Blessed: Wicked v. Righteous

“Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.” (Psalm 1:5)

It’s easy to get confused about all of this talk of “the wicked” and “the righteous.” These days, most people would tend to divide those groups up by our own ideas about what’s really wicked – murder, rape, genocide – and what it means to be a “good person” in your heart.

blessed_350For Israel, though, these two groups were defined by who was in a covenant relationship with God and who wasn’t. God’s chosen people were righteous as long as they continued to follow the Law. Everyone else – no matter how “good” their hearts – were “the wicked.”

For those of us who have never followed the Law, though, the difference between these two groups is even more clear. Outside of Christ, we are all wicked. We are all sinners. We are all separated from God. But through faith in Jesus’ death for our sin, God declares us as righteous as Jesus is. We may still struggle with sin, but we are forgiven, cleansed, made right with the one and only God.

Bottom line: In the end, the righteous and the wicked will not be together. They won’t wind up having the same experience. It matters which group you belong to.

Think: In your own words, how would you describe to someone the difference from God’s point of view between the righteous and the wicked?

Pray: Thank God for his justice and mercy, for his grace and forgiveness to those who come to him through faith in Jesus.

Do: If you really want to dig into how the wicked can become the righteous, read carefully through Romans 5.