Pastor Jeff Knott of Grace Church in Port Hope continues the sermon series on “Rejoicing the City” with “The Dimensions of Righteousness”:
Righteousness is a social idea because it has to do with relationship.
God is the initiator of our relationship. God says to us today, “I will be your God, you will be my people and I will dwell in the midst of you.”
The goal of the righteous is to honour God.
The up relationship is far more important. I am first and foremost a child of God.
The “in” dimension is the personal and internal aspect of righteousness.
Righteousness has to do with the state of our heart. The righteous are holy people, having a well-ordered heart.
Augustine, “A well-ordered heart is to love the right thing, in the right way, to the right degree with the right kind of love.”
A righteous person speaks the truth, they delight in God’s law and they cultivate a fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom.
The righteous know that anything they do, whether in word or deed, they know that it comes from God’s enabling grace and the power of His Spirit.
The righteous have warm hearts – they care about the plight of others.
Amy Sherman, “Social righteousness is about how we treat our neighbour far and near. It’s about how vertical love toward God is expressed in horizontal love toward the world He has made and the people He has created. In short, the righteousness of the righteous involves both moral purity and the attempt to make God’s justice a reality where they live.”
Justice is when I’m just as concerned with your flourishing as I am with my own.
This is what we are called to: Vertical righteousness – up; Personal or Internal righteousness, which is in; and, Social righteousness, which is out.
We want to be whole people who live the whole gospel so that the whole world knows.