of any flaws" and still carry a significant meaning since God is (by nature) absent of any flaws, and He is His own standard."

    Here we face the issue of "is Paul using different words and phrases to describe the same thing or two different things." If you want to create a separate thing from the lexiconal meaning of the word, fine. I do not. I want to stick with the context, i.e. be reconciled to God and become the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Christ.

    First, the righteousness of God is something we become, i.e. an altered condition. We were separated from God, having no covenant relationship with God because we were unholy, corrupted, and from conception a sinner. When God put us spiritually in Him, we became the righteousness of God, holy, blameless, perfect and united with God, thus made alive, and therefore known by God. We now have, as spiritual children of God, a relationship (New Covenant) with God. So the righteousness of God makes us flawless and therefore establishes our holy relationship with God.

    How do we get from the depravity of man to the righteousness of God, from our flawed status to His flawless status? 2 Corinthians 5:21!!
     
    #17 Van, Jul 11, 2015
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  18. Van

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    Turning now to the NT Wright article,

    “First I regard it as an increasingly firm conclusion that Paul’s other uses of the phrase (all in Romans) treat “theos” as referring to a “dikaiosynē” that is God’s own, rather than a “dikaiosynē” that He (God) gives, reckons, imparts or imputes to humans.”

    My view is that Paul is using the phrase (sometime in slightly different Greek construction) to refer to the same thing, the righteousness which God does cause others to become, through the faithfulness of Christ. Anytime someone tries to show how an inspired author uses the same word or phrase to mean two different things, when the context would allow the same meaning, I default to the same meaning interpretation. Consider Romans 3:22, “namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe….” God”s righteousness did not come through the faithfulness of Christ! So N.T. Wright’s first premise is obviously wrong.

    The phrase in all causes can be understood to mean “the righteousness from God.”
    Romans 1:17, For the righteousness from God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”

    Romans 3:5, But if our unrighteousness highlights the righteousness from God, what shall we say?

    Romans 3:21, But now apart from the law, a righteousness from God has been revealed, being testified by the law and the prophets

    Romans 3:22, namely, the righteousness from God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe.

    Romans 10:3, “For ignoring the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness from God.. ​

    As you can see, looking at these modified and abbreviated renderings, righteousness from God works as a consistent understanding in all cases. This understanding, according to N.T. Wright is consistent with considering the genitive form of "theos" as a "genitive of origin.
     
    #18 Van, Jul 11, 2015
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  19. Van

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    Continuing with the N.T. Wright article, Wright says his position is somewhat like that of Kasemann, that the phrase should be taken as a "subjective genitive," i.e. the righteousness refers to God's righteousness and not something given to elect humans. His idea is that the phrase refers to God's salvation power. But as before this conflicts with us "becoming" the righteousness of God.
     
  20. Van

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    Next, we get N.T. Wrights rendering of 2 Corinthians 5:21, For our sake, God made Christ, who knew no sin to be a sin offering for us, so that in Him we might become God's "covenant faithfulness." Not how it reads, whereas "righteousness of God" referring to our born anew righteousness, having been made holy, blameless, and perfect in Him, can be found all through Paul's writings.
     
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