devotions for women


The One True God is Righteous and Just

Day Eleven
by Gini Crawford, MSW

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The One True God is righteous and just. God is righteous, which means He does exactly what is right; He has no lawlessness in Him. God is just, which means He is perfectly fair. God's justice rewards righteousness and punishes sin.

For I proclaim the name of the LORD...His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He. Deuteronomy 32:3-4 NASB®

Sin and punishment. I am sure you realize disobeying laws no matter where you live, always comes with a negative consequence. I can get in a hurry, so of course I have gotten speeding tickets from breaking our city's speed laws. As a result, I am punished with a fine. Sin has punishment, because it is disobeying God's laws. Death and eternal punishment away from God are the punishment for sin. (There are two forms of death in the Bible: Spiritual death which is separation from God, and physical death.)

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 NASB®

God's righteousness and justice toward us.

Does God really want to punish us? No! God never wanted to punish us! The Bible says that God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He did not want them, or us, to die! He created us to be with Him, not to be dead to Him. However, since justice and righteousness are His characteristics, He has to fairly and rightly deal with all disobedience. If He did not, He wouldn’t be just or righteous. Remember, He rewards righteousness because He is just. However, because He is just, He will punish unrighteousness which is sin.

However, you can't catch God off guard. He had a plan set in eternity to deal with our sin, so He wouldn't have to punish us. That incredible loving plan was for Jesus to pay the consequence of our sins when He died on the cross, consequently taking our punishment upon Himself. This allowed us to be justified (declared righteous), to have God's just anger against our sins satisfied, and to be completely forgiven of those sins. (Romans 3:22-26; 1 Peter 2:24) When God looks at us, He doesn't see our sin, but instead He sees Jesus Christ's righteousness. Miraculous reality, isn't it?

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him...He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Romans 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB®

As a Christian, God wants you to live righteously in Him. God's Word teaches you what God's justice and righteousness look like, so you need to be reading His Word. I was just thinking, a number of peoples around the world can't afford a Bible or can't read one if they had one. They would love to have God's Word accessible. Those of us with a Bible are blessed, so let's be using it to learn the fundamentals of God's righteousness. This will give you the knowledge you need to live righteously. (Psalm 1; 2 Timothy 3:15-17)

Should we care about sin (unrighteousness) in our lives, since Jesus took our punishment for our sins? Of course! When we sin as Christians, we are walking away from God. We are also disobeying God's laws when we sin, which He put in place to give us well-being on this earth. Sin is never good for us; frankly it can devastate our lives if we habitually continue in some sins. Sadly, a man contracted an infection that caused his body tissues to die, resulting in his untimely death. The dying of his tissues, made his body give off a smell so foul people would instinctively stay away from him or start vomiting. Looking at Isaiah 64:6-7, no matter if we call our sinful deeds righteous or not, we can't fool God; our sinful deeds are a filthy and foul smelling garment to God, which of course, He doesn't want to be near. (James 4:1-10) Sobering information, isn't it?

In regard to our sin problem, when we confess our sins or agree with God about our sins, it cleanses us and restores our closeness, to God again. Confessing your sins is the easiest way God could give you to be so quickly near Him again (Psalm 32:1-5). When you sin, God knows it, whether you think so or not. Confess it and move on with Him.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 NASB®


Life Application:

Growing in God's righteousness.

In the Old Testament times people could ask God to help them live righteously and justly, and He would. As you just learned, we now have God's righteousness living within us as Christians. However, like our sanctification or holiness, we need to grow in righteousness. Read 1 Kings 3:9-12; Psalm 4:1-5; Matthew 6:33; Romans 3:22, 6:16-19, 14:17; Titus 3:5-6.

Are you growing in righteousness? Psalm 23:3 says that God wants to guide you in the paths of righteousness. Ask God to help you live a just and righteous life. It is a prayer, I pray for myself and my family about every day.

Ephesians 4:22-24 uses a clever illustration about how to grow in righteousness. In a figurative sense these verses are telling you to lay aside that old foul garment that represents your old sinful nature, and to put on your new garment of righteousness designed by God that represents your new life in Jesus. (Isaiah 61:10; Zechariah 3:3-4) What these verses are simply saying is: Christians need to put off or stop the sins in their lives, and instead put on what God wants. You will see examples of these put off sins to put on what is right in Ephesians 4:20-5:2. Read Ephesians 4:24-5:2. Make a list from this passage on what you should or shouldn't to doing.

Do you want to be found wearing a foul smelling old coat of sin that doesn't fit you any more, or a beautiful new coat made just for you in righteousness and holiness by your God? You do have a choice.


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