For therein (the gospel) is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written. The just shall live by faith.
God is all about righteousness. Righteousness is God’s character. Man is a sinner because he cannot conform to God’s perfect standard of righteousness (Rom. 3:23). In fact, Paul boldly declares (under the inspiration of God) that “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10). Against this backdrop, the gospel of Jesus Christ brightly shines.
Righteousness can be defined as the expectations God places upon man to live by. His commands are perfectly consistent with his own being and certainly would be fleshed out if God came to dwell among men. Righteousness is God living as God apart from trying to be righteous. He simply is righteous. The good news of the gospel is that God did take on a human body and lived life on earth in perfect righteousness for thirty three years. This fact alone is not the good news in its entirety. This elusive righteousness is transferred to sinful man, when that sinful man is connected to the righteous God. Paul clarifies, “For he hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (Christ)” 2Cor. 5:21. Salvation means that sinful man is connected to the righteous Christ. Our sins are placed upon him. He dies our eternal death and his righteousness is placed upon us. When God looks at us, he sees us clothed in Christ’s righteousness rather than looking at a sinner draped in the clothing of sin.
As Christians, we stand before God as if we had never sinned. We are righteous in his sight. God has achieved his purpose. We will never be more righteous before him, though we will continually learn how to walk more fully in this righteousness. To God be the glory!