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The Surpassing Greatness of Knowing Christ . . . Righteousness

I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ…not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
Philippians 3:8-9

Nothing was more important to the apostle Paul than knowing Christ intimately. Nothing. And nothing should be more important to you and to me. I am in awe that Christ would die for me. But wow, the idea of my being declared righteous—how great is that!

The concept of law was the be-all and end-all in Jewish culture. Still is. Live by the law and you’ll be okay with God. But history was plain and clear—they couldn’t keep the law. No one can, no matter how hard he tries. And try they did, especially those Pharisees. They even made more laws than the law required. They were determined to be righteous on their own. What did Isaiah have to say about their attempts? All our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away (Isaiah 64:6).

If only they’d taken note of God’s view on righteousness, right from the beginning: Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6).

So, what is righteousness? New Unger’s Bible Dictionary tells us: “Righteousness of God is His divine holiness, or absolute perfection, essential to His nature.” God is righteous!

How in the world can I, can you, possibly be righteous, absolutely perfect, holy? The simple answer: righteousness comes from God and is by faith. Righteousness is impossible for me to achieve on my own.

Ah yes, but “the perfect righteousness of Christ is imputed to the believer when he accepts Christ as Savior. (Unger). God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). God sees Christ in our hearts, not sin.

How about that ladiesthe surpassing greatness of knowing Christ makes us instantly righteous. The Message translation calls it “robust righteousness”. And then, as intimacy with Jesus increases, we actually learn to practice righteousness. Thank You Jesus!

Nancy P

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