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.”
1. 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).
2. 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).
3. There is no man that does not sin; and there is no man inherently righteous (Romans 3:10; I John 1:8,10).
4. Elijah is given as an example of a righteous man, yet he is described as subject to our passions (Jas 5:16-18).
5. This sermon by its content and nature applies most directly to the men, but it is also true for the women also.
6. As we have entered upon a new year, this provides a wonderful opportunity for us to soberly assess our lives.
7. 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).
8. I speak only to those who believe the Bible is true, for those who reject it are without reason or hope in life.
9. 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
A. God will fulfill His promises to the righteous (Gen 18:19; I Samuel 2:30-31; II Chronicles 6:23).
B. 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).
C. God will surely answer the prayers of the righteous (Psalm 34:17; Pr 15:8,29; Jas 5:16; I Pet 3:12).
D. God will honor his prayers for others (Gen 18:23-32; Job 42:7-9; Ps 106:23; Jer 15:1; Ezek 14:14).
E. God will bless him with exceptional abilities and events (Gen 5:24; Psalm 18:29; Daniel 11:32).
F. God will bless him at death in many ways (Numbers 23:10; Proverbs 14:32; Isaiah 57:1-2).
G. 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).
H. God will be merciful to him for his sins (I Kings 15:3-5; Job 42:10-17; Psalm 18:25; James 2:13).
I. God will postpone judgment for a righteous man (I Kgs 21:29; II Kgs 20:16-19; II Chr 34:23-28).
J. 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).
K. 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).
L. 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).
M. God will bless it to help silence your enemies (Psalm 112:10; 127:5; Proverbs 14:19; 16:7; 27:11).
N. 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).
O. God will bless him with a superior life (Psalm 37:16,23; Proverbs 15:16; 16:8; I Timothy 6:6).
P. It is the proof of regeneration and salvation and justification (Acts 10:34-35; I John 2:29; 3:7).
Q. 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).
R. God will bless those who kindly treat a righteous man (Gen 30:27; 39:5; Matt 10:41; Acts 27:24).
S. God will punish those who unkindly treat a righteous man (Genesis 20:7; Psalm 34:21; 105:15; Proverbs 24:15-16; 28:10).
T. It is a certain way to please and honor parents (Proverbs 10:1; 15:20; 23:15-16,24-25; 27:11; 29:3).
U. 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).
V. It will bring treasure into a man’s life (Psalm 112:1-3; Proverbs 10:3; 11:31; 13:21; 15:6; 28:10).
W. It leads to an excellent life (Psalm 34:11-14; 92:10-13; Proverbs 10:24,28; 11:8,23,28; 12:26).
X. 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).
Y. Other men will appreciate the correction of the righteous man (Psalm 141:5; Prov 25:12; 27:5-6).
Z. God will protect the righteous man from trouble (Ps 34:19; 37:25,39; 52:6; 125:3; Proverbs 2:7).
AA. God will make a difference with him and others (Psalm 37:17; 49:14; 58:10-11; Malachi 3:16-18).
BB. God will chasten the righteous man in love (Psalm 7:11; 11:5; Proverbs 3:11-12; Heb 12:5-10).
CC. God will bless the righteous man with peace (Psalm 37:37; Proverbs 3:2,17).
DD. 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).
EE. A righteous man condemns the wicked by his virtuous life (Proverbs 28:4; Ephesians 5:11-13).
FF. God will surely reward him with eternal life (Matthew 7:21; 13:43; 25:46; II Timothy 4:6-8).
GG. Jesus Christ will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:14-30).
The Examples of a Righteous Life
A. God listed five special men, and the Hall of Faith has more (Jer 15:1; Ezekiel 14:14; Heb 11:1-40).
1. Noah saved his wife, sons, and their wives by his righteousness (Gen 6:8-10; 7:1; Heb 11:7).
2. Job was a perfect man, who made faithful intercessory prayer for his children (Job 1:1-5).
3. Moses stood in the gap before God and interceded for Israel on many occasions (Ps 106:23).
4. Samuel pled the case for Israel when they were frightened by Philistines (I Sam 7:1-17; 12:23).
5. Daniel confessed the sins of his people and received instruction (Daniel 1:21; 6:28; 9:20-23).
B. Enoch walked with God and pleased Him, so He took him to heaven (Genesis 5:22-24; Heb 11:5).
C. Abraham is father of the faithful and friend of God with a powerful life (Gal 3:7,9; James 2:23).
D. Lot, in distinct contrast to his uncle, had a miserable life in all respects (Gen 19:1-38; II Pet 2:7-9).
E. Joseph, though mistreated by family, master, and friend, lived a powerful life by righteousness.
F. David is the man after God’s own heart and the namesake of the Lord Christ with a powerful life.
G. Jehu, though weakly righteous, was blessed to the fourth generation for zeal (II Kings 10:29-31).
H. Zacharias and Elizabeth were parents to the greatest man born naturally of women (Luke 1:6).
I. Paul turned the pagan world upside down, was beloved by many saints, and God’s greatest!
The Character of a Righteous Life
A. A righteous man is one who keeps the commandments of God out of love to Him and His saints.
B. 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).
C. There is comfort in Elijah, who was righteous though subject to similar passions (James 5:16-18).
D. 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.
E. Righteous men walk with God, which requires daily reading, prayer, and meditation upon Him.
F. Righteous men have a spirit without offence, even in the face of enemy examination (Dan 6:1-5).
G. 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).
H. Jesus taught the character of the righteous in the Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5-7). Do you know it?
I. 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:
1. Spiritual duties.
2. Marital duties.
3. Parental duties.
4. Church duties.
5. Family duties.
6. Professional duties.
7. Financial duties.
8. Social duties.
9. Personal duties.
10. National duties.
J. The reason we study Proverbs every day is to learn exactly what righteousness means in our lives.
The Challenge of a Righteous Life
A. 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).
B. 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).
C. 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).
D. True righteousness continues obeying without presuming on past righteousness (Ezek 33:12-13).
1. Fathers especially should consider this sermon (and its detailed outline) for its consequences on their family.
2. With a new year before you, it is time to examine your life and commit yourself to living a righteous life.
3. It is my job to warn the righteous that he not turn from his righteousness (Ezekiel 3:20-21; Matthew 5:19-20).
4. Let us pray for the Lord to restore a right spirit in us for any degree of sin we have allowed (Psalm 51:10).
5. We have a great cloud of witnesses in the ancient and recent past before whom to be righteous (Heb 12:1-4).