What to Do with Righteousness 1 Cor. 15 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
One of the greatest attributes of God available to us is his righteousness. And yet it is one of the most neglected of his attributes. That’s why our text tells us to “awake to righteousness, and sin not.” We need to wake up and see what to do with righteousness. Concerning righteousness, we are to:
Seek his righteousness – Matt 6:33 – this is the very first thing anyone should do, whether he is saved or lost.
Appropriate his righteousness by faith in Jesus – Rom 3:21-22, 10:10; Phil 3:9 – if you are lost, you receive the righteousness of God when you receive Jesus. If you are saved, you continue to use and benefit from the righteousness of God as you grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
These next four things happen simultaneously and should occur continuously in your life.
Pursue instruction in righteousness – 2 Tim 3:16-17; Heb 5:12-13 – while the righteousness of God is a gift at salvation so that we are justified before God for eternity, righteousness is also an attribute of God about which you need to constantly learn. In other words, you don’t just need to know that you have righteousness, but you also need to know how righteousness works in your life.
Yield to righteousness – Rom 6:13, 18 – as you learn more about righteousness and how righteousness works in your life, you yield to it and serve it.
Follow after righteousness – 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22 – righteousness lays down a path for you to follow every day. You can see from these verses that by following righteousness you also find and follow godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness, charity, and purity. It’s like righteousness leads you into a world of godliness and away from a world of sin. But woe to those who start on this path of righteousness and then return to the path of sin [2 Pet 2:22].
Preach righteousness – 2 Cor 3:9; 2 Pet 2:5 – this is what Paul calls the ministration of righteousness – a preacher of righteousness is what Noah became – as righteousness works in our lives, it leads us to tell others who, without the righteousness of God, will never accomplish their highest purpose in life and who will die and go to hell when their life is done.
Conclusion: When you pursue instruction in, yield to, follow after, and preach righteousness, the Lord himself brings forth fruits of righteousness in your life [2 Cor 9:9-10; Phil 1:11] which are very beneficial to you and very pleasing to him. In other words, receiving righteousness by Jesus Christ and then pursuing, yielding to, following and preaching righteousness are very worthwhile endeavors in your life. As Paul said, “awake to righteousness” because there is so much more for you than what you have now.