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“Man follows his desire. One can even say that man is desire, and this fundamental psychological truth about human nature is acknowledged by the Gospel: ‘Where your treasure is,’ says Christ, ‘there shall your heart be.’ A strong desire overcomes the natural limitations of man; he does things of which ‘normally’ he is incapable…The only question, therefore, is whether we desire the right things, whether the power of desire in us is aimed at the right goal or whether—in the words of the existentialist atheist Jean-Paul Sartre—man is a ‘useless passion.’ Zacchaeus…is the first symbol of repentance, for repentance begins with the rediscovery of the deep nature of all desires:  the desire for God and His righteousness, for true life” (Fr. Alexander Schmemann)

“Mercy is customary with God; righteousness is His constant concern. Often, in fact, He obscures sin with a show of His goodness, and He does not submit individuals’ behavior to harsh scrutiny; rather, when He sees some people persisting in their errors without amendment, He applies the rigor of justice and chastises them for the purpose of correcting them, and by the bitterness of the blows He brings the errant ones back to a life of discipline.” (Theodore of Mopsuestia)

“Even as we strive to please God by disciplining ourselves and obeying His commands, we know that God loves us (already, before we begin). We know that God will accept our striving for righteousness, even if we don’t do it very well, even if we fail. God is able to fix our mistakes. Therefore, like children striving to please a parent whom we know loves us completely, we offer what we have, what we can do, in a carefree way, knowing that 100% will never be enough to succeed completely all of the time, but it is enough to please God. That’s what humility is like. It is this childlike simplicity, this childlike desire to please a loving parent. Humility is a simple trust that our Heavenly Parent will take care of us, that our Heavenly Parent will appreciate our puny but heartfelt efforts to please Him. This is a large part of what Christian spiritual maturity looks like…” (Fr. Michael Gillis)

“God’s gift of faith allows us to hope that we will be reckoned as righteous by God, for “faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness” (Romans 4:9). Saint Paul presents Abraham as a model for how we, too, may be reckoned as righteous by God. God’s gift of faith is our sole source of righteousness. We should not infer from this that God does not take our sins seriously, but rather that He reckons our sins by Christ on the Cross. He was “made . . . to be sin for us” (2 Cor 5:21), so that we might repent and live in gratitude.” (Dynamis 6/29/2021)

“Compassion is a fruit of righteousness. Thus in man's dominion over every living thing (Gn 1:28), he is to express this dominion in compassion.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Proverbs 12:10)

“No one can save us except the One Who created us. The Lord could have chosen to save us in a different manner, for He is Almighty and All-powerful. Instead, He took upon Himself our human nature and showed us by His own example the way of righteousness. Had He chosen to save us in any other way, we could say to Him, “You are the Almighty God. You were never a man as I am; You were never hungry or thirsty, sad or sorrowful.” This is why God took upon Himself all of human nature.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“Christ reveals an infinite God, and He commands us to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6: 33). I have come to recognize that God does not promise an easy path but an abundant path.” (Makoto Fujimura)

“Every work of faith is the action of both God and man, a cooperation (synergy) between the divine and human wills. This faith and these actions find their source and fulfillment in God-made-Man, Christ…The Holy Spirit gives us power for the ongoing life of righteousness in Christ, the life of blessing…The status conferred by righteousness is sonship. We become children of God through union with God incarnate…The purpose of sonship is for us to become like God and to enter heaven.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Galatians 2:16-31)

“God is our loving Father, Who knows precisely what tribulations will ultimately be to our benefit. Although no chastening seems joyous in the moment of tribulation, we can rejoice in the assurance that God is knocking on the door of our hearts (Rev 3:20); He is seeking us as the Shepherd searches for the lost sheep (Lk 15:4). We can cry out to Him in admission and submission, and find peace and joy in that very act; peace and joy that will continue to grow as we open our hearts more and more to the grace of God. When we lift up our hands and fall to our knees, when we make our paths straight by returning to Him, He grants us “the peaceable fruit of righteousness,” peace and joy.” (Holy Synod of Bishops of OCA)

“The Holy Spirit bestows spiritual gifts when, in repentance, we seek God’s peace and righteousness. These gifts of peace and justice are manifested wherever Christians strive for the work of faith, love, and hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (I Thes 1:3). Sin is a spiritual illness, whose external symptoms include conflict, division, crime, and war, as well as the tragic consequences of these. The Church strives to eliminate not only the external symptoms of illness, but the illness itself, namely, sin.” (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese) 

“Accounted (Galatians 3:6) in our day suggests keeping the books, ledgers, CPAs. To “account” here (Gr. logizomai) refers rather to faithful participation. When God “accounted” Abraham righteous, Abraham was participating with God in the fruit of the Holy Spirit and faith (v. 5)...Righteousness is a heart-centered belief in and obedience to God, with the blessing of the Holy Spirit.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Galatians 3:6-9)

“…a trusting heart having faith in God is of greater worth to the Lord than objective obedience to the details of His Laws…. If we foolishly believe that by having a clear-cut set of rules we will be able to attain perfect righteousness, we are tragically mistaken.” (Dynamis 9/12/2012)

“Some pious and confused souls torture themselves trying to establish their righteousness before God by arbitrary calculation. They turn their relationship with God into a matter of quantifiable reckoning and seek to accumulate as many good deeds, or “works,” as possible – as if these works will offset their sins and offenses and create a favorable balance sheet on the Day of Judgment (Mk 10:17-27)…Only the giving of the whole self to Christ is belief unto righteousness. (Dynamis 6/9/2015, Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 10:9, 10)

“We want to help people understand that the more they can recognize their own sin, the more they will experience God’s grace. A life of gratitude for being saved is far more pleasing than a life based on self-­righteousness over being good.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“In Christianity, men gain righteousness only by confessing their unrighteousness and being covered by Christ’s merit. Every other religion is man working his way to God. Christianity is God working His way to men.” (Randy Alcorn)

“ ‘Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.’ (Mt. 5:6). The terms righteousness or the righteous that we read often in Sacred Scripture and spiritual reading are frequently ill-understood. Firstly, it is not something merely external or superficial or as defined in the dictionary as simply being"morally upright." Our Lord starts out this beatitude by connecting righteousness with hungering and thirsting for it. This means that righteousness must come from the depths of our spirit, that is to say the center of our minds and the depths of our hearts.” (Father George Morelli)

"The righteousness of God is to be in a continuous state of communion with Him. This state of being right with God originates with God and is accepted by mankind in faith.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 1:17)

“God is the source of all righteousness.. Those who persistently choose to act against His commandments and wisdom are the unrighteous. Those who struggle to live in accordance with His revealed way – even though they fail to accomplish God’s law perfectly – are deemed the righteous.” (Dynamis 3/19/2015)

"No amount of law keeping, self-improvement, discipline, or religious effort can make us right with God. Righteousness comes only from God, and we are made righteous (receive right standing with Him) by trusting in Christ.” (Life Application Study Bible, Philippians 3:9)"God never alters the robe of righteousness to fit the man. He alters the man to fit the robe.” (iBible Verses)

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