How Do I Know Who is Righteous and Who is Not?

Autumn/Winter 2017-18 Issue

Is Christianity a “white religion?”  In this issue, read topics about race and racism in the Bible, discover how to study the Bible effectively, and learn if you are a Christian racist.  Also, find out why it’s not that great to be a Barnabas, learn how the prosperity gospel hurts Christians, and why is it important for women to be shamefaced?  Plus, check out an article by contributing writer, Pat Jeanne Davis.

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How Do I Know Who is Righteous and Who is Not?

Estimated Reading Time: 12 minutes

And he believed in the Lord ; and he counted it to him for righteousness. ~Genesis 15:6 KJV

If we stop at this scripture, we might be tempted to think that we can simply say, like many do, that we believe in Jesus.

Like my dope-smoking, alcoholic family member used to say, “I’ve read the whole bible. It’s summed up in one word— love.”

However, are all people who say they believe in Jesus, true believers?

Let’s examine these scriptures:

Being Observant by Doing All the Commandments, is Righteousness

And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He hath commanded us. ~Deuteronomy 6:25 KJV

Repentance to Cleanness, is Righteousness

Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in His eye sight. ~2 Samuel 22:25 KJV

Wickedness is the Opposite of Righteousness, Therefore, Not sinning is righteousness

Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. ~Psalm 45:7 KJV

All the Commandments are Righteousness, therefore, speaking God’s word is righteousness

My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. ~Psalm 119:172 KJV

Speaking Truth Shows Righteousness. Partial truths, lies, or living a lie is wicked

He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. ~Proverbs 12:17 KJV

Jesus is Our Righteousness

[5] “Behold, the days come,” saith the Lord, “that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. [6] In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE Lord OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” ~Jeremiah 23:5-6 KJV

Yielding Your Obedience to God Brings Us to Righteousness

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? ~Romans 6:16 KJV

You Become a Servant of Righteousness Who Yields to Holiness

[18] Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. [19] I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. [20] For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. ~Romans 6:18-20 KJV

Walking in the Spirit of God Fulfills in Us the Righteousness of the Law

[3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [4] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. ~Romans 8:3-4 KJV

God’s Word Must Be Accepted in Your Heart for You to Have Righteousness

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. ~Romans 10:10 KJV

The Word of God is Righteousness

Ever notice how some people know the Word and can navigate it well because they study diligently, but others give you their own summed up quotes and cut off scriptures repeatedly?

For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. ~Hebrews 5:13 KJV

Believing and confessing the Word of God is righteousness.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” ~ ‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭KJV‬‬

We Reject Ungodliness and WORLDLY Lusts in Our Lives, which is Contrary to Righteousness

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; ~Titus 2:12 KJV

Doing Justice and Right Judgment is Righteous

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord , that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. ~Jeremiah 23:5 KJV

God judges among His people telling them to “defend the the poor and orphans” and “do justice to the afflicted and needy.” He is angry with them for judging unjustly and accepting and defending the wicked people who oppress them.

[1] God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; He judgeth among the gods. [2] How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. [3] Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. [4] Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. [5] They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. [6] I have said, ‘Ye are gods’; and all of you are children of the most High. [7] But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. ~Psalm 82:1-7 KJV

The whole chapter of Isaiah 58 is about how God’s people seek Him daily and ask about His justice. However, He will not hear them because they oppress, but can’t see it. So, God calls the righteous — through Isaiah— to “cry out and spare not” and tell them about their sins of oppressing others and calling to be served.

The whole chapter of Ezekiel 18 tells the difference between the righteous and the wicked by pointing out oppressions and perverting of judgment.

[7] And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment; [8] He that hath not given forth upon usury[not charged interest], neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, [9] Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God. ~Ezekiel 18:7-9 KJV

Isaiah 61 has the same scripture that Jesus quoted in the temple after his forty day fast. We see that Jesus came to heal, comfort, and give to the people— while rebuking the hypocrites. The entire passage is about justice and judgment by the righteous.

[1] The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; [2] To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord , and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; [3] To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified. [4] And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. ~Isaiah 61:1-4 KJV

Are ‘Good Works’ Righteousness?

Now we know that our good works activate faith and faith is believing. However, our righteousness is Christ, not our good works— though they be imperative. Our good works are a precursor to obtaining righteousness and a result showing forth our salvation.

Wear Your Righteousness

We wear our righteousness that comes from Jesus Christ by believing His Word and that belief always has evidence.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; ~Ephesians 6:14 KJV

[10] I will greatly rejoice in the Lord , my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. ~Isaiah 61:10 KJV

Wearing righteousness shows forth holiness. No one will see the Lord without seeing holiness.

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: ~Hebrews 12:14 KJV

A Little Dope, A Little Shot of Whiskey

Now that family member that I mentioned at the beginning surely thought that he was righteous in loving everyone as he smoked his dope and drank his drink, but he missed this very important detail: Walking in the Holy Spirit and not in the lusts of the flesh. The only way to know how to do that, is to continue in Christ. Our actions produce the result of our beliefs, which become the evidence of our righteousness or unrighteousness.

Righteousness is Measured

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could just declare that they believe with only a little evidence? People do it all the time. They humbly thank God because they are making millions while embracing worldly lusts. So — no, it does not work that way.

God has a standard and He wants us to step up to it. You see, many people might have a measure of righteousness, but will it be enough to enter the kingdom of heaven? Here’s Jesus’ answer:

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. ~Matthew 5:20 KJV

Quite often, the scribes and Pharisees were hypocrites who spoke of the law and ordinances, but did not obey them, or they obeyed, but they did it pridefully with pomp and favoritism. They were hypocrites. Moreover, Jesus also gave examples about small sins that could cause you to face judgment that reflect this message in Matthew chapter 5.

Does Your Righteousness Exceed Hypocrisy?

Is your house— your temple for the Holy Spirit— built upon the foundation of the doctrine, which is Christ? And does your righteousness exceed past hypocrisy?

God is righteous because He does the right thing all the time. This is what He gives to us through Christ’s baptism. Jesus lives inside of us to help us with righteousness; to do the right thing all the time.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’ ~Romans 1:17 KJV

Therefore, you will know who is righteous by all these things:

  • Faith in Jesus
  • Being disciplined by being observant to obey all His commandments and believing them
  • Being a saint; being repentant and not sinning
  • Being a servant of righteousness who no longer is a servant of sin, but who yields to holiness
  • Rejecting ungodliness and worldliness, choosing instead sobriety, godliness, and righteousness
  • Confessing His scriptures in context
  • Believing His Word and Doctrine without hypocrisy
  • Living in truth, not living a lie
  • Walking in the Holy Spirit and not in the lusts of the flesh
  • Those who relieve the oppressed, set the captives free, do justice, love mercy, and do not pervert judgment by accepting the wicked who oppress.

You will know who is unrighteous by these things:

  • Doubts Jesus, doubts God; not believing in His plan to perfect us through Christ’s Spirit and walking in it
  • Being lazy, undisciplined, and disobedient to the commandments
  • Being a sinner, backsliding, being unrepentant by not turning from your sin; being a servant of sin yielding to sin
  • Not knowing the scriptures or confessing them
  • Confessing Christ with your mouth, tattoos, cross necklaces, etc, but being a hypocrite by your sinful, self-glorifying acts, which is also confessing with the mouth, but not believing in your heart
  • Teaching the Word of God in truth, but not adhering to your own teachings
  • Not believing the Word and doctrine containing ordinances the Apostle Paul brought, which is Christ
  • Embracing and choosing ungodliness, the lusts of the flesh, and worldliness
  • Those who pervert justice and judgment, rob and oppress the afflicted and needy of their needs or right judgment, and accept the wicked who oppress.  God calls these abominations.

Exceptions to the Rule

God is merciful and he knows what opportunities a person has been given in order to repent. He will measure the teacher against a higher standard than the person who never got the gospel. He will judge righteously. Certain acts, like charity, also cover a multitude of sins.

However, two things to note:

1.) a person who learns the truth is accountable for it and

2.) a person who doesn’t take the Holy Spirit seriously cannot be forgiven.

Cite this article: Please update the Accessed or Retrieved date (September 13, 2015).
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“How Do I Know Who is Righteous and Who is Not?” A Woman {Saved} Mag. Ed. Bobbie Chariot. Savior Sanity LLC., 1 August. 2017. Web. 13 Sept. 2015. <>.
“How Do I Know Who is Righteous and Who is Not?.” A Woman {Saved} Mag. August 1, 2017. Accessed September 13, 2015.
Chariot, B. (Ed.). (2017, August 1). How Do I Know Who is Righteous and Who is Not?. Retrieved September 13, 2015, from

Thank you for reading!

Bobbie Chariot

Bio: Founding Editor

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