Defining "Righteous"

Aaron32

Well-known member
Google defines "righteous" as "morally right or justifiable; virtuous."

Yet, is this limited to actions and behavior, or is motive and intent incorporated into that also?

Example: Matt 5:20 "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

I have my ideas. I just wanted get the thoughts of others. Any biblical justification to support your beliefs would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
Google defines "righteous" as "morally right or justifiable; virtuous."

Yet, is this limited to actions and behavior, or is motive and intent incorporated into that also?

Example: Matt 5:20 "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

I have my ideas. I just wanted get the thoughts of others. Any biblical justification to support your beliefs would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
The idea behind Matt 5:20 was that one has to be more righteous than the scribes and Pharisees...who were the experts in the knowledge of the law....considering that their whole life revolved around keeping the law...Jesus said your rightousness had to exceed that amount of effort...which we all know is impossible. That was the point.

The bottom line is we need Christ righteousness imputed to us because we have no righteousness.
The Bible in Isaiah says that all our righteous deeds are like a “polluted garment” (Isaiah 64:6).

2 Corinthians 5:21“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”

Righteousness is something we don't have and can't obtain on our own.
 
Google defines "righteous" as "morally right or justifiable; virtuous."

Yet, is this limited to actions and behavior, or is motive and intent incorporated into that also?

Example: Matt 5:20 "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

I have my ideas. I just wanted get the thoughts of others. Any biblical justification to support your beliefs would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Righteousness without a relationship in Christ is meaningless. Imputed righteousness comes to us as a result of how Jesus lived faithfully in God's grace and by his death and resurrection. It is as new spiritual creations that righteousness is imputed to us as the Spirit works through us and speaks to us. It is the faith of God at work in us that makes it possible to please God and harmonized with his will. If Jesus did not atone for our sins and make us new spiritual creations then we would not have a relationship in Christ and nothing that we do could please God. It is a spiritually empowered walk in Christ and everything we think, say and do is through the Spirit at work in us. God gets all the credit and when we abide in God's anointing that pleases God and God's righteousness is at work in us not our own righteousness.

God bless you. :)
 
Google defines "righteous" as "morally right or justifiable; virtuous."

Yet, is this limited to actions and behavior, or is motive and intent incorporated into that also?

Example: Matt 5:20 "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

I have my ideas. I just wanted get the thoughts of others. Any biblical justification to support your beliefs would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I think Jesus gives examples of how one is to "exceed" the righteousness of the scribes an Pharisees in the verses that immediately follow:

20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."

There is a higher standard that Jesus gives when he says, "But I say unto you..."

This standard that "exceeds" the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees is elsewhere described as goodness or love. After all, it is love for a person that stops you from killing them. A greater love for that person will keep you from even being angry with them and calling them a fool.

Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Romans 5:7 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

If you don't have love in your heart, but do "righteous" deeds because you are following a written code of conduct, as "observing" this code, then you get a certain conduct. But if you just await the promptings of love and compassion (aka being led by the Spirit), you end up with a loving conduct that keeps you from calling people fools and exceeds the righteousness of the written code.

(I should perhaps let you know that I am Catholic)
 
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Google defines "righteous" as "morally right or justifiable; virtuous."

Yet, is this limited to actions and behavior, or is motive and intent incorporated into that also?

Two brothers made daddy breakfast in bed. 12 year old Tommy made the hash browns and eggs.... perfectly. Little 6 year old Jimmy's job was to make the toast. He burned the toast.

Which one was their father more pleased with?

Example: Matt 5:20 "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

I have my ideas. I just wanted get the thoughts of others. Any biblical justification to support your beliefs would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does what is righteous is righteous just as He is righteous.
1 John 3:7

Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does what is righteous is righteous just as He is righteous.

Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does what is righteous is righteous just as He is righteous.

Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does what is righteous is righteous just as He is righteous.

Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does what is righteous is righteous just as He is righteous.
 
Google defines "righteous" as "morally right or justifiable; virtuous."

Yet, is this limited to actions and behavior, or is motive and intent incorporated into that also?

Example: Matt 5:20 "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

I have my ideas. I just wanted get the thoughts of others. Any biblical justification to support your beliefs would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Attention to the rest of the Matthew 5 text serves well to answer this inquiry because Jesus does not stop with a comparison to the Pharisees; he sets a much higher standard: God! If the standard is perfection (Mt. 5:48; Dt. 18:13), defined as the absence of defect, then righteousness is impossible by way of sinful human flesh because the flesh itself is defective. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) and no amount of subsequent obedience; changes that condition once existent. The newer revelation explains how righteousness was credited to Abraham through faith and applies that concept to the believer in Christ (Gal. 3:6; Jms. 2:23). That text, Romans 4, explicitly precludes works. Not even Paul claimed to have achieved perfection (Php. 3:12). It is not until we are resurrected that we will be raised incorruptible (1 Cor. 15:42). On this side ofthe grave we remain corruptible, perishable, and that is part of the problem to be solved.
 
Attention to the rest of the Matthew 5 text serves well to answer this inquiry because Jesus does not stop with a comparison to the Pharisees; he sets a much higher standard: God! If the standard is perfection (Mt. 5:48; Dt. 18:13), defined as the absence of defect, then righteousness is impossible by way of sinful human flesh because the flesh itself is defective. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) and no amount of subsequent obedience; changes that condition once existent. The newer revelation explains how righteousness was credited to Abraham through faith and applies that concept to the believer in Christ (Gal. 3:6; Jms. 2:23). That text, Romans 4, explicitly precludes works. Not even Paul claimed to have achieved perfection (Php. 3:12). It is not until we are resurrected that we will be raised incorruptible (1 Cor. 15:42). On this side ofthe grave we remain corruptible, perishable, and that is part of the problem to be solved.

Perfect at Matthew 5:48 means complete, fully mature. It means to not just love your neighbors, as Jesus is teaching here, but to be perfect, complete, and love your enemies. It means to go all the way to the end.

Jesus isn't even talking about perfectly walking a tightrope and not falling off into sin. He is talking about the fact that love has no boundaries like the Law does. God loves His enemies and Jesus is teaching His disciples not to love as the world does (love those who love you) but to love as God does and love your enemies. It's all there in the context if you would just listen to what Jesus is saying.

Here's Luke's parallel account:

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
 
Perfect at Matthew 5:48 means complete, fully mature.
Yep. I defined the term the way I did on purpose, but even if teleioi is used, it is not something obtainable on this side of the grave.
It means to not just love your neighbors, as Jesus is teaching here, but to be perfect, complete, and love your enemies.
It means much more than that.
It means to go all the way to the end.
Unless you mean "fruition," or the aforementioned resurrection, it does not mean "go all the way to the end." Resurrection is the end.
But love your enemies, and do good...
Can you not see that you are creedalizing our love of Jesus?
 
Yep. I defined the term the way I did on purpose, but even if teleioi is used, it is not something obtainable on this side of the grave.

And that comment demonstrates why you don't know what you are talking about.

It means much more than that.

Unless you mean "fruition," or the aforementioned resurrection, it does not mean "go all the way to the end." Resurrection is the end.

How quickly you ended up in left field here.

Can you not see that you are creedalizing our love of Jesus?

Oh I see quite clearly what you are doing.
 
Defining "righteous"

Google defines "righteous" as "morally right or justifiable; virtuous."

Yet, is this limited to actions and behavior, or is motive and intent incorporated into that also?
No, it is not limited to conduct or motive. Just as sin is a matter of conduct AND disposition, so too is righteousness. A person can commit a righteous act with ill intent. That is not righteousness. The reverse is also true. God told Israel quite bluntly their righteous acts were nothing more than filthy rags.

It might help to think about this by considering the difference between teleology and ontology. Teleology is the design and/or purpose of a thing. Ontology is its nature. Humans were designed to serve God. Humans' nature was originally good, unashamed, and sinless. Our nature has changed. We became sinful sinners, not sinless; slaves of/to sin, not of/to righteousness. Out ontology changed, but not our teleology (even the sinfully dead and enslaved corpse serves God's purpose).

The righteous live by faith.

The unrighteous do not live.

How many sermons on the definition of righteousness have you heard say that? Attempts to define righteousness by works and will are always incomplete.
 
No, it is not limited to conduct or motive. Just as sin is a matter of conduct AND disposition, so too is righteousness. A person can commit a righteous act with ill intent. That is not righteousness. The reverse is also true. God told Israel quite bluntly their righteous acts were nothing more than filthy rags.

Our works are filthy rags because we are flesh and our works originate in the flesh.

God's works are not our works. His works which He prepares are not filthy rags. And genuine believers DO GOD'S WORKS.

It might help to think about this by considering the difference between teleology and ontology. Teleology is the design and/or purpose of a thing. Ontology is its nature. Humans were designed to serve God. Humans' nature was originally good, unashamed, and sinless. Our nature has changed. We became sinful sinners, not sinless; slaves of/to sin, not of/to righteousness. Out ontology changed, but not our teleology (even the sinfully dead and enslaved corpse serves God's purpose).

The righteous live by faith.

The unrighteous do not live.

How many sermons on the definition of righteousness have you heard say that? Attempts to define righteousness by works and will are always incomplete.
 
No, it is not limited to conduct or motive. Just as sin is a matter of conduct AND disposition, so too is righteousness. A person can commit a righteous act with ill intent. That is not righteousness. The reverse is also true. God told Israel quite bluntly their righteous acts were nothing more than filthy rags.

It might help to think about this by considering the difference between teleology and ontology. Teleology is the design and/or purpose of a thing. Ontology is its nature. Humans were designed to serve God. Humans' nature was originally good, unashamed, and sinless. Our nature has changed. We became sinful sinners, not sinless; slaves of/to sin, not of/to righteousness. Out ontology changed, but not our teleology (even the sinfully dead and enslaved corpse serves God's purpose).

The righteous live by faith.

The unrighteous do not live.

How many sermons on the definition of righteousness have you heard say that? Attempts to define righteousness by works and will are always incomplete.
It is only God who is righteous and God acts out of his character and what God does is right. The only way one can be righteous is in God and that means that God is at work in one by his grace to do what please God as he prepares one's heart to do right and it is through God's Spirit. A spiritual walk in Christ manifest God's righteousness because the Spirit that is at work in us gives us the spiritual power to harmonize with God's will. It is God in us and us in God and that is God's oneness and it is unified.:)
 
Our works are filthy rags because we are flesh and our works originate in the flesh.
Yep
God's works are not our works.
Sorta. God's work in us to do his will and serve His purpose creates and overlap between the two (His work and ours). Care must be made not to create false dichotomies, or the fallacy of the neglected middle. Those lacking the Spirit have only the sinfully dead and enslaved unregenerate flesh. That is not the case with the redeemed and regenerate. The reason we are created in Christ if for good works.
His works which He prepares are not filthy rags.
I assume that's an affirmation of the obvious because I don't read anyone saying otherwise.
And genuine believers DO GOD'S WORKS.
"genuine"? As opposed to ungenuine believers?
 
Yep

Sorta. God's work in us to do his will and serve His purpose creates and overlap between the two (His work and ours). Care must be made not to create false dichotomies, or the fallacy of the neglected middle. Those lacking the Spirit have only the sinfully dead and enslaved unregenerate flesh. That is not the case with the redeemed and regenerate. The reason we are created in Christ if for good works.

It seems you need to go and read Ephesians 2:10 about a dozen more times.

Genuine believers do God's works which HE PREPARES for us to do.

I assume that's an affirmation of the obvious because I don't read anyone saying otherwise.

"genuine"? As opposed to ungenuine believers?

Does one actually need to explain to you what "genuine" means?
 
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