S.R. Psalm 18:16-30


  1. Does God consider anyone righteous?
  2. If yes, on what basis?
  3. Are you righteous?


  1. Does God describe some people as righteous?
    1. Old Testament Examples:
      1. Genesis 6:9 “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.”
      2. Genesis 18:23-25 “23Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?”
      3. 2 Peter 2:7-8 “7and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men 8(for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds),”
      4. Psalm 11:5-7 “5The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates. 6Upon the wicked He will rain snares; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup. 7For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.”
    2. How can people justly be declared righteous before God?
      1. Psalm 18: 17-25 “17He delivered me from my strong enemy, And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. 18They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the LORD was my stay. 19He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me. 20The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. 21For I have kept the ways of the LORD, And have not wickedly departed from my God. 22For all His ordinances were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from me. 23I was also blameless with Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity. 24Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands in His eyes. 25With the kind You show Yourself kind; With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;”
    3. Jesus declared Old Testament people “righteous”
      1. Matthew 23:29, 35 “29Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,…35so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.”
    4. People Become Unrighteous (Romans 1-3)
      1. People, both Jew and Gentile, have chosen at some point in their life to reject God and righteous living and turn to unrighteous actions.
      2. Romans 1:17-21  “17For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” 18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
      3. Romans 3:10-12 “10As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.””
        1. Romans 3:10-18 uses abundant Old Test. references to establish the fact people (Jew and Gentile) have sought out evil
        2. Psalm 14:1-3 (Rom. 3:1-12)
        3. Note also Psalm 14:4-7 “4Do all the workers of wickedness not know, Who eat up my people as they eat bread, And do not call upon the Lord? 5There they are in great dread, For God is with the righteous generation. 6You would put to shame the counsel of the afflicted, But the LORD is his refuge. 7Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores His captive people, Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be glad.”
        4. Psalm 5:9 (Rom.3:13)
        5. Psalm 5:9-12 “9There is nothing reliable in what they say; Their inward part is destruction itself. Their throat is an open grave; They flatter with their tongue. 10Hold them guilty, O God; By their own devices let them fall! In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out, For they are rebellious against You. 11But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You. 12For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield.”
        6. Psalm 10:7 (14) Psalm 10:12-14 God protects from the wicked, “12Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up Your hand. Do not forget the afflicted. 13Why has the wicked spurned God? He has said to himself, “You will not require it.” 14You have seen it, for You have beheld mischief and vexation to take it into Your hand. The unfortunate commits himself to You; You have been the helper of the orphan.”
        7. Isaiah 59:7 (15-17) Isaiah 59:14 “Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands far away; For truth has stumbled in the street,”
        8. Psalm 36:1 (18) Psalm 36:9-119For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. 10O continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You, And Your righteousness to the upright in heart. 11Let not the foot of pride come upon me, And let not the hand of the wicked drive me away.”
      4. Jesus view of little children (Mark 10:14) “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.”
  2. Upon What Basis Can a Just God Declare People Righteous? 
    1. Sinless perfection
      1. Ecclesiastes. 7:20, 29 “20Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins….29This only have I found: God made mankind upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes.”
      2. Romans 3:19-20 “19Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”
      3. Galatians 3:10-12 “10All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them.””
    2. Imputed Righteousness of Christ
      1. There are those who teach that infants are born having inherited sin from Adam.
      2. Many of those who teach this also teach that the only way for a person to be declared righteous is for God to impute the perfect life of Jesus on your account rather than looking at your obedience by faith or your disobedience to God.
      3. For example: Letter from a principal, and administrator of local Christian school. (Listen very carefully to all that is said.)
        1. “Biblically Speaking, There Are No “Good" Kids”. I wanted to include a really good quote from this section: "We have to be very careful about saying, “My child may have made mistakes, but he really is a good boy.” As much as we might want to believe that, we need to realize that ultimately, the question of “goodness” doesn't have to do with what we perceive or think, but whether our child truly has received Christ as his Savior. The Bible teaches that children are not good by nature; they are not a “blank slate” upon which we can write our values; they are not inherently innocent, nor are they genetically predisposed to be good. In fact, the Bible teaches that they are genetically predisposed to be bad because every child is born with original sin and a rebellious nature. This is the picture the Bible paints of our kids (and of us!)
        2. He goes on to reference Romans 3:10-12
        3. “These verses might seem hard for us to reconcile with our experience when we gaze upon our little darlings and see their halting attempts to obey us. Unbelieving children may be sweet and compliant on the surface because they've learned that compliance is in their best interest and they don't want to face the consequences of disobedience....Our children need God's sovereign grace for their nature to be changed. They'll never become good unless He changes them and then, of course, their goodness is not innate but rather imputed, because they've received the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ and are being transformed by the Holy Spirit.”
      4. Are we saved upon the basis of the “perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ”?
        1. Does God judge me based upon my actions and response to Him or does He simply choose to look at the perfect righteousness of Jesus and substitute that in my place?
        2. If you think yes, does God apply that to all people or just some?
        3. If just some, upon what basis does God make this application?
    3. Third alternative is forgiveness based upon the blood of Christ and our faith.
      1. God declares that our being pronounced righteous, once we rebel and sin against Him (cf. Romans 1-2), is to be forgiven.
        1. a.    Romans 3:23-26 “23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
      2. Psalm 32:1 “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered!”
      3. John 1:29 “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
      4. Jesus bore our sins  (1 Peter 2:24) “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
      5. It was the blood of a perfect sinless sacrifice that cleanses us from all sin.
        1. Matthew 26:28 “for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”
        2. Colossians 1:21-23a “21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you 1holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm,”
        3. Hebrews 10: 4, 10, 18-19 “4For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.…10By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all….18Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. 19Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,”
      6. The perfect life was necessary to be the perfect sacrifice, but it is the blood of Jesus that cleanses us, not the imputation of His perfect life.
  3. Conclusion: Are you righteous?
    1. If you have ever sinned, you cannot be righteous on your own merit or perfect life.
      1. Galatians 3:11 “Clearly no one is justified before God by the law”
    2. The perfect life of Jesus is not the basis upon which you can be declared righteous
      1. Romans 2:4-11 “4Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS 7to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11For there is no partiality with God.”
      2. We are saved based upon God’s grace and our choice to respond in repentance.
    3. Have you been forgiven?
      1. God declares righteous those who obey Him and are forgiven.
        1. Remember Psalm 18 and 32
        2. Remember Colossians 1:22 “22But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm,…”
        3. Romans 6:3-4 “3Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
      2. Can you continue to be forgiven and therefore, righteous?
        1. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
        2. 1 John 1:10 “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”
        3. 1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
        4. 1 John 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”