“That I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (Philippians 3:8-9). The only righteousness that God accepts is the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ our Lord. And it is a righteousness that can be had only by faith.
The writer of Hebrews introduces us to the truth that this righteousness is the inheritance of all true believers. It is something Jesus has left for us, a legacy: “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7). Noah became an heir not by building an ark but by what he believed and preached. He grasped this knowledge of righteousness which God had revealed to him, a righteousness that is by faith, and he became an heir of a perfect righteousness!
Beloved, you and I were given a great inheritance when Christ departed the earth. He left us a title and deed to his very own perfect righteousness. Jesus lived in absolute poverty while on this earth. He owned nothing but he left us riches greater than the diamond mines of South Africa; the oil fields of the Middle East; the gold and silver buried under America’s mountains. Jesus gave us an inheritance that can make us far richer than any person on the face of the earth — an inheritance that allows us to stand before God uncondemned.
We could never possibly meet justice’s demands to fulfill God’s law, so Jesus came to earth and perfectly fulfilled the law of God. He never failed in one point of it and he did it all out of love’s pure motives. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).
Is there anything good in you that would cause God to send his Son to die for you? No, it is an act of complete mercy and grace! By the power of the Holy Spirit, he turns you from all iniquity and empowers you to live out the righteousness he credits to you. Hallelujah!