Righteousness is the state or condition of being righteous. The English word literally means "right-wise-ness." In Christ as believers we have become the Righteousness of God. This means we have been judged righteous by God and meet with His approval according to His own standard of what right-ness is. It means God views us as being perfectly righteous, as righteous as He Himself is.

In the new birth our spirits receive the Divine Nature. This nature includes Divine Righteousness. The fact that we are the Righteousness of God means that we have become actual partakers of God's own Righteous Nature. So we not only have been pronounced righteous by God, we are new creations having God's Righteous Nature within us.

The subject of righteousness is one of the most misunderstood in the Bible. When we hear the word "righteous" we instinctively think of deeds or actions, behavior. The Bible does use the word this way, but the primary use is as a state, condition, or nature. We are made righteous in the new birth by faith in Jesus Christ. We are then to let that righteous new nature dominate our actions. Right actions follow rightness of being, not vice-versa. Romans 10:4 says, Christ is the end of the law (doing good deeds) for righteousness to every one that believeth."

The subject of righteousness is one of the chief aspects of the Gospel and a major theme of the book of Romans, as announced in the first chapter, verses 16 and 17:

Romans 1:16,17.(KJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, the just shall live by faith.

(Johnson) I am confident that the good news will release God's dynamic energy which makes all persons whole.

(Richert) In the meantime I am pleased to present in writing the substance of my message which will reveal the Master's dynamic method of rendering safe and sound all who subscribe to it.

(Way) In the glad-tidings there is no feature of which I am ashamed. It is the means through which God exerts His power for the salvation of everyone who puts faith in the message...God's gift of righteousness is revealed in it, lifting men from one step of faith to another. This is the import of that passage of Scripture which says, 'It is from the soil of faith that the righteous shall grow up into real life.'

(Pilcher) For I am not ashamed of this message, the Gospel. I have witnessed its divine power to free men from the bondage of sin, if only they will surrender themselves to Jesus Christ in loyal acceptance and trust....For in this Gospel the righteousness of God is revealed in a system connected from first to last with faith...

(Good News) I have complete confidence in the Gospel; it is God's power to save all who believe...For the Gospel reveals how God puts people right with Himself: it is through faith from beginning to end...

(Noli) I am proud of the Gospel of Christ. It is a message of divine power. It brings salvation to every believer...It reveals that divine righteousness comes from faith and faith only.

(Hayman) ...it being God's own weapon of might...The means of becoming righteous before God is being revealed in it, springing out of, leading up to faith, as Scripture says, 'Now the righteous who is so by faith shall have Life'

(Lovett) ...It is a power which emanates from God and saves all who believe in it...it reveals God's way of making men as righteous as Himself. It is a process which, from beginning to end, is entirely by faith. As the scripture says, "He who receives his life by faith is made right with God."

(Stevens) The gospel, I say, can save men, for in it a way is revealed in which sinful men may be accepted before God and may stand in his presence approved and forgiven. Faith is the contition--the procuring cause, on the human side, of this acceptance--and also its result.

(20th Century) For in it there is a revelation of a righteousness which comes from God, the result of faith and leading to faith; as the Scripture says--'Those who stand right with God will find Life as the result of faith.'

(Deaf) The Good News shows how God makes people right with himself. God's way of making people right begins and ends with faith...

It would be worthwhile for you to study the above verses and go over the translations carefully. A lack of understanding or a misunderstanding about righteousness will hinder everything else in the Christian life. A right understanding and a revelation of what righteousness is and what it gives will enhance everything else in the Christian life. It is just that fundamental and important.

Even if we do know some things about righteousness, we need to feed on scriptures concerning it so that we will get revelation in our spirits that we are the righteousness of God in Christ. This in turn will cause our minds to be renewed, breaking out of sin consciousness and entering into righteousness consciousness.

Rightousness consciousness--becoming increasingly conscious that we are the very righteousness of God in Christ--will have these effects upon our lives:

        1) It will free us from a sense of guilt and unworthiness (Romans 8:1)
        2) It will free us from the frustration of struggling to be accepted by God. (Ephesians1:6)
        3) It will free us from the fear of the consequences of sin that are in the world. (Romans 5:9; Isaiah 54:14)
        4) It will produce a sense of peace and security in our relations with God and man. (Romans 8:31; Isaiah 32:17)
        5) It will cause our whole being to swing over into harmony with God. (Romans 1:16; 5:1)
        6) It will free us from oppression and fear. (Isaiah 54:14; Genesis 3:9,10)
        7) It frees us from a sense of inadequacy.
        8) It will give us great freedom and boldness to enter the Father's presence, revolutionizing our prayer life. (Hebrews 10:16-22; 1 Peter 3:12; James 5:16)
        9) It will give us boldness before the enemy who accuses us. (Ephesians 6:14)
        10) It is a fertilizer for faith (Romans 1:16,17), opening the door wide to everything else God has to give. (Romans 5:2)
        11) It will inhibit sin because righteousness is a power that when yielded to causes our actions to be right. (Romans 6:13, 17, 18)