Are you a righteous or an unrighteous person?

In this article I would like to take a look at the differences between the righteous (right with God) man and the unrighteous (not right with God) man. They are totally different people with totally different outcomes in life even though they may occupy the same space on this earth (they may work at the same job, partake of some of the same recreational activities, even attend the same church). As the Bible explains very clearly, God looks at the heart of man instead of the external appearance, or in other words, the way things seem to be. People are good at wearing masks to cover up what is truly in their hearts (even though what is there will become obvious to all eventually). Therefore, we need to turn to the Word of God in order to see the differences between these two types of people instead of only looking at the way things seem to be to us. The psalmist pens a great, short psalm in Psalm 1. Let’s read together and see what we can learn about the two different kinds of people that surround us on a daily basis. We will also discover what kind of people we are as well.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers ! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither ; And in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.

The best way to understand this Psalm is to see the main idea of the author. Throughout the text we see the author using the literary method of comparison and contrasting to show the two lifestyles in order to teach the main truth. Let’s take the order that the author does in explaining who is who. First of all, the righteous man is blessed in his life. In our modern culture we ted to think that being blessed means being healthy, having a nice family, having a nice job with money to spend. These are all good things that we would like to have but being blessed does not depend on these things. The word blessed literally means “content” from the original Hebrew language. If you are a student of the Bible then you know that being content in life does not depend on things. The Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Philippian church, explained that fact when he said:

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity ; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13)

As you see, being content does not depend on things or lack of things. The true key to happiness or blessedness or being content is having a real relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, or in other words, being a righteous person. The question is, can you be born right with God or do you become right with God. The Bible once again teaches that no one is born righteous (right with God) that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s standards and therefore we must become right with God through Jesus Christ. If you think that you were born right with God, or in other words a Christian, then you need to rethink your understanding because God says that you were born unrighteous and need to become right with Him.

The second characteristic of a righteous man is that he does not walk in the counsel of the wicked. The word walk here means “manner of life or way of life, lifestyle” so when he hears bad advice from a wicked person he does not follow it. This does not mean that he avoids wicked people. He may work with them yet when he hears their advice he is discerning and does not follow their misleading advice. In fact, it would be good for him to be around the wicked so that he can explain to them why their advice is bad and teach them how to give good counsel. The question is, “how does he know which is bad counsel and good counsel?” That is a great question and we will learn what gives him this wisdom in just a moment. What about you, do you give and follow wicked counsel? Do you know how to tell the difference between good advice and bad? If not, then hang in there because we are about to learn the difference.

The next two characteristics go along with the previous one. He does not stand in the path of sinners. Again, this does not mean that he avoids sinners all together. This means that he is not on the same lifestyle path that they are on, even if they do occupy the same space, like at work. He knows the difference between a wicked and righteous lifestyle and does not stand in the path of evil. He did stand in the path of sinners before he became right with God but now, since he has been transformed, chooses to stand in another path of life. Also, he does not sit in the seat of scoffers. Scoffers are those who pick on and put others down through their words in order to make themselves look better. The righteous man knows that this way of life is destructive. In fact the Bible says that the power of life and death lie in the tongue. We have the power to give life with our tongues (build people up) as well as take life (tear people down). What do you do with your tongue? Do you build people up or are you an expert and cutting people to pieces with your tongue (mouth)?

The fifth characteristic of a righteous man is the fact that he delights in the Law of the Lord (the Word of God/Bible). The word delight means to find pleasure in, to enjoy. Do you enjoy the Word of God, find delight and pleasure in studying the Holy Scriptures? The righteous man finds so much pleasure in the Word of God that he meditates on It day and night. Is it possible to meditate on the Word of God day and night? Yes, especially when you understand what the word “meditate” means. The word “meditate” does not mean to chant, instead it has a three part meaning; to study, to ponder, and to talk. Is is possible to study the Word daily? Yes. Is it possible to ponder on what you studied? Yes. When you have spent your time studying and pondering on a subject then your natural reaction is to talk about what is on your mind with others. So the daily life of a righteous man is directed by the Word of God. This is how the righteous man knows what the advice of the wicked is and what their lifestyle looks like so that he can avoid those paths. This is the wisdom that we need for daily life. How much time do you spend studying, pondering on, and talking about the Word of God on a daily basis? If you were to examine your lifestyle now, which person do you seem to associate more with? Is there hope for you? Yes, God is in the business of transformation if you will humbly come to Him and dedicate your life to following Him.

I would like to end this article here and I will continue with the results of a righteous man in the next article. I hope that the Word of God has spoken to your heart through this message and you will choose to come to Him and dedicate yourself to Him and to His Word on a daily basis. God bless.

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17 comments on “Are you a righteous or an unrighteous person?

  1. I like the article, but unfortunately disagree with you on one point. That is, you say: “The Bible once again teaches that no one is born righteous (right with God) that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s standards”. Of course we all fall short of God’s grace, however, that does not imply that we were born like that (but as a consequence of personal sin, not “original sin” – which is crap doctrine).

    • If you believe this way then how do you explain King David’s statements (which was inspired by God through the Holy Spirit)?

      For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. (Psalm 51:3)

      Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. (Psalm 51:5)

  2. About the first quote, in Romanian we chant in the Liturgy service “pacatul meu inaintea mea este pururea” Psalmul 50:4 http://bibliaortodoxa.ro/carte.php?id=65&cap=50
    meaning that I am aware of my sin and I repent. It is unlikely for anyone to interpret it as a time determination.
    About the second, it is the verse before the first, 50:3, and translates “în păcate m-a născut maica mea” which might mean that his mother has brought him into the sinful world or, at most, about the sins of his mother. Again, your interpretation is not common in Romanian.

    • The interpretation is the same in any language. His mother did not sin in having sexual relations with his father so he was not conceived because of sin. The world is sinful because of the people in it (which were born in sin as the verse explains). Look at the verse in the original Hebrew for more insight (it was not originally written in Romanian or English).

      Plus, you do not have to teach children how to sin. They do it naturally. You have to teach them not to sin.

      So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men . . . For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners . . . (Romans 5:18-19)

      Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness . . . God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

      Mankind is created in the image of God (Adam and Eve). Look what the Bible says about the children of Adam and Eve.

      When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. (Genesis 5:3)

      The children born to Adam and Eve are not in the image of God but in the image of Adam and Eve, after they had sinned. The children born to Adam and Eve were sinners from their birth.

  3. Well… I don’t know, “naturally” is a slippery term. It is nearly impossible to say that little children sin (at most they do bad deeds, not sins) due to a single cause. They sin because of bad education, television, other children etc.
    The world is sinful because the people inside it are sinful, not necessary because they were “born in sin”. They developped sin while living in the world. It makes much more sense that people get sinful because they live in the sinful world than to say that they become sinful because they were born like that.
    “The children born to Adam and Eve were sinners from their birth.” – very far fetched…

    • Sin is missing the mark. God tells us what the mark is. Do not lie is a mark. Children do not have to be taught to lie. They have to be taught not to lie. Sin is in them and will manifest itself.

      “The children born to Adam and Eve were sinners from their birth.” – very far fetched…

      Show me with logic. Give me a good argument and not just, “this is what I believe”. I used the Scriptures to argue the point and I would appreciate it if you would do the same in your counterargument.

  4. Yes, you do use Scripture to support your ideas, but your inferences are far fetched!
    The point I’m trying to make is that children might lie because of the enviromnent they are into (bad education, television, other children etc.) and not simply out of the sudden! If you interpret “original sin” like children are born sinful (although they have not actually comitted any sins), this is an abominable doctrine! For me, original sin is enough to be interpreted as “we are born into a sinful world”.

    • “far fetched” is not an argument. Show me how with evidence. You can make accusations all day long but they are meaningless if you cannot prove them with an argument. Again, your argument is “this is what I believe” but no substance to back it up. I can understand why a person would not like the idea of original sin, we think that we are better than what we really are. Not accepting or liking the Truth does not change the Truth. I am still waiting for a good counterargument from you.

    • You need to take a simple course on logic to understand how to make an argument. Or join a debate team. If you go into court and your argument is “this is what I believe” but have nothing to back up your belief then you will lose every time.

      You say you do not believe in original sin yet you cannot counter argue original sin from a Biblical perspective.

  5. Well…not directly. We all have some “biblical sense”. The original sin doctrine, although tought for centuries by the Church, is one of the multiple inventions (as well as the Trinity doctrine) that defy this sense. I must remind you that we are in no courtroom, so you have reason enough to trust what I believe.

    • You just avoided the argument and shifted. Again you have no counter argument. The Trinity is in the Bible, not the term but the concept. The word original sin is not in the Bible but the concept, as I have demonstrated. If you do not debate with logic then I am not that interested.

  6. Hello. Peace from Jesus!

    That discussion is very interesting.

    first of all I would like to say that I am a believer in Jesus Christ from Brazil, I live here in Sao Paulo and I found this blog and I liked it very much.

    Erik, I agree with your arguments. How can we discuss about sin without the Word of God, AND, without humbleness, because without it we are in an championship and not trying to learn more.

    But the spiritual things are discerned spiritually, and sometimes people cannot understand somethings about the Word of God.

    If someone can understand about sin, this person is ready to be saved (to born again) or already did.
    If someone cannot discern the diference between commiting a sin and being a sinner because the humanity fell and got separated from God, this person did hear the gospel yet or the message that will bring them to Jesus.

    We are all sinners, but those who died with Jesus and borned again with Him are justifyied by His blood and is inside His grace, so if this person commits a sin God is faithful to forgive. But this person will be a sinner until He encounter Jesus or have His body transformed.

    But a person that is still dead and didnt know the Truth yet, “and you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free” this person is dead in his sin and there is no difference for this person if he does something “wrong” or not because he is lost in his sin, for this person there is no difference because he didnt get seprated from darkness yet.

    God bless you all!

  7. I don’t like getting into a Christian debate with people cause they have intelligence but lack a ton of knowledge of the bible and argue with what one person or another said and they end up twisting words. I am a born again believe in Jesus Christ

  8. would love for anyone with lack of knowledge or knowledge either way check out my website to gain knowledge and understanding or just to simply check it out don’t email me and start up a fight please or I do preach the word on there. Having intelligence is a good thing but not having knowledge is another…

  9. Am a little bit curious… Em. If all Christians agree that despite being genuinely born again by believing in their heart that Jesus Christ died to take away their sins and that God raised Him by His Spirit on the third day for their justification; then I really wonder to whom belongs all the promises of God that litter the Bible for the righteous in this earth.

  10. Hello, Erik was right all day and can only get better…… A true example of a child of God. The other person needs to learn and take correction though I understand is argument but it has no Biblical backing…. God bless

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