I said this in a social media post recently, but it bears repeating, & honestly cannot be emphasized enough. You are not a “poor old sinner saved by grace.” You are the righteousness of God through the salvation you received from Jesus. Righteous isn’t some unattainable goal you strive to reach through good deeds & following all the rules, it is a free gift from God given to all Christians. As much as you have been forgiven, you are made righteous. And as much as there is nothing you can do to “get” righteousness, there is nothing you can do to lose what God has given to you.
The Greek word for righteousness in this verse is “dikaisune”- divine righteousness- God is the source of this righteousness. HELPS Word Studies says “approval of God… what is approved in His eyes.” If you’ve been following these posts for any amount of time, you know I love Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, it always breaks it ALL the way down for us:
“the state of him who is such as he ought to be… the condition acceptable to God… integrity, virtue, purity of life, uprightness, correctness in thinking, feeling, & acting… the state acceptable to God which becomes a sinners possession through that faith by which he embraces the grace of God offered him in the expiatory death of Jesus Christ…”
We don’t work to become righteous, we are made righteous by faith (Romans 1:17). There is no need to struggle to stick to a list of do’s & don’ts & beat ourselves up every time we slip up. The written law of Moses was unattainable, powerless to overcome sin & remove the penalty from us (Romans 8:3). God knew this, & this is why He sent Jesus. He knew no sin, yet came to take ours away (1 John 3:5). Jesus suffered death for our sins, & was raised to life for our justification- sin was both subdued & overcome in Him (Romans 4;25, 8:3). And we are IN HIM!
You are spiritually alive WITH Christ. You have received an undeserved favor & mercy saving us from the judgment we deserved- You have been made righteous! You are as you ought to be. You are acceptable to God. You possess righteousness. Speak integrity, virtue, uprightness, correct thinking, feeling, & acting, & purity of life over yourself daily. Stop believing the lie that you’re a sinner saved by grace, KNOW that you have been made righteous when you received that salvation by faith! Walk in your righteousness!
–Walking in Righteousness by Faith, & Finding the Blessings, Gerri