For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes; first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’. Romans 1:16-17 ( NIV)
For many people the word ‘righteousness’ conjures up images of saints with halos, leading pious lives, but rather detached from real life.
Notice in the verses above from Paul’s letter to the Romans, that the word righteousness occurs twice, with the word righteous occurring once. Righteousness is used in connection with God and the verses tell us that this righteousness is based on faith (not works), so it can’t be something that we do. The word righteous in the context above applies to those who believe and who accept the gift of salvation.
I have heard the word righteousness being explained in terms of ‘right living’. If we look at it this way it takes on the meaning of living God’s way.
So righteousness is not about halos, pious lives or being detached from real life. Being righteous is about being brought back into a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus.