Have you ever read a word in the Bible and never quite understood what it meant? I believe that this is relevant to the way many people view the word, righteousness. We know that it has meaning, but we are not sure what that meaning is.
So what does righteousness mean? It means that we are right with God. E. W. Kenyon once said, “Righteousness means the ability to stand in the presence of the Father God without the sense of guilt or inferiority.” This shows how Jesus stood in the presence of God. He wasn’t afraid, He was speaking with His father.
So what do we do to get righteousness? By receiving it as a gift. The Bible says, “For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:19). This verse says that we need two things, an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. Notice how righteousness is described as a gift instead of something you earn. There is no way to be righteous by our own efforts. It is by the obedience of Christ. We receive it by faith. When we realize this, it will change our walk with God. No longer should we try to earn our place with God.
The Bible explains that, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21). On the cross Jesus made a beautiful exchange. He to swapped our sin with His righteousness. Now we can understand the value of this word. He gave us this ability to always have a relationship with God. It is a gift. Righteousness is not just another word that we use, it represents the great love that Christ gave.