Righteousness produces certain immediate and definite observable results. The whole of our lives, including our attitudes, our relationships, and the effectiveness of our acts of Christian service, will depend on how far we realize that we have been made righteous. We read in Proverbs 28:1, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion” (kjv). Few Christians today are bold. Most are timid, apologetic; they back down when confronted with evil. The root cause is a failure to realize that they are righteous in God’s sight—as righteous as Jesus Christ Himself. When we acknowledge and appreciate that fact, it makes us bold.
Let’s look at some other results of righteousness. Isaiah 32:17 says, “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever” (kjv). This passage speaks of three products of righteousness: peace, quietness, and assurance, which come when we realize that we have been made righteous with Jesus Christ’s righteousness. Romans 14:17 tells us, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (kjv). Peace, quietness, joy, and assurance are products of righteousness. If we do not receive righteousness by faith, we may struggle to achieve these results, but in vain. It is pathetic to see Christians trying to be joyful, have peace, relax, and have assurance—just because somebody told them they ought to. My experience is that when Christians really receive the assurance of the forgiveness of sin and of righteousness by faith, the results of righteousness follow automatically. The key is getting people to realize that they have been made righteous with the righteousness of Jesus Christ.