Law & Grace
The Free Gift
You Are Totally Righteous

Not only did Jesus die to forgive us of our sin, but He also rose from the dead to live in us. When we receive Christ, we receive His righteousness because He is totally righteous. This life that we now share with Him is a totally righteous life. The righteousness of God that has been given through Jesus Christ is not dependent on our ability to stay holy. It is a completely free gift given to us when we put our faith in Christ. We have exchanged our unrighteousness for His perfect righteousness.

Understanding that we are as righteous as Jesus Christ because He lives in us is what frees us from the impossible task of trying to keep ourselves "clean" before God. Let's look at some Scriptures concerning the issue of righteousness.

Key Verse: Romans 3:21,22

But now righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
  1. Where does true righteousness come from?
  2. Can we become righteous by observing the law?
  3. If not from the law, then how do we attain righteousness?
  4. Who is it available to?

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).

1.  Did Christ have any sin?
2.  What did God make Christ to be on our behalf?
3.  How much of our sin do you think Christ took?
4.  Because of this exchange, what did we become?
5.  Where do we become the righteousness of God?
6.  If we have become the righteousness of God, how righteous are we?
7.  What if part of our inheritance in Christ as children of God?

However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness (Romans 4:5).

Who does God justify?
Is a man justified by his works or by trusting God?
To those who believe, what is credited to them?
If a person could gain righteousness by his own good works, whose righteous­ness would it be?
Whose righteousness is it when we believe God?

Just as through Adam we were all born spiritually dead, through Christ we are born spiritually alive. In Adam we are born in sin; in Christ we are born in righteousness. This is what it means to be "born again."

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
  1. What was the result of one man's sin?
  2. How many people were affected by that one man's sin?
  3. What is God’s gift to those who will receive it?
  4. What does it mean to “

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the sur­passing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, 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 is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith (Philippians 3:8,9).

1.  What kind of righteousness does obedience to the law produce?
2.  What kind of righteousness does faith in Christ produce?
3.  Whose righteousness would you rather have, your own or God's?
4.  There is only one way to receive the righteousness of God-by faith in Christ and His finished work at Calvary. Are you willing to give up on your feeble efforts and rest in His free gift of righteousness today?
5.  If you are standing in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, how acceptable are you to God?

…to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6 NKJV).

1.   According to this verse, is our acceptance before God something we can establish?
2.  Who has made us accepted?
3.  If we are righteous and accepted by God, how, then, should we relate to Him?

It is important to understand that the righteousness of God is not just another gift He gives us. Righteousness is given in the form of a person, Jesus Christ the righteous one.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith" (Romans 1:16,17).

1.  What does Paul say he is not ashamed of?
2.  What does the gospel reveal?
3.  What is the power of the gospel?
4.  How does someone receive the righteousness of God?
5.  The righteousness of God is received by faith. How, then, do we continue to live?
6.  Are you experiencing the power of the gospel in your life?
7.  If not, are you willing to rest in the righteousness you have received as a child of God?

As we have seen, since we have been given the very righteousness of God, we can approach Him with great confidence, knowing that we don't stand in our own righteousness. There is nothing we can be condemned of if we are righteous. Our identity as children of God is based on His acceptance of us not because of our performance, but because of the righteous life of Christ that dwells in us.