The Righteousness of Jesus

Being good is easy, what is difficult is being just.” 

― Victor Hugo

WHEN a righteous man occupies a position of authority, the people rejoice. ” (Prov. 29:6).

“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (Prov.21:3-14).

“Social justice is the center of Jesus’ life and gospel. He feeds those who are hungry. He defends those who are oppressed. He stands up for women’s rights. He loves the outcasts, the despised, the rejected, and the sinners. He calls on the rich and the powerful to give their money to the poor and provide for the needs of the powerless. ” – John Piper.

“Justice is the state that exists when there is equality, balance and harmony in relationships and in society. Injustice is the condition that exists when unjust people commit cruel violence and create inequality, imbalance and dissonance. ” – Ken Wytsma, Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things.

“In my opinion, it would have been ideal if 100% of the people had farmed. If each person got a quarter acre, that is, 1 acre for a family of five, it would have been more than enough land to support the family for a whole year. If farming was done in a natural way, a farmer would also have had enough time for recreation and social activities in the town community. I think it’s the most direct way to make this country a happy, pleasant country. “- Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution.

“Equity does not mean that everyone gets the same. Fairness means everyone gets what they need. ” – Rick Riordan, The Red Pyramid.

There is also no Hebrew word for “equality” – it is still a meaningless word that the Lord’s language does not recognize. Nothing is equal. Because equality does not exist. There are obligations. There are rules. There are systems. There is fair distribution of goods and wages and services, but this is not done according to any system of equality. Goods and services are bought with money, and money must be earned. You do not have any right to money. You have to earn it.” Daniel Lapin[1]

Jesus is God’s Standard of Law:

There is my Servant whom I support, my Chosen One in whom my soul delights. I laid my Spirit on Him; He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or shout or make His voice heard on the street. He will not break the broken reed, nor put out the dull kernel; with faithfulness He will bring forth justice. ” (Isa. 42: 1-3).

This Scripture was literally fulfilled in His death on the cross by Christ (Matt. 12:18), in that He took our guilt / injustice / sin upon Himself, and served the death sentence for us so that we could be free.

Righteousness for All Is Part of Jesus’ Mission: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He sent me to proclaim the release of the captives and to restore sight to the blind, to send the oppressed into freedom, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s grace. ” (Luke 4: 18-19).

Jesus did not fight so that people would get things for free: Although the gospel was free, and Jesus fed the crowd, and healed the sick without asking for any money, He never appealed to the government or the church for “ free hand-outs ”. On the contrary, inherent in His ministry of healing is a personal command that the person had to carry out in faith: “Take to your bed”, “Get out of your hand”, “Go wash yourself”, “Go show yourself to the priests”.

Jesus did not hold the government responsible for the care of the poor: When the government intervenes on behalf of one population grouping, it is always at the expense of another grouping. Poverty alleviation, through the proclamation of the gospel and the cultivation of a proper lifestyle, is the responsibility of the Church (Matt. 25: 31-46; Acts 6: 1-7; Gal. 2: 1-10; 6:10 (Jas. 1:27).

Law and Justice A Rare Commodity In Today’s Life

To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” (Prov. 21:3) NKJV. 

We live in a world of injustice, double standards, people’s word means nothing, everyone does what is right in his own eyes. Children suffer under the injustice of their parents. People are used and abused without anyone feeling guilty because we justify ourselves the good things we sometimes do. People are broken, disillusioned, bitter, hurt, offended and wronged because someone did not do RIGHT.

Sin is: injustice, wrongdoing, lawlessness and wickedness.

We are all looking for justice! The question is, whose right?

Solomon specifically asked for wisdom to be able to give justice (1 Kings 3:11). Like his father, David, he wanted to do what was right (2 Sam. 8:15).

Biblical Foundations against Contemporary Concepts:

Justice AND Equity vs Equality

Justice: the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: justice; fairness; justice, administration of justice.

Be Impartial (Lev. 19:15 and James 2: 4) See Chapter on Jesus’ inclusivity.

Equity: the quality of being fair or impartial; fairness; impartiality: fairness, impartiality.

Equality, Similarity: Is Everyone Equal in the Bible? No, not everyone is equal. Are they all the same? No, not everyone is the same. Look at the creation. There is clear order. There are rulers and there are followers. Both are important and essentially interdependent. See the wonder of an ant or bee colony. Diversity in unity, but with a clear collective consciousness, as beautifully explained by Eugene Marais in Die Siel Van Die Mier. In Matthew 20 we read that the workers who worked just one hour earned the same as the others who worked all day. “Are you jealous because I’m generous?” (Matt. 20:15). The biblical way to bring equality is voluntary generosity. Everyone had everything in common in the Church of Acts, not because someone forced them, but because people turned their hearts to God and began to give voluntarily (Acts 2:44).

Racism vs Ethnic Redemptive Purpose

No human being should be judged or prejudiced because of race. Trevor Phillips was head of the Equality Commission in England for 15 years. In a recent documentary, he points out the serious shortcomings of the policy. No person likes to a.g.v. your race or colour to be judged. But political correctness can go too far because police statistics clearly prove that certain criminal acts occur more among certain groups than others. Why, if ʼn certain injustices occur more among certain people, does that grouping not hold those offenders accountable themselves? Especially in light of the fact that the perpetrators give the grouping a bad name, and manipulate the internal relations. Discipline always starts first in the house! (1 Pet. 4:17).

Ethnic Redemptive purpose also does not necessarily mean racial integration, mixing. On the contrary, the Bible condemns adultery with unbelievers (Deut. 7: 3; Josh. 23:12). Although it is no longer seen as a sin today, there are still challenges in terms of culture, education, socio-economic values ​​and status differences. There is a clear recognition of each nation’s right to exist and redemptive purpose. “From one man he made every nation of mankind to dwell in all the earth. He determined the times of their existence, and the boundaries of their abode. God’s purpose with the nations was to seek Him, even if they had to search around to find Him. Not that He is far from any of us. It is precisely through Him that we live, move and exist. ” (Acts 17: 26-28). The Bible testifies throughout the Scriptures of communities of “mutuality” (mutual reciprocity and cooperation; good neighbourliness). When we as a community have matured enough to unite our differences for the common good, within the framework of human dignity and personal responsibility, we all prosper.

The NT church consists of Jews and non-Jews, Greeks and Barbarians, free and slave; rich and poor. Paul’s message is very clear: there is no more division and separation of race in Christ (Gal. 3:27; Eph. 2:15). He constantly addresses the factions in the church to come to unity. (1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11; Eph. 4: 3). Luke in the book of Acts emphasizes unity as the basis for supernatural encounters. (Acts 1:14; 2: 1; 4; 24, 32; 5:12; 8: 6; 15:25). The church of the NT was not united to become a new nation culture IN Christ. As believers from diverse ethnic cultural backgrounds we must all abandon our old lifestyle to embrace a new way of life in Christ, a new Christ culture. (Mat 10:35-37; Deut. 33:9; Luke 14:26)

Inclusion vs Elect

The Bible’s definition of right and wrong, those who are righteous and those who are condemned, goes beyond mere deeds and lifestyle. There is a definite IN and OUT narrative when it comes to God’s plan of redemption with man. The Garden of Eden, the Ark, the Red Sea, the circumcision, the wedding, the virgins, the sheep versus the goats, are all part of the inner and decided outer narrative. Obedience by faith and, according to the NT, the definite question, “Are you clothed in Jesus’ righteousness?”, Are the clear condition for inclusion. Those who are INSIDE form one family, body, church, bride, Zion and new Jerusalem. The inclusion happens through rebirth, through faith in Christ’s perfect atoning work on the cross. Therefore, it is true that only racial diversity can take place IN the body of Christ because we are born of one Spirit, and call to one Father (Eph. 4: 1-8).

Capitalism and Socialism vs Shared Economy (Mutuality)

There is no scripture in the Bible where poverty is the result of external factors. Poverty is the result of two main reasons: laziness (Prov. 6: 6-11; 10: 4-5; 12:24; 22:13; 26:14) and greed, greed, greediness (Prov. 15:27; 28 : 8.25; 29: 4). Neither capitalism nor socialism deals with the core problem of greed or laziness. Therefore, pure capitalism and socialism are not sustainable, and have never worked throughout history.

The biblical model is: contentment with food and clothing, work that is a blessing to all mankind, generosity, personal responsibility, and stewardship of that which has been freely received. The Bible endorses that we will prosper and multiply what we have received (Matt.25: 15; Luke 19: 11-28). The Bible is not against wealth, but asks that wealth be used to do good and to serve mankind (1 Tim. 6: 17-19; James 2: 6-7; 5: 1-5). “But he who has the goods of the world, and sees his brother in need, and shuts his heart to him, how does the love of God remain in him?” (1 John 3:17). Wealth is not going to get you to heaven, and one should not place your trust in wealth. In Jeremiah 17: 5-6 “God says, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, while his heart turns away from the LORD.”

Since Karl Marx wrote ‘Das Kapital’, much attention has been paid to the special problems of economic justice. Marx took it for granted that the wealth acquired when goods were sold should only compensate the labor of the one who manufactured the goods. Marx also assumed that people originally owned everything in common and therefore divisive justice requires that the whole order of private ownership, as far as public ownership of the material and production is concerned, be reviewed to ensure that the laborer receives the full fruit of his labor.  Marx, however, does not address the heart of man. According to George Orwell, socialists do not even like poor people, because then they would have embraced the lifestyle of poverty like some monks and spiritual gurus. However, they are angry with the rich. Across Africa, this power struggle has been repeated many times where existing wealth only changes hands, but new wealth is not created. [2]

Work as a Curse vs Work as A Gift From God

Work is not a punishment, but a way to be a personal blessing to mankind. Job fulfillment is the fountain of self-worth, identity, pride, health and general well-being. Every Jewish child is taught from an early age to work and do something that will make the world a better place. The Nobel Prize has already been awarded to 900 individuals, 20% of whom were Jews. This is remarkable when you consider that the Jews make up only 2% of the world population and have already been almost wiped out by their enemies several times. When people work hard there is less time for evil and doing wrong. ʼn Husband and wife who work hard together do not have time for extramarital affairs. Work is therapeutic. It makes you feel useful and humane. We were created to create and rule and multiply (Gen. 1:28).

Many people’s expectation and perception of work is that it is carnal, earthly, secular, anti-spiritual, ʼn punishment and curse. Yet, when people retire and do not have to work, then they work more than ever. When we die, we say “rest in peace”, as if the person will never work for eternity. Jesus worked for 17 years before beginning His full-time ministry (from age 13 to 30).

As we follow Jesus, He teaches us His way and principles of living. He gives us His grace and works the fruit of the Spirit in our character. Our moral compass is changing direction: fidelity, honesty, truth, keep your word, pay everyone their due, be a good steward, etc., become the new way of working. We are starting to rule! Romans 5:17: “reign in this life”. We overcome our weaknesses, bad habits, bad moods, addictions.

The blessing of God in our lives is not money and gold, but the ability to “reign in this life”. Since the first day when Jesus awakened our whole being, we become more and more like Him every day. He gives us the grace and cultivates in us the will and desire to act like Him, even if we do not always feel it.

Christ is God’s gift of love to us, but His life and action in and through us is our gift of love to God.

The fruit of the Spirit is Jesus’ character and attitude in us, our immortal richness and value: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, patience, gentleness / humility, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (self-control).

Criminalise Wealth vs Celebrate Multiplication

By taxing the rich more, you discourage profitability. By threatening the rich, you drive them away and create fear.

The oxygen that an economy needs to thrive is faith. You cannot liberate the economy through threats and violence, it creates fear, and fear is bad for the economy. Faith cannot exist in the presence of fear. Fear destroys faith. This is what causes markets to collapse. Some poor people are angry at rich people because they do not give, or do not help. The Lord cannot bless bitterness, victim-mentality, anger, dissatisfaction, or entitlement. He blesses faith, which works in love and gratitude.

Entitlement vs Liability and fair punishment.

• Righteous reward for work and services (Luke 10: 7; 1 Tim. 5:18). Pay your people what is right (Col. 4: 1).

• EVERYONE needs to create jobs and add value.

• Spherical leadership structures, functional, mutual and reciprocal service to each other.

• Protection of inherent value. Every human being was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27).

• Ongoing investments in human capital and social capital (companies that invest in their people and their communities shoulda get further encouragement, incentive and impetus in terms of tax rebates and BEE ratings that unlock even more funds.)

• Shameless ethical work practices. Do right in business (Lev. 19:36; Deut. 25:15; Ezek. 18: 8, 9). “A righteous man walks in His integrity.” (Prov. 20: 7). Individual character and high moral standards are our testimony.

• It is the Church’s role to eliminate the unequal starting point between individuals and groupings. Every person should have the same sovereign withdrawal opportunity in terms of family and education. We cannot choose who our parents are, we cannot choose our race or color. We were born that way. Nor can we choose our various inherent physical and intellectual abilities. We can only develop it further. The Church is called to develop and empower man, businesses are called to be a blessing to mankind and therefore to make a profit. The Church offers good, hardworking people of strong character. The businesses offer the finances.

• The role of government is not that of parent and educator. Primary educators are the parents, the church and then the school. The government’s role is to create and protect platforms, infrastructure and resources through good government through which people can assert themselves. Law enforcement protection is the primary role of government, without prejudice.

  • The Righteous care for his animals (Prov. 12:10).
  • The Righteous hate lies (Prov. 13: 5)
  • The Righteous leave a legacy for their children (Prov. 13:22).

No respect for authority vs Respect authorities:

Submit to authority (Rom. 13: 1-7; 1 Pet. 2: 13-17).

“In all the villages that the Lord your God gives you, judges and officials must be appointed. They must rule the people justly over the whole land. You may not distort the law or be biased. Never accept a bribe, because bribes blind the eyes of the wise and pervert the words of the righteous. Let justice be done and justice alone. So you will live and take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you. ” (Deut. 16: 18-20).

“You tire the Lord with your words. Yet you ask: What do we weary of Him? In that ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and delighteth in them; or where else is the God of justice? ” (Mal. 2:17).

What Is Biblical Justice?

It is always an issue of the heart!

“The LORD expects you to do justice, to show love and faithfulness, and to live humbly before God.” (Micah 6: 8).

“Love and faithfulness will meet. Justice and peace will embrace each other! Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness from heaven. The LORD shall prosper, and our land shall yield increase. Righteousness will go before Him and prepare the way for His coming. ” (Ps. 85: 11-13).

“Let me tell you why! It’s because you do what you want on fast days, and make the people in your service work even harder. You fasting ends in quarrels, quarrels and fistfights. In this way you can not fast and then expect it to be heard in heaven. ” (Isa. 58: 3-4).

“No, is not the fast I want, then, to release the unjust in prison, to take away the yoke of the people and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with those who are hungry, to give food and shelter to the poor and wandering, to give clothes to people who need it, not to turn away from fellow human beings who need your help ? ” (Isa. 58: 6-7).

“Do not go after the majority and also do wrong. When testifying in a court case, do not run after the majority and distort the truth. You must not pervert your testimony for the sake of someone just because he or she is poor. ” (Ex. 23:23).

“You may not distort the law in a court case simply because someone is poor.” (Ex. 23: 6).

“Use the right weights and measuring bowls so that you may enjoy a long life in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. People who cheat with dishonest weights and measuring bowls are despised by the LORD your God. ” (Deut. 25: 15-16).

“Wicked place, shall I bear the wrong line, or the false content that I so hate? Should I acquit the owner of an unreliable scale, one with a bag full of false weights? ” (Micah 6: 10-11).

“For the LORD is righteous, and loveth righteous works. Those who do what is right will see Him.” (Ps. 11: 7).

Radical Justice – GRACE

Study: Rom. 3: 23-16.

“If your righteousness is greater than that of the scribes and Pharisees.” (Matt. 5:20).

On the yardstick of justice, the Pharisees were at the very top of the list. Yet God seeks more radical justice. The rich young man kept everything in the Law, yet he could not obey and believe the Lord (Matt. 19: 16-22). Jesus is perfect radical justice. He overcame sin and death, He healed all diseases, and demons obeyed Him. He also wants to empower us with His supernatural righteousness (Isa. 45:24). Jesus is our deliverance, wisdom from God, and righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30). Righteousness means godliness versus wickedness. Right versus wrong. Thus, when we receive His righteousness, we obtain His divine nature (Rom. 5:21; 2 Pet. 1: 4). This glory is now permanent and not temporary in nature (2 Cor. 3: 9-18).

Jesus healed people from diseases that were considered by people to be God’s judgment, and therefore people were rejected and kept in quarantine, for example. Leprosy, hemorrhage and blindness. The liberation of demons can also be seen in the same light. Demonic tribulation was seen as God’s punishment for wrongdoing and because you polluted yourself with evil (the laws of touch).

The righteousness that Jesus preaches is reconciliation with your neighbor, against breach of contract with respect to divorce, your word is your word, and unequal scales.

[1] Daniel Lapin,  Business Secrets from the Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies for Financial Abundance

[2] Africa, altered states, ordinary miracles. Richard Dowden. Africa has been Richard Dowden’s life: from the formative experience as a young volunteer teacher in Uganda, to Africa Editor at the Economist, through to his current role as director of the Royal African Society. Africa has been fighting and competing to overtake the same palace, and never pursued building new ones.

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