The experience of God’s grace is only found “in Christ.” In order to understand His grace, we have to reject all our own morality and righteousness as the basis of our acceptance with God.
. . . 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.
When we stand on the shores of eternity, about to pass through its waters to the other side, there will only be one issue: am I in Christ? If not, a horrendous doom will befall us. If we’re “in him,” we’ll forever enjoy our infinite God with unimaginable bliss.
This issue is obviously not only important when we approach the shores of eternity but also right now. Humanity can be divided in two groups: those who are and those who aren’t in Christ. That determines our relationship with God. We’re either fully accepted by the Father or fully rejected by Him.
What does it mean to be in Christ? How can we be in Him? Those are vital questions. While we can approach them from different angles, all being Biblical, we want to highlight Paul’s mindset regarding this crucial matter. For Paul to be “found in him,” means a rejecting of all his own “righteousness.”
If anyone could ever boast about his own righteousness, it was Paul: “If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eight day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.” Yet, he counted that all “as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:4-6, 8).
He rejected all his “morality” in order to receive Jesus’ righteousness. Embracing His righteousness by faith is part of being in Christ. Theologians refer to this as a foreign or imputed righteousness.
It’s foreign in the sense that it’s not our own, but Christ’s. It’s imputed because God freely deposits it into our account when we believed in Him. The rejection of all our own righteousness is in sharp contrast to every other religion and sect. That’s why we’re saved by grace alone!
The Devotional Writer
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