First, for those who read this and are newer to “theology”: To be “righteous” means to be right with God, which only happens when we’re without sin. (Sin is never right with God.) The Bible talks about two types of righteousness.
- First is that when we accept Jesus, our sins go on Him on the cross and God begins looking at us as if we haven’t sinned – even though we have and may continue to do so. That’s what gets us into Heaven.
- Second would be an actual righteousness reflected in our lives, in our behavior. Where not only does God look at us as if we’ve never sinned, but we actually live in a way that is more and more Godly (because increasingly we’ve given control to the Holy Spirit) and less and less sinful (because decreasingly we are controlled by our own nature).
So here’s the deal: Every Christian would agree that the first type is a very big deal, after all without it we don’t get into Heaven. But not everyone seems to think the second is a very big deal, but it is, which today’s reading (Proverbs 11) makes ridiculously clear.
So … personally, our goal is not just to be “in” Jesus, but to actually live our likes like Him.
And … pastorally, our goal is not just to get people “saved,” but to actually get them “sanctified.”
All of that seems too obvious to take a post to say, except that it’s very obvious that it’s not obvious at all to many Christians and many churches…