I am not justified before God through any work or merit of my own, or because of any righteousness that is within me or that has been infused into me, but I am justified solely through God’s grace and goodness, solely because of Christ’s merit, to which I cling in faith and through which I have received it for myself.
In other words:
I receive righteousness and salvation acceptable to God, because of the most holy obedience, suffering and death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and not because of the works of anyone else. This perfect fulfillment of the Law by Christ, His obedience and sacrifice, God imputes to me for my benefit through faith. The righteousness in which I am acceptable to God is not my own, but Christ’s righteousness.
Rom. 10:4: For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.
Rom. 5:19: For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Is. 64:6: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.
Is. 53:5,11: He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed... By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities.
Assignment: Read Rom. 3 and 4. Note: James 2:17-26 does not speak of becoming righteous in God’s sight, but being considered righteous in the sight of men.