Tag Archives: Righteous

Righteous by Faith or Action?

This is a comment made on an Orthodox Jewish blog by a Jew that I found interesting and somewhat telling:

Righteousness basically means to “do what is right”. If God “works” the righteousness, it is God’s righteousness, not the persons. The person would not be doing what the person was created for and the person would just be a robot or a puppet or just a mirror incapable of being truly righteous, incapable of being truly obedient, unable to truly love God, and not being a child of God; not really created “in the image of God”. Golden calf’s or idols, such as the sun, have no real power, no mind, etc. If a person does evil, is God working through that person at that time and they were just a puppet, or did they freely choose not to do right? Free just as another chooses to do right.

This came after I made the comment that Abraham was righteous because of his faith in God and not his actions.  His actions were righteous as they were in response to his faith and trust in God, but the works in themselves do not make him righteous.  This is a sticking point within Christianity as well, but it is one of the main differences between Judaism and Christianity.

As this person pointed out, a person would be incapable of being truly righteous, of being truly obedient, unable to truly love God.  This is why we proclaim the need for Jesus.  We know that we cannot be truly righteous.  We know that once you fail to be obedient, and we are talking about complete obedience, that we will forever fall short of that standard of God.

God gave the Laws to show mankind that they would never be able to be truly righteous apart from God.  It is not possible to fully and completely follow the Laws the way they are intended.  Animal sacrifices were there to help cover up the sin of man, but the sin was never removed.  No sacrifices can be made today, so there is no way to be completely obedient as one of the key components has been removed from the people. 

For the Christian, we believe that Jesus was the only person to truly live in obedience to God, as he is God.  Jesus is the only perfect sacrifice as he is the only thing that was perfect.  Time has shown over and over how a created being cannot be perfect.  Only that which creates can live up to the standard of the creator.

We are saved and counted as righteous, not because of what we have done but because of our faith in God.

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Righteous Anger of God

And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. (ESV – Mar 3:5)

Jesus was angry as he looked around at the people. Yet he felt sorry for them because they were so stubborn. Then he told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did, and his bad hand was healed. (CEV – Mar 3:5)

I am not sure why I never noticed this verse before.

Often I hear that Jesus was all about love. Nothing but love from JC and anything but love is not very Christian like. We do know that Jesus was angry at the temple when he turned over the tables of the money changers. But that was because the “church” was using the people and treating them unfairly.

But here is another instance of the anger of Jesus.

Now to set the stage, the “church” leaders did not want Jesus to break the traditions and heal a man on the Sabbath, but Jesus wanted to do what was right. I think I am starting to sound like the people at the Christian Left.

I get this same type of sensation. I feel angry when those in the church preach tradition and liturgy as the only way to worship God. How short sighted of them I think. I really don’t mind until I am told I am following a process that is blasphemous. I also feel the anger when people turn from the Bible and decide which aspects of it they choose to follow. Both acts come from a place of stubbornness or hardness of heart. The idea that their way is the only way. That the scriptures no longer

So why is my idea of what the right way is not part of the stubbornness of the heart as I claim theirs is? Because I know I am right of course. LOL

Really though, I do not know how to justify it in a way that proves I am always right and others are wrong. Religion will always have people who claim their way is right and others are wrong or simply misguided. This is true of all religions. Christianity often displays this struggle over a great number of things, so this argument can and will always be used that what someone does or believes in is supported by scripture or tradition.

How do we know then?

We don’t. That is why people will make arguments for their points of views and others will either agree or disagree with them. I say to pray about it and ask God to reveal, but that gets misused as well. In the end, all you can really do is pray and see that what you believe agrees with scripture. When you encounter those you disagree with, if it is something that can not be considered a secondary item, then best to avoid them. Otherwise your righteous anger will transform into a personal anger and then your sinning.

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