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Pure Salvation: Righteous

We are sinners. God acknowledges this and loves us anyway. But he wants us to be righteous. Being righteous means to be right with God. We receive righteousness from God when we receive the forgiveness of sins through faith. (Romans 1:17, Ephesians 2:8)

If we’re all sinners, what sets apart the righteous from the unrighteous? Not a what, a who, God. The unrighteous are stained by their sin, black and ugly. Those who have accepted Christ receive the grace of God, washing away their sins, made white as snow. We can’t make ourselves righteous, only God. “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)

The righteous then have been sanctified; set apart and made holy for God’s purposes. Holiness comes only from God, so although we continue to sin, the righteous are living in communication with God, living for God. But if we do sin, it is God who forgives us when we repent. The unrighteous live for their own purposes, denying that for which God created them. They rebel against God and do not repent. Being set apart for God doesn’t mean we are to be at odds with the unrighteous, rather, we are set apart so that our righteousness may speak for us and for the Lord in order to lead them to God. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy.” (Hebrews 12:14)

Last, another way of saying righteous is justified. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are justified—made right with God. The unrighteous may try to justify their actions, but they will never be right with God unless they choose the path of righteousness by faith. Only God can justify us, make us righteous and set us apart for His work. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)

You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. -1 Corinthians 6:11