What is righteousness? I have always been intrigued by Christ’s statement in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these thing shall be added to you.”
In the dictionary, righteousness means “adhering to moral principles.” But what does that mean? The dictionary definition can be subjective based on each person’s morals. How does one achieve righteousness? The Amplified Bible clarifies Matthew 6:33 by stating that righteousness is God’s way of doing and being right. If we are being Christ-like and living according to His morals, why is it difficult to receive the things that shall be added to us?
The first mention of the word righteousness is in Genesis 15:6. In describing, Abraham the Bible says, “And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” What exactly did Abraham do? He obeyed and believed without doubting. According to Apostle Paul, although he was nearly one hundred years old and his wife, Sarah womb was dead. Abraham did not waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God. Which is why faith was credited to him as righteousness or right standing with God (Romans 4:20-22). Because of Abraham’s faith, God made him a father of many nations, justifying his righteousness with God. Would you be able to not waver in your faith as Abraham?
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” is Christ’s manner of saying don’t seek after money, cars, or other material things, but seek Christ first above all things and he will add everything else unto you. Many get out of balance in their lives by trying to seek material wealth before Christ. When they do find material wealth, the satisfaction is only for a moment before they try to seek something else, creating a cycle of perpetual emptiness. The true meaning of righteousness is faith in Christ. Apostle Paul offers a clear explanation of righteousness saying, “Not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (Philippians 3:9).
Standing right with the Lord will require 100% of your effort to stay on the straight and narrow path. Although Satan will bring opposition to the righteousness, the saints are commanded to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17) Just as Christ remained righteous when He SPOKE directly to Satan when Satan tried to tempt Him, we shall do likewise. Each time Satan tried to tempt Christ, Jesus said, “It is written.” Verbally repeating God’s Word aloud from scripture is the true weapon against Satan and his minions. Our righteousness is found in Christ.
Did you know just by looking forward to Christ’s return, we are given a reward? We shall receive the crown of righteousness (2nd Tim. 4:8). The last mention of the word righteousness is listed in the description of the new heaven and the new Earth in which righteousness shall dwell after the day of the Lord. (2nd Peter 3:13) What a marvelous celebration to look forward to for those who were obedient and believed without doubting.