Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.
I love word studies and while the primary understanding of righteousness is “right standing with God” I want you to consider with me another aspect of this word.
At its root, this word righteous means right wise or we would say right wisdom. Helps Word Studies defines the word as:
1343 dikaiosýnē (from 1349 /díkē, "a judicial verdict") – properly, judicial approval (the verdict of approval); in the NT, the approval of God ("divine approval").
1343 /dikaiosýnē ("divine approval") is the regular NT term used for righteousness ("God's judicial approval"). 1343 /dikaiosýnē ("the approval of God") refers to what is deemed right by the Lord (after His examination), i.e. what is approved in His eyes.
The Amplified bible uses the phrase conformity to the thought and will of God and His way of doing and being right. So for righteousness to be displayed in our daily lives, we must start from the premise that God holds right wisdom and is always right. Then, since God is always right, for us to express righteousness we must choose to agree with Him. We choose to add yes and Amen to whatever He says AND this must be totally independent of what we see, feel or think!
If righteousness is what is approved in His eyes, what is deemed right by the Lord, then we too, like Jesus, must live daily from a place that first considers what is right in the sight of our Heavenly Father. The word of God was breathed out by God and is profitable for the training in righteousness, 2 Tim. 3:16. This is the place we begin to live vitally. We read our bibles, the life in the word is quickened to our hearts and we add our agreement to what God has said. Our agreement is seen as we hold right thoughts, right words, and right actions. These three equate to a right standing. Because we know to do good, and we do it, we are able to stand before the Father without any sense of guilt or condemnation (unrighteousness). We are not self-righteous because we do not set the standard of right for our lives, God does.
Jesus said our righteousness must exceed that of the pharisees and Sadducees. Collectively, these men challenged, questioned, and rejected everything Jesus did and said. They had no place of agreement with God.
God counted Abraham righteous because He believed what God said was right. This accounting gave him right standing with God. Abrahams faith is seen in his choice to agree with God. Believing is agreeing with God. God is right. He is always right and to live in a state of righteousness, vitally, daily, we must agree with God.