Righteousness

—that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, bt that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

— Philippians 3:8-9

What does the apostle mean by the righteousness that is of God by faith? He means the same righteousness Christ had by his faith in God, the same righteousness God himself has. In his second epistle to the Corinthians, he says, “He hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him;” “He gave him to be treated like a sinner, killed and cast out of his own vineyard by his husbandmen, that we might in him be made righteous like God.” As the antithesis stands, it is rhetorically correct. But if the former half means, “he made him to be treated as if he were a sinner,” then the latter half should, in logical precision, mean, “That we might be treated as if we were righteous.” And not a few argue that is just what Paul does mean, with our sins being imputed to Jesus, in order that we might be treated as if we were righteous, his righteousness being imputed to us. That is, by a sort of legal fiction, Jesus was treated as what he was not, in order that we might be treated as what we are not. This is the best device, according to the prevailing theology, that the God of truth, the God of mercy, could fall upon for saving his creatures! It seems to me that, seeing much duplicity exists in the body of Christ, every honest member of it should protest against any word tending to imply the existence of falsehood in the indwelling spirit of that body. I now protest against this so-called doctrine, counting it the rightful prey of the most foolish wind in the limbo of vanities, whither I would gladly do my best to send it.