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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(צֶדֶק, δικία, the quality of being right morally). The righteousness of God is the essential perfection of his nature, and is frequently used to designate his holiness, justice, and faithfulness (Genesis 18:25; Deuteronomy 6:25; Psalms 31:1; Psalms 119:137; Psalms 119:142; Isaiah 45:23; Isaiah 46:13; Isaiah 51:5-8; Isaiah 56:1). The righteousness of Christ denotes not only his absolute perfection (Isaiah 51:11; 1 John 2:1; Acts 3:14), but is taken for his perfect obedience unto death as the sacrifice for the sin of the world (Daniel 9:24; Romans 3:25-26; Romans 5:18-19; Jeremiah 23:6; John 1:29). The righteousness of the law is that obedience which the law requires (Romans 3:10; Romans 3:20; Romans 8:4). The righteousness of faith is the justification which is received by faith (Romans 3:21-28; Romans 4:3-25; Romans 5:1-11; Romans 10:6-11; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:21). Righteousness is sometimes used for uprightness and just dealing between man and man (Isaiah 60:17), also for holiness of life and conversation (Daniel 4:27; Luke 1:6; Romans 14:17; Ephesians 5:9). The saints have a threefold righteousness:

(1.) The righteousness of their persons, as in Christ, his merit being imputed to them, and they accepted on the account thereof (2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 5:27; Isaiah 45:24);

(2.) The righteousness of their principles, being derived from, and formed according to, the rule of right (Psalms 119:11);

(3.) The righteousness of their lives, produced by the sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit, without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 13:24; 1 Corinthians 6:11). See Dickinson, Letters, let. 12; Witherspoon, Essay on Imputed Righteousness; Hervey, Theron and Aspasio; Owen, On Justification; Watts, Works, 3, 532, 8vo ed.; Jenks, On Submission to the Righteousness of God. (See JUSTIFICATION); (See SANCTIFICATION).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Righteousness'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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