Philippians 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
We are undone without a righteousness wherein to appear before God, for we are guilty.
There is a righteousness provided for us in Jesus Christ, and it is a complete and perfect righteousness.
None can have interest or benefit by it but those who come off from confidence in themselves, and are brought heartily to believe in him.
Not having my own righteousness, which is of the law;
not thinking that my outward observances and good deeds are able to atone for my bad ones, or that by setting the one over against the other I can come to balance accounts with God.
No, the righteousness which I depend upon is that which is through the faith of Christ, not a legal, but evangelical righteousness: The righteousness which is of God by faith, ordained and appointed of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord our righteousness, Isa. 45:24; Jer. 23:6.
Had he not been God, he could not have been our righteousness; the transcendent excellence of the divine nature put such a value upon, and such a virtue into, his sufferings, that they became sufficient to satisfy for the sins of the world, and to bring in a righteousness which will be effectual to all that believe.
Faith is the ordained means of actual interest and saving benefit in all the purchase of his blood. It is by faith in his blood, Rom. 3:25.
And be found in him – That is, united to him by a living faith. The idea is, that when the investigations of the great day should take place in regard to the ground of salvation, it might be found that he was united to the Redeemer and depended solely on his merits for salvation;
Not having mine own righteousness – That is, not relying on that for salvation. This was now the great aim of Paul, that it might be found at last that he was not trusting to his own merits, but to those of the Lord Jesus.
Which is of the law –
The “righteousness which is of the law” is that which could be obtained by conformity to the precepts of the Jewish religion, such as Paul had endeavored to obtain before he became a Christian.
He now saw that no one complied perfectly with the holy law of God, and that all dependence on such a righteousness was vain.
All people by nature seek salvation by the law.
They set up some standard which they mean to comply with, and expect to be saved by conformity to that.
With some it is the law of honor, with others the law of honesty, with others the law of kindness and courtesy, and with others the law of God.
If they comply with the requirements of these laws, they suppose that they will be safe, and it is only the grace of God showing them how defective their standard is, or how far they come from complying with its demands, that can ever bring them from this dangerous dependence.
Paul in early life depended on his compliance with the laws of God as he understood them, and supposed that he was safe. When he was brought to realize his true condition, he saw how far short he had come of what the law of God required, and that all dependence on his own works was vain.
But that which is through the faith of Christ – That justification which is obtained by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ; …