God’s Righteous Declaration
There are two different layers of righteousness Scripture tells us about: justification and sanctification.
In this post, let’s take a look at the first one.
Justification is a biblical, theological word that means God has declared us to be righteous. He’s said that it’s not based on any work of our own; He has actually imparted it to us through Christ. God treats us just as if we’ve never sinned, and then says, “Now let Me bless you big-time on top of that.” Justification involves not just the removal of everything awful in the past, but also the giving of added blessing of everything that He is in the future. Isn’t that incredible? When Jesus said, “Blessed are you when you hunger and thirst for righteousness,” He is saying if we hunger and thirst to be justified—to be declared righteous before God, and to be in right standing with the almighty God—we’ll be made happy. We’ll be made eternally content.
The Spirit of God comes into the humbled, broken, repentant, and hungry heart that says, “I need to be right with You. I never knew before what it was exactly, but now I realize that my sin separates me from You, Oh God. I realize that I’m hell-bound, not Heaven-bound. I need a Savior. I need forgiveness. I need to be justified and declared righteous—by Your good grace on my life, not by my own good deeds. God, make me righteous!”
When you’re hungry like that, happy are you, because God will come through—He will fill you, forgive you, love you, accept you, favor you, and bless you! Romans 5:1 says, “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is the first level of hungering and thirsting for righteousness. It’s about being right with God and being justified.
Do you feel filled? Forgiven? Loved? Favored? If you don’t, it may be time for you to put your trust in Christ. He alone can give you peace with God, peace with yourself and peace with others. Do you want that? Is it time for you to surrender whatever you are using to find peace with God’s Son? I encourage you to do it. Trust Him. Today.
Steve Berger is Senior Pastor at Grace Chapel Leipers Fork. He is the author of several Bible study resources and books. His latest book, Have Heart: Bridging the Gap Between Heaven and Earth is now available.