Be Righteous in an Unrighteous World
We currently live in a world that is full of sin, corruption, violence and evil. We live in a world where being a follower of Christ is not politically correct and because of this many of us hide our faith. Some even become accepting of the sinfulness around us and other followers of Christ even engage in the sin, corruption and violence that have permeated our world. But we, as followers of Christ, are not called to be passive. We are not called to hide. Rather, we are called to “be strong in the Lord” (Ephesians 6:10). We are called to be righteous in the face of a sinful, corrupt, violent, and evil world. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6).
There was a time when the world wasn’t much different than it is today. In a world taken over by sin, corruption, violence, and evil, Noah was a righteous man (Genesis 6:9). However, Noah wasn't just a righteous man, he was the only follower of God left on the earth. The Bible says he was blameless among the people of his time. This doesn’t mean that he was without sin. Rather it means that Noah wholeheartedly loved and obeyed God. He walked step by step in faith as a living example to his generation, a generation that was saturated with sin and rebellion against God. Noah was the only man alive who pleased God. It's hard to imagine such unwavering faithfulness in the midst of such godlessness, but in the account of Noah's life we read, "Noah did everything just as God commanded” (Genesis 6:22).
We learn from Noah that it is possible to remain faithful and pleasing to God even in the midst of a corrupt and sinful generation. Surely it wasn't easy for Noah, but he found favor in God's eyes because of his faith in God, his obedience to Him. Because of these characteristics that Noah showed to a sinful world, God blessed and saved Noah, just as he will faithfully bless and protect those of us who remain faithful, obedient and righteous. This is not short term journey we are on as followers of Christ, but it is a lifelong pursuit.
Now righteousness doesn’t come by our own accord, Paul writes that, “Righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:22). So, in order for us to have the righteousness of Noah and to be strong in the Lord, we have to have faith in Jesus. This faith will enable us to be righteous in a world that says that everything we do and believe as followers of Christ is wrong.
Finally, Noah was the one man who found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Gen. 6:8). Because Noah was a righteous man, because he was blameless among the people, and because he walked faithfully with God, there wasn’t just one man who was saved from the flood. Seven other people were also saved (Noah’s wife, his sons and his sons’ wives). When I read this, I see how critically important my faith is to my family and that leaving a legacy of faith is the most important thing that I can do in this world.
So, self evaluation time: Are you being influenced by the world or are you being blameless and walking faithfully with God? Will those who know say you are a righteous person?