The Joy of Righteousness

The Joy of Righteousness

Life & Light Community Church

Message from 12/10/2022

Life & Light Community Church began in the early months of 2020. What began as an opportunity for me, my wife and step-kids to continue to worship together, has now evolved into a ministry that has expanded to include close friends, family, and those who are simply hungry for the word of God. You can find us on Facebook, so please, feel free to reach out and join us.

“Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah. ‘In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth. ‘In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the Lord is our righteousness.’ “For thus says the Lord, ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel.”

                                                                            Jeremiah 33:14–17 (NASB95)

At some point in our lives, we have all felt the burning desire to be right. I’m not talking about simply being correct, no I’m talking about being right and shoving it in someone’s face. That one person that has a smug attitude and never seems to be wrong about anything…or so they think. Seems like they are always pressing on your last nerve, and you just want to be so overwhelmingly right you can stick in their face and say, “I told you so!” In the end, what we really seek is our own brand of justice.  

What we are really talking about here is righteousness and justice. In the example I gave we would call that self-righteousness. The justice we seek is more along the lines of fairness and correct treatment by another. As Christ followers, we know that we have no righteousness within us, and justice can only come from One who is fully righteous and just. There is coming a day when true righteousness and justice will be brought to the earth and in that day, we will truly discover that The Joy of Righteousness comes from the Lord, for the Lord is our Righteousness.

The days of fulfillment are coming when a righteous Branch of David will spring forth and execute justice and righteousness on the earth. He shall save Judah and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; those who have placed their faith and trust in God shall have The Joy of Righteousness found only in the Lord, for He is our righteousness.

As Christ followers, we look forward to the day the Lord keeps His promise to His people. Yahushua, the Son of God, will claim His place as the Branch of David, bringing justice and righteousness to the world. To those who place their faith and trust in Him, He shall bring The Joy of Righteousness.

In this message we seek to answer the question, “Why is The Joy of Righteousness important to the Christ follower?”

The Joy of Righteousness is important to the Christ follower because it is a promise from the Lord to those who place their faith and trust in the Branch of David.

1). The Joy of Righteousness is important to the Christ follower because we await the return of the Branch of David.

In His return, the Branch of David will bring true justice and righteousness to the world.

In our world today, everyone is looking for justice and to be right. In this world, justice is fairness, correct treatment, or equitable distribution of resources; it is giving each person what he or she deserves. We see this more and more in television commercials particularly, “Call now and get what you deserve.” To be right is the quality of being right or right actions. However, even the idea of what right actions are, is now changing. What used to be considered right actions is no longer true. Today it seems like justice and right are seen through your own personal lens. A very different way of thinking from what we find in the Scriptures.

Righteousness in the Bible does include the idea of the quality or characteristic of being right or just and the thought of right actions. This used to be known as rightwiseness. But biblical righteousness goes further still. This is being right in the eyes of God, and it includes character, conscience, conduct, and command. Put another way, it is our nature, attitude, actions, and word. All seen through the eyes of God, eyes that see all clearly and without partiality or prejudice.

As Christ followers, we know there is nothing righteous about us. We have come to grips with our sin and the need for a Savior. We also realize there is not a just bone in our body and we need the strength and guidance of One who has overcome the world. This is the real reason we have become Christ followers; we have been shown our fault, flaws, and failures – we have seen our sin. We have humbled ourselves and come to the One who knows all things human and has still remained sinless before the Father and has come that we might find life through His sacrifice. Biblical righteousness and justice go much further than the world is ready for or even understands.

Biblical righteousness and justice demand personal accountability, it requires that each individual be held accountable for his or her own wrongdoings. There is no blaming society or any other person, each individual is responsible for their own wrongs. Fairness is found, not only in the courtroom, but also in the marketplace. Laws apply to all people equally; no prejudice or partiality can enter the administration of the law. Likewise, in the marketplace, pricing, availability, quality, and quantity must be fair. Name, status, nor power should influence the marketplace or the seller. Finally, there is collective responsibility. We a take responsibility for our community; we speak out against unfairness and mistreatment; we attempt to correct what others have broken. Our choices both benefit and hurt others.

As Christ followers this is to be found, particularly, within the church. The command of our Lord to love one another is meant to set us apart from the one-sided love shown by so many in the world. We are not above accountability, nor do we try and “get our fair share,” or use our words to hurt others. We love others first, putting their needs above our own, we take only what we need, and our words are used to encourage, build up, and inspire one another. If this were truly the church, outside of the church walls, what a different world we might be seeing now.  

Questions for discussion/reflection:

Which area of your life is not right in the eyes of God? Your nature, attitude, action, or word.

Where do you sense the Lord calling you to personal accountability?

How are you using your words to build up, encourage, and inspire others? If you are not, why? How can you change this?

The Joy of Righteousness is important to the Christ follower because it is a promise from the Lord to those who place their faith and trust in the Branch of David.

2). The Joy of Righteousness is important to the Christ follower because the Lord is our righteousness.

We have all fallen short of the glory of God, but He freely makes us righteous through our faith in Christ.

This prophecy concerns both the house of Israel and the house of Judah. Whenever we see the house of Israel in a prophecy, we need to pay close attention, for this involves us! While there is not time or space for a full teaching on this, we are involved through the birth promise given to Manasseh, carried through the house of Israel and the line of David. Our Messiah comes through this line, and He is the One who will bring the promised righteousness and justice to the earth. As we will learn, it is through faith and trust in the Messiah that we, as Christ followers, have any righteousness.

We read that Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. Judah remains in place to this day. The house of Judah was comprised of two full tribes, Judah and Simeon and a portion of Benjamin. This was the Southern Kingdom during the divided kingdom era. The Northern Kingdom was comprised of the remaining ten tribes that went into Assyrian captivity and are now referred to as the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Judah currently makes up the nation of Israel and Jerusalem has been the focal point of many a battle over this most holy city. While her enemies still attack, Jerusalem is living in safety, protected by her technology and the God who called her into being.

In Romans 3:23, Paul writing to the church in Rome, reminds us that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Sin has set in, through our first parents in the Garden of Eden, the entirety of the human race has fallen into sinfulness. Throughout the Scriptures we see sin equated to lawlessness, and in Romans for not conforming to the glory of God. It is important that we understand the statement found in verse 23 as being in the present tense. We have not fallen but continue to fall short of the glory of God because of the sin we have within us. This sin would keep us separated from the God who created us but for the sacrifice of Messiah, for it is through our faith and trust in Him that we find the righteousness to stand before the Father.

Verse 16 in our passage, tells us that Judah will be saved by a particular name, that name is the Lord is our Righteousness. This is the Hebrew name of God Jehovah Tsidkenu. It is translated as the Lord our Righteousness. We can also find this name in Jeremiah 22:5-6 and Ezekiel 36:26-27. Yahushua, the Son of God, is the One through whom we find our righteousness. He imparts upon those who have placed their faith and trust in Him, His own righteousness, already found acceptable by God the Father. This righteousness is found only in those who place their trust and faith in Him. It is not given to those who reject the Son or believe there are other ways to the Father.

For the Christ follower, we are justified and made righteous as a free gift through our redemption in Christ. There are no personal merits, achievements, accomplishments, or status that is worthy of this gift from the Father. It is only given to those who place their faith and trust in Christ, the Son of God. There is absolutely no cause found in us to make us worthy of such a gift. It is given freely and fully by God the Father. We cannot earn, demand, take, or buy this free gift; it costs us nothing and yet it costs us everything, for we must place our faith and trust in the One sent by the Father – the Messiah, His Son, our Lord and Savior.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

Where are you falling short of the glory of God during this season of life?

In our country we have been told from an early age we can do anything we set our minds to. How do you sense you have been trying to earn, take, demand, or buy righteousness in your walk with Christ? If not, what steps have you taken to prevent this?

The gift of righteousness is given freely by the Father. It costs us nothing yet costs us everything. What has this gift cost you in recent days?

The Joy of Righteousness is important to the Christ follower because it is a promise from the Lord to those who place their faith and trust in the Branch of David.

The day is quickly approaching when the promises found in this passage will be fulfilled. There will come a day when, suddenly, the King of kings and Lord of lords appears to claim His rightful place on the eternal throne of David. There will be a day when true justice and righteousness are lived out on the earth. There will be a day when Judah is saved, and Jerusalem will dwell in safety – eternal safety. In that day the final Son of David will sit upon His father’s throne forever and ever. His kingdom will be established for all eternity. There will be no more temptation, no more sin, no more disease, no more illness, no more death.

Because of our faith and trust in Christ, we have been right in the eyes of God. Our right standing with God has given us the opportunity to become members of His family, enjoying all the privileges of a son or daughter of the King. This is pleasing and makes us happy and filled with joy. As we grow closer to the day of His return, our lives will not get any easier, but we know our Lord is faithful and keeps His promises. He is with us always, to the very end of this age. We know He has provided for our defense against the enemy with His very own battle gear. We know He has experienced everything human, so nothing will take Him by surprise, and He knows how to speak to us in every situation we face.

We know our great God is the Creator and King of the universe, and through Him we experience The Joy of Righteousness – His righteousness.

We do all things for the glory of God, through Christ our Lord.

Amen and amen.

Next Week: John 13:34-35 Love

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