Are Righteousness and Holiness the same thing?

The simple answer is no.  Yet I believe that many Christians confuse the two which creates so many problems with their life, faith and identity.  In order to understand what we are saying here, you must understand what righteousness and holiness are all about.  This sermon powerfully demonstrates the Biblical view of righteousness and it may just transform your life and faith.

What is Righteouseness?

Righteousness is whether or not we are right (or ok) with God.  The Bible is very clear that there is nothing that we can do to get right with God.  All of our efforts to correct our sins or pile up more good than bad can never make us right with God.  In fact even if we have sinned only once, we deserve the punishment for our sin.  So each of us unfortunately is not right with God because each of us has sinned.  The good news is that while righteousness is not something that we can earn it has been provided for by Jesus Christ and is given freely to those who choose to know and follow Him.  Once you surrender yourself to Jesus, your righteousness is secured and there is nothing you can do to improve on it and their is nothing that you need to do to ensure that it remains.  When it comes to righteousness it is either you have it or you don’t, there is nothing you can do to improve on it.

What is Holiness?

Holiness on the other hand deals with our purity.  It literally means to be set apart.  For the Christian this means that we separate ourselves from all worldliness and surrender ourselves (our will and desires) entirely to the Lord.  This is similar to a christian choosing to remain sexually pure before marriage.  We choose to not give ourselves sexually to anyone so that we can reserve our virginity for the one that we marry.  We set ourselves apart for that day.  Just like that holiness requires us to make moral choices that keep ourselves pure spiritually.  This is an ongoing process.  The goal is that over time we become increasingly morally pure and more like Jesus.  Holiness requires effort on our part and a partnership with the Holy Spirit so that eventually our life and faith match up with the righteousness that Jesus secured on our behalf.

Scripture References:

Romans 5:17 | 2 Corinthians 7:1 | Ephesians 2:8-9 | Romans 3:9-12 | John 3:16-18 | Hebrews 10:10 | Matthew 18:21-22 | Romans 6:1-19