Romans 6:14-18 – For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not under the law, but under Grace. What then, shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under Grace? It shall not be! Do you not know that who you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey – whether sin unto death or obedience unto righteousness? Because you were the servants of sin; but by the grace of God, you have now obeyed from the heart the blueprint of doctrine delivered to you. And you, having been set free from sin, have become servants of righteousness.
Part 1 ~ Grace & Righteousness
Could any stronger language be used to describe God’s will for the manner and behavior of our lives as His saints? God has transformed our lives by His grace, so that we might enjoy the blessedness of His abundant life. It is absolutely impossible to separate God’s life and Spirit from His righteousness. Righteousness is one of the most important subjects of the Bible. There are approximately 741 occurrences of the word in the Old And New Testaments combined.
In the Old Testament, there are two words which are translated righteous (‘tzadek’ and ‘tzadekah’). The Hebrew root occurs 508 times in the Old Testament (523 times according to Anchor Bible Dictionary; Righteousness – Old Testament). The primary word, which is used for righteousness (dikaiosune from dikaios) is found 91 times in the New Testament. The Greek root (dikaio-) is found 233 times in the New Testament. The quintessence of righteousness in the Old Testament is encapsulated in Who God is; “Yahweh is righteous in all of His ways, and holy in all of His works” (Psalms 145:17).
The concrete meaning for righteousness in the New Testament is shaped by the way it was used in the Old Testament. Primarily the meaning is derived from the character of God and the description of His ways. Other examples are the verses and the context common to the Old and New Testament. Some examples are: Genesis 15:6 found in Romans 4:3-22, Galatians 3:6, James 2:23; and Psalms 112:9 found in 2 Corinthians 9:9; and Psalms 45:7 found in Hebrews 1:9. There are Old Testament associations of the word for righteousness in Acts 17:31 with Psalms 9:8, 96:10, 98:9; in 2 Corinthians 9:6-10 with Hosea 10:12; in Ephesians 6:14 with Isaiah 59:17, 11:5; and in Revelation 19:11 with Psalms 96:13.
In the Old Testament “righteousness/righteous” is used of God (Psalms 7:9, 116:5, 119:37-40, 144; Ezra 9:15; Isaiah 24:16), of His acts (Judges 5:11; 1 Samuel 12:7; Psalms 145:17), of God’s people in general (Genesis 18:23-28; Psalms 68:3; Proverbs 21:21; Isaiah 5:23; Ezekiel 3:20; Malachi 3:18), and of individuals such as Noah, Job and Daniel (Genesis 6:9, 7:1; Job 1:1, 2:3; Ezekiel 14:14,20).
Pastor Mark Spitsbergen