Warning Signs | Don't Reject Christ's Superiority, Day 2
Hebrews 1:8-9; Psalm 89:9-14; Romans 1:18-21
God always acts rightly.
VERSE OF THE DAY:
And you have been filled in Him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:10
When was the last time you thought you were right and then found out you were wrong? How did you find out? How did you respond?
How would you describe the concept of right versus wrong to a child?
Through Jesus’ death, life and resurrection we have been credited God’s righteousness, which is the attribute of God by which He does what is right and in accordance with His character and law.
We are naturally unrighteous, but God provides us the means by which to live righteously, too.
Read Psalm 145:17
'The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. ' Psalm 145:14
What does this verse teach us about God’s character and actions?
How is God different from humans in this regard?
Every ounce of who God is and what He does is classified as righteous by nature. He cannot do anything unrighteous or wrong.
God relates to His creations through His righteousness which is displayed by His love and grace.
'The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. ' Psalm 145:17
God’s righteousness impacts everything. Some things to remember are:
1) God loves righteousness.
2) God’s rule is founded on His righteousness.
3) In His righteousness, God does nothing wrong.
Read Hebrews 1:8-9
'But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” ' Hebrews 1:8-9
' Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; ' Psalm 45:6-7
Only God’s messianic king can satisfy their meaning.
This tells us 3 facts about His superiority to angels:
Jesus is a ruler with a throne. Angels are not.
Jesus’ throne is eternal. God created Angels, therefore they are not eternal, for God created them at a point in time (Ps. 148:2, 5).
'Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts! Let them praise the name of the Lord ! For he commanded and they were created. ' Psalm 148:2,5
Jesus loves righteousness and is delighted for us to love his righteousness (Ps. 1:1–6; Matt. 5:6).
'Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord , and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.' Psalm 1:1-6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6
This text from Hebrews 1 is taken out of a longer passage describing Jesus and His superiority to the angels. What do you learn about Jesus in these two verses?
What is the opposite of righteousness (v. 9)? How does this help you better understand what righteousness is and why it is an important attribute of God?
Think about stories you know from the Gospels. What is one example of Jesus’ righteousness on display?
Jesus is God therefore everything He did during His earthly ministry was out of righteousness.
Jesus leaving the garden of Gethsemane for the cross (John 18)
Jesus’ interaction with the money changers in the temple (Mark 11:15-18)
Why is it important to you that God loves righteousness—that He always does the right and good thing?
How would your relationship with Him be different if you couldn’t trust in His righteousness?
Read Psalm 89:9-14
'You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them. You crushed Rahab like a carcass; you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm. The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them. The north and the south, you have created them; Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name. You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand, high your right hand. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. ' Psalm 89:9-14
What impression of God do you get from this text?
What evidence have you seen in your life or our world lately that God is still ruling righteously from His heavenly throne?
The Lord rules through His righteousness and justice.
Romans 8:28 tells us that God is working all things together for our good. We could not claim this to be true if He were not a righteous ruler.
Read Psalm 19:7-9 and Zephaniah 3:5
' The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. ' Psalm 19:7-9
'The Lord within her is righteous; he does no injustice; every morning he shows forth his justice; each dawn he does not fail; but the unjust knows no shame. ' Zephaniah 3:5
David, the psalmist, described God’s law as perfect, trustworthy, right, and radiant, among many other things. How does this help you further understand His righteousness?
According to Zephaniah 3:5 and Psalm 19:7-9, God does no wrong. In what situation do you need to claim this truth as reassurance this week?
In direct contrast to us, God does nothing wrong in His righteousness. This should be a comfort.
God’s goodness and love are bigger than all the hurt and suffering we face in life.
God’s righteousness is available to us, and He wants us to love His righteousness as much as He does.
Read Romans 1:18-21
'For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. ' Romans 1:18-21
Read 2 Corinthians 5:21
'For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.' 2 Corinthians 5:21
God has revealed His righteousness but also His wrath, even in the present.
Righteousness creates a need to reject sin, therefore wrath is God’s opposition to sin.
God’s wrath is directed toward godlessness and unrighteousness; an impious life that rejects God, or unjust human relationships.
Neglecting God makes it impossible to relate rightly with one another.
Although people may suppress or reject God’s truth to satisfy a desire or cultural whim, His truth cannot be changed.
God has given us the choice to know Him, therefore we have the opportunity to seek understanding from Him, therefore His wrath is always justified when we choose to reject Him.
Common argument: “People did not have the opportunity to know God and His standards.”
Because God created the universe, people have no excuse for rejecting that there is a Creator, therefore they should follow divine clues that drive them to learn more about the eternal God.
God’s fingerprints are all over the world and He is constantly revealing Himself and His divine power and nature.
Natural revelation is the revelation of God’s eternal power and divine nature in the world. It is seeing God’s fingerprints all over the world.
People who know God should glorify Him and show gratitude to Him. Once you embrace Him, you will naturally begin to glorify Him.
What picture does Romans 1:18-21 paint of you and me? How does this compare with the picture of God we’ve seen in today’s texts?
How does it make you feel to know you are the “righteousness of God”? What did you have to do to get this title?
How are we to live in response to Jesus’ work on our behalf?
Is there a sin in your life that causes you to question if God sees you as righteous? How can you incorporate the truth of this study into your life to help combat those feelings this week?
Is there anything you might be doing subconsciously as a way to earn righteousness? What do you need to do differently to approach that area of your life appropriately?
As you close in prayer, ask that the reality of God’s gift of salvation by grace through faith in Christ will reach the depths of praise and gratitude in our hearts. Thank Jesus for descending to the depths of our need and taking upon Himself the penalty and punishment for our sins. Pray that God will give us such understanding and humble appreciation for His gospel that we will be compelled to share it with others.