Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
What an incredible verse! I want to be found in Him – in His righteousness, not mine! Paul is talking to the Philippians about our standing with God. And that standing comes from what Christ has done not what we have done!
Certainly we are following after holiness. We are to striving to be like Christ – to walk right and do right. We are His representatives to a lost world and we are living our lives as a reflection of Him. But our standing in God does not come from our righteousness it comes from His righteousness.
Paul reminded the Philippians that he did all the right things. He followed the law to a tee. But then on the road to Damascus, Paul had an experience with Jesus. Paul had an eye-opening revelation – none of his own righteousness put him in right standing with God. Only by trusting in Christ’s righteousness could he be justified. So Paul re-evaluated and re-counted his life. He relabeled all the things he had trusted in to make him righteous. Labels were changed from “gain” to “loss.” All the confidence Paul had put in his own righteousness, were relabeled, “dung.” He counted it all loss and put his trust in what Christ had done.
Oh, to be found in Him:
….not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
When I am found in Him, I enjoy the righteousness of God. Do you want to be found in your own righteousness or the Righteousness of God? When you are trying to be justified through what you are doing – that’s the righteousness of the Law. And Paul said:
…. for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16)
Or do you want the righteousness of God? The righteousness of God comes by faith and trust in Christ – in what He has done.
I’ll Never Measure Up!
I’ll never be good enough in of myself. It’s impossible for me to pray hard enough, fast long enough, or sacrifice deep enough to be justified in God’s eyes. I could never think pure enough or live holy enough to be in good standing before Him.
I’m going to trust that when I was born again – baptized in Jesus’ Name and filled with the Holy Ghost – that I put on Christ. I am righteous because of Him not me!
Yes I am striving for holiness! I’m doing by best to live Godly in this present world. I’m pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God. But that isn’t where my good standing with God comes from.
If we don’t understand this truth, we will always struggle. We must have faith and confidence that we are ok with God! Our standing with God is based on what Christ has done. Are we in Him?
We’ve been conditioned our whole lives to think our standing with God is based on our performance. So if I’m doing well spiritually then God will love me and accept me. But if I’m not – If I make a mistake, have a bad thought or slip in my prayer life – then God will no longer smile upon me! I’ll no longer be in good standing with God!
People will live in condemnation if they don’t understand Paul’s teaching to the Philippians. We are human. We are flesh. We’re going to mess up, have bad days and do dumb things. But our justification is in Christ. We are trusting in His work. We are counting on His righteousness.
Does that mean we shouldn’t follow after holiness? Of course not! We are trying our best to please God and die to sin. But our standing with GOD is not determined by what we do, it’s determined by our faith in what He did!
A Key to Joy
Rejoice! Philippians is a book about joy. Do you know what brings joy to our walk with God? It’s the realization that it’s not our righteousness, but His righteousness that puts us in good standing with God! That is a key to joy.
If you put your confidence in your own works, you will always come up short. And you will always struggle with joy. Why? Because you can’t live righteous enough in your own self to be justified. If you could, there would not have been a need for Calvary or it’s Christ!
People who are trusting in their own righteousness lack joy. They lack joy because they keep failing. They’re always trying to measure up. They’re always trying to measure others up. But there is only One who measures up – Christ! And we can rejoice when we are found in Him!
If you are in Him, then guess what God sees when He looks at you? He sees the perfect, spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness. Oh to be “found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith…”
Let God give you Joy. You’re O.K! You’ve been baptized into Christ thereby putting on Christ. You’ve been made holy by the Baptism of the Holy Spirit! So you are in Him – in His righteousness. That is what puts you in good standing with God!
~ Matthew Ball