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The other week, I introduced you to my 12 Resolutions for Life. These are 12 goals or aims that I have for my life, and these are meant to be summaries of biblical principles. The idea is that, broadly speaking, if I were living in accordance with these resolutions then I would be living a godly life. While some of the specifics may vary depending on your gender or stage of life, it is my hope that these resolutions would be beneficial to you too, at the very least reminding you of the holiness that we seek under God’s grace.


So, now we start with our walkthrough of the resolutions with the foundational resolution:

  1. I resolve, so far as I am able, to live a righteous, God-fearing life in the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God through Jesus the Christ.

This is the resolution that contains all the other resolutions in summary. This is the overall vision for a good life, and that good life is a righteous life.



But what is a righteous life? Where is righteousness defined? This psalm tells us:

For the LORD is righteous;

he loves righteous deeds;

the upright shall behold his face.

Ps 11:7 ESV.

So the LORD, YHWY God of Hosts is righteousness personified. And he loves righteousness. To find out what is righteous we must look to Him and what He says.


The ancient Israelites entered into a covenant (basically a type of relational contract) with God that contained many rules or laws about moral, civil and religious life. This was the standard of righteousness. See here:

And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.’

Dt 6:24–25 ESV.

Do you see that? To paraphrase: “It will be righteousness for us to do what God commands.”

Righteousness is measured according to God’s command. And if God is righteousness, then it’s not much of a leap to see that what God commands comes from his very nature. To be righteous is to be like God, in as much as a human can ever be like God.

To be righteous is to measure up to God’s standards, standards that he has revealed so that we might know and follow God. And God loves it when we obey. He is pleased by righteous living and he will bless us when we live righteously!


To resolve to live a righteous life is so straightforward, and so self-evidently good that it is a wonder that righteous living is not the norm. It is such a rarity that we must assume that there is some impediment to achieving this.

I can tell you from first hand experience what that impediment is. It’s me. I’m unrighteous. And I can tell you now, simply resolving to be otherwise does not change the facts. Calling a leopard a tiger does not change his spots. Painting stipes on a leopard may fool some for some time, but the spots are still there.

You also are unrighteous. This is not a surprising fact; it is the “human condition”. None of us are perfect, and we are basically stuck in this imperfection. You and I don’t perfectly measure up to God’s standard, and if we can’t measure up, we can’t be righteous.

While we are imperfect, God is not. He is perfect in every way. He is the standard of everything that is good, including justice, goodness, beauty, love, glory, holiness, wisdom and much more.

If we are to be righteous, we need to deal with our unrighteousness. It stands in the way, so we need it to be undone and taken away. That is why this resolution is made “through Jesus Christ”, because it is only through him that one may ever hope to live a truly righteous life.


Through Jesus Christ

Your unrighteousness and mine can be taken away, and it’s place you can receive Jesus’ perfect righteousness! This is a gift from God to all who turn to Him in faith (Rom 3:22). God knows that we cannot make up for our failures, and he knows that our unrighteousness only leads to damnation. So, God set about to save people from their fate by graciously giving them the righteousness they haven’t earned.

To live the good life, the righteous life, we must put our faith, loyalty, trust and devotion on Jesus Christ, who…

…God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Ro 3:25–26.


So, not only do we receive the righteousness we lack when we put our faith in Jesus, we also see God’s own righteousness demonstrated. Because if he is just, he can’t let our unrighteousness go without dealing with it. It is as though we have a cosmic debt and someone needs to pick up the tab. God says, I will pick up the tab for you, but Jesus will step in to take your place. He’ll pay the tab with his own life.

So he died.

Although he was perfectly righteous in every way, the exemplary human, he suffered and died in place of us. It means justice is served (the debt is paid) and we can be put right with God (justified).


Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God

1 Pe 3:18.


Now, if we have put our trust in Jesus, and received his righteousness, it is actually possible for us to walk righteously before God. It is possible for us to live the good life because God has given us the righteousness we need to do so. Now we must walk in it, pursuing the perfect standard.



An aspect of the righteous life is is being God Fearing. That is, looking to God as the one in authority and who has power over us. We’re not “afraid,” living in perpetual terror of being destroyed, rather we’re giving healthy respect, and honour and deference to the judge of our souls. He is the one who has the right to do with us what he will, and we humbly seek his good pleasure to rest upon us by getting right through Jesus, honouring God and walking righteously before Him.

The philosopher of Ecclesiastes, after all his questioning and searching for the meaning of life lands right here:

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

Ec 12:13.


In the power of the Holy Spirit

Here’s the interesting thing: all of this is only possible if God’s Spirit is at work in us. It is actually God’s own power at work in people that can enable this good way of life.

As we already know, left to our own devices we end up unrighteous and in need of a Saviour. So we need an outside force to step in and empower the life worth living.

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.

Jn 6:63.


I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

Eze 36:27.


If we resolve to live the righteous life, we must seek the Holy Spirit as a natural consequence. It is not possible otherwise.

And the LORD gives his Spirit. He is not stingy! He will give to those who ask!

What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Lk 11:11–13.



For the Glory of God

Now, even though the righteous life is good, by it’s very nature, it is not lived for selfish gain. Yes, the righteous person will behold the face of God. They will be blessed. They will be rewarded. They will receive eternal life in the realms of endless day.


None of it is for our own glory. It’s not for our own devotion or focus. It’s not to make ourselves feel good, although that may be a by-product. Ultimately the good life is for God’s glory. He deserves it, and He will be glorified by the good life because that is the natural and purposeful outcome of our righteousness powered by the Spirit.

We resolve to live this way because God’s glory is the ultimate aim of all creation, and we each find our great purpose in life by magnifying that glory as much as possible.


The sun shall be no more

your light by day,

nor for brightness shall the moon

give you light;

but the LORD will be your everlasting light,

and your God will be your glory.

Is 60:19.


Blessed be his glorious name forever;

may the whole earth be filled with his glory!

Amen and Amen!

Ps 72:19.