The source of our righteousness.
In the Old Covenant time, God continuously urged the people to rely on Him and surrender to His will. But many, like Job and his friends, erroneously believe that if they do what is commonly understood to be right, they will achieve a righteous and a blameless living. They failed to realize that the life, the spirit, of the humankind sinned in the garden of Eden, which made humankind a sinner by nature. An exemplary living filled with continuous good deeds and effort could not overcome the sinful human nature. God only could solve the problem of sinfulness. God, therefore, promised to humankind that in the fullness of time, He would bring His righteousness to fruition. However, humans found it challenging to understand because the promise was for the future time, not for there and then.
“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness’” Jeremiah 23:5, 6, NIV. (The emphasis is mine). These verses reveal what the “Branch” will be for the fallen humankind. He will be their “Righteousness from God.” The Branch, Jesus Christ, did not give us the righteousness. He did not merely declare us righteous. The Branch, Jesus Christ, became our righteousness forever. Only if we remain in Christ, could we be blameless in the eyes of the Holy God? This “Righteousness from God” is ours here and now by trusting Jesus. No human effort, religious practices, teachings, or any other way possible, could make us righteous. We are not righteous like Jesus. We are righteous IN JESUS ONLY. “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Romans 3:21, 22, NIV. The “not I but Christ” must be a conviction for each yielded believer. The “Christ Our Righteousness” is not a theory, but a daily experience of the saved ones.