Friday, October 27, 2006

Honor of Humanity Part 11 - Goodness

This is my personal summary of the preaching of Rev.Dr.Stephen Tong on his apologetics series on The Honor of Humanity Part 11 on 15th October 2006
Today goodness is often linked with stupidity while wisdom is associated with evil. But Jesus links goodness with wisdom where he says we are to be pure as doves and shrewd as serpents. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle all believe that a wise person must be an ethical person.

Old proverb says that a child’s motive is pure. Meng Zi says that men are born good. Only Adam has perfect purity at creation and the rest of us are born sinful. But the image of God’s goodness still resides in us. With every generation of children, the Lord reminds us that we have lost much of our purity as we grow up.

What is good?

Every philosopher proposes that there is the highest good. How do we reach the ultimate good? Is this just an abstract ideal? Every culture has this goal but has not achieved it. Every philosophy gives this concept but does not explain it. Only when we return to the Scriptures can we find the answer. This is not something that exists in the abstract only, or something that we hope to achieve. But it is something that is already there and it propels us forward to seek what is good.

Its essence is in God Himself. God is good, holy and just. God is the subjectivity of Life, of Truth, of Goodness, of Righteousness in Person. God made us in His image, so the goodness of God in us becomes the motivation to push us forward and also our goal. So the Source and the Destination is the same point. He is the Source and the Goal. He is the Power that propels us forward and is also our Ideal that we try to reach. He is the Alpha and the Omega. God’s goodness becomes the reason we are seeking good.

The Ultimate Good is the state where nothing can be better. But today we do not do good works with this motivation. We frequently do goodness for future profit. Some French philosophers say that those who treat goodness not as the motive in itself, but as a means to an end, their actions cannot be considered true goodness.

The Bible tells us that God looks not at the external but the internal. If we do good to be seen by others and not by God, we will not be rewarded by God. A person who truly wants to do good works and does it without recognition and even receives persecution is satisfied when he can do good works because his life is already linked with goodness. When Jesus sacrifices Himself, He has done the greatest good. Nobody understands Him and God forsook Him. And He continued to do good.

The book of Micah shows us what is good. “Oh man, God already told you what is good. Act justly, love mercy, be humble and walk with your Lord.” A person who does this reaches the goal God set for him.

Who is the person who does good?

A good person is not self-centered and does not do thing according to self-interests.
When it comes to issue of profit and loss, he would not be thinking of himself first. He would not be the first to run into profit and the run away from trouble. When there is difficulty, he is willing to go forward first. When there is benefit, he is willing to let others go first. A good person is not a person who makes use of others.

A good person is one who loves peace and will avoid conflicts. There are people who like to fight over very trivial things. True goodness will give way to peace. True goodness would not fight for things that are not worthwhile. There are things we ought to fight for. But within areas where we can give way, we should be forbearing.

A good person is one who will not take revenge. If we use the same attitude to repay others, we will lower our ethical standard. We should not use others’ method to treat them. A good person prefers to accept loss than to condescend to a lower standard. Abraham is such a person. He has a great character in the way he dealt with Lot regarding the quarrel between their servants. The things God has prepared for us cannot be taken away by others. So we should not fight with despicable people the things they want.

A good person is one who will continue to do good although he has not seen the results.
Paul says not to be weary in doing good because when the time comes we will receive our reward. But today we only do a little and yet we want great return. This is not doing good. This is the mark of greed.

Since we have been made in the image of God, what are we like today? Are we doing good based on God’s demand? When we are satisfied just being one with goodness, we are walking with God. Jesus said we are to do good works before men so that when they see our good deeds, they will give glory to God in heaven.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Honor of Humanity Part 10 - The Image of God's Omniscience in Man

This is my personal summary of the preaching of Rev.Dr.Stephen Tong on his apologetics series on The Honor of Humanity Part 10 on 8th October 2006
Psalms 139; John 2:23-25; 1 Cor.2:9-11

The 3 passages of the Bible tell us about the wisdom of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Everything about us, our thoughts and actions, our future, God already knows. Jesus knows what is in the hearts of men. The Spirit searches all things, even the things of God.

The knowledge of God includes the thoughts of men. He made men in His own image. Therefore in the matter of knowledge we have the potential to be like God. This is the reason we can have encyclopedia of knowledge after so many thousand years. Because we are made in God’s image, we also want to know all things. God knows what is inside of us, so we too want to know what is inside of us.

There are 3 areas of knowledge. The first one is the creation of God. The second one is men made in the image of God. And the third one is God the Creator.

God is an infinite God so His knowledge is infinite. We also have the potential to be infinite. But our infinity is different from God. God’s infinity is absolute infinity. Our infinity is infinity inside the finite. We hope to climb the highest mountain, dive into the deepest depth, and explore to the ends of the world. But our physical body is so small in comparison to all the things we want to achieve. Despite our finiteness, humanity goes after the understanding of the cosmos.

Before Socrates, human beings seek to know things external to themselves. They want to understand the universe. But to Socrates, this kind of knowledge is very shallow. He saw people having great knowledge but without wisdom. Many people study a lot of things but they have no ethics. Socrates proposed that we need to know ourselves first. All knowledge external to ourselves is secondary. True knowledge comes when we know ourselves. Knowing yourself starts from knowing that you do not know anything about yourself. Then you will begin to establish your knowledge with wisdom. Use wisdom to guide and find your knowledge. This is the beginning of true wisdom.

Natural sciences are very limited. They can give us conveniences of life but not the meaning of life. Life has started from ancient to modern lifestyle. Now we can cover the distance in one day what our ancestors have to travel in 2 months. All the advances of technology add great conveniences to our life, but have not alleviated not the least bit our ethical standard. Is this the knowledge God wants us to pursue? This question is not just the issue of area, but the direction of knowledge.

God is the Source of Truth and the Creator of all things. All His designs become the things we want to understand. All the wonderful things we discover are things that God has designed. Only God is the true source of wisdom. God’s omniscience becomes the foundation of our thirst for knowledge after all things. But it does not mean we can know all things.

No matter how intelligent we are, there are 3 constraints we cannot break: we are created, we are limited and we are polluted. These are our attributes.

When we deny we are created, we will think we are God. We will deny there is a difference between the image and the essence. On one hand we seek after knowledge, on the other hand we should acknowledge our limitation. On one hand we discover, on the other hand we should give God all the glory.

We are limited, so although we pursue the infinite we cannot jump into the infinite. Only God is infinite. We are polluted so no matter how much we know there is a subjective element in our knowledge. We are influenced by ideologies of our culture, tradition, religion and education.

But do not equate reformed theology with all other thought system. Reformed theology is not to establish a system or to fight with other systems, but to be relentlessly on the journey to return to the truth.

How then can we have correct knowledge? This has to do with the sanctification of reason. The crisis of modern science is that the knowledge falls in the hand of evil people so they become a threat to humanity and most people still live in poverty. We still have a long journey to go to rescue knowledge back to the truth.

Who will set the true value of our knowledge? Many people want to study the things outside of himself, but not the things within himself. When we have more scientific achievement above cultural achievement, humanity will have no hope.

In Psalms 139, the psalmist acknowledges that he knows God knows him, but he does not know to what depth God knows him. Paul said a person who thinks he already knows something, based on what he should know he still does not really know anything yet. A lot of things we know out of our own interest but they are not the result of pursuing what God wants us to know. The knowledge we have and the knowledge we should know are two different things. This Bible verse inspires us to find out what we should know.

According to Socrates, the external knowledge should be based on the knowledge of self. But Socrates has no answer what reference we can use to know ourselves. His statement has influenced the direction of knowledge in the West.

When we study knowledge on created things outside of ourselves, we have more definite conclusions. So natural scientists generally conclude their experiments in similar way. But when we study higher things, like ourselves, we have more subjective conclusions. It becomes harder to find common consensus. Beyond ourselves there is yet another area of knowledge that transcends nature and ourselves. This is when we seek to know God. When we alleviate our pursuit of knowledge to this highest level, we will find that it becomes impossible to find definite answers.

So we discover that when we study the relative world, we have more absolute answers. When we study ourselves, we find relative answers. When we study on the absolute, i.e. God, we almost cannot find answers. In another word, the higher we go, the harder it becomes. The past few centuries seem to show that we have progressed a lot in natural sciences but have degraded in the matter of faith. The fact is that true knowledge on faith is a much more difficult arena.

Another important question is through what authority we get our knowledge. The authority and order become the basis of the value of our knowledge. As of the case of Adam, his knowledge of good and evil comes from Satan, not God. The true knowledge of good and evil starts with a true knowledge of God. The order and methodology is important. The knowledge obtained from wrong methodology and wrong authority has no value. Whether our knowledge is received at the right timing is also important.

What sort of knowledge do we want to know?

Firstly, we want to have knowledge of things beneath us. But what are they? Who determine what is beneath us? Secondly, we want to know things related to us internally. But by what standards should we measure ourselves? Lastly, we want to know the things that transcend us. But by what standard do we determine the things which transcend us?

The answers to all these questions come from the Bible. All other grounds are sinking sand. We get the answers from God’s revelation, not from human theory. The Scriptures say we are made in the image of God and all things have been made for us. So God is higher than men, and men are higher than all other creation. These are self-evident truths.

If we hold these things firmly, we will not be confused when we build our system of knowledge. When we study the things beneath us, we must know that these are of lower level. When we study meaning, we are studying more valuable things. But when we study God, we are studying knowledge of the highest kind. It is higher to know God than to know men. It is higher to know men than to know things.

The past 300 years the order has been made upside down. We have treated the arena of knowledge of Science as the highest kind of knowledge. And we put theology, things that we cannot get absolute answers for, as the lowest kind of knowledge.

Morality and ethics should guide the direction of science. Why would a lot of scientific knowledge today not become a blessing to humanity? Because intellectual property has been bought over and exploited by the rich. All the knowledge about economy has also become the tool of the financial animals.

The establishment of knowledge needs to be based on God’s revelation and not any other motives. May God teach us not to be satisfied with what we already know, but may we continue to pursue what we should know. Things that are secondary we can pursue later, but let us pursue what God wants us to know first. And things we do not need to know, we can let go and not know them.

What does God want us to know? The Scriptures give us the answers. We must know God and love God. We must love justice and with a humble heart walk with God. When Paul summarizes his knowledge “I know whom I believe”, he has established a knowledge base that would stand firm. He knows why he believes and whom he believes.

May God help us so that we will not discard important things and pursue less important things and be deceived all our lives.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Honor of Humanity Part 9 - The Image of God's Omnipotence in Man

This is my personal summary of the preaching of Rev.Dr.Stephen Tong on his apologetics series on The Honor of Humanity Part 9 on 1st October 2006

God revealed to Abraham that He is the Almighty God and based on that He required Abraham to live a perfect life before Him (Gen.17:1).

God is not willing that we become people that waste our lives. God wants us to still be seeking the truth even in our most tired times, our most difficult times, and our old age. It is something that many church leaders are not aware of. Because of lazy church leaders, we do not grow. Many people just want to have early retirement and enjoy lives.

When Joshua was old, God told Joshua, “You are already old but many lands have not been conquered.” God did not allow Joshua to have retirement. God revealed to Abraham that He was the Almighty God and required Abraham to live a perfect life when Abraham was 99 years old. Since God has such serious demand on His servants, how dare we forgive ourselves for our slackness and negligence?

God demand such high requirement from us because He created us with very high value and potential. We are beings with the potential to fight. With such honor He has made us, it is shameless for us to complain against God over our problems and the demands required of us.

How much can a person accomplish in one life? Have we ever asked that question? If we have found the answer of how much we could potentially do, and we see that we have wasted so much time and have not done much, how are we going to face God some day?

We are willing to do a lot for our wives and children but not for God and His church. Our life and time are from God. How much have we used for God? How much price have we paid for God? Everything we could do comes from what He has given us in the first place. But how much do we demand ourselves of the things we can accomplish in life? Most of us have no discipline, no demand of ourselves, and we do not force ourselves. Apostle Paul said that he disciplined himself. God is pleased with the spirituality where we make ourselves willing to force ourselves.

“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Gen.17:1)

If you can understand the relationship between the two (God’s omnipotence and His demand on us), we will accomplish a lot in the Lord. Paul truly understood with that statement when he said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil.4:13)

Many preachers are satisfied just preaching one a week or a month. Many Christians never witness for the Lord. How dare we be complacent? How dare we say ‘impossible’ before the Almighty God? If God is Almighty, and we are made in His image, why do our lives lack accomplishment? When the judgment of the Lord comes, He would remind us of the times when His Spirit moves in your heart and we choose to reject His voice. We cannot hide or run away.

When Moses said he could not speak well so he felt unqualified to be God’s spokesman, although that is true God would not even accept that as a reason. Since God is so strict of His demand, we should use the same standard to demand of ourselves.

As God is the Almighty God who made us in His image and likeness, He has given to us unceasing potential. We should fulfill potential and find the particular content we ought to fill up in our lives. God’s omnipotence should be the source of our power to accomplish His will in us. Our accomplishment should correspond with what we have received. We have to learn to demand of ourselves, to expand ourselves and not waste our lives away.

When a person wastes his life, he is not aware of the sin he has committed against God and against society. Confucius said that the greatest thief is those who do not study when they are young, do not work when they are adult, and do not die when they are old. Many people want to become American citizens when they are old, but they have never contributed a single thing to America. This is a very shameless thing. We cannot just keep living for ourselves and live off other people but we need to ask ourselves what contribution we have made to mankind.

When we think about God’s image from this angle, we cannot be lazy anymore. Jesus says there are two kinds of people, one is the good and faithful servant and the other one is the lazy and evil servant.

Faithful means we consistently fulfill our responsibility. Good means we have a right heart towards God and compassion towards humanity. The lazy are those who waste the grace and opportunities God give them. They are evil in that have no compassion towards men and only live and think for themselves.

Let the demands of God become the strength which we push ourselves. Let us serve God with the potential God has given us. Let us enjoy the privilege of paying the price to live for God. In this way we will actualize ourselves and our contribution becomes a blessing to others and our good works will be remembered by all. The Bible says that the world and its desires pass away but only those who do the will of God will live forever. (1 John 2:17)

“I am the Almighty God, so before Me you are to be perfect”. When we understand that God is Almighty, we will realize that the demands of God are not impossible. “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Honor of Humanity Part 8 - The Image of God's Omnipresence in Man

This is my personal summary of the preaching of Rev.Dr.Stephen Tong on his apologetics series on The Honor of Humanity Part 8 on 24th September 2006

Augustine said there are only two things he wanted to know in life, to know God and to know man. Knowing God and knowing ourselves will establish the internal ‘us’ which is solid and everlasting. Socrates had a very profound understanding to say that the knowledge of self is the beginning of knowledge, but he did not give the answer of how a person can know himself. Reformed theology gives the true direction to the knowledge of self. The Bible says the knowledge of God is the beginning of knowledge. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. This is the entire framework of epistemology and is the beginning of true philosophy.

Ludwig Feuerbach, a German philosopher, wrote a book on titled “The Essence of Christianity” to refute Christianity. He said that God actually did not exist. But men have concepts like justice, love, infinity, etc. which all combine together to project an overall concept of perfection. This projection is called “God”. His book was later used by Karl Marx who agreed with him. This thought becomes the foundation for atheism to explain morality and other attributes innate in men apart from God. God is nothing more than men’s own idea because all men’s ideals force them to create God.

Without going to all the complicated details, we can summarize very simply this view and compare it with Christianity.

Based on Christianity, God created man in His own image hence men exist. But based on Feuerbach’s view, men created God in their own image hence God exists.

When we think of Socrates’ profound words regarding the importance of the knowledge of self, it seems to us that what he said is very inspired and so close to the truth but yet he did not know the God of the Scriptures. Somewhat it seems that it is possible to have the concept of truth apart from the knowledge of God.

Reformed theology acknowledges and recognizes that even people who do not know God might say something that seems close to the truth due to general revelation. Hence we should not be surprised to see non-believers exhibiting great wisdom in the understanding of life.

The problem with Feuerbach is similar to Socrates. Socrates said the knowledge of self is the beginning of true knowledge but he could not tell how one is supposed to know one’s true self. The Bible gives answer to that. Similarly, Feuerbach says humans have all these concepts which force them to create “God”. However, he could not explain where all these concepts come from. Therefore, everything he said becomes the demonstration of his ignorance.

People may think that 50 years later Darwin gave the answer to us, that is, all these concepts are the result of evolution. But this is again a fallacy. Even the greatest supporters of Darwin’s theory also acknowledged that morality and reason cannot be the product of evolution.

The thought systems that go against the Scriptures have two destructive elements. Firstly, it has the self-inflicting factor. Secondly, it contains a time bomb that would explode into destruction. Someone says that we are living in a fascinating era like never before, because this is the era where all the thoughts that conflict with the Scriptures are coming together at full force. It is frightening to imagine what kind of destruction is awaiting ahead us.

Psalms 139:1-12 expounds on the omnipresence of God.

As God made us in His image, we are not satisfied to be in one place. We believe we have to leave and not confined to one place. This is a breakthrough from constraint of space. Apart from space, we also want to break through from the constraint of time.

The places we are dissatisfied with are often the places that other people eye on. But because we are sick of the place we are in, we want to move to other places. The villagers want to move to the city. The city dwellers want to move overseas. And many people in big cities want to move back to quiet lives.

Human beings are the only beings with ideal. We react to imperfection due to our concept of perfection. In the end we want to be with God to enjoy the joy of His eternal presence. Whatever we call it, paradise or heaven or shangrila, it is a concept of going to a perfect place.

Why would we have ideals? Because we are living in a finite constraint but we have infinite demand. There is something in us that wants to transcend, and we use our ideals to represent this breakthrough we desire. Human beings should have dreams. A person without dreams is half-dead and is not living like a human being.

What sort of dreams should we have? What sort of foundation are our dreams based on? Are we able to actualize it? Will that be the limit of our progress? How big are our dreams? Keep dreaming but dream properly, and fight to make it come true through a proper way.

In our ideal, there is an element called imagination. Things that are imagined have not been reached yet. They are for the future. Is it then right to have imagination for the future when even the present problems haven’t been solved? But the correct imagination is force that moves us forward.

Christians ought to manifest the image of God in this area. It will become the power for our breakthrough. How should we build our imagination? We should build it upon the promises of God. The God who promises is faithful. Therefore there is possibility for breakthrough. All His promises contain His commands. All His commands contain promises. When we establish our ideals based on these, our motive and progression will not be worthless and we will not waste our energy in trying to fulfill them.

God is omnipresent. But I am constrained here in our earthly life. We want this ability to break through. So Christians should not be satisfied with present status. When we constrain ourselves by our sin, laziness and complacency, we cannot break through. As a result, all our lives we continue to face the same problems. We keep spinning on the same spot so we never breakthrough all our lives. If we reflect on this carefully, we will find wisdom to live more meaningful lives.

True humility consists in the willingness to learn and keep moving forward, which is a ceaseless seeking after the truth.

Our ears are the softest and coldest part of our body. We should be gentle to listen to the right teaching. When we have teachable ears, we will then have the authority to teach with our tongue. This order cannot be changed. The Bible says to listen quickly and to be slow to speak, to absorb a lot and to criticize little. This is the wisdom of balance between listening and speaking. The most important thing is to be quick to listen to God’s Word.

Are we willing to break through? Break through what? Break through ourselves. Break through our laziness. Break through our constraints that have come by the misuse of our own freedom.

Although the things we do are still limited, we should still fight for breakthrough. We should not be satisfied with whatever we have achieved. Neither should we be discouraged by what we have not achieved. We have to keep moving forward.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Honor of Humanity Part 7 - Righteousness (Justice)

This is my personal summary of the preaching of Rev.Dr.Stephen Tong on his apologetics series on The Honor of Humanity Part 7 on 17th September 2006

No human culture and philosophy has brought humanity to the height of dignity as the Bible does. This is because all cultures and philosophies are men’s attempt to seek to understand who they are, but the Scripture is the revelation of God the Creator to us. The God who creates us surely know and understand who we are. Indeed we can only find ourselves in the revelation of God.

Romans 1:19-20 says that through the creation of heaven and earth, we know God’s power and eternity deep inside of our heart. So the existence of God is not something we are trying to prove. It becomes our knowledge because God is in the center and He has revealed to us. The creation of all things is the external witness of His existence. The conscience in our hearts is the internal witness of His existence. By this general revelation, we do not know who God is, but at least we know that He exists.

God’s wrath is upon the unrighteous who suppress the truth in their hearts.

When God made man in His image, He has given us His demand of righteousness. The function of righteousness is expressed in law. This is another aspect of humanity. Wherever there is human society, there will be legal system and constitution. The existence of lawyers, judges and constitution means human beings are honorable so our lives are precious.

The judges are supposed to serve the law. But many judges can be bought by money. So many law systems become a place for evil deeds. When we talk about the holiness of God, we refer more towards our individual ethics before God. But the matter of righteousness concerns our social responsibility. This demand for righteousness is something God has placed inside of us.

Righteous demand is not initially the result of education but it is something we instinctively have. We can see examples of this in our daily lives. Babies do not care how beautiful or rich their parents are, they stick to their parents. But it matters to them that their parents are fair. It is difficult for children to forgive their parents when they are treated unfairly. A lot of family tragedies have come about because of unrighteous treatment in the family.

Jacob had 12 sons but loved only one child, Joseph. This child who was especially loved became an enemy to all the brothers. The most beloved became the one who suffered the most. When Jacob finally saw his son again, he was already very old and had lived many years of his life with the grief thinking Joseph was dead.

Unfairness is against humanity. We grieve when our parents are unfair. We are angry when our teachers are not fair. When we become adults, we are angry with unfairness in society. This is because we have a demand of justice in our hearts. This can become something frightening. Revolution comes about by extreme demand of justice by the masses. Often times many people are killed in the process.

But very often our demand for justice comes from selfishness. When we review our lives, we realize that we often do not care when injustices happen to others because we feel that this social injustice has nothing to do with us. But we immediately respond when the injustice happens to us and attempt to solve the injustice, presuming ourselves to be the savior of the unjust society. We fight for our own purposes and in the end only want to benefit ourselves. This frequently happens to leaders who come in the name of correcting social injustice. Therefore we respond to the demand of justice in our heart in a very unjust way.

The demand for justice can even result in equality of poverty rather than equality in wealth, as is the case of communism.

In developed countries, many people do not want to work menial work and people in third world countries come in to work and are paid cheaply. If these people do not work, there will be other poorer people who will be willing to work for such cheap wages. Many illegal immigrants come to more developed countries for these reasons.

Many people say that Chinese have greater savings and people are getting prosperous. But behind all these sweet words, China is also a country with most poor and there is a huge and growing gap between the rich and the poor. This is another expression of injustice.

So is it a goal that is unachievable? What we have to acknowledge is that it is a very difficult problem to solve. But the Bible does demand that we care about the injustices that happen in our society and the rest of the world.

Since we are made in the image of God, what would we do regarding the demand of justice? How should we solve the problems of injustices?

In all generations, there are theologians who work hard to write social laws. Kingsley said Christians should not numb themselves in church on Sundays and keep sinning the rest of other days. The purpose of his book is to remind the Christians of their responsibility to the society before God.

Social injustice is a very difficult problem to solve. And we often want to solve these problems by our own unrighteous motives.

In Greek mythology, the goddess of justice must be blind. She must not care who she is judging so that she can execute justly. This is a very profound concept. But today we see that very often the law is the platform for the greatest injustice.

The first time the word ‘just’ appears in the Bible is from the mouth of Abraham. Abraham believes that God is just. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he responded to God when God told Abraham about the upcoming judgment to Sodom and Gomorrah, “Shall not the Judge of the world do right?” Such concept that integrates a Personal God with the essence of Justice does not exist in other philosophies and religion.

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses said that God is a just God. This is a marked difference between real God and false god. This is also a mark of difference between a person who is true to God and a person who is not true to God. Righteous men express the image of God in their righteousness.

When the Bible uses the word “justice” there are at least 5 aspects. If a person displays righteousness these five areas, he can be called a righteous person.

1. A person who lives with integrity and does not use deceitful means to deceive others.
2. A person who is just and fair towards all, whether to the rich or to the poor, whether to the good or to the bad.
3. A person who loves the truth, defends the truth and lives by the principles of truth.
4. A person who has a clean heart and holy conscience to solve problems. Holiness becomes the essence of righteousness.
5. A person who does not compromise with evil, maintains the spirit to fight to the end against what is wrong.

Do we behave like the sinners of the world? We behave like the world when we are deceitful and irresponsible, when we try to achieve our goals with deceitful means, when we treat people with bias, when we are fearful towards people and compromise with sin, and when we ourselves are involved in sinful actions, whether our mind, heart or body. When we live this way, we are not righteous people.

We are human beings. We are honorable because we have been made in the image of God. As God is just, He has put the essence and demand of justice and the potential of righteousness in our heart. Other than submitting ourselves as a tool of righteousness, we also need to influence the rest of humanity so that there will be more righteous people.

When we have greater knowledge, greater riches, better opportunities than others, we should share with others and make ourselves useful to the society. This will become another expression of righteousness.