Types of righteousness according to the bible

Types of Righteousness According to the Bible
29 Sep 2022 | By Pst. Gitahi Daniel

Righteousness is the quality of being morally right.

It is rewarding to be truly right with God. 

Isaiah 3:10 says 'tell the righteous that they will enjoy the fruits of their deeds.'

However, the world, through men invented other kinds of righteousness. 


Biblically, there are three kinds of righteousness

1. The Righteousness of God

2. Self Righteousness

3. The Righteousness of the Pharisees


The righteousness of God is what all believers should pursue and work hard at, for no one shall see God without it. 

For today, we will look at self righteousness and the righteousness of the pharisees. 


Self Righteousness 

Prov 30:12 says that there are people righteous in their own eyes yet not washed in filthiness. 

This kind of righteousness is better known as self righteousness. 

Self righteous people do not realise it when they sin. They give reasons for their errors. 

For instance, the Word of God says that when angry, we should not sin. 

There are certain believers, who, when angered, will intentionally hold a grudge against the person that angered them. 


Self righteous people do not see any faults in their ways. 

This is in contrast to God's Word in 1 John 1:8, "if we claim to be without sin we are liars." 

The true measure of our love for God is in John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments." 


In addition, Isaiah 64:6 says that our righteous acts are like filthy rags.

While being a giver, or a good person who doesn't insult others is commendable, that's not all that there is to righteousness. 

It does not matter what measure of goodness you have, if you have not confessed Christ, you are self righteous. 

There is no place in the kingdom of God for the self righteous. You must believe and confess that Jesus, the only way, is God. 

Rom 10:3 "For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 

God's righteousness is found in the steps of Christ. 

The sons of Eli, Phinehas and Hophni were accused of many things including sexual misconduct. 

They took advantage of the fact that their father was the priest. They ignored all corrections until the day God's  judgement came upon them. 

They all died the same day, and for the record, prematurely. 1 Sam 2:32 - 34 

In addition, Eli's lineage was cursed; that all members of the family would die at the flower age.


The Righteousness of the Pharisees 


This is the kind of righteousness publicly displayed by the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. 

Pharisees are born again while in the midst of the people, or rather in public. 

In private, their actions are not a reflection of who they are in public.


This kind of righteousness is heavily described in Matt 23.

It is the kind of righteousness that pretends. 

What is truly in your private life? 

According to Matt 5:20, if our holiness does not surpass that of the Pharisees we will not enter the kingdom of God. 

Matt 23:24 says that pharisees are like blind people who show other people which way to go. They carefully take a small fly out of the water so that they do not drink it. But then drink the large animal that is swimming in it!


Matt 23:27 further says that pretence is like a grave. it is colourful on the outside but houses bones and uncleanness. 

Pharisees love with words and not actions. The Word is clear about this, 

1 John 3:18 "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." 

You can lie to man but not to God. 

According to Prov 16:2 and Prov 21:2, it is God who truly knows the heart. He weighs it. 


Luke 16:15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.


The self righteous will not see the Kingdom of God. If your righteousness does not surpass that of the pharisees, you risk being locked out of that City as well.


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