Gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of your own, but one that is through faith in Christ — the righteousness from God based on faith. (Philippians 3:9)
Grace and peace to you fellow sojourners!
I love this verse in Philippians. Let’s consider this summation: 1) be found IN Christ, 2) don’t consider yourself righteous based on YOUR evaluation of your works, and 3) God makes you righteous THROUGH your faith in Christ.
Be found in Christ.
If you are in Christ you were given grace before the world was created (2 Timothy 1:9), God chose you before creation (Ephesians 1:4), God loves you with an inseparable love (Romans 8:38-39), you were redeemed and forgiven of all your sins (Ephesians 1:7), you are justified before God and the righteousness of God in Christ is assigned to you (2 Corinthians 5:21), you are a new creation ( 2 Corinthians 5:17), and a child of God (1 John 3:1). Being found in Christ means you know these statements to be true in your life (as well as other Biblical truths) and you desire to live your life based on the reality of these truths.
Don’t consider yourself righteous based on your evaluation of your works.
Sojourners, we must decisively arrive at the decision that our pride will no longer desire (knowingly or unknowingly) to stand before the Judge and attempt to present any sort of claim as to why we should receive God’s favor. Any self-reliance and self-proclaimed goodness we desire to offer God is inadequate at best.
God makes you righteous through your faith in Christ.
We must know we will stand before Him strictly because we are IN Christ; holding tightly to the righteousness freely given to us by God through our faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is God’s appointed means of applying every one of His saving benefits.
God is not asking for our good works; he asks for our faith (Genesis 15:6). If we choose to declare ourselves righteous based on our works than we have also declared ourselves judge and have dared to redeem ourselves as blameless based on what we have decided to be important; thus affirming our self-righteousness with astigmatic vision.
“My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10).
“The participle ‘being conformed’ is present, and implies a process that is going on and will continue through life — not an act like justification, simultaneous with the exercise of faith. ‘Being conformed’ means being cast in the same form, being brought into such a community and likeness that one sketch, outline, shape, will represent both.” (Dean Alford biblehub.com)
We are “being conformed” to Christ’s death when we die to sin, as he died for sin; and the world is crucified to us, and we to the world, by the cross of Christ. This behavior will carry us through all the difficulties experienced in this life. We will not attain it through our own merit and ideas of righteousness, but only through the merit and righteousness found in Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Lord, for the righteousness You give me through faith in Jesus Christ. Your salvation is perfect, glorious, and sufficient. Any work of my own that I consider righteous is defective, impure, and entirely insufficient to save my soul. I depend on you entirely. My desire is to be found IN Christ. In the all-surpassing name of Jesus, I pray, amen.
In His grace,