Righteousness Exalts

27 June 2021 PM – Proverbs 14:34 – Sin – Scott Childs
Introduction: When a person dives into a pool, he jumps off the high diving board and plunges deep into the water below. In a similar way, in the last several years, we have seen our nation and our world take a dive into sin in a significant way. Our text this evening tells us what to expect when this happens. (Proverbs 14:34) “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
Transition: As we look at this verse, we learn that righteousness exalts and that sin reproaches and then we will consider what we can do.
1.        Righteousness Exalts
a.         What is righteousness?
1)         It is doing right.
2)         It is not whatever you think – that is relative and changing
3)         Governental laws are not always righteous.
b.         Righteousness is an absolute.
1)         It is that which is perfectly straight. Thus, it is that which is just or right in God’s eyes. Because God is the absolute sovereign of all things and the creator of all, He is the straight rule by which we must measure righteousness. He set the standard for righteous in His Word.
2)         We see this first in Gen 2:16-17. Amos said God’s word is His plumbline to evaluate the straightness of our lives (Amos 7:7-8). [Describe a plumbline].
3)         Frequently, God couples righteousness with judgment (i.e., right decisions) (Pr 21:3; Ps 33:5). David walked before the Lord in truth and in righteousness (1Ki 3:6). The Lord loves those who follow righteousness (Pr 15:9).
4)         Though God’s straight righteousness is the rule that we must seek to follow, no human can be flawlessly righteous (Ecc 7:20). For a human to be truly righteous, God must impute His righteous on him (Ge 15:6; Ro 4:4-5).
  • The standard for all right living comes from God! People change – God never changes!
c.          National righteousness always begins on a personal level.
1)         Every nation is made up of people. A nation will only be as righteous as its leaders. A home will only be as righteous as the parents. Your life will only be as righteous as your heart. Righteousness must be personal!
2)         As we have noted, righteousness must be imputed (Mt 5:20). Christ must declare you righteous through salvation (Php 3:9; Ro 10:4). Only the blood of Christ can enable God to declare a person righteous.
3)         God enables and expects Christians to live righteous lives (1Pe 2:24; 2Ti 2:22).
4)         The scriptures instruct Christians in righteousness (2Ti 3:16).
5)         God ordained chastening to cultivate righteousness (He 12:11).
6)         God also provided confession to enable us to maintain righteousness (1Jn 1:9).
d.         National righteousness always exalts a nation.
1)         Our nation will not be blessed because of our military might or our strong economy. God will bless Australia as the nation remains righteous in his sight.
2)         God can bless our nation as long as she upholds biblical morality, biblical gender distinction, the sanctity of life, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech (Ps 144:15).
2.        Sin Reproaches
a.         Sin is the opposite of righteousness.
1)         While righteousness is straight, sin is crooked, twisted, bent, or bowing. Sin misses God’s righteous mark just as an arrow misses its target. Sin is an offense to God. Sin is anything that does not measure up to God’s straight standard.
2)         God is the absolute standard. Like righteousness, sin is an absolute term not a relative term. It has nothing to do with the opinion of the doer. Anything less than straight is crooked.
3)         Sin begins in the heart before the action is committed (Mt 15:19).
b.         National sin always begins on a personal level.
1)         As individuals excuse sin, they become more sinful. As parents excuse sin, their families become more sinful. As families become more sinful, their communities become more sinful.
  • Has some sin crept into your life that is keeping you from being as righteous as God wants you to be?
2)         When sinful people lead a nation, the nation will become sinful and the righteous will mourn (Pr 29:2).
3)         As the devil is using the television and media to corrupt the thinking and morals of individuals, those individuals will elect leaders who have corrupt thinking and corrupt morals. As leaders turn their backs on God and biblical righteousness, the nation naturally becomes more sinful.
4)         We may find some of the clearest examples of this truth in the Book of Judges. God blessed Israel when they did right and chastened them when they did wrong.
5)         One of the shortest verses in the Bible give us a memorial of this (Luke 17:32) “Remember Lot’s wife.“. He was right who said, “Israel is the pillar of salt to the nations, crying to all people, ‘Remember!’”
6)         As our nation turns from God’s straight righteous standard and justifies sins of abortion, homosexuality, and criminalises those who speak out against these sins, sin will reign.
c.          National sin always brings reproach or shame.
1)         Israel was once a righteous nation, but today she has rejected God.
2)         Britain once was a righteous nation, but today it is a reproach to God. American began as a righteous nation, but today it is a reproach to God.
3)         Australia once had righteous principles, but today it is become a reproach to God.
3.        What can we do?
a.         We can receive God’s righteousness through salvation.
1)         Yes, the most important thing anyone can do is to receive God’s righteousness by faith. (Romans 4:5) “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
2)         We cannot hope to live righteous lives without the righteousness of Christ in us.
b.         We can then seek to live as becometh saints.
1)         Seek to live by God’s straight righteous standard.
2)         Sin and righteousness are opposites. We must flee one to pursue the other. (2 Timothy 2:22) “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
3)         Living a righteous life demands that we separate from all that is not straight. Though we still live in this world, we are not to live like this world.
  • What activities in your life do you need to change or eliminate in order for you to live by God’s righteous standard?
4)         There is a fine line between living like a Pharisee, thinking we are better than others, and living like a holy saint who separates from all evil in order to glorify God. May we seek to do the latter!
c.          We must pray for our nation and its leaders.
1)         If we are truly right with God, we can pray.
2)         As we pray, God may have mercy on our nation and our world. We must pray for our leaders. Pray that God will give courage to those who want to do right, that they might speak out and vote right.
Conclusion: While the truths we have examined this evening apply on a national level, they also apply to us individually. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We must not be a weak link in our home, our work place, our church or our community.
            Not only will righteousness exalt our nation, it will also exalt our personal lives, our families and our testimonies at work and in the community. Seek to live righteous lives!
Song: Nothing Between – 321