Uncategorized

The Greek adjective dikaios, usually rendered “righteous” or “just,” occurs about
eighty times in the New Testament.It is not easy to assign it a solitary meaning,
because the term is used in a variety of ways, depending upon the context.
Let us illustrate at least three senses in which the inspired writers employed this
word. (1) The term is used in an absolute sense.For example, in the sermon that cost him
his life, Stephen declared that the Jews had persecuted and killed their ancient
prophets, who “showed before the coming of the Righteous One…” (Acts 7:52; cf.
22:14; 1 Pet. 3:18;1 Jn. 2:1).Jesus was “righteousin every respect.He always did the
will of God (Jn. 8:29), never sinning, not even once (1 Pet. 2:22).When Paul
described the whole human race by saying: “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10), he similarly used the definitive in an absolute way.
Aside from Jesus, there is no responsible human being who has been wholly
perfect.And so, underscore “righteous”in Acts 7:52, Romans 3:10, etc., and
marginally note: Absolutely righteous
(2) “Righteous” may be used in a relative sense.Cornelius is called a “righteous”
man (Acts 10:22).He was righteous compared to most Gentiles of that day, but he was not sinless because he was lost, hence, needed to be saved (11:14).Lot was a
righteous man in contrast to the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah (see 2 Pet. 2:8),
but he was far from perfect.
And so, underline “righteous”in Acts 10:22, etc., and in your margin write: Relatively
righteous.
(3) Finally, there is that which may be designated as a self-perceived sense of righteous character.Jesus said that he did not come to “call the righteous but
sinners to repentance” (Lk. 5:32).The Lord was not suggesting that some are so
righteous they do not need his message.Rather, he was saying: There are those
who perceive themselves as righteous (e.g., the Pharisees – vss. 29-30).I can hardly
do them any good so long as they entertain that view.I can only help those who
acknowledge they are “sick,” hence need a physician (31).

Advertisements

The Meanings of “Righteous”

Aside

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s