The issue of righteousness has been clearly expounded in the epistles. The benchmark for any definition on the subject of righteousness must be based on the epistles which happens to be the revelation of the scriptures.
Righteousness is NOT based on what we DO eg, trying to please God, acting holy or struggling to gain peoples’ approval, etcetera. These boarders on works.
Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Again, righteousness is not defined by doing good deeds as we tend to postulate. We have philanthropists of international repute across the globe who spend billions of dollars annually to help humanity in every sphere of life, yet we can’t ascribe God’s righteousness to them. They don’t even care about Christ and His Church in any way.
You see, righteousness is not based on good works which we have done (Isa.64:6) but good works can come out of the righteousness which we have received in Christ!
Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which RECEIVE abundance of grace and of the GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Righteousness is as a result of the FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST. It’s the work of His grace and therefore is unearned and unqualified for. That’s why it’s an work of GOD’S GRACE which we must accept from Him as a gift! Rom. 5:17 clearly states that RIGHTEOUSNESS is a GIFT nothing more. nothing less!
We have been made righteous in Christ hence the word of God says: 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; THAT WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM. We live a righteous life by default because that’s how the NATURE OF GOD we received by faith in Christ has programmed our lives. We don’t struggle to live righteous, we live righteous because that’s who we are in Him.
We have been Sanctified in Christ: Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.
Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
We are in eternal union with Him. Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. We are eternally joined with Him.
1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
In Him we live. We don’t live outside Him.
Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
He is our LIFE and our RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 3:4 WHEN CHRIST, WHO IS OUR LIFE, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Whenever someone struggles to breathe, it’s an indication that something is wrong wthin the system because God created us to breathe by default even while we are sleeping. Breathing, according to psychologists and nuero-scientists is within the domain of involuntary action. So also we live righteous in Christ by default! It’s not a struggle, it’s our inherent lifestyle as we abide in Him.
We live Christ! Christ is our righteousness and in Him we live! Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
We don’t struggle to live righteous since Christ lives His life in us! The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:2
THAT IS THE MYSTERY OF OUR REDEMPTION IN CHRIST!