Seeking God’s Righteousness

How, then, can we seek the righteousness of God? What practical steps do we take? From the Gospel of Matthew, we see that those who desire to “fulfill all righteousness” will identify with sinners, as Jesus did at His baptism (3:15). With repentant hearts they too will receive baptism (28:19). They will put their trust for salvation in Christ alone, who came to “give His life a ransom for many” (20:28). Having been baptized, they will do their best to “observe all things that [He] has commanded” them to do (28:20). First, however, they will try to understand His will by listening to His words (7:24; 28:20). In imitation of Jesus Himself, they will study the Old Testament, that they may use its words to resist the temptations of Satan (4:4, 7, 10). Like the early disciples, they will attend to the teachings of Christ (5:2 ff.), and as did the believers after Pentecost, they will devote themselves to the instructions of the chosen Apostles (28:20; Acts 2:42). But they will not be hearers of the Word only, but also doers, knowing that only those who hear and do are building upon a solid foundation (7:24-25). They will forsake all to follow Christ (4:19-23; 9:9). In their fight against indwelling sin, they will spare no pain to gain the victory (5:29-30). Like their Lord, they will pray, “Your will be done,” even if the answer to that prayer leads to Golgotha (6:10; 26:39, 42). Knowing that they cannot follow Jesus alone, and that they have been called into a worldwide fellowship of disciples, they will join others in remembering the death of Christ (26:26-28). When they are rebuked by other believers for doing wrong, they will listen and change (18:15-17). And at the end of the day, aware that they have failed to follow Christ as they should, they will pray, “Forgive us our debts [trespasses]” (6:12, 15). While others are panting after possessions, prestige, position, and pleasure, they will be consumed by one pure and holy passion: to know and follow after Jesus Christ their Lord.