"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:17)
I have been studying righteousness in the Bible for the last week.
It's such an important topic, since man's greatest need is righteousness, or what the modern psychiatric would call "Acceptance."
Man does not want to face shame or loss. He does not want to be put to shame.
Man is bound, burdened with sin and shame, condemnation which entraps man all the more, the more that he tries to be good, to overcome a sinful nature.
Man needs righteousness, and He needs life.
"I have come that you might have life, and that more abundantly" (John 10:10)
We cannot have eternal life in us with sin, so the sin problem must be paid for, taken care of.
Jesus signaled that the sin problem and sins would be put away, and the Holy Spirit would then come to us:
"And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." (John 16: 8-11)
The Holy Spirit convicts the believer of righteousness, even when we fail:
"A Psalm of David, Maschil. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." (Psalm 32:1)
Here is the Gospel in clear form preached for all out of the mouth of Paul the Apostle:
"Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13:38-39)
Righteousness gives us life!
"In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death." (Proverbs 12:28)
I have noticed throughout Scripture that righteousness is referenced, represented as running water.
A very powerful image of how powerful and all encompassing God's gift of righteousness is for us, the running of water indicates how we are to receive and keep receiving God's gift of righteousness for all of us.
Check out the following verses:
"Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it." (Isaiah 45:8)
"O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:" (Isaiah 48:18)
"But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream." (Amos 5:24)
We need to see God's gift of righteousness as ever-flowing, never-ending, a mighty stream which affirms us and justifies us at all times.
Jesus' death and resurrection accomplished this much for us and more.