“The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.”
Genesis 7:1 NIV (New International Version)
Is it possible for a person to be righteous before God? There are some belief systems that say it is possible. The way to righteousness, according to these systems, is to follow all the rules and works that a religion requires. However, what happens when you fail to follow one rule or do an act of bad behavior, do you lose your righteousness? Such systems, I believe, our false in their theology and to follow such systems would only cause great fear and frustration; for who can follow any rule that was ever written. As for me, I follow rules but I also break them (not on purpose), but I do not stress over them. Let me tell you why.
I want to make it clear that it is impossible for any man to become righteous in the eyes of God, no matter how many good things they have done. What prevents a man from being right before the Lord? Inside the DNA of every person is something called sin. It is like an uncleanable stain that makes your and my attempts at being righteous fall short of God’s standard. If you were to compare the righteousness of God to your own, it would be like putting the Sun next to a dead light bulb; which one is you do you think?
Since it is impossible for man to be righteous with God, how is it that when you read the Bible it shows God doing good things for people? The Lord knows man’s limits, but He decided to show grace and mercy to him and bestowed upon him His righteousness. Now this honor was given not because of a person’s certain talents, but out of how that person responds to the grace that he has been given. What is that response?
Let us look at the example of Noah. God found him to be righteous. Not because he was better than the rest of his generation, for he was just as much a sinner as all of them. It was because, when he received the Lord’s grace, Noah trusted the word of the Lord and obeyed His commands. It was Noah’s faith in God that made him righteous in God’s sight.
Therefore, let us not focus on rules and regulations because they will not make us righteous. Let us focus instead in trusting in the Lord’s word and obeying His will, for He showed us grace giving us the opportunity to trust in Him. Not because the obedience will make us righteous, but because our act of obedience will show our trust in the Lord. That is the key to all righteousness.