Growing in Righteousness

Steve Viars August 3, 2002

- in the book we've been using as the basis for this study, Warren Wiersbe makes the important point that the Proverbs shouldn't be viewed simply as a series of success formulas.
- in other words, "follow these principles and you'll be successful."
- the problem with that thinking is, some people are successful in the eyes of the world but very ungodly.
- also, some people are growing in godliness but very unsuccessful in the eyes of the world.
- these principles are only going to work for the person who is seeking more than worldly success or ease---its for the person who is cultivating a heart's desire to truly honor God.

Warren Wiersbe - The Hebrew words in Proverbs that are translated “righteous,” “righteousness,” “upright,” and “uprightness” describe ethical conduct that conforms to God’s standards and moral character that comes from a right relationship to the Lord and His Word. True righteousness isn’t just toeing the line and obeying the rules. As Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount, it is possible for us to obey the law outwardly while cultivating sin inwardly. It isn’t enough for us not to kill or not to commit adultery; we must also not harbor hatred and lust in our hearts (Matt. 5:21–48).

- Wiersbe's outline for this chapter is:
I.  The God of Righteousness
II.  The Path of Righteousness
III.  The Influence of Righteousness

 

I.  The God of Righteousness

INPUT - Why is it difficult to function around people who take the position…"Do as I say and not as I do". 

- thankfully of course, our God is not like that.

A.  Our God is a righteous God.

- Deuteronomy 32:4 - The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.

- Psalm 11:7 - For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face.

- INPUT - How do verses like this impact your heart?

B.  God's Word is righteous.

- Proverbs 8:6-9 - Listen, for I will speak noble things; And the opening of my lips will reveal right things… All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing crooked or perverted in them. They are all straightforward to him who understands, And right to those who find knowledge.

- Psalm 119:138 - You have commanded your testimonies in righteousness and exceeding faithfulness.

INPUT - What verse/principle of the Scripture comes to mind when you think of God's Word being righteous?

C.  God's acts are righteous

- Jeremiah 9:24 - but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

- Daniel 9:14 - Therefore the Lord has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the Lord our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.

INPUT - Name an event in Scripture where God's actions reveal His righteousness.


D.  God wants His people to be righteous.

- Matthew 5:48 - Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

- Ecclesiastes 7:20 - Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.

E.  God provides righteousness for those who will accept it.

- Proverbs 17:15 - He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.

- 1 Peter 3:18 - For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

II.  The Path of Righteousness

A.  God gives the righteous direction.

- Proverbs 11:5 - The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way, but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.

B.  God gives the righteous deliverance.

- Proverbs 11:6 - The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the treacherous will be caught by their own greed.

INPUT - What are some ways that the verses in these last two points are fulfilled?


C.  God gives the righteous provision.

- Proverbs 8:20-21 - I walk in the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice, to endow those who love me with wealth, that I may fill their treasuries.

INPUT - Is this health and wealth theology?  How is this different?


III.  The Influence of Righteousness

A.  They are blessed in their character.

- Proverbs 10:24 - What the wicked fears will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted.

- Proverbs 11:23 - The desire of the righteous is only good, but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

B.  They are blessed in their home.

- Proverbs 3:33 - The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous.

C.  They are blessed as citizens and leaders.

- Proverbs 11:10-11 - When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting.
By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the
wicked it is torn down.

 

Adult Bible Fellowship
Growing in Righteousness
Proverbs Series #42


Introduction
Warren Wiersbe - The Hebrew words in Proverbs that are translated “righteous,” “righteousness,” “upright,” and “uprightness” describe ethical conduct that conforms to God’s standards and moral character that comes from a right relationship to the Lord and His Word. True righteousness isn’t just toeing the line and obeying the rules. As Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount, it is possible for us to obey the law outwardly while cultivating sin inwardly. It isn’t enough for us not to kill or not to commit adultery; we must also not harbor hatred and lust in our hearts (Matt. 5:21–48).
I.  The God of Righteousness
II.  The Path of Righteousness
III.  The Influence of Righteousness

I.  The God of Righteousness
INPUT - Why is it difficult to function around people who take the position…"Do as I say and not as I do".
A.  Our God is a _________________ God.
• Deuteronomy 32:4
• Psalm 11:7 - For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face.
INPUT - How do verses like this impact your heart?
B.  God's ___________ is righteous.
• Proverbs 8:6-9
• Psalm 119:138 - You have commanded your testimonies in righteousness and exceeding faithfulness.
INPUT - What verse/principle of the Scripture comes to mind when you think of God's Word being righteous?
C.  God's ___________ are righteous
• Jeremiah 9:24
• Daniel 9:14 - Therefore the Lord has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the Lord our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.
INPUT - Name an event in Scripture where God's actions reveal His righteousness.


D.  God wants His ______________ to be righteous.
• Matthew 5:48
• Ecclesiastes 7:20 - Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.
E.  God ________________ righteousness for those who will accept it.
• Proverbs 17:15
• 1 Peter 3:18 - For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
II.  The Path of Righteousness
A.  God gives the righteous __________________.
• Proverbs 11:5
B.  God gives the righteous __________________.
• Proverbs 11:6
INPUT - What are some ways that the verses in these last two points are fulfilled?
C.  God gives the righteous __________________.
• Proverbs 8:20-21
INPUT - Is this health and wealth theology?  How is this different?
III.  The Influence of Righteousness
A.  They are blessed in their _________________.
• Proverbs 10:24
• Proverbs 11:23 - The desire of the righteous is only good, but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
B.  They are blessed in their _____________.
• Proverbs 3:33
C.  They are blessed as _______________ and _______________.
• Proverbs 11:10-11

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video