Righteousness: Understanding righteousness and what it means to be righteous

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This article was written to make you understand what righteousness really means. Because I have come to realize that a lot of us go through the life trying and working hard to live a righteous life.

We go about thinking we can save ourselves. But the truth of the matter is; you cannot save yourself, so stop trying to justify yourself when you have already being justified.

Jesus has done the work for you, just believe and enjoy the grace, stop trying to save yourself, stop living by law when grace is already available.


A lot of us are guilty of this. When I started off as a Christian, I was raised to memorize a bible verse every Sunday at the Sunday school,

and when we do that, it sticks and stays in our mind and we tend to believe that to be the truth concerning what God wants or have done.

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But so far in my Christian life, I have come to understand that it is a wrong way to study the bible. Actually, we are not studying the bible,

we are memorizing a verse; this is so because if you study the bible, you will not be caught in the act of believing just one verse without understanding the full context. Consider this verse;

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”-Romans 3:10

This verse is simply saying that no one on earth is righteous. But that’s not true. A lot of us read it and use it as the motto of our life and as a license to continue in sin.

If you read further from verse 19 – 21, you will get the true message of that scripture.

  1. “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
  2. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
  3. but now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify” – Romans 3:19-21New International Version (NIV)

You can easily say no one is righteous when we were under the law, not now we are enjoying grace, not now we have been justified by Christ.

Consider what verse 19 (Romans 3:19) says. This simply means that whatever the law is saying that there is none that is righteous, it is saying it to them who are under the law, not to us who are under grace.

If you say no one is righteous, it simply means you are sin conscious, it simply means you still think we are still under the law, and by the law, you can never be justified in the sight of God.

“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin”. – Romans 3:20

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You have been justified because you are no longer under the law. “But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify”- Romans 3:21.

You are free from the law, and if you are not under the law, sin is not inputted, and if sin is not inputted, then you are righteous.

Romans 5:13: NLT; “Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break”

Romans 5:13: KJV; “(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law”.

Stop reading bible like a story book; study it the way you study for your exams. Don’t let anyone confuse you, and filled you with the false doctrine that no one is righteous.

“Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” – 2 Timothy 2:15

What is righteousness and what does it mean to be righteous?

Righteousness, is not as complicated as a lot of people perceive it to be. Jesus Christ spoke about this in Matthew 6:33 when He said we should seek first the Kingdom of God and His rightness.

First thing I want you to know is that Righteousness is not a religious word like most of us think.

To be righteous means to be rightly positioned with a government a government authority. To put it in perspective, if you stop at a red light in your country, you are being righteous because you are literally obeying the law of the government.

If you ignore the red light and move your car past it, that’s an unrighteous act because you’ve broken the laws and authority of the government’s and country.

So what Jesus was saying in Matthew 6:33 is; seek the government of God first and then seek to stay in line with the government authority by not breaking the laws through sin or violate the covenants that binds you and the kingdom.

In other words stay in line with the government, position yourself properly and everything you need will be added to your life.

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With all this being said, one can simply say that Righteousness is doing what is right and living right because living a righteous life is the only living standard that is acceptable in the kingdom of God.

“Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor”. – Proverbs 21:21 (NIV)


Romans 3:22 (NIV); “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile”,

Romans 3:22 (KJV);“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference”:

Before we continue on Righteousness and what it means to be righteous, it’s Important to understand what grace is.


In a simple term, is an unmerited favour. Grace comes into play when you receive something even when you are not qualified to have it.

When I say righteousness comes by grace, it simply means that, it was freely given to you even though you don’t deserve it.

Consider what the bible said in Romans 5:8; “But God commended his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

That is a good example of grace, you didn’t earn it; it was given despite your imperfection. If you take a careful look at Romans 3:22; the verse says, righteousness is given, it didn’t say it was earned.

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This shows that grace is in effect. From my own point of view, that part of the scripture is also telling us that righteousness is a gift, you did not work for it. It was given. But the challenge most of us face is receiving this gift.

I have come to realize that a lot of people don’t understand the bible because they understand the tenses.


“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile”, – Romans 3:22 (NIV)

The scripture says it was given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believes. paraphrase; “this righteousness is given to you through the faith you have in Jesus Christ but to receive it, you have to believe”.

This may sound confusing but I’m going to do my best to break it down for you.

The bible says we have all been given the same measure of faith. Romans 12:3; this means that faith is also a gift, so it’s constant. Therefore the faith is not the problem, but the only challenge is “BELIEVE”.

The word Believe according to dictionary.com simply means to have confidence. Therefore, the scripture is telling us that you have to demonstrate faith which is constant and confidence.

In other to receive the gift of righteousness, consider what Hebrew 10:35 and 1 John 5:14 says. And also look at Mark 11:24.

Hebrews 10:35-36 (NIV); “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded”.

1 John 5:14-15 (NIV); “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

“And if we know that he hears us whatever we ask we know that we have what we asked of him.”

Mark 11:23 (KJV) “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith”.


Romans 4:2-5 New King James Version (NKJV)

  1. “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
  2. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
  3. Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
  4. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness”

The scripture simply means that, if you work to be righteous, then it is no longer given by grace but it is paid to you as a debt.

You may want to ask me how one can work for righteousness. Well, I don’t really know how it may sound, but it seems a lot of Christians are trying to work for it.

Instead of just believing and accepting it, we choose to go the complex way of obeying the Ten Commandments.


The answer is simply No. If you try to earn it, which is by obeying all the laws, you can never make it. This is so because, if you try, it means you are still operating by the law and by the law, no one can be justified.

Romans 3:19-20 New International Version (NIV)

  1. “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
  2. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin”.

You can never be justified if you follow the law because the law is a fault finding principle.

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

“He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious loving kindness]”. – 2 Corinthians 5:21Amplified Bible (AMP)

“For He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”. – 2 Corinthians 5:21 King James Version (KJV)

This scriptures I think perfectly explains all about righteousness and what it means to be righteous.

The scripture says God made Jesus Christ who had no sin in him, to bear our sins for us so that in Christ Jesus we might become the righteousness of God.

If Jesus has carried your sin, is there any need for you to go back to carry it? I don’t think so. All you need is just believe in him so you will become the righteousness of God.

You have been set fee from the bondage of sin, just accept it and enjoy the righteous life that has been freely given to you by grace through faith.

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”. -John 8:36King James Version (KJV)

Now you know the truth, just go ahead and enjoy your life, don’t let anyone deceive you; stop being sin conscious and serve God with a free heart. God Loves You So Much.

1 John 3:1-7King James Version (KJV)

  1. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
  2. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
  3. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
  4. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
  5. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
  6. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
  7. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous”.

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“For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins”- Hebrews 10:2 KJV

“If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared”.  – Hebrews 10:2 NLT

One of the reasons the wonder working power have failed to manifest in a lot of us is because we are too sin conscious, a lot of us have made it a habit and part of our lifestyle to condemn ourselves anytime we find our self in sin.

It is not bad to acknowledge your sin and repent from it, but don’t let it hold you captive. A lot of people are still thinking about the sin they committed years ago, they rate the sin so high that they find it hard to forget.

They continue to wonder if God will forgive them or not. If you are such a person, I want to let you know today that God is not counting your sins against you again, He has forgiving you long time ago, just repent from it and move on.

You have to stop being sin conscious if you really want to live a righteous life.

A lot of us have failed to understand that we are no longer under the law but under grace. Consider what Apostle Paul said in the book of Romans 5:8-21 KJV;

I get very excited each time I read this scripture, and am sure you will understand why after reading it. If possible, I advise that you should read it more than once and try to understand it so you can also feel the excitement that it brings.

Am sure if you read it properly you will stop been sin conscious because you will understand what God did for us. Paul said;

Romans 5:8-21 KJV

  1. “But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
  2. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
  3. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life;
  4. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
  5. Wherefore, as by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
  6. For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
  7. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
  8. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
  9. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
  10. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
  11. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
  12. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  13. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
  14. That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord”.

When we were under the law, when you sin, you need to sacrifice animals to cover your sins. {Reference; Read the book of Leviticus}.

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But this sacrifice was not enough to permanently take away our sins, and this practice made men conscious of sin.

But the death of Jesus Christ permanently took away our sins and set us free from our consciousness of sin. Take note of what John the Baptist said;

“The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, behold the Lamb of God, which takes’ away the sin of the world”  – John 1:29.

Please take note of this; “when we were under the law, when people commits sins and comes with their sacrifice to cleanse their sins, they are not inspected, or examined, the priest don’t question them to know the sin they have committed,

it is their sacrifice that is inspected and if the sacrifice meets the requirement, they will perform the sacrifice and the person would be asked to go and sin no more.

But you are not bringing any lamb or goat anymore, your sacrifice is Jesus Christ and I can confidently tell you that Jesus Christ is without error.

God don’t inspect you when you sin, He inspects your sacrifice which is Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ is without fault.

God have checked and your sacrifice is without error, your sacrifice is without fault that is why he declared in Romans 8:12.

“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more”

Stop been too conscious  about sin, your sins have been forgiven, just continue the race and by grace you will get there, stop condemning yourself, so the power of God in you will manifest,

Let that wonder working power in you shine before men so they will glorify your father in heaven.

Romans 8:1 says; “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”.

Note this; condemnation is talking about your sins but the blood of Jesus has interceded for you. It is that condemnation that creates that sin consciousness.

We are no longer under the law and your debt for sin has been paid for in full. Take note of this; “Jesus did not pay for just your past sins, He paid for your past, present and future sins”.

God has said he will remember our sins no more, Satan is the one fighting us with our sins, no wonder in Revelation he is described as the accuser.

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night”.  – Revelation 12:10.

You are blessed.

This article will not be complete if I don’t let you have an encounter with Jesus Christ.

Take note;

The greatest miracle is not that the blind can now see, the deaf heard, Jesus Christ walked on water, or you bought a house, a car or free Visa to USA, etc.

The greatest miracle is SALVATION.

The greatest miracle happens when you accept Jesus Christ. The bible said in 2corinthians 5:17;

Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”  

The moment you accept Jesus Christ, every negative thing in your life comes to an end.

If you have not met Jesus, I want to pray specially for you.

Just pray this prayer after me;

“Lord Jesus Christ, I come to you today as a sinner, I cannot help myself. Please forgive me of all my sins, I believe in my heart that you died for me and you were raised up by God.

Today, I accept you lord Jesus Christ as my lord and saviour.

Cleanse me with your precious blood; deliver me from sin to serve you. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me. Now I know that I am born again by your mighty name… Amen

“If you have said the above prayer, congratulations; you are born again and your life will not remain the same anymore.

You can write to me at;  [email protected]   For prayers and counseling and to also share your testimonies and thoughts…..  You are blessed.

Expect harvests breakthroughs and testimonies that will overwhelm you and those around you in Jesus name. Let your Amen confirm it now.

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