Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.' Not only do the followers of Jesus renounce their rights, they renounce their own righteousness too. They get no praise for their achievements or sacrifices. They cannot have righteousness except by hungering and thirsting for it (this applies equally to their own righteousness and to the righteousness of God on Earth), always they look forward to the future righteousness of God, but they cannot establish it for themselves. Those who follow Jesus grow hungry and thirsty on the way.
For that purpose Christ instituted holy baptism, thereby to clothe you with his righteousness. It is tantamount to his saying, My righteousness shall be your righteousness; my innocence, your innocence. Your sins indeed are great, but by baptism I bestow on you my righteousness; I strip death from you and clothe you with my life.
Only few know what righteousness is. It is righteous to suffer for your own foolishness. When you sin, it is righteous to bear the consequences of your sin without complaining. Saying what you mean and what is on your heart when you deal with other people, that is righteous. One who hungers and thirsts for righteousness will be filled-and being filled with righteousness is something very great.
Johan Oscar Smith
I think, that a man never passes the verge of moral humility, till self-righteousness be dethroned, till the high and towering imaginations of the man's own righteousness by the law be levelled by the mighty weapons of the gospel, and he brought to submit to the righteousness of God for justification, which is, in the gospel revealed 'from faith to faith.'
I submit my tongue as an instrument of righteousness when I make it bless them that curse me and pray for them who persecute me, even though it "automatically" tends to strike and wound those who have wounded me. I submit my legs to God as instruments of righteousness when I engage them in physical labor as service, perhaps carrying a burden the "second mile" for someone whom I would rather let my legs kick. I submit my body to righteousness when I do my good deeds without letting them be known, though my whole frame cries out to strut and crow.
This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.
As Paul argues, it is the righteousness of God that is revealed in the law, and this condemns us all (Ro 1:18 - 3:20), while the gospel reveals the righteousness from God, namely, that we 'are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus' (Ro 3:24).
Michael S. Horton
When the Holy Spirit comes to live within you, He will come with the ability to produce righteousness. Righteousness is the nature of God, which when imparted to the human spirit, produces the rightness of God in the human spirit. It gives man right standing with God; it gives him the ability to stand in the presence of God without a sense of guilt, inferiority or condemnation. It means rightness in God. The righteousness of God is wrought in you.
The Lord, before His Incarnation, let mankind experience all the bitterness of sin, all their powerlessness to eradicate it; and when all longed for a Deliverer, then He appeared, the most wise, all-powerful Physician and Helper. When men hungered and thirsted after righteousness, as it grew weaker, then the everlasting righteousness came.
John of Kronstadt
I believe in the supreme excellence of righteousness; I believe that the law of righteousness will triumph in the universe over all evil; I believe that in the attempt to fulfil the law of righteousness, however imperfect it must remain, are to be found the inspiration, the consolation, and the sanctification of human existence. We live in order to finish an, as yet, unfinished universe, unfinished so far as the human, that is, the highest part of it, is concerned. We live in order to develop the superior qualities of man which are, as yet, for the most part latent.
If you work righteousness, you work righteousness for yourselves; and if you commit evil, you do so against yourselves. Then, when the second promise comes true, they will make your faces filled with sorrow, and enter the Temple as they entered it the first time, and utterly destroy all that falls into their power.
LET ALL MY TRADUCERS BE SHAMED AND DISHONOURED LET ALL WHO SEEK MY HURT BE COVERED WITH SCORN BUT I WILL WAIT IN CONTINUAL HOPE I WILL PRAISE YOU AGAIN AND AGAIN ALL DAY LONG YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, YOUR SAVING ACTS, SHALL BE UPON MY LIPS YOU SHALL EVER BE THE THEME OF MY PRAISE YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, YOURS ALONE
This is that mystery which is rich in divine grace unto sinners: wherein by a wonderful exchange, our sins are no longer ours but Christ's; and the righteousness of Christ is not Christ's but ours. He has emptied himself of his righteousness that he might clothe us in it, and fill us with it: and he has taken our evils upon himself that he might deliver us from them.
In the case of man, righteousness is adjustment to God, and an articulation with man based upon that adjustment. Are you a righteous man? Am I a righteous man? Are you righteous? Then, if so, wherein does your righteousness consist? That your whole life is adjusted to God, and is moulded by that adjustment. This is righteousness.
G. Campbell Morgan
It seems to me there is less meanness in atheism, by a good measure. It seems that the spirit of religious self-righteousness this article deplores is precisely the spirit in which it is written. Of course he's right about many things, one of them being the destructive potency of religious self-righteousness. (p. 146)
And as long as the world lasts, all who want to make progress in righteousness will come to Israel for inspiration, as to the people who have had the sense for righteousness most glowing and strongest; and in hearing and reading the words Israel has uttered for us, carers for conduct will find a glow and a force they could find nowhere else.
I am the true God; I am the living God, the eternal King. I am the Most High over all the earth; I am exalted far above all gods. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of my throne; love and faithfulness go before me. My plans stand firm forever, the purposes of my heart through all generations. The heavens proclaim my righteousness, and all the peoples see my glory.
Should pain and suffering, sorrow, and grief, rise up like clouds and overshadow for a time the Sun of Righteousness and hide Him from your view, do not be dismayed, for in the end this cloud of woe will descend in showers of blessing on your head, and the Sun of Righteousness rise upon you to set no more forever.
Sadhu Sundar Singh
A rigorous doctrine of imputation is not only limiting but ends up doing a disservice to the nature of grace and justification. It makes the transactions of the gospel basically juridical. In the Roman view, justification and sanctification are a seamless fabric. It is more than a question of God simply seeing us through a legal scrim of Christ's righteousness. Righteousness actually begins to transform us.
Therefore, son of man, say to your countrymen, 'The righteousness of the righteous man will not save him when he disobeys, and the wickedness of the wicked man will not cause him to fall when he turns from it. The righteous man, if he sins, will not be allowed to live because of his former righteousness.'
No wonder if such persons look upon imputed righteousness as the shadow of a dream, who esteem those things which evidence its necessity to be but fond imaginations. And small hope is there to bring such men to value the righteousness of Christ, as imputed to them, who are so unacquainted with their own unrighteousness inherent in them. Until men know themselves better, they will care very little to know Christ at all.