Scripture says, “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Don’t be put off by all the terms in this verse. Simply put, the goal of the gospel is redemption and God’s grace includes everything he has done for us through Christ to redeem us from the power of the devil and bring us into the kingdom of his glorious light!
Righteousness (which is justification) is the cornerstone of grace. To be justified by God means to be forgiven of all sin and guilt and considered holy and righteous before him. How did you find forgiveness and acceptance before God? Was it because God saw something good in you, some inherent righteousness that attracted him to you? Did you earn his favor with obedience and kindness?
No — absolutely not! The Word says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
No one becomes holy or righteous by his own works, obedience or faithfulness. Rather, these things are all the result of faith in the power of Christ’s blood to make us acceptable in God’s sight.
“Even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” (Galatians 2:16). Being made righteous by faith is the hardest thing for the flesh to accept. We want to earn our salvation but we must submit to the righteousness of Christ and accept his salvation. That is the path to complete freedom.