September 22, 2023 | Martin Luther – Day 31


“True righteousness has compassion; false righteousness has indignation.”

Martin Luther



What is the difference between true righteousness and false righteousness? True righteousness is right all the time. False righteousness has the appearance of being right but within its definition are lies. True righteousness leads to holiness. False righteousness leads to condemnation.


Even our greatest personal righteousness, apart from God, is never to be relied upon because, without the wisdom and guidance of His Holy Spirit, we have only ourselves to provide a guarantee.


When we, as people apart from God, take on the responsibility of defining righteousness, there become as many definitions as there are people. In this case, nothing is definitely right and nothing is definitely wrong. People are governed by a spectrum of righteousness that has no definition or purpose other than to glorify the one defining it.


The psalmist says, “Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times! (Psalm 106:3). To understand this, we need to understand God’s definition of righteousness. I thank for its definition: “Righteousness is the quality of being right before God, including character (nature), conscience (attitude), conduct (action), and command (Word).


Righteousness is, therefore, based upon God’s standard because He is the ultimate Lawgiver, “For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us” (Isaiah 33:22).


Righteousness is ultimately defined by God. He, and only He, determines what is right in His eyes and His definition for righteousness never changes. The righteousness of the world often runs contrary to the righteousness of God because it has no foundation in truth.


Today, take a stand for righteousness through repentance. Give it to God to define what righteousness is in your life and vow to Him a life striving for His true righteousness even as the world gives to you its false version of it.


Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead us to righteousness as you have defined it. Help us to govern ourselves by the laws you have given us and not by the laws the world gives. Amen.