Dec 09

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Have you ever thought that you, that any person, could somehow “love God and not love righteousness?” There is a somewhat “new” trend among some, that they think, that they really believe, it is possible to love God without loving righteousness. No, in their “higher” learning, in their “mind’ above the rest of us; they have dropped part of the work “righteousness” to just “rightness!” Of course, when these folks of “higher” learning order something, by using the internet, or even “slow mail,” they get very upset if what they ordered is not what they received! They want “rightness!”
Therefore, let us look at the word “righteousness.” In general, “righteousness” is the state of being righteous! But, to see the word more fully, we turn to Thayer, who gives: ”1) in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God 1a) the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God 1b) integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting 2) in a narrower sense, justice or the virtue which gives each his due.” Did you see the word “rightness” is what Thayer wrote? It is within the words: “1b) integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness.” But, let us go the second “mile;” Strong gives: “equity (of character or act); specifically (Christian) justification: – righteousness.” Taking some of these one at a time; we have this: 1) “in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God,” and we must not leave out the word “rightness” (Thayer); 2) “specifically (Christian) justification: – righteousness” (Strong). Two more points, these from the inspired scripture! Frist, David wrote: “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness” (Psa. 119:172). Earlier David had written: “Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times (Psa. 106:3). On and on we could go with this but turning our attention to the New Testament, John wrote: ““Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he (God frw) is righteous” (1 John 3:7). Of course, we need to ask the question, why is John so concerned with “righteousness?” Let John, himself answer our question: “even as he (God, frw) is righteous!” Let me dare you to be “righteous,” without having “rightness!” How blind are the blind?
Is it true, that the above verses do not have the word “rightness” in them? Here is meant that the word “rightness” does appear in the word “righteousness.” Calling upon Thayer once more, he wrote: “integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness.” So, it is not honest to conclude that the word “rightness” is not therein! As some of the “old time” preachers were somewhat fond of saying, “If you can see through a ladder, you can see this.” In other words, if you cannot see the word “rightness” within the word “righteousness,” don’t look at the ladder! While you are looking at the subject, it might be good to think on this: “All unrighteousness is sin: …” (1 John 5:17). Are we wrong to conclude, that “all unrightness is sin?” It is so glaringly wrong, to think/ teach, that we are giving too much time to the necessity of “rightness!”
It might help to look at the other side of “rightness.” Would the other side of “rightness” be “wrongness” or would it be “unrghtness?” Once more I recall the words of the “old time” preachers; who like to say, “If not, why not?” If the other side of “rightness” is not “wrongness,” or “un–rightness,” just what would you call it? At least it is less than “rightness!” If there is some area between “rightness” and “wrongness,” (un-rightness) the high learned among us have found what Jesus knew nothing of! When confronted by “the chief priests and the elders of the people,” they questioned him about his authority, he asked them: “The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? (Matt. 21:23-25); Jesus recognized but two areas, “from heaven” “or of men!” Therefore, the conclusion is reached, there is no area between “rightness,” and “un-rightness” (wrongness)!
The conclusion is reached, to teach/preach that we have given too much time to “rightness” is to encourage men to sin! By what right do such men call themselves, “preachers of the gospel?” Take down the sign, “gospel preacher!” Do you really think that you can love God without loving “rightness?”

Frank R. Williams

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