“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe…”

-Romans 3:21-22 (NKJV)

Sometimes perfectionists can be hard to be around if you’re not one yourself. They don’t mean to flaunt it, but because of a lack of attention to perfection you might get a little bit intimidated. Then you start to measure yourself against that person…only to fall short in all of your estimations; they never do anything wrong, and here you are blundering around.

You know, God is a very perfect Person, too. And as perfect as perfectionists think they are, not even they come close to God’s perfect-ness. Now you’re probably thinking, “Oh great… What’s that mean for me?” He never makes a mistake, and He’s very right, all the time. In fact, I believe that the very reason anyone would shy away from God—Who is so awesome, and so perfect, and so, so right—is because this thought lingers overheard: “How can I relate to such a perfect being?”

The only thing that can measure up to God’s righteousness is His own righteousness because nothing else is good enough. 

Wait! Don’t close out your screen yet! We’re not done here. We’re just getting started.

Here’s what righteousness means in a broad sense from the Vine’s Expository Dictionary: state of him who is as he ought to be; the condition acceptable to God.

Think about it: “…as he ought to be.” How awesome is that? Righteousness is being exactly who you are created to be. One of my leaders told me once that righteousness is standing right next to God. Oh perfect! So I just gotta be myself, and I’m…righteous?

No, not at all. It’s way better than that. What’s in question here is your identity. It’s not “Who am I?” but “Am I being who I was created to be?”

So how do we become righteous? Do we act a certain way or pray for so long? Or maybe we need to attend church services and conventions? While all of these are important, and even vital for you to get everything that you need as a Christian, none of these will help you be righteous. Romans 3:21 tells us that righteousness doesn’t depend on the law to produce what it needs to! It’s not a checklist of how to live, or what to look like. It’s not anything that you can work for or produce. You can’t buy it or sell it. There is only one way to have righteousness, and that way is through faith in Jesus Christ. This means that this righteousness, the “who-you-ought-to-be” version of yourself, is available to EVERYONE that believes in Jesus!

Righteousness is believing in who He is and what He did for you! Notice that it has nothing to do with you. When Jesus came to die for humanity, He came to put an end to the separation between God and man. He so loved us that He took every sin, every mistake, every disease, and every imperfection from us and carried it to Hell for us. He restored us to be exactly “who we ought to be.” It’s this very selfless act of love that made us righteous. Now we can measure up to God’s righteousness—now we can relate to Him!

I John 4:17 says that we can “have boldness in the day of judgment, because just as He is, so are we in this world.” We are just…like…Jesus. Nothing you do can make you more capable, or be less worthy of what He did for you. He gave you righteousness as a free gift! All that has to be done is to unwrap this precious gift by faith.

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Today, I charge you to look for yourself in Jesus. Your righteousness is found only in Him. Our real life, the who-you-ought-to-be life, is hidden with Christ, the Bible says (Colossians 3:3).  If He is strong, that means we are strong. If He is blessed, that means we are blessed. Our identity is found in Him and what He says about us. So look for Him in the Bible! Search for Jesus, and find yourself wrapped up in Him, and know that in Christ, you are righteous.

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“Dear Father, thank You for sending Your Son so that I could be made righteous. Help me to see myself as You have made me. I will not take the blood of Jesus for granted, and because I have been given such a precious gift, I will live solely for Your glory.  I realize the price paid for me, and how much I am loved. Help me to see myself in Jesus. I believe that I am righteous by the blood of Jesus. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”

-Jamie Campo

5FA Intern