Our righteousness as believers comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. When He died on the cross, He traded His righteousness for our sin and left us without the penalty of our sins. On the other hand, self-righteousness gets in the way of our growth with God. Those who believe they can earn their way into heaven skip out on the gracious mercy of Christ. Therefore, let’s take a look at what the word righteousness means in Hebrew and Greek.
All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.
What Does The Word ‘Righteousness’ Mean In Hebrew?
There’s two forms of this word: feminine (tsedaqah) and tsedeq. Much research has been done regarding these two words and this is the conclusion: one’s relational and the other’s legal. If a man has a faithful relationship with God, it can be described using tsedeq. However, tsedaqah is also used in a relational way in Genesis 30:33.
“So my righteousness will answer for me in time to come, when the subject of my wages comes before you: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the lambs, will be considered stolen, if it is with me.”
These terms become legal when speaking about justice in conformity.
“You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
“Thus says the Lord: “Execute judgment and righteousness, and deliver the plundered out of the hand of the oppressor. Do no wrong and do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.”
“I have done justice and righteousness;
Do not leave me to my oppressors.“
What Does The Word ‘Righteousness’ Mean In Greek?
dikaiosune- equity, justification.
This is the character trait or quality of being just or right. It’s an attribute of God and used in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Also, it’s the sum of all the requirements of God:
- religious duties (Matthew 6:1-15)
- almsgiving – man’s duty to his neighbor (6:2-4)
- prayer – his duty to God (5:15)
- fasting – the duty of self-control (16:18)
Righteousness (rightness with God) is a gift and cannot be earned through any hard work or merit. It’s also the conformity to the will of God through faith in Christ.
“But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath?”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.”
“But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.”
As you can see, righteousness cannot be given but it a gift from God through the sacrifice of Christ. In addition to that, righteousness is one of the pieces of body armor found in Ephesians chapter 6. the breastplate of righteousness protects our hearts from feeling like we have to earn our way into heaven.
Anyway, that’s what the word righteousness means in Hebrew and Greek. I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to share any thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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Thanks for sharing!
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