Righteousness: The quality of being morally right. (Click here for further study on the word)
The bible has a lot to say about righteousness. Why? If given enough thought, it becomes apparent why righteousness is such a big deal. From Romans 14 we see that the kingdom of God is a kingdom of peace and joy that owes its existence as such to this thing called righteousness. Matthew tells us that we should seek after righteousness as a foremost priority (Matt 6:33). When you come to the understanding that for a society to exist in a state of perpetual peace and joy, that can only happen if everything contained in that kingdom functions in a proper, or “right” manner. As soon as anyone or anything functions in an unrighteous manner, then the peace and joy of the kingdom vanishes. That is, in effect, what happened in the Garden of Eden when Adam acted contrary to the direction of God. You can easily see what a mess that act of unrighteousness plunged us into!
Although there is an abundance of information in the bible that tells us what righteousness is, Jesus told us that the 2 greatest commandments are to love God and love each other. Adam's infraction was a lack of love toward God. He essentially told God to take a hike. He was going to order his own affairs as he saw fit even if it meant defying Gods direction to not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That act of defiance (unrighteousness) separated man (all of Adams descendants) from a harmonious relationship with God and thus His protection, direction, and provision. However God in His love for us knew that He had a plan to restore us to what He originally intended and allowed our sinfulness to produce the pain and suffering that comes naturally from that unrighteousness so that it would act as an impetus to turn from our unrighteousness back to Him.
One of the most exhilarating thoughts that comes from our understanding that unrighteousness is the direct cause for the pain and suffering of our current existence, and that God has a plan for restoration to perfect righteousness, is that we have a promise from God that He will ensure that in His everlasting Kingdom of righteousness ALL of the suffering we are currently subject to will be eliminated!
Submitted by Steve Bushnell