What is Righteousness?

It is a thing very difficult to define if before us as an abstract quality. Take it up, however, in a concrete shape, and an answer is easier. A righteous man is one who is RIGHT in all his relations with God, and consequently with his fellow-men also. It may be asked, “What about the expression ‘the righteousness of God’” found in the epistle to the Romans? It stands in sharpest contrast to man’s sin. It would seem indeed that if sin had not invaded creation God’s righteousness would hardly have been drawn out into display, it would have remained latent in Himself. Holiness on God’s part is absolute. It is His nature; what He is irrespective of all creation outside Himself. Righteousness on His part is relative; it is the quality stamped on all His activities, what He is in every dealing and relation with others. Sin is the infringement of rights, His own rights. Righteousness is the maintenance of rights, His own and all others.

F.B. Hole

S.T. 1919