Righteousness: “acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin.”
Below are a group of Bible verses on righteousness. Some are passages that show the lack of it. These are by no means exhaustive. But hopefully they will help you in a study of man’s righteousness, and that which can be found through Jesus. Feel free to add verses you think work well with these.
God’s Word is clear on who is righteous:
“As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;” Romans 3:10
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” Isaiah 64:6 NIV
“Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” Ecclesiastes 7:20
People deceive themselves and think they are righteous when they are not:
“Listen to this, O house of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and come from the line of Judah, you who take oaths in the name of the LORD and invoke the God of Israel–but not in truth or righteousness–” Isaiah 48:1
“If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die for the evil he has done.” Ezekiel 33:13
“See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright–but the righteous will live by his faith–” Habakkuk 2:4
What does it take to be righteous?
“For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20
“So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Galatians 3:6, Genesis 16:3, Romans 4:3
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
“My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.” Isaiah 26:9
How can we receive righteousness?
“The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; He will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior.” Jeremiah 33:14-16
“and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—” Philippians 3:9
What does righteousness look like?
“For in the gospel a righteousness from 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 1:17
“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.” Romans 3:21
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.” Genesis 6:9
“There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.” Job 1:1
Does righteousness exempt us from difficulty?
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19
“The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.” Psalm 11:5
“but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. ” Hebrews 10:38-39
If we try to achieve righteousness apart from Christ, we fail. We cannot possibly measure up to Jesus. That is what makes God’s grace so wonderful. He gave us His Son and made us righteous in Him.
Compiled by © Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2011