"What makes us righteous?" This is a question that every serious-minded person will ask, either introspectively, or through overt expression. Most of us want to know how a perfect, holy, righteous God will accept a person who is not.
Paul the apostle will share his thoughts on this with the church at Philippi. He has said that at one time he put a lot of trust in his pedigree and worldly achievements. But Paul definitively and demonstrably declares those things as loss and rubbish compared with gaining Christ. Paul puts no confidence in those things to make him righteous before God. So then we must ask, what makes Paul, or anyone, righteous? I'm glad you asked!
Paul says that his righteousness (that is, right standing before God) is not from his own works of the law, but through faith in Christ! This is an astounding thing for a Jewish rabbi and Pharisee to say. Especially one as zealous as Paul, who would have been considered "blameless" as to the law (v.6)! Paul says that everything is a loss to gain Christ, "...and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:9-11
This weekend's sermon text tells us the two kinds; the goal; and the test of righteousness. Are you righteous? This sermon will help you know. As your pastor, I want you to know the hope we have in the gospel and the assurance we have to come boldly into God's throne room. It's all because of Jesus! "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb 4:16). This is the promise of Scripture. Amen!