Agape Chapel Ministries

Sunday School Bible Studies

By Pastor Nick Bibile


April 11, Sunday 2010


The Righteousness of God


J.I. Packer said, “Righteousness and holiness belongs together. They are essentially the same but viewed from different angles.”


John Gill said, “Without this attribute, He would not be fit to be the Governor of the world and the Judge of the whole earth.


Louis Berkoff said, “This attribute is closely related to the holiness of God.”


Charles Spurgeon said, “The grand fact is God is righteous and he cannot err.”


The word righteousness has a courtroom meaning. God is righteous because he is infinitely holy. Also the righteousness of God has a connection to the justice of God and we will see this later. A person becomes righteous with justice; it is the Judge or the standard that makes one righteous.


The Hebrew word for righteous when it comes to God’s nature is ‘sedeq’ sometimes written as tsaddik, the root word is straight, it means an ethical moral standard, it is referring to God’s righteousness to its nature. 


Ps 145:  17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works.


Also righteousness is the result of keeping the law. The people who break the law are called unrighteous. However when it comes to God, his righteousness, he is not subjected to any law, as there is no law above God. God is the lawmaker as his nature is righteous. Our nature is unrighteous. For us to become righteous our nature has to be changed. That is why the gospel is a demonstration of the righteousness of God.


Romans 1: 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”


When it comes to God his nature is righteous. Because his nature is righteous he is perfect in all his works.


Ezra 9: 15 O LORD God of Israel, You are righteous, for we are left as a remnant, as it is this day. Here we are before You, in our guilt, though no one can stand before You because of this!”


Deut 32: 4 "The Rock, his work is perfect, for  all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.


Dan 9; 14  Therefore the LORD has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for the LORD our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice.


John 17: 25 O righteous Father, even though  the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.


2 Tim 4: 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.


Rev 16: 5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying:  “ You are righteous, O Lord,
      The One who is and who was and who is to be,  Because You have judged these things.


Justice of God


As I said before justice and punishment has to do because God is righteous.  God’s justice can be divided into three.


  1. Rectorial justice of God.
  2. Remunerative Justice.
  3. Retributive justice


All of the above three shows that God is righteous. Now lets take one by one and make these words simple to understand.


Rectorial justice


The word ‘recto’ is the Latin word for ruler. Rectorial justice has to do with God’s rule of this world in justice.

God manifests as the Ruler of both the good and evil. God is not the author of evil but is under God’s control. God is the lawgiver.


James 4: 12There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?


His laws are righteous laws.


Deut 4: 8And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?


As the ruler of the earth one day he will give rewards and punishments, rewards to the believers and punishment to the unbelievers.


Rom 2:6 He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.


Remunerative Justice.


A.W. Pink said, “Remunerative justice, or a distribution of rewards; the rule of which is not the merits of men, but his own gracious promise; for he first, of his own grace and good will, makes promises, and then he is just and righteous in fulfilling them.”


Remunerative means to reward someone. This is where God will reward both angels and believers.


Ps 58: 11 So that men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
         Surely He is God who judges in the earth.”


Mat 25: 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’


34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.


Heb 11: 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.


James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.


Colossians 3: 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.


Retributive justice


The word retribute means to pay back.  There is a payback time coming for the ungodly.  This is the expression of God’s wrath. There will be no God’s wrath in a sinless world but our fallen world is full of sin and the payback time is coming for those who live in disobedience to God.


Romans 12: 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”


God’s holiness is the cause for his justice. God’s holiness always does what is right, as he is righteous. If God is unjust then he will be unholy. Justice is the perfection of his divine nature. Justice flows from his nature as he cannot be bribed or forced. God is perfectly holy and just.


Even in our earthly court system there is the {Penal code} (Law), a code of laws concerning crimes and offenses and their punishment. Penal means pain, punishment.


God as the Judge of the earth, he will do what is right.  (Gen 18:25)


Romans 1: 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.


Romans 2:But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.


Romans 2: 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.


2 Thes 1:in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.


Eph 5;Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.


Heb 9: 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.


Question: How can God keep his righteousness and then forgive someone like me a sinner? I would like you to think of this statement this week and answer next week.


In conclusion there is a profound teaching in the Old Testament that God’s people are to do just and righteous things. In short the Old Testament has a very high view of social reform, to help the needy, the fatherless and the oppressed from injustice. We lack this teaching from the pulpits today. We are called to take care of the poor and the needy. This was one of the crimes of Sodom as they were prideful, plenty of food and prosperous but neglected the poor.


Ezk 16: 49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.


Mat 25: 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Christ has imputed his righteousness to the believers. How do we know that we are truly born again? We will do righteous things.

1 John 2; 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.