John Bunyan related, "Again one day I was passing in the field and that too with some dashes in my conscience, suddenly the sentence fell upon my soul, ‘Thy righteousness is in Heaven.' And methought withal I saw with my eyes of my soul Jesus Christ at God's right hand. I saw also, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor my bad frame of heart that made my righteousness worse, for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, the same yesterday, today and forever."
James declared, "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
A. W. Pink stated, "This signifies something more than a man to whom the righteousness of Christ has been imputed. Let it be duly noted that this statement occurs not in Romans (where the legal benefits of the atonement are chiefly in view), but in James, where the practical and experimental side of the Gospel is unfolded. The ‘righteous man' in James 5:16 (as also throughout the book of Proverbs, and likewise the ‘just') is one who is right with God practically in his daily life, whose ways ‘please the Lord.'"
According to Genesis, chapter 18, God would have spared Sodom if He could have found just ten righteous people. The word for "righteous" in this story means, "to speak the truth, to be straight in the way, to possess integrity."
John McArthur wrote, "God's grace is a spiritual dynamic that works in the lives of the redeemed, ‘instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age' (Titus 2:12). True grace is more than just a giant freebie, opening the door to heaven in the sweet by and by, but leaving us to wallow in sin in the bitter here and now. Grace is God presently at work in our lives."
The one who wants to be righteous sings from his heart that hymn of Charles Wesley:
"O for a heart to praise my God,
A heart from sin set free;
A heart that always feels Thy blood
So freely shed for me."
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654