“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which of God by faith” – Philippians 3:9
The Lord’s response to His children isn’t predicated on their actions. He wouldn’t respond to you because you didn’t lie, steal or cheat the previous week. It’s pointless for anyone to think he can impress God with his good works, for He’s not impressed by man’s outward display of righteousness (Isaiah 64:6). Self-righteousness is offensive to God, for no man can stand justified in the presence of a holy and righteous God, except the man that trusts not in his own righteousness but in the righteousness of God.
This is the reason the Apostle Paul said, “…that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Philippians 3:8-9). In other words, he didn’t want to trust in his own righteousness to answer for him before God, because he knew it wouldn’t suffice: “….If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless” (Philippians 3:4-6).
However, the Apostle Paul considered all such acts of self-righteousness as dung; he dumped them in order to gain the righteousness of Christ. Elijah was given to us in the Bible as an example of a righteous man, and the Bible says he was like anyone of us (James 5:17). He felt scared, angry and tired just like any human person would, yet he was declared to be a righteous man. You see, his righteousness wasn’t based on his actions; he was righteous because he trusted in God’s righteousness.
Romans 4:2-3 says, “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; BUT NOT BEFORE GOD. For what saith the scripture? Abraham BELIEVED GOD and it was COUNTED UNTO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS”. So you see, man isn’t justified by his works before God; he is justified for trusting in God’s righteousness. Your righteousness is based in what Jesus did. When God looks at you; He doesn’t see you anymore, He sees Jesus! You were dressed with the righteousness of God the moment you were born again! Therefore trust in His righteousness; “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
For more, read and study: Galatians 2:21, 3:6-7; Titus 3:5
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Proclamation of Faith
I function in God’s righteousness today. I do not try to impress Him or gain His approval by my own acts of self-righteousness, but trust in His righteousness, for my righteousness is based on what Jesus did, not my actions. Hallelujah!