Remember these Scriptural quotes?
Our righteous before Him is as filthy rags,Isaiah 64:6
unless your righteousness greatly exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven!Mathew 5:20
Note Paul says “now a new righteousness of God is being made known”. This is not our righteousness (which is filthy); it is not your righteousness which needs to be better than that of the scribes and the Pharisees. This is God’s righteousness. What does that mean? The righteousness that God has; is clothed in? or the righteousness that He gives? This is a different kind of righteousness than what has been around before.
Note too that this passage is filled with words that come from the same root. But often they are masked with a different meaning in the translation.
- δικαιωθῇς “right” (3:4)
- ἀδικία “unrighteousness”, δικαιοσύνην, “righteousness”, ἄδικος “unrighteous” (3:5)
- οὐκ ἔστι δίκαιος “none is righteous” (3:10)
- δικαιωθήσεται “will be justified” (3:20)
- δικαιοσύνη “righteousness” (3:21)
- δικαιοσύνη “righteousness” (3:22)
- δικαιούμενοι “justified” (3:24)
- δικαιοσύνης “righteousness”(3:25)
- δικαιοσύνης “righteousness”, δίκαιον “just”, δικαιοῦντα “justifier” (3:26)
Note how many times Paul uses the word Righteousness and it derivatives. Do you think this word and its derivatives are important to Paul’s theme? You’d better believe it. Notice the spread of the meanings from this word. It runs from unrighteousness (made by putting α in front of δικος or δίκαιος) then it runs from “right” > “to be right” > “to be righteous” > “to having righteousness” > “to be just” > “justify” or “to make righteous”.
This word as Paul uses it doesn’t mean just to be right, or be righteous. The concept here fits with his notion of man’s standing with God. No one is in right relationship with God. We are not right before God. Not one of us. We all fall short. We cannot stand in the “heavy” presence of God as we are. We would be fried. So man runs from God’s presence. The word righteousness speaks of how man can be right with God; in right relationship and right standing with his maker. To be put in the right, to be made right or in right relationship with God. How does it happen when all mankind is separated from God and has no chance of being in His presence because of sin? Remember our righteousness is like filthy rags. What a dilemma!
Now a righteousness from God is being made known that is based on believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). This is for all who believe. For there is no distinction. No distinction between Jew or Greek or any other category of human kind. All can partake on the same basis. This is the good news of the Gospel. Wow
What does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ? You work it out. I have done enough for you at the moment. One more thing, you might like to dig on verse 3:26 too. What is the meaning of just or justifier? If you solve that you will solve God’s big problem. See what you can do. We will deal with this in a couple more days. That gives you time to solve the problem.
We refuse God’s invitation because we think He is expecting PERFECTION from us, when all He wants is INTIMACY.Sid Mohede