God gave the prophet Jeremiah a revelation of his name Jehovah Tsidkenu(pronounced Je-HO-va Sid-KAY-noo) in a time of crisis similar to the one we face today. “Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is his name by which he will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’” (Jeremiah 23:5–6, NKJV).
What does this mean for us, in practical terms? What is this righteousness he’s the Lord of, and how are we to know and understand Jesus in this role?
Paul gives us some insight into God’s definition of righteousness in several passages.
• “For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness’” (Romans 4:3).
• “Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness” (Romans 4:9).
• Therefore he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does he do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?—just as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’” (Galatians 3:5-6).
Each of these verses refers to one thing that Abraham did to attain true righteousness: he believed.
Finally, Paul provides the Lord’s definition of righteousness. “[Abraham] did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to perform. And therefore ‘it was accounted to him for righteousness’” (Romans 4:20–22).
The Bible could not make this matter any clearer. Righteousness is believing the promises of God, being fully persuaded he’ll keep his word.