“…and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own…
Paul explained what it means to be “in Christ” in another letter. Here his emphasis is on our applying the righteousness of Christ to our daily lives–that “righteousness from God that depends on faith–” (3:11). When we sin, and the guilt causes us to despair, we are to remember we are clothed in this perfectness, this life of the Lord Jesus who never sinned. Practicing this enables us to passionately pursue our goal of knowing God and experiencing his power.
Then, we can follow Jesus’s example, as well as, put off our own sinful desires, and our selfishness, and put on love, joy, peace, patience, longsuffering…..
“Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immortality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealously. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14).
Paul even encouraged them to look at his example of how to live this out. He knew he was not perfect; his only perfectness was found “in Christ.” God declared Paul righteous. It depended on his faith–the gift of God. He kept his eyes on his goal of knowing God, and he insisted this was the only way: to be “in Christ.”
I used to have a sign on my podium reading “Follow me to the library.” The senior social studies kids weren’t very appreciative. That just wasn’t on their minds.
Here, Paul was encouraging his readers to follow his example as he followed Christ Jesus. Is that what is on your mind?
THINK ABOUT THESE VERSES: Comparing verses with each other helps us understand and apply them.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Philippians 3:1).
“For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and coveteousness, which is idolatry….You must put them all away: anger wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouths…Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, …” (Colossians 3:5-12).