The Power of a Righteous Life
“The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that
hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.”
“He that walketh uprightly walketh surely:
but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.”
“For by it the elders obtained a good report.”
- Preliminary reading must include David’s psalms of God’s blessing on the righteous, which state in clearest language His great rewards for faithfulness and righteousness in serving Him (Psalm 18:19-26; 112:1-10).
- This sermon does not deal with the essential righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to the elect in God’s act of justification; it rather deals with the practical righteousness that the elect may work out by the grace of regeneration (Eph 2:10; Phil 2:12-13; II Pet 1:1-11).
- There is no man that does not sin; and there is no man inherently righteous (Romans 3:10; I John 1:8,10).
- Elijah is given as an example of a righteous man, yet he is described as subject to our passions (Jas 5:16-18).
- This sermon by its content and nature applies most directly to the men, but it is also true for the women also.
- As we have entered upon a new year, this provides a wonderful opportunity for us to soberly assess our lives.
- It is right to speak of a man’s power with God, for the LORD testified of it with Jacob (Gen 32:28; Hos 12:3).
- I speak only to those who believe the Bible is true, for those who reject it are without reason or hope in life.
- This message is very simple. If you think it too simple, then tell me why you are not living the righteous life.
The Power of a Righteous Life
- God will fulfill His promises to the righteous (Gen 18:19; I Samuel 2:30-31; II Chronicles 6:23).
- God will reveal His secrets to the righteous (Genesis 18:17-19; Psalm 25:12,14; Proverbs 2:7; 15:19; Daniel 9:20-23; 10:10-14; John 7:17; 8:31-32; I Corinthians 2:6-13; II Thess 2:10-12).
- God will surely answer the prayers of the righteous (Psalm 34:17; Pr 15:8,29; Jas 5:16; I Pet 3:12).
- God will honor his prayers for others (Gen 18:23-32; Job 42:7-9; Ps 106:23; Jer 15:1; Ezek 14:14).
- God will bless him with exceptional abilities and events (Gen 5:24; Psalm 18:29; Daniel 11:32).
- God will bless him at death in many ways (Numbers 23:10; Proverbs 14:32; Isaiah 57:1-2).
- God will bless his descendants (I Kings 11:11-12; II Kings 10:29-31; Psalm 25:13; 37:26; 112:1-6; Proverbs 11:21; Jeremiah 15:1; 32:39; Ezekiel 14:14; Acts 2:39).
- God will be merciful to him for his sins (I Kings 15:3-5; Job 42:10-17; Psalm 18:25; James 2:13).
- God will postpone judgment for a righteous man (I Kgs 21:29; II Kgs 20:16-19; II Chr 34:23-28).
- God will bless him with a long life (I Kings 3:14; Job 42:16-17; Psalm 34:11-14; 91:14-16; 128:6; Proverbs 3:1-2,16; 4:10; 9:11; Ephesians 6:2-3).
- God will deliver him from judgment (Gen 6:8-10; 7:1; 19:15-16,29; I Pet 4:18; Is 3:10; Mal 3:16-18).
- God will put his soul at ease (I Chron 4:10; Ps 25:13; 64:10; 97:11; 112:7; Pr 13:25; 15:19; 29:6).
- God will bless it to help silence your enemies (Psalm 112:10; 127:5; Proverbs 14:19; 16:7; 27:11).
- God will bless the righteous with great boldness (Psalm 112:7; Proverbs 28:1; 29:25; Isaiah 26:3-4; Daniel 3:16-18; Acts 4:13).
- God will bless him with a superior life (Psalm 37:16,23; Proverbs 15:16; 16:8; I Timothy 6:6).
- It is the proof of regeneration and salvation and justification (Acts 10:34-35; I John 2:29; 3:7).
- God delights in righteous men (Psalm 1:5-6; 5:12; 11:7; 34:12-16; 37:23; 146:8; Proverbs 3:32; 11:20; I Peter 3:10-12).
- God will bless those who kindly treat a righteous man (Gen 30:27; 39:5; Matt 10:41; Acts 27:24).
- God will punish those who unkindly treat a righteous man (Genesis 20:7; Psalm 34:21; 105:15; Proverbs 24:15-16; 28:10).
- It is a certain way to please and honor parents (Proverbs 10:1; 15:20; 23:15-16,24-25; 27:11; 29:3).
- It is a certain way to please great men (Job 36:7; Prov 3:1-4; 16:13; 22:11; Daniel 6:1-5,14,18-28).
- It will bring treasure into a man’s life (Psalm 112:1-3; Proverbs 10:3; 11:31; 13:21; 15:6; 28:10).
- It leads to an excellent life (Psalm 34:11-14; 92:10-13; Proverbs 10:24,28; 11:8,23,28; 12:26).
- God establishes a righteous man (Job 36:7; Ps 37:18,29; 55:22; Pr 10:25,30; 12:3,7; Matt 7:24-27).
- Other men will appreciate the correction of the righteous man (Psalm 141:5; Prov 25:12; 27:5-6).
- God will protect the righteous man from trouble (Ps 34:19; 37:25,39; 52:6; 125:3; Proverbs 2:7).
- God will make a difference with him and others (Psalm 37:17; 49:14; 58:10-11; Malachi 3:16-18).
- God will chasten the righteous man in love (Psalm 7:11; 11:5; Proverbs 3:11-12; Heb 12:5-10).
- God will bless the righteous man with peace (Psalm 37:37; Proverbs 3:2,17).
- A righteous man adorns the doctrine of Christ by his life (Matthew 5:16; I Timothy 5:14; 6:1; Titus 2:1-10; I Peter 4:14-16).
- A righteous man condemns the wicked by his virtuous life (Proverbs 28:4; Ephesians 5:11-13).
- God will surely reward him with eternal life (Matthew 7:21; 13:43; 25:46; II Timothy 4:6-8).
- Jesus Christ will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:14-30).
The Examples of a Righteous Life
- God listed five special men, and the Hall of Faith has more (Jer 15:1; Ezekiel 14:14; Heb 11:1-40).
- Noah saved his wife, sons, and their wives by his righteousness (Gen 6:8-10; 7:1; Heb 11:7).
- Job was a perfect man, who made faithful intercessory prayer for his children (Job 1:1-5).
- Moses stood in the gap before God and interceded for Israel on many occasions (Ps 106:23).
- Samuel pled the case for Israel when they were frightened by Philistines (I Sam 7:1-17; 12:23).
- Daniel confessed the sins of his people and received instruction (Daniel 1:21; 6:28; 9:20-23).
- Enoch walked with God and pleased Him, so He took him to heaven (Genesis 5:22-24; Heb 11:5).
- Abraham is father of the faithful and friend of God with a powerful life (Gal 3:7,9; James 2:23).
- Lot, in distinct contrast to his uncle, had a miserable life in all respects (Gen 19:1-38; II Pet 2:7-9).
- Joseph, though mistreated by family, master, and friend, lived a powerful life by righteousness.
- David is the man after God’s own heart and the namesake of the Lord Christ with a powerful life.
- Jehu, though weakly righteous, was blessed to the fourth generation for zeal (II Kings 10:29-31).
- Zacharias and Elizabeth were parents to the greatest man born naturally of women (Luke 1:6).
- Paul turned the pagan world upside down, was beloved by many saints, and God’s greatest!
The Character of a Righteous Life
- A righteous man is one who keeps the commandments of God out of love to Him and His saints.
- What is the character of a righteous man? He sins, but he does not live in it (I John 1:8-10; 3:8-10).
- There is comfort in Elijah, who was righteous though subject to similar passions (James 5:16-18).
- There is comfort in Noah (drunkenness), Abraham (Hagar), and David (Bathsheba); but these men did not continue in these acts of wickedness; and these acts were not characteristic of their lives.
- Righteous men walk with God, which requires daily reading, prayer, and meditation upon Him.
- Righteous men have a spirit without offence, even in the face of enemy examination (Dan 6:1-5).
- A righteous man considers the poor (Ps 37:21,26; Pr 21:26; 29:7), rejects the wicked (Pr 25:26), sees the future (Pr 21:12), studies to answer (Pr 15:28), hates lying (Pr 13:5), is merciful (Pr 12:10), has right thoughts (Pr 12:5), has right speech (Ps 37:30; Pr 10:32), feeds others (Pr 10:11,21), and delights in all the commandments of God (Ps 112:1).
- Jesus taught the character of the righteous in the Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5-7). Do you know it?
- A righteous man will examine all ten areas of his life and put the priority where God puts it. If you do not know the priorities of a man’s life, here are the ten areas of his life in order of importance:
- Spiritual duties.
- Marital duties.
- Parental duties.
- Church duties.
- Family duties.
- Professional duties.
- Financial duties.
- Social duties.
- Personal duties.
- National duties.
- The reason we study Proverbs every day is to learn exactly what righteousness means in our lives.
The Challenge of a Righteous Life
- Consider God’s challenge to Abraham, “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Gen 17:1).
- Hypocrisy, the appearance and pretense of righteousness, is totally wrong, hated by God, and not under consideration in this study at all (Job 20:5; Revelation 3:15-16).
- Self-righteousness, the arrogant presumption of righteousness, is totally wrong, hated by God, and not under consideration in this study at all (Matthew 23:28; Luke 5:32; 18:9).
- True righteousness continues obeying without presuming on past righteousness (Ezek 33:12-13).
- Fathers especially should consider this sermon (and its detailed outline) for its consequences on their family.
- With a new year before you, it is time to examine your life and commit yourself to living a righteous life.
- It is my job to warn the righteous that he not turn from his righteousness (Ezekiel 3:20-21; Matthew 5:19-20).
- Let us pray for the Lord to restore a right spirit in us for any degree of sin we have allowed (Psalm 51:10).
- We have a great cloud of witnesses in the ancient and recent past before whom to be righteous (Heb 12:1-4).
For Further Study:
- Sermon Outline: “Playing with Sin,” details the nature and consequences of living a life of partial righteousness.
- Sermon Outline: “Perfecting Holiness,” details seven promises of God to be obtained by fearing and obeying God.
- Sermon Outline: “True Success,” is an exposition of I Timothy 6:6 for the benefits of godliness and contentment.
- Sermon Outline:“Pleasures of Sin,” admits the pleasures of sin but points out their terrible consequences.