“He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.”Psalm 105:8-9
Noah, Abram, Lot, John the Baptist, Simeon—the Bible refers to these men as righteous. So can we be considered righteous, too? Not as we are in our sin! These men—good as they were—struggled in their sin and were just as far from the righteousness of God as you are or I am.
God’s righteousness is seen in both His judgment of sin (Romans 3:5) and His way of saving. He judges perfectly, and He saves freely, offering salvation as a gift. The righteousness of God permeates all that He is. But the righteousness that you and I may have barely begins to cover over our sinful nature. Even our best deeds are little more that dirty rags (see Isaiah 64:6).
We’re not saved from sin because of our own righteousness but because of God’s. Look at His faithful promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Deuteronomy 9:5), promises kept throughout history and into our own lives. We can’t deliver ourselves. But the Lord’s righteousness becomes ours, and it is an uprightness that far outshines any “good” person we read of in the Bible.
When we confess our sins, the Lord cleanses us from all unrighteousness (see 1 John 1:9). Because of His righteousness alone, we are blessed beyond measure.