3. God Still Wants All of Us to Practice Righteousness
As you will see in the first verse I will list below, God still wants all of us to continue to practice righteousness in this life, even though we now have the righteousness of His Son Jesus already imputed on us. And again, this verse is coming from the NT, showing once again that we still have to do the best we can in obeying all of God's laws and commandments, which will include some of the basic laws and commandments that were back in the OT.
The rest of the verses will really drive home the point on how important it is that we all seek to walk in the ways of our Lord, and that trying to live a good, holy and righteous life before the Lord will help bring us true "life" in this life.
Here are some very good verses on how powerful of a thing it can be for all of us if we try to live a good and righteous life before the Lord. Being good, holy and righteous for the Lord may not be cool with the rest of the world, but it is definitely cool with the Lord, and that is what we will eventually be rewarded on once we enter into heaven and God then hands out His rewards based upon the good works we have done for Him down here, along with how we have lived our lives for Him.
- "In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother." (1 John 3:10)
- "In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death." (Proverbs 12:28)
- "But to him who sows righteousness will be a sure reward. As righteousness leads to life, so he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death." (Proverbs 11:18-19)
- Thus says the Lord: "Keep justice, and do righteousness ... blessed is the man who does this ... and keeps his hand from doing any evil." (Isaiah 56:1-2)
- "The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves him who follows righteousness." (Proverbs 15:9)
- "The labor of the righteous leads to life, the wages of the wicked to sin. He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses reproof goes astray." (Proverbs 10:16-17)
- "To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice." (Proverbs 21:3)
- "The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him." (Proverbs 20:7)
- "When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness, than vast revenues without justice." (Proverbs 16:7-8)
- "Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits." Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God." (1 Corinthians 15:33-34)
- "All unrighteousness is sin ..." (1 John 5:17)
- "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow." (Isaiah 1:16-17)
- "Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on ... But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble." (Proverbs 4:14-19)
- "It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, for a throne is established by righteousness." (Proverbs 16:12)
- "Mercy and truth preserve the king, and by lovingkindness he upholds his throne." (Proverbs 20:28)
Notice how many times the Bible says that righteousness will lead to "life"and that any kind of unrighteousness is actually considered sin in the eyes of God. This means that real righteousness is pretty well all black and white. There is only God and the devil, heaven or hell, and good and evil when you really sum everything up.
It now becomes up to each person as to which side of the fence they are going to walk on in this life. Again, Joshua could not have said it any better when he said that you must choose this day who you will serve. You will either decide to serve God and follow His ways and live, or you will choose to follow yourself, other people or the devil and eventually die.
There are no middle or neutral grounds as far as God is concerned. God has made it as easy as He possibly could. But we only have one lifetime, and a very short lifetime at best, to make that one final and fateful decision which will then determine what the rest of our life will be like once we die and cross over to the other side, which will either be heaven for the saved or hell for the unsaved.
All of these verses are short, quick to the point, and very easy to understand. God simply wants all of us to walk in His righteous ways and again, when we start to run into trouble with certain types of sins, we have both Him and His Holy Spirit to help pull us out of any sins that He will not want us to be getting caught up in.
***TO BE CONTINUED***