What Does Righteousness Mean?

Our BSF lecture focused on righteousness and our third principle stated, “God’s way of salvation is the only way to turn from sin and turn to righteousness.”

Well, I was stumped.  I had always thought of righteousness as being right.  But this obviously isn’t the case in this sense so I decided to find out what I was missing.

Webster’s says righteousness is “acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin; morally right or justifiable; or arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality”

The synonym listed is moral.

So in my upbringing I had missed the “God” in the sense of the word.

In the statement above, God’s salvation allows us to be righteous (or free from guilt).  Jesus erased our sins. And being righteous means to act in accordance with God’s law–to continually strive to be like Jesus.

God is righteous because He is free from sin.  Isaiah 46:12-13: God says “…you who are far from righteousness, I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed.”

I made the mistake of going to Sam’s Club again (I really need to stay away from that place.  I think I would be a fiend if I went to the Bible BookStore as regularly) and I bought Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary by J.D. Douglas and Merrill C. Tenney.  I had seen it before but decided to wait–until I looked up righteousness and it had the definition I had been seeking!  So, I bought it!

This Dictionary says righteousness is “any conformity to a standard, whether that standard has to do with inner character of a person or the objective standard of accepted law….Lord God always acts in righteousness because He always has a right relationship with people.”

This also explains righteousness in terms of Jesus.  Fascinating stuff and I’d highly recommend it.  I can’t wait to dive more into it.

In essence, being righteous is being like Jesus or being like God.

There is Something Inherently Wrong with Me When…

I go to Sam’s Club the other day with the sole intent of buying a winter jacket.  I had seen a couple I liked a few months back and the zipper on my winter jacket just broke so I need a new one.  I take my two youngest with me and we spend probably 30 minutes looking and trying on.  Nothing fit.  The one I remembered is gone.

So, dejected, I prepare to leave without buying anything.  But then….

I walk down the book aisle and this book jumps out at me called “Atlas of the Bible” by Carl G Rasmussen by Zondervan.  It’s a thick book with a picture of some ruins on it and maps below the picture.  Now, as you can tell, I LOVE maps so I picked it up and glanced through it.  I opened to the pages on Hezekiah’s reign and there are timelines and maps and pictures AND an explanation with biblical quotes of passages, tying together all the parts of the Bible that discusses Hezekiah’s reign.

I hadn’t been interested in a Bible Atlas before even though our BSF leader recommended one because I don’t like just a book with maps in it.  I like the explanations and pictures–exactly like this book.

I look at the price and it’s $25 bucks.  So, I put it down but only momentarily.  I thought, “Well, I was going to spend that on a coat and now I’ll spend that on a book.”

I do this ALL THE TIME.  I’ll buy something for me, justifying the expense by giving up something else.

So, I proceed to the check-out, happy as a lark.  The winter jacket will wait until next fall and I’ll enjoy a cool book that will help me understand God’s word much better.

Good trade-off, don’t you think?

Glenn Beck’s Broke

I like to read and mostly it’s kids books since I read out-loud to my kids constantly.  But occasionally, in-between writing tasks, I like to read my stuff.

So, I picked up Glenn Beck’s Broke at Sam’s Club the other day and have been devouring it ever since.  It’s a sobering look at where our country is heading financially due to our out of control spending and enormous debt.

If you read nothing else, I would recommend the chapter on religion.  It reads like a summation of Isaiah’s Bible Study so far.

First line of Chapter Fifteen:  When was the last time you trembled while thinking about God?

Here are some of my favorite highlights from the chapter:

God expects us to take care of the gifts we are given.

We are broke because we are broken.

Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate for a government of any other.  John Adams

A republic can only function if a specific percentage of the population is virtuous.  But virtue requires morality and morality requires religion.

“Faith is more than just a belief in a specific religious doctrine; it’s something that fills us from the inside. It makes us whole.  If  you strip that away, something has to fill the void.”  P. 252

The void is meant to be filled by God (my addition.).

This last one hit me hard.  Straight from the Notes on Isaiah Lesson 7: All sinful acts find their origin in the sin of refusing to acknowledge God as the Supreme Authority in one’s life.  God has created each human being with a void that must be filled by something or someone outside of himself or herself. Failure to look to God to fill that void will result in looking elsewhere.

I was a fan of Glenn Beck before but now I’m an ubber-fan.  I wonder if he does BSF?  Or maybe his wife?

Broke is a great book to get you inspired and remind you of our revolutionary roots.  It gives me hope that I can make a difference in our backwards world.  It is chalked full of history lessons I never learned and facts about the economy that no one else will tell you.  It’s sobering, scary, and heart-wrenching.  It’s eye-opening and informing.  It’s encouraging and just plain good.

It emphasized the primacy of religion in our founders’ lives and its indispensability in the governance of our country.  Remember the Pilgrims?  People risked their lives to come to America just to worship the God of their choice–Yahweh.  Everything comes back to God.

You are reminded of what made this country great and how it can be that once again.  And God plays a big role in our survival.