“And be found in Him — not having mine own righteousness — which is of the law — but that which is through the faith of Christ — the righteousness which is of God — by faith.” Phil.3:9
From this verse we learn that there are, indeed, in existence two completely different righteousnesses. There is only one righteousness, however, whereby a true believing sinner may be accepted with God. But, both righteousnesses could — by today’s standard — look like — and be accounted as being — “Christian”.
This naturally raises the relevant question: What exactly is it that makes up the big difference between the two? And, the answer is found in the phrase, “through the faith of Christ”. For the reason that this is true — is because the righteousness that a fallen sinner needs — in order to be justified before God — is a perfect righteousness. Anything less is simply not acceptable. And, just such perfection — is found only in the person and work of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
There is revealed from this text — that there is a righteousness that is indeed lived and performed — that is generated from a sinner’s fine — but imperfect — efforts at keeping the law of Moses. But, this is just not the same as that righteousness that has been lived and performed through the faith of Christ Jesus — the sovereign Savior Son of God! He is the object of the faith of the true believing sinner — for He — is the sinner’s substitute and perfect propitiation!
Ro.3 so aptly explains this divine and gracious premise unto us. Vs.21 announces it with the declaration: “But now — the righteousness of God — apart from the law — is manifested — being witnessed by the law — and the prophets”. In other words, the much needed perfection — where righteousness is concerned — has been lived and performed! (Vs.22) “Even the righteousness of God — which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all — and upon all — them that believe — for there is no difference” — and the reason why that there is no difference among believers is then stated from vs.23: “For all have sinned — and come short of the glory of God”!
Any sinner’s justification before God is next — put purely — in its right and proper perspective: (vs.24-25) “Being justified — freely — by His grace — through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus — whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation — through faith in His blood”! This — God did — in order: “to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins…” What a wonderful phrase of holy scripture this is!
Vs.26 continues to explain: “To declare, I say, at this time — His righteousness — that He might be just — and the justifier — of him (lit.) that is of the faith of Jesus.” Vs.27 reveals that the saved are ruled and governed by another law — “the law of faith” — in which the Lord Jesus Christ rightfully owns all the glory! Praise His Name!