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How righteous do you have to be to please God? Would you be surprised to know that it is not even possible for you to be righteous enough to please God? No one has ever been righteous enough. God demands perfection – sinlessness – and no human being has ever been perfectly sinless – except One, and that One was God in the flesh, Jesus Christ.
And that’s the good news. Jesus came not only to be the atonement for our sins, but also to be our righteousness.
The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Rome: “But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:21-22).
Because we are in Christ, God not only forgives our sins, he also provides the righteousness believers need—his own righteousness.
It is a God-given righteousness—the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We receive it by God’s grace, simply because God loves us and is full of mercy and rich in kindness. And we participate in it only through faith – the faith of Jesus, which itself is God’s gift to us.
In short, we are saved because God is righteous, not because we are righteous. God’s righteousness, his faithfulness to humanity, has been made fully manifest in Jesus’ death and resurrection.
God’s righteousness, Paul is telling us, is displayed in his act of transforming us sinners into his own forgiven and redeemed children in Jesus Christ – something we experience only through faith.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com
Christ alone is our righteousness—he is our wisdom, our holiness, our redemption and our righteousness, 1 Corinthians 1:30 tells us.
We are not made righteous by keeping the Law. We are made righteous only by God, and we live out that righteousness, which is the righteousness of Christ and not our own, by trusting him – that is, by faith.
“Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes,” Paul wrote in Romans 10:4.
Jesus does it all, start to finish. He’s the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Trust him.
I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.