Posts Tagged ‘righteousness’

Righteousness – Hebrew: tzadak


Tzadaq is the Hebrew word meaning ‘to be just in the sense of a legal term, to be loyal, honest, lawful’

Let my tongue sing of your promise, because all your mitzvot are righteous” (Psalm 119:172).

“Here is the history of Noach.  In his generation, Noach was a man righteous (lawfully lived by faith) …” (Genesis 6:9).

Vines, page 206 “One the one hand, the relationships among people and of a man to his God can be described as sadaq, supposing the parties are faithful to each other’s expectations.  It is a relational word.  …The word ‘righteousness‘ embodies all that God expects of His people.  One judges, deals, sacrifices, and speaks righteously; and one learns, teaches, and pursues after righteousness.”

Hebrew Word Pictures

Tzadik – ‘A Fishhook’ means ‘desire or pull toward’

Dalet – ‘A Door’ means ‘door or pathway’

Koof – ‘Back of Head’ means ‘what is behind, what is past’

tzadak – what is behind pulling toward the pathway


Greek: dikaiosune means whatever conforms to the revealed will of God, whatever has been appointed by God to be acknowledged and obeyed by man

“It will be righteousness (lawful) for us if we are careful to obey all these mitzvot before ADONAI our God, just as he ordered us to do” (Deuteronomy 6:25, CJB).

“If we are careful to obey all this law (Torah) before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness (sacrifice)(Deuteronomy 6:25, NIV).

““How blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness! for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

©2011 Tentstake Ministries

Psalm 119:137-144 (Tzadik)

Psalm 119 is about loving God’s Torah, His statutes, commands and precepts.  It is broken up into sections with strange looking words or letters which are the Hebrew alphabet.  In the Hebrew Scriptures, each line of each section starts with a word beginning with this letter.  This is called an acrostic poem.    Each Hebrew letter also has a  word picture associated with it giving greater meaning and symbolism to each line of the specific letter-ed section.

צ Tzadik – A Fish HookWord Picture - A Fishhook

To pull toward, something inescapable, desire (hooked on), trouble, harvest

Psalm 119:137-144

“You are righteous, Adonai; and your rulings are upright. You have commanded your instructions in righteousness and great faithfulness. My zeal is destroying me, because my foes have forgotten your words. Your word is refined to complete purity, and your servant loves it.  I may be small and despised, but I do not forget your precepts. Your righteousness is eternal righteousness, and your Torah is truth. Trouble and distress have overtaken me, but your mitzvot are my delight. Your instruction is righteous forever; give me understanding, and I will live.”

Most, if not all English translations like the Amplified, the King James and New International Version, use the word ‘law’ in verse 142.  However, if one uses a concordance to find the exact Hebrew word that King David used, it is torah.  King David knew and understood that torah was synonymous with the Word of God and there was no confusion between the two (‘law of sin and death’ and God’s teachings and instructions).   He speaks of the Word/Torah as being refined to complete purity.

In John 17:17, Yeshua says, “Sanctify them by your word, your word is truth.”  The Greek for ‘word’ in this verse is logos and means that which is spoken, commanded, taught, instructed. Yeshua is saying that those things which God has spoken, commanded, taught and instructed, is torah,  and torah sanctifys us.  The Hebrew word kadosh meaning ‘sanctify or holy’  is also used in the sense of making one pure and having met all of God’s requirements when worshipping Him.   There is no difference between what King David said about the Torah and what Yeshua said about God’s Word.  They are one and the same; they are truth; they both sanctify us.  

Three words stand out to me in this passage are righteousness, faithfulness and delight.   In Hebrew, the word righteousness tzadak comes from the letter tzadik and means ‘to be in the right, be justified, be just.’  Though this is one nuance of the word, it isn’t used often in Scripture and is found mostly in the book of Job.

The basic meaning of the verb tzadak is ‘to be righteous’, a legal term which involves God’s process of justice when He makes a divine pronouncement of guilt or innocence on the wicked or righteous.  In Genesis, Abraham meets Melchizedek or Melek Tzadek – ‘King of Righteousness” and they share bread and wine.   This type of tzadek is the righteousness credited to Abraham because he believed the Lord’s  promises.  Tzadek is the type of relationship where two people or a person and God are faithful to one another as seen in the relationship between Melek Tzadek and Abraham.  Tzadek brings with it the idea of loyalty and faithfulness and embodies all that God expects of His people.

There are at least these two views of righteousness and both are aspects of torah.  One view is where a person judges, deals, sacrifices and speaks righteously using torah as a guideline.  The other is where a person learns, teaches, and pursues after righteousness using torah as a guideline.  Both symbolize the fishhook.  In the word pictures,   righteousness is being hooked to the path of life that you follow – straight and without turning back.    Like King David we are to delight in God’s Word, His precepts, His instructions so that we are hooked on God’s righteousness walk in faithfulness as did our father Abraham and our living Torah example, Yeshua.

“Go in through the narrow gate; for the gate that leads to destruction is wide and the road broad, and many travel it; 1but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). 

©2014 Tentstake Ministries

Saint or Sinner

Many Christians, if they are asked, “Are you a saint or sinner?” will respond that they are a sinner. This response reveals they do not really understand the purpose of Yeshua’s sacrifice. If you are a believer in Yeshua, you must understand your identity to reach your full purpose for God in this life.


Sin is defined as breaking God’s commands in 1 John 3:4:

“Everyone who sins breaks the law (God’s commands); in fact sin is lawlessness.” 

A sinner is a lawless person who breaks God’s commands by doing what they think is right and wrong, even doing things contrary to their conscience.  A sinner has not come to terms with the existence of God or their sinful way of life.  They have not been redeemed from their empty way of life.  They have no future, no hope in this world.  They are rebellious, disobedient and reject the way of righteousness.  They have unbelieving hearts and turn away from the living God and willfully choose a life of lawlessness.  They have no idea what repentance and turning back to God means.

“But all sinners will be destroyed; there will be no future for the wicked” (Psalm 37:38).

“But rebels and sinners will both be broken and those who forsake Adonai will perish” (Isaiah 1:28).

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the many were made sinners … (Romans 5:19).

“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12).

“The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8).


“For if, while we were God’s enemies (sinners), we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!’ (Romans 5:10).

A sinner who repents becomes a new creation in Messiah, is reconciled to the Father and given new life.  The old life has passed away and died; a new life has become reality  (2 Corinthians 5:17).  This new life should be very different from the old because the darkness of sin has been removed.  Drugs, alcohol and sexual immorality suddenly become uncomfortable.  Anger, jealousy, and coveting become a spiritual burden to the soul.  As an individual’s  spiritual eyes are opened to the difference between the ways of the world and the ways of the Creator, they begin to see the world in which they live is in conflict with the Spirit of God that has been put inside them.

As the Spirit of God moves and works in the new life, there is conviction of sin and the desire to repent.  Each time we repent from another sin,  we are transformed more profoundly into the image of Yeshua.  As we learn what pleases our Father and what does not, we have a desire remove those things that do not please Him and incorporate into our lives those things that do.  This is called the process of sanctification and those who are in this process are called saints.

The word ‘sanctified’ in Greek is the same word as ‘holy’ or hagios.  According to the dictionary, the word ‘holy’ means ‘set apart to the service of God’.  To be ‘holy to Yahweh’ means a new creation in Messiah becomes set apart for the purpose of serving and obeying the living God, no  longer living for their carnal sinful desires.

Some people believe that saints are dead people who lived their lives with great faith.   This concept comes from the catholic church and doesn’t have merit in the Scriptures.  Read the following verses:

“As for the saints who are in the earth, they are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight” (Psalm 16:3).

“O fear the LORD, you His saints; for those who fear Him there is no want” (Psalm 34:9).

“Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One;  His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom and all the dominions will serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:27).

“Through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among the gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you are the called of Messiah Yeshua; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Messiah Yeshua” (Romans 1:5-7).

“All the saints greet you” (2 Corinthians 13:13).

“Greet all of your leaders and all the saints …” (Hebrews 13:24).

“Paul, an apostle of Messiah Yeshua by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Messiah Yeshua …” (Ephesians 1:1).

“To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Messiah Yeshua, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Messiah Yeshua …” (1 Corinthians 1:2).

“Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Messiah Yeshua, to all the saints in Messiah Yeshua who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons … “ (Philippians 1:1).

“To the saints and faithful brothers in Messiah who are at Colossae …” (Colossians 1:2).

“…when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed …” (2 Thessalonians 1:10).

“And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, when up before God out of the angel’s hand” (Revelation 8:4).

“The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many” (Matthew 27:52-53).

Saints are majestic.  They fear God and greet one another.  They are loved by God, faithful to God, pray to God and are quite capable of reading letters sent to them from Paul.  Saints are most definitely not dead, but living, breathing human beings.  They begin their redeemed lives as saints, live out their earthly lives as saints,  remain saints even after they ‘fall asleep,’ and will be resurrected as saints.

Some people believe they are not good enough to be saints.  This means they do not understand the power of the Holy Spirit to transform their lives.  They spend their days always seeking forgiveness from the power of sin rather than living victorious lives over the ‘death of sin.’  As new creations in Messiah, we are set free from sin and should not keep on sinning (1 John 3:6,9).

“No one who has God as his Father keeps on sinning, because the seed [Holy Spirit] planted by God remains in him. That is, he cannot continue sinning, because he has God as his Father” (1 John 3:9).

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags …” (Isaiah 64:6).  This verse is quoted to support the ‘sinner’ identity.  Though this verse is true, it is not for saints.  When read in context,  it is about Israel and Jerusalem, not individual people.  However, if one wants to use it for their personal identity, the rest of the verse says, “we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”

Sins sweeping us away is not the identity of a life that has been redeemed; it is the life of a lawless, wicked sinner.   Our sins should not be ‘sweeping us away’ if we are a new creation.  This is not the description of a saint who has received the righteousness of God from the Messiah of Israel.  This is not the identity of a saint  who has been set apart by God and given a new heart.

“Offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness…. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness….  Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness” (Romans 6:13, 18-19).

Yeshua’s righteousness is now our standard for life and our ‘works’ are not filthy the rags of a sinner trying to overcome or hide their sin by fig leaves.  Our works are now sanctifying works that lead us on the path of righteousness and bring glory to our Father.   We become ‘slaves’ to a righteous way of living that leads to sanctification or holiness, which comes through the Word of Truth (John 17:17).

We are, however, saints who do fall short of God’s glory and sin.  When we ‘miss the mark, we are not lost for all eternity nor do not have to repent from a wicked way of life.   Our only responsibility to to confess the sin that we have been convicted of by the Holy Spirit and God is faithful to cleanse us and purify us from unrighteousness and restore our relationship with Him.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Our identity as saints is foundational to our lifestyle as believers.  As saints,  we receive spiritual blessings and live in God’s household.  As saints, we receive the revelation of mysteries from past ages and generations.   As saints, we will be with Yeshua as our Commander when he returns.  As saints,  we will judge the world with King Messiah.  As saints we have a special place next to the Bridegroom at the wedding feast.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Messiah Yeshua, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Messiah.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy (sanctified) and blameless in his sight” (Ephesians 1:3-4).

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and are of God’s household …” (Ephesians 2:19).

“Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?” (1 Corinthians 6:2).

“So that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make know what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles …” (Colossians 1:26-27).

“May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy (sanctified) in the presence of our god and Father when our Lord Yeshua comes with all his holy ones (sanctified ones)” (1 Thessalonians 3:13).

“Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them ‘See the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones (sanctified ones)” (Jude 1:14).

These Scriptures are only a glimpse of what is promised the saints of God.  If you are a believer, born again into the Kingdom of God and washed in the blood of the Lamb, you are a saint – sanctified, holy and set apart to bring glory to Yahweh.  Embracing the life of a saint and the sanctifying work of the Word of God makes us more holy, more  separated to Him. The ultimate reward for the righteous acts of the saints is fine linen, bright and clean given to the Bride of Messiah to wear as her wedding dress (Revelation 19:8).

©2012 Tent Stake Ministries