Joseph Prince: Understanding Righteousness

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Righteousness Is Not Right Doing But Right Being

What do you think righteousness is about? Something you do or something you are? Right doing or right being?

The Bible tells us that after Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross, God imputes righteousness not to those who strive to obey the law (Galatians 2:16), but to anyone who believes in His Son. Because Christ took our sins and gave us His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), the moment we believe in Him, God treats us as righteous apart from our works or obedience (Romans 4:5–8). This is new covenant righteousness—a righteousness that comes by faith and not works.

You are not righteous because of how morally upright you are. You are not righteous because you exercise self-control. You are not righteous because you read 10 chapters of the Bible daily. You are not righteous because you feel righteous. But you are the very righteousness of God in Christ solely because the sacrifice of Jesus made you so. When you believe this, your faith is accounted for righteousness.

And this is what God wants you to use your faith for. You don’t need faith to know that you are sinful. But you do need faith to believe and declare that you are the righteousness of God in Christ, in the midst of your weaknesses and struggles.

For example, when you feel lousy because you have just snapped at your spouse, God wants you to exercise your faith to see yourself as still righteous in the midst of that failure. This living revelation that you are still righteous will give you the strength to love your spouse and reconcile things with him or her.

The enemy may say, “How dare you call yourself righteous when you just did that!” That’s the time you need to boldly declare, “I am not righteous because of what I have done or not done. I am righteous only because of the blood and finished work of Jesus at the cross!”