January 29 - A Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
The word justification is a rather tiresome theological term whose true meaning is often obscured. We will first look at the word, then I will try to explain its meaning. The central theme of Romans is righteousness. Many centuries before, Job had asked the question, “How then can man be righteous before God?” (Job 25:4). The book of Romans presents God’s answer. If we are interested in righteousness, we will be interested in Romans. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). We can hunger and thirst for healing or prosperity without being blessed. But when we become hungry and thirsty for righteousness, then we will be blessed.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (Romans 5:9)
Notice that we have been justified by His blood. In both the Hebrew and Greek languages, there is one word that is translated as either “just” or “righteous.” In Hebrew, the word is tsadaq, and in Greek, it is dikaioo. But no matter how it is translated, it is the same word. In English, we tend to refer to just in terms of legality and law, but righteousness in terms of character and conduct. There is no such division in the languages of the Bible. “Having been justified by His blood” means the same thing as “having been made righteous by His blood.”