Paul uses the Greek word dikaiosyne meaning righteousness over one hundred times in the New Testament. He applies it in a covenantal context in terms of God's promise and man's response which establishes a relationship. God "made a covenant with him [Abraham] to give him the land of the Canaanite . . . [and] to give it to his descendants" (Neh 9:8). Nehemiah states, "'You [God] found his [Abraham's] heart faithful before You'" (:7) and "'You have fulfilled Your promise, for You are righteous'" (:8). God's initiative was necessary because of Adam's disobedience. God had "commanded" (Ge 2:16) him "'from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat'" (:17). But when they disobeyed, it came to pass that they "'shall surely die'" (:17) and "the Lord God sent him out from the garden" (3:23) and man was disenfranchised from God and unable to reestablish the relationship. Therefore, "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Ro 5:8). "This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed" (3:25). "He will judge the world in righteousness . . . having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead" (Ac 17:31) "so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2Co 5:21). "If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you" (Ro 8:11). "'Who has announced this from old? . . . Is it not I, the Lord?'" (Isa 45:21). "'And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a savior; there is none except Me'" (:21). "'This is His name by which He will be called, 'The Lord our righteousness''" (Jer 23:6). Let "'salvation bear fruit and righteousness spring up from it. I, the Lord, have created it'" (Isa 45:8). "'My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, and My arms will judge the peoples'" (51:5). The phrase with God's arms anthropomorphically ascribes human attributes to deity. "He has clothed me with garments of salvation [and] wrapped me with a robe of righteousness" (61:10).

Abraham "believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness" (Ge 15:6). God credited his own righteousness to Abraham's account as Paul observed "not having a righteousness of my own . . . [but] the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith" (Php 3:9). "In it [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith" (Ro 1:17). It is for "the man whom God credits righteousness apart from works" (4:6). God chose Abraham "'so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice'" (Ge 18:19) and God kept his promise "'because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws'" (26:5). But the disobedient do "not subject themselves to the righteousness of God" (Ro 10:3), "By His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption" (1Co 1:30). God proceeded to deliver Israel from Egypt "'so that you might know the righteous acts of the Lord'" (Mic 6:5). It is "He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you" (Gal 3:5). "The Lord performs righteous deeds and judgments for all who are oppressed" (Ps 103:6). "The Lord is righteous within her; He will do no injustice" (Zep 3:5). "His work is perfect, for all His ways are just" (Dt 32:4). They "humbled themselves and said, 'The Lord is righteous'" (2Ch 12:6). "They shall recount the righteous deeds of the Lord" (Jdg 5:11). Christ will establish his kingdom "with justice and righteousness. . . [via] the zeal of the Lord of hosts" (Isa 9:7) because "'the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness'" (45:23) and "'My righteousness will be forever'" (51:8).