"I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless" [Genesis 17:1]
It is every believer's desire to beocme righteous and we all strive for it. But what is righteousness and how do we get it? How do we walk before God and be blameless?
There are two types of righteousness mentioned in the Bible.
- Believing in God and His Words
- By doing acts of righteousness
The first type is mentioned in the Book of Genesis 15:6 "Abram believed the LORD, and He credited it to him as righteousness". This is the first time the word righteousness is used in the Bible and also God mentioned how to achieve it.
We must therefore believe in what God said because "The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life" [John 6:63]
The first type of righteousness is achieved by believing in God's word and how do we achieve it is by reading, understanding and believing whatever God said in the Bible is true and all His promises for us are true. Once we believe in God and His words, God credits it to us as an act of righteousness. "In Him (Jesus) all the promises of God are yes" [2 Corinthians 1:20]
As believers in God the Father through our Lord Jesus, we must believe in God's word because it gives us life, "The words that I (Jesus) speak to you are spirit, and they are life" [John 6:63]
Now the second type of righteousness is something gained by doing. The second type of righteousness bings us into the Grace of God. However, we must always remember that the Garce of God is no license to sin rather it stops us to live in our sinful life.
"For the Grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say NO to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age" [Titus 2:11-14]
Paul explains it in more depth when he wrote a letter to Phillipians, "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you" [Phillipians 4:8-9]
Getting into second type of righteousness is a continuous process. Talking of my personal life, all these years, I have been constatnly trying and sometime, I overcome sin and yet at some point of my life I need God's help to overcome sin. Therefore, while trying to achieve righteousness one may fall many times but then it is God's promise to us that He will never abandon us and He will always be there to help us, guide us and protect us. "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying 'This is the way, walk in it. Whenever you turn to the right or whenever you turn to the left'" [Isaiah 30:21]
We need to be very vigilant while achieving the second type of righteousness and pray continuously to God to strengthen us because "Satan might not outwit us. For we are not aware of his schemes" [2 Corinthians 2:11]
We must read Bible (Old and New Testaments both), understand it and apply it to our lives because "We must pay more attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away" [Hebrews 2:11]
"Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you - guard it with the help of Holy Spirit who lives in us" [2 Timothy 1:14]
The best way to put it is that we are all in a race, in this race we do not want to come second but rather we want victory in this race. Everyone runs in this race yet only one gets victory over others. We must see to it that we do not train less rather we should give everything in preparation of this race in order to win. We must, "Watch your life and doctrine. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers" [1 Timothy 5:22]
Therefore we need to achieve both types of righteousness. First we have to believe in God and His words, then we have to apply God's words in our lives in order to walk before God and be blameless. We cannot become blameless in front of God without applying His word in our lives. We need to plant His word as a seed in our lives, we must take care of that seed and let the gardner (Jesus) prune and shape it to His own desire.
If we do not change, then there are few things that God cannot do:
1. He cannot live with a wicked
2. God does not live with an arrogant
3. God does not love people who do wrong
4. God does not bless liars with prosperity
5. God does not love murderers and deceitful people
We must reflect on our lives on daily basis and try to change where we go wrong seeking forgiveness and help from God, "In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent" [Psalms 4:4]
In our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ