“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.” I Cor 1:30
Righteousness simply means that which is right before the law or right in the eyes of the law, God’s law. The Scripture is so plain, isn’t it, that there are none good (righteous), not one can obey the law and stand righteous before Him by his own doing. That is because God requires ‘perfect’ obedience and not a single person has ever obeyed the law perfectly, nor will a single person ever obey the law perfectly excepting Jesus Christ who has been made unto me and has become my Righteousness.
The law requires justice and because we cannot keep the law in perfect obedience and satisfy its demands, Christ came and was perfectly obedient, even unto death. He was wholly and perfectly righteous in His life and His actions and so the just (Christ) died for the unjust (me) and for all of the elect. “By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” Romans 5: 18b. It isn’t by our own obedience, nor by our obedience combined with His but belongs solely to Him and so we are made righteous in the sight of God and are justified from all our sins.
This is the Good News of the Gospel you see, the Just for the unjust, the Holy Son of God for the ungodly, the Righteous One for the unrighteous, the Sinless for the sinner. Christ brought in everlasting righteousness for His people and it is only in His righteousness that I am just before God. I have a righteous standing before God because I am in Christ, in union with Him. My righteousness is as filthy rags so the Scripture tells me and so my rightness before God must be in Christ and because of His work, not mine.
What a blessed truth this is to our hearts and minds. This is what is meant in Ephesians 1:3 where we are told that all spiritual blessings are ours in heavenly places in Christ. Christ Himself becomes the righteousness that we need (2 Cor 5:21) and God is fully satisfied in Him. We are accepted in the Beloved.
I love how 1 Corinthians finishes this section of Scripture. Read the entire first chapter and come to the last verse and we are told why it is all of Christ…………
…………so that, just as it is written ‘LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD!
“The LORD our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16)
Grace and Peace!