|Paths of Righteousness|
|Biblical Illustrator Psalm 23:3 “He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
“I. WHAT THE PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE. A path is nothing else but an open and beaten way or tract to walk in. There are two sorts of paths wherein men may be said to walk. Some are called erroneous and false ways; the Scriptures sometimes call these crooked paths, because they do not lead us directly to heaven, but wind off. Sometimes our own paths, because they are not ways of God’s institution, but of our own invention. Sometimes paths not cast up (Jeremiah 18:15), in opposition to ancient and established and perused ways prescribed by God, and insisted in by the old faithful servants of God. These paths are those of infidelity and impenitency and impiety. In this place they are called paths of righteousness, which again are two-fold, either —
1. Doctrinal, in which respect the precepts of God are called the paths of righteousness, a rule to a man in his journey, and that, if which he will still follow, will assuredly bring him to his journey’s end; so the precepts of God are the rules of our lives, according to which, if we do square them, everlasting life would be the end of that journey.
2. Or practical, and this path of the righteous is that which the Scripture calls the path of the just, or the way of good men (Isaiah 26:7), and the paths of uprightness (Proverbs 2:13). And they are called paths in the plural number, not for diversity, but for number, and some of them respect —
(2) Man. (O. Sedgwick, B. D.)”
Life does tend to get in the way of allowing things to go smooth sailing all the way; so rather than a straight forward path to victory and peace, our journeys often take many twists and turns! For some very harsh, painful and sad turns that do shape character and test the soul, but leave an indelible melancholy reminder of all we’ve been through. But when it’s all said and done, there is only one answer and salvation for any of our trials and tribulations to amount to anything of permanence that will really matter; will we hear at the journey’s end this Holy Scripture!
Matthew 25:23 “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Can you judge from afar who the “righteous” are so well, even on the internet, and with such high accuracy and lack of actually knowing all those strangers!
It’s very foolish to hand out that high mark classification so easily amongst severely defective and imperfect human beings without amble qualification.
Romans 3:23 “for fall have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Romans 1:17 “For the justice of God is revealed in it from faith to faith, according to that which is written: “The just one shall live by faith.”
Ephesians 2:8–9 “8For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not by works, so that no one can boast.”
“There is none who does good is a universal indictment of mankind. No one lives up to God’s standard of righteousness; everyone lives in a state of depravity.”
Romans 3:10-12 As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
Psalm 14:1-7 “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt; their acts are vile. There is no one who does good. 2The LORD looks down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if any understand, if any seek God. 3All have turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. 4Will the workers of iniquity never learn? They devour my people like bread; they refuse to call upon the LORD. 5There they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is in the company of the righteous. 6You sinners frustrate the plans of the oppressed, yet the LORD is their shelter. 7Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come from Zion! When the LORD restores His captive people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad!”
Romans 5:19 “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”
“Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Let God be true though everyone were a liar, as it is written,”
“That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”
5 “But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7 But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.”
No One Is Righteous
9 “What then? Are we Jews[a] any better off?[b] No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;”
11 “no one understands; no one seeks for God.”
12 “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;”
16 “in their paths are ruin and misery,”
17 “and the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19 “Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being[c] will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.”
The Righteousness of God Through Faith
21 “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom 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. 26 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.”
27 “Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.”
Some wonderful quotations of truth, wisdom and inspiration written by former Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.
If you do not worship God, you worship something, and nine times out of ten it will be yourself. You have a duty to worship God, not because He will be imperfect and unhappy if you do not, but because you will be imperfect and unhappy.
The humble, simple souls, who are little enough to see the bigness of God in the littleness of a Babe, are therefore the only ones who will ever understand the reason of His visitation. He came to this poor earth of ours to carry on an exchange; to say to us, as only the Good God could say: ‘you give me your humanity, and I will give you my Divinity; you give me your time, and I will give you My eternity; you give me your broken heart, and I will give you Love; you give me your nothingness, and I will give you My all.
Very few people believe in the devil these days, which suits the devil very well. He is always helping to circulate the news of his own death. The essence of God is existence, and He defines Himself as: ‘I am Who am.’ The essence of the devil is the lie, and he defines himself as: ‘I am who am not.’ Satan has very little trouble with those who do not believe in him; they are already on his side.
The fact the enemies of God must face is that modern civilization has conquered the world, but in doing so has lost its soul. And in losing its soul it will lose the very world it gained. Even our own so-called Liberal culture in these United States which has tried to avoid complete secularization by leaving little zones of individual freedom is in danger of forgetting that these zones were preserved only because religion was in their soul. And as religion fades so will freedom, for only where the spirit of God is, is there liberty.
The world is rapidly being divided into two camps, the comradeship of anti-Christ and the brotherhood of Christ. The lines between these two are being drawn. How long the battle will be we know not whether swords will have to be unsheathed we know not whether blood will have to be shed we know not whether it will be an armed conflict we know not. But in a conflict between truth and darkness, truth cannot lose.
Pride is the king of vices…it is the first of the pallbearers of the soul…other vices destroy only their opposite virtues, as wantonness destroys chastity; greed destroys temperance; anger destroys gentleness; but pride destroys all virtues.
There are three ways in which a man becomes a slave. He may be born into slavery, or forced into it, or he can deliberately accept his servitude. All three forms flourish in the modern world. Men are born and forced into slavery in Russia and her satellites states. Men in the free world invite slavery when they ask the government to provide complete security, when they surrender their freedom to the “Welfare State.”
Perhaps some of us are going to live saintly lives of humility and servitude following God’s instruction through His Holy Spirit, making a difference in God’s glorious plan which is all about absolute unconditional love which is pure as the driven snow! Amen.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Brother in Christ Jesus,
Lawrence Morra III
An extra tidbit to illustrate how the journey is usually a winding road.
We know the adage “all roads lead to Rome,” but in this reality the only road or path that ultimately matters is the one that leads to the “Sacred Heart of Jesus!”