Righteousness grows out of life and life sprouts from a relationship with God. The mystery of Godliness is that it is not initially about righteousness. It is firstly about life and our life in God. God is a person and Himself. He is complete and content in Himself. Life and love flow from personality, in particular the trinity of God. To be in God and part of His Family is to be in His life and His righteousness - which is not a separate thing but an expression of Himself. He is Himself. He is life and righteousness because He is God.
ALL DYING IN ADAM
It is unlikely that we would think of righteousness independently of God if it were not for the emergence of the knowledge of good and evil in that sad revelation and experience arising from our separation and independence from God. To live like Adam and Eve in God before the fall was to live in the absence of self-consciousness and the absence of any thought of a distinction between good and evil. In God they just were.
Before the fall, if life and righteousness were to be named at all they were name Father. In relation to human beings righteousness and life was simply seen as sons of God. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In union with God we are whole, we are alive and we are participants in I AM. You are really who you are when you are in relationship with our Father.
The law of Moses was given in the context of the reign of the knowledge of good and evil - the law that Paul called the law of sin and death was the natural result of Adamic separation from God. This dichotomized knowledge was the culture of ethics and morality that came from the forbidden tree. Its narrower representation was the commandments written on stone as nominated by Paul in 2 Cor 3.7 NIV.
In contrast to this list, series of abstractions the righteousness of God as defined by Jesus and explained by Paul is the person of Jesus Christ. The righteousness of God is a state of being. It is to be The Father and The Son. The righteousness of the sons of God is to be themselves. This contrasts with notions of original sin and associated negativism. You originated in life and righteousness and you are heading back their imbued by the Son. By making a choice you can be the manifestation of the trinity where you are.
Now the scripture comes to mind, ‘Here are they who keep the commands of God and the testimony of Jesus’ Rev 14.12 NIV. Firstly commandments in the new testament means the teaching of Jesus - the one who declared Himself the way, the truth and the life. Righteousness and life is subsumed and expressed in Jesus and imparted to you since He lives in you. Secondly in new covenant terms the meaning of this scripture is as follows. The command of God is to believe and obey God’s Son. The testimony of Jesus is that He is entirely and unconditionally our life.
In Jesus you have a new name because you are a new person, a son/daughter and growing each day in Christ into the reality of who you really are, casting off the lies and false identities apportioned by the Father of lies and absorbing into your being and being mentored into the real you that you are in your oneness with our Father.
One of the false identities some of us need to cast off is our denominational identity that we have allowed to compete with our identity in Jesus. You can grow into His fullness or you can shrink in your restrictions and emptiness.
REAL IDENTITY. REAL SONS
We are daughters and sons in the son of God and because of our union with our Father. As such we participate in their life, identity and purpose. We are who we are in spirit and in truth. Our fragmented life in Adam is dead. Far more than being a compilation of virtues and dispositions we can become the expression of who we were designed to be in the heart of our Father. We are at rest in being ourselves and being sons. You are complete in Christ. Your life in Jesus is you!