“And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.”
“But that which is through faith in Christ”
“But” here is strong conjunction of contrast. In contrast to the law, there is another righteousness. There are two kinds of righteousness. First, there is a spurious righteousness, a counterfeit righteousness, a man-made righteousness, a synthetic righteousness, a righteousness of man’s endeavor. In God’s eyes, self-righteousness is spurious righteousness. This is human righteousness.
The other righteousness is righteousness whereby nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling. It is a righteousness that is a gift from God through Christ.
These two types of righteousness cannot commingle. They are mutually exclusive. It is impossible to mix them; it is an either/or situation. One is man’s righteousness, and the other is God’s. This is human righteousness versus imputed righteousness. God’s righteousness rests on revelation, on God’s provision solely.
“Through faith” means through the instrumentality of faith. The word “faith” bears the emphasis here. Parallel to this expression is the phrase “the righteousness from God.” This places the focus upon God as the object of faith. This person gives himself up and takes refuge in God’s provision.
This is self-surrender. Faith is the collapse of every effort of human capacity. We can take comfort only in God’s righteousness. God, in His righteousness, takes the sinner’s part.
To believe is to view God as the effecting subject. We give God the glory by self-surrender. If God does the doing, then God gets the glory. If we do the doing, then we get the glory. The issue is a contrast between the glory of the flesh versus the glory in Jesus Christ. These exclude each other.
When we view God as the effecting subject of giving us His righteousness, we give Him the glory.
When we yield to God’s gift of imputed righteousness through Christ, He is glorified by that acknowledgment. Are we humble enough to admit that we have nothing to offer God?