Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:7-11
“For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.” (Philippians 3:8b-9)
Central to the message of the gospel is the doctrine of the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us when we are justified by God. Christ’s righteousness is credited to us. It is His righteousness and not any found in us that qualifies us to become sons and daughters of God. Theologians speak of this righteousness as an “alien righteousness.” It is a righteousness that originates outside of us. This is what Paul meant when he wrote — “in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.”
Self-righteousness is the opposite of imputed righteousness. Self-righteousness is about our feeble attempts to obey God’s law in order to gain acceptance and love from God. However, we can never earn God’s favor by our own righteousness because we have already failed to keep God’s law perfectly. Self-righteous, religious people are filled with pride. They take pride in their morality and their religious activities. They fail to understand that their self-righteous attempts amount to nothing in the sight of God.
True believers know that their righteousness comes from Christ through faith. His righteousness becomes their righteousness. They know that they have nothing to boast about but Christ alone.
God our Father, I am so thankful that You justified me. You forgave me of all of my sins and You imputed Christ’s righteousness to me. Like Paul, may I count all my feeble efforts to gain Your approval through my self-righteous acts as rubbish and let me rest in the fact that I already have it through faith in Your Son Jesus.
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