Righteousness Through Christ

Open Your Bible

Romans 3:21-28, John 1:1-5, 14-18

Text: Romans 3:21-28, John 1:1-5, 14-18

“The grace of God,
through the righteousness of Christ,
has more power to bring salvation,
than Adam’s sin had to bring misery.”
– Matthew Henry

In the New Testament, the Greek word for righteousness, dikaiosýnē (dik-ah-yos-oo’-nay), means “a condition having divine approval.” In other words, what God approves of in His own eyes.

Even when I squint my eyes and tilt my head, the most “righteous” things I’ve done in my life are still tainted by my sin. I’m not sure my very best days would qualify to receive a thumbs up according to the impeccable standards of the Creator of the world, the holy God of Israel.

Given the the darkness in this poor, fallen world—and the reality of sin in each person who’s walked the earth—it doesn’t take long to realize that not one of us is worthy to be deemed as having dikaiosýnē by the Holy God. Only Jesus is wholly righteous. Only He is worthy of divine approval.

The incarnation of Jesus turns the whole concept of justice on its head. Rather than standing alone before God, our Judge, with only our faulty defense and a few character witnesses by our side, Jesus steps in to take our place in the defendant’s chair. He is the only one to walk our earth and breathe our air and remain sinless—the only one to maintain dikaiosýnē before God. With God as Judge, we are found “not guilty.” When God looks at the seat of the would-be guilty, He sees only the righteous blood of Christ.

We walk into the courtroom a guilty woman, destined to a life sentence or worse, and we walk out free, our slate wiped forever clean.

This, friends, is the Good News:

“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”
-Colossians 1:21-22 (emphasis mine)

We were created, loved, pursued, and redeemed. We did nothing to deserve the mercy that stems from the love we initially rejected—that we often still reject. We can never make any rules or attain enough perfection to gain favor in God’s eyes. But Jesus. Because of Jesus, there is grace.  

“The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more…” – Romans 5:20

Christ finds us in our helpless state and intercedes for us before the Father—He becomes our perfect defense and righteousness, covering us with grace upon grace so that we can stand, chosen and blameless, in front of our God (Ephesians 1:4).

“For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

On this eleventh day of Advent, let us focus on the supreme and eternal nature of Jesus—HE is the One through whom our righteousness is achieved and then gifted to us.

Glory to God in the very highest.


For an added layer of worship during this sweet season of adoration and expectation, we’ve created a Spotify playlist for Advent 2014! You can find the complete SheReadsTruth | O Come Let Us Adore Him playlist at this link, or listen to today’s track on the player below. Enjoy!


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73 thoughts on "Righteousness Through Christ"

  1. vanny says:

    I praise the Lord for His upright goodness. ^ ^ Thanks for the compiled verses.

  2. Jen says:

    absolutely love this devotion-
    “A love so perfect, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all…How Great Thou Art.”

  3. Stephanie says:

    Thank you, Jesus!

  4. Mollybee says:

    It is incredible! I am humbled, awed and ever so grateful. Grace upon grace

  5. Kati says:

    Amen and amen!!

  6. Kasey Tuggle says:

    Love how ALL of the glory is given to Christ! He chose us! He redeemed us! I would never choose Jesus on my own! Thankful he purchased my salvation! He shows me grace upon grace! Psalm 115:1

  7. Brooke Heidi says:

    24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. “ALL” even those in the body of Christ I at times struggle to Love. This verse just seemed to leap off the page and soften my heart, I am so thankful HIs Word brings conviction and repentance.

  8. E.noel says:

    Love that beginning quite by Henry! What a beautiful observation. I love that even when the miseries of sin seem so overpowering, that there is NOTHING that can separate us from Christ’s sacrifice and The Lord’s grace!! How awesome to know that no matter where we are, and how much our grace should have halted, it only INCREASES! Thank you Lord for such a beautiful reminder today!

  9. brit_ladner says:

    There is no greater love! He became nothing to give us everything. THAT is the reason for the season! Today made me cry tears of joy and thankfulness.

    1. valerie says:


  10. loveHimso says:

    We were created, loved, pursued, and redeemed…. I absolutely love that statement! I am in awe of Him. He pursed me a LONG time. He could see my future story since my vision was quite narrow. He knew that one day the blinders would come off and I would be able to see Him for the Father He is to me. Whatever I lack…. He is that to me. Can't be anything but grateful. Come let us adore Him.

  11. Mandy Hice says:

    I was on my Facebook page earlier and was reading an article on a news channel. The comments people were posting were horrid. There were some very evil-sounding atheists commenting and every time a Christian would make a comment they spit back some of the most ugly words. I felt guilty for being afraid to comment simply because I felt I was educated enough in my Christian life to stand up to them. All I could think to say was, “I’m a child of God and will forever be.” It just brought to my attention the hatred and how real it is in this world. The devil is all around and we must fight back. I am so glad Jesus died on that cross for me and I’ll forever be grateful that He chooses to love and forgive me.

  12. Alli says:

    Needed this today. I’ve “messed up” a lot today. This post makes it so evident to me how much stock I put in my good behavior. Blech.

  13. Charli says:

    I am so thankful for grace upon grace today. Feeling so burdened by sin before I read this, what a beautiful reminder it was to hear that Christ is my righteousness and through him as my intercessor I have access to my gracious Heavenly Fathers heart

  14. Mariah VanCleave says:

    By reading this I now realize that if it wasn’t for Jesus we wouldn’t be here now.. Thank you Lord for giving us your son to die for our sins… Can you imagine how much he takes on daily??

  15. Jess says:

    also the verse that says, “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” So many times this long hard year I have believe the lie that the darkness has overcome me. I have started saturating myself and memorising verses like this to remind me daily that the darkness has not overcome the light. The light is my precious Saviour and because I am His, the darkness CANNOT overcome me either!

    1. Kels says:

      Jess– it sounds like you are cultivating the fruit of the Spirit of self-control! Keep shining His light! Memorizing Scripture is an encouraging way to shine out the darkness! Thank you, I needed that helpful reminder! :)

  16. Jess says:

    Wonderful devotion this morning. Thank you so much! And love my sisters comments on the beauty and precious hope of the words, “but Jesus!”

    What really struck me is the verse that said that God is both the just and the justifier! I know we’re focusing on Jesus’ righteousness on our behalf, but think for a minute on God the Father. He was just and yet made a way to justify his chosen people through the broken body of His only precious Son! We deserved only death and hell and yet he made a way that we might be heirs of all his goodness and richness. I am overwhelmed by the Holy righteous love of my God!

    1. shereadstruth says:

      LOVE that, Jess!! He IS. Thankful for these truths! It's such a joy to have you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  17. …I am so unworthy of this kind of love and so grateful to have it.

    1. shereadstruth says:

      Amen, Ashley! So thankful. We love having you in our community!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  18. Caroline says:

    Thanks be to God for His unbelievable grace!! Sisters, I am so…relieved, calmed, assured when I read this devotion. This reminder that Christ is all sufficient righteousness and imparts that to us?! I’m again in awe of God’s perfect, all encompassing grace and mercy.

  19. Taime' says:

    “Oh it wouldn’t be enough, no it wouldn’t be enough, to buy one splinter of the tree Jesus died on! And I couldn’t pay the price for one single drop of blood, that was shed for my salvation!” Think this is 70’s 2nd Chapter of Acts… Old school CCM

  20. Tori says:

    "We were created, loved, pursued, and redeemed. We did nothing to deserve the mercy that stems from the love we initially rejected—that we often still reject. We can never make any rules or attain enough perfection to gain favor in God’s eyes. But Jesus. Because of Jesus, there is grace."

    I'm gonna hold on to this today. So thankful for a God that lavishes grace on His people.

  21. rapmamaboo says:

    "The incarnation of Jesus turns the whole concept of justice on its head. Rather than standing alone before God, our Judge, with only our faulty defense and a few character witnesses by our side, Jesus steps in to take our place in the defendant’s chair. He is the only one to walk our earth and breathe our air and remain sinless—the only one to maintain dikaiosýnē before God. With God as Judge, we are found “not guilty.” When God looks at the seat of the would-be guilty, He sees only the righteous blood of Christ."
    This description pierced me to my marrow with the understanding of what Jesus has done for me and for the world. I know that each person gets the Living Word as God plans it , I simply pray that I can express, in the crystal clarity of the previous description what God and Jesus have done for me so that others will be ready to be quickened by Holy Spirit !

  22. heathlynn says:

    Great message this morning! What a wonderful reminder of His atonement. His righteousness and what a marvelous gift that because He went to the cross we can now receive that righteousness as a gift. The free gift of eternal life is ours in Christ Jesus, Praise Him!

    I loved the verses today (from Romans, Ephesians, and 2 Cor). We have been going through the book of Titus at my church these past few months and Titus 3: 3-7 came to my mind after reading this morning's entry. My pastor calls passages like this "then, now" passages because they speak to what we were before Christ, before we were save (the "then") and what we are "now" as we are redeemed by Him. Such marvelous verses to cling to.

    Thank you SRT ladies! Praying for you all this morning.

    Titus 3:3-7
    3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

  23. Melody says:

    "But Jesus."

    I am not worthy on my own…but Jesus.

    I sin and am not righteous…but Jesus.

    I am not always loving to those around me (and I often don't love myself)…but Jesus.

    I screw up and make messes and throw fits and cry…but Jesus.

    He makes me worthy. He takes on my sin and puts His righteousness on me. He loves me and he helps me to better love others. He is with me in my screw ups and messes and fits and tears.

    But Jesus. Amen.

    1. heathlynn says:

      Yes! Love those two words.
      John Piper said in one of his sermons that having faith is choosing to say "But Jesus."
      I am weak…. but Jesus is strong!
      He is so good and gracious and loving. We can trust in His faithfulness

    2. Felicitouschick says:

      Oh, I may have to put But Jesus on my wall…I needed to hear that; I need Him!

    3. Kendall_S says:

      love this Melody :)

    4. ClaireB says:

      Well said

  24. Carrie says:

    Thank you Diana and other SRT contributors! Like the other commenters, I am being blessed by your work. Shelia's words "God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what He does really glow. Love to all…

    1. shereadstruth says:

      Thanks for joining us today, Carrie! We love having you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  25. Beth Warner says:

    “We were created, pursued,and redeemed. And we did nothing to deserve the mercy that stems from that love that we initially rejected, and often still reject”. Wow!!! Thank you Diana for your words this morning, I’m learning so much from this study.

  26. Beth Warner says:

    Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!!!
    Thank you Father for sending your son to die for my sins and the STUPID things I’ve done. Even if I was the only one on earth, he would have died for ME!!! I can’t work my way into your good grace, but I don’t need to because of your son and your love for me. Amazing Grace. Wow!!
    Have a wonderful day ladies, blessings to you all..xo.

  27. ErinTX says:

    I’m so encouraged daily by walking through this with you all. In my 31 years, this is my first real CHRISTmas and I feel as though I see everything in the Bible and in my life in a new light. Praise Jesus for His mercy and grace on this mess of a sinner!

    1. Kendall_S says:

      Praise Him! So excited for you!! :)

    2. Beth Warner says:

      Isn’t it great!!!

    3. heathlynn says:

      That's so encouraging to hear! This SRT community has been helping me remember the reason for Christmas!
      So great that we can all rejoice in our marvelous Savior together. During this advent season, may we keep our eyes fixed on Him and share His love with others.

    4. Chelsea C. says:

      Couldn't agree more! God has awakened my soul in the past eleven days, shaking free the bonds that have held me down for years. I feel like for the first time I am understanding the magnitude of our Lord coming down from the splendor and worship of heaven to a lowly stable completely helpless so that we could know he understands what we are going through at our lowest states. I am loving this season with these blessed women of His!

    5. Ashley says:

      I agree this is also my first real CHRISTmas. I have never looked at this season in this light and I am so grateful for it.

  28. Kendall_S says:

    we all have sinned….

    but we can all be justified freely…..

    through faith in Jesus Christ.

    such beauty.

    such truth.

    this is the joy in Christmas.

    1. Beth Warner says:

      Isn’t it wonderful Kendall?

  29. Shelia says:

    What we’ve learned is this: God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade. (The Message)Romans 3

    These verses in Romans spoke to me today. I have a tendency to try and run everything. He is in control and and nothing I can do will ever earn righteousness, BUT He GIVES that righteousness through what He did and He does.

    1. stinav96 says:

      Amen, Shelia!

  30. LaurieEW says:

    We had a tragic loss in our family this week. My 65 year old Believing cousin suddenly died in Vietnam while traveling alone. He leaves behind his only immediate family an Unbelieving Sister. I know he struggled with the same thing a lot of us do, to share Jesus with our family. Pray that this loss will bring many to Jesus, especially his Sister.

    1. Beth Warner says:

      I will be praying for that Laurie, there are some family I too have a difficult time sharing with. I’m so afraid of blowing it.

    2. I'm so sorry for your loss! Praying for your family <3 I hope that your cousin will feel God's peace and presence emulating from you and come to know His comfort.

  31. joanne says:

    So very thankful that His righteousness is imputed to me. Amen.

  32. Beckey says:

    Colossians 1:21-22
    That. That right there us enough to bring a woman to her knees in gratitude, and raise her to her feet to dance in praise – all at the same time!

    “But Jesus”… I will be carrying those two little words with me all day.


  33. Kelly_Smith says:

    I read this one slowly. The Gospel can become so familiar that it no longer catches my attention. #SRTAdvent has blessed my soul this year by making the Gospel a part of my morning, raising it up from the corner of my heart to shine bright once again. The wonder of Christmas is not just that Jesus came, but WHY he came. He came to stand in my place, to receive my punishment, to take away my sin and shame. It is just as amazing today as it was when I first believed 30 years ago. This morning, I imagine myself bowed low at the manger singing to the Holy Child, "Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!"

    1. shereadstruth says:

      Kelly, this is so beautiful. What a wonderful image of the way He loves us! It's such a joy to have you with us!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  34. Sheryl says:

    Amazing! Jesus, the Perfect One, took my place … what life-giving grace! “But God…” Thanks be to Him for the best gift ever given or received!!

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Love that truth, Sheryl! It's such a joy to have you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  35. Giulliana Tessarin says:

    “The grace of God, through the righteousness of Christ, has more power to bring salvation than Adam’s sin had to bring misery.” The truth of this quote caught my attention! The sacrifice of Jesus and His blood shed on the cross give us eternal life. The Father look to us (sinful women) through Jesus sacrifice and see us blameless! Doesn’t matter the “size” of our sin… He will ALWAYS see us as His lovely daughters

    1. Beth Warner says:

      Love it!!!

  36. "In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

    What brings God LIFE is OUR LIGHT. He's just like any other mother who gives life and receives life and light from her children.

    Our light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not, cannot, and NEVER will overcome it. I'm clinging to that assurance today. Whatever darkness I'm facing…Christ in me is bigger and brighter.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Clinging to that assurance with you, Taylor! Thanks for the sweet reminder of hope!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  37. tina says:

    But Jesus….

    Because of Jesus,…

    There is grace…

    Because of Jesus….

    Guilty as I am,…. I walk free…and the record of my sin…deleted….by Grace…

    Because of Jesus…who intercede for me, the unworthy, before God, the Father, ….

    Grace, Grace, Grace upon Grace, is poured upon me….

    Because of Jesus….

    I can stand before God, Chosen and Blameless …..

    Because of Jesus…

    Because of Jesus….
    What can I say, but Thank you Jesus…Thank you….for this amazing gift of life, of Freedom, of Grace, of Love,
    Thank you Jesus, for giving Your life for me, that I may know Love, and experience Grace, and walk free from condemnation, Thank you Jesus, that by your gift, I can stand before the Father, Chosen….and because of you, Jesus…Blameless…something I could never have done, in my own strength….I love you Jesus…not just for what you have done for me…but because you ARE….Thank you Jesus….Amen..

    Morning Sisters…every BLESSING being prayed for you today….xxx

    1. Sarah M says:

      I love this!

  38. Sarah M says:

    Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about how atheists believe Christians are weak because any time we sin or fall short, we can pray for forgiveness and receive it, instead of living with our guilt. The truth is, they are absolutely right. We are weak, because without God we are nothing. Through the righteousness of Christ, we do have unlimited grace. That doesn’t mean you can sin and not repent, but we have the privilege of being able to live without guilt. So, if being a Christian means that I am weak and can receive forgiveness instead of living with guilt, then that is 100% where I want to be.

    1. Giulliana Tessarin says:

      I couldn’t agree more! We are all weak and is so good to know His mercy will forgive us every single day!

    2. stinav96 says:

      I would say that precisely because we are weak, *that* is exactly what we need to be to receive Christ! He's not looking for those who are able to do things in their own strength, but those who will rely completely and totally on Him! I am very much not good at complete reliance, but I'm thankful He is teaching me! Thanks for sharing!

    3. Emily says:

      Only people who have not had the extremely humbling experience of having to repent and ask forgiveness could call that kind of behavior "weak." Living with guilt is "easy" in that it is passive. You don't have to DO anything except feel it. To ask for forgiveness means to fight our natural inclination to justify and rationalize what we've done. To say, "I am so wrong, and I am sorry." That is HARD.

      If I'm weak for fighting to realize that I am wrong, and moving towards both God and people in humility to ask for forgiveness, then I'd rather be the weakest person in the world.

    4. She Reads Truth says:

      Wow. Love this, Sarah. Lord, continue to remind me that my only strength comes from You!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    5. bringbackhisgirls says:

      That is such an interesting– and hard– way to look at things. To say "Jesus, I am not enough." I've had someone call that immature, too. All we need to do is rely upon Christ and He does the rest. Jesus, thank you for breaking our pride and helping us to learn to lean on You in all things. May we live in the freedom Your cross brings!


  39. Candacejo says:

    "We can never make any rules or attain enough perfection to gain favor in God’s eyes." We don't have to GET GOOD to GET GOD! We get God and then…by walking with Him, having relationship…we get good! Grace and Mercy. Wonderful things to think on during this blessed season. Remembering why He came, how He came and His entire plan that includes Him returning to get ME, YOU, all of us, and take us to be with Him for all eternity. As Antimony said, "This is incredible!"

    1. Tammy says:

      Candacejo I LOVE your comment "we don't have to get good to get God…" So often my focus turns to how do I get good when in reality I don't have to Get good, I just have to walk with Him, be in relationship with Him and good follows. (Side note, my big fat finger hit the thumbs down button by accident and I can't change it (thankful God doesn't work that way!). Please disregard the ugly thumbs down).

  40. Antimony says:

    “But God …”. How can two tiny words be so powerful? How can they grant such hope? Learning to love these words all over again. God sees me. And He should respond in judgment/anger/etc. “But God”! He shocks us! “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Eph 2:4). He responds in love. And mercy. This is incredible.

    1. Sarah M says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Those “buts” throughout Scripture are the signs that show us God’s grace.

    2. She Reads Truth says:

      LOVE that and the hope these words bring, Antimony! I love how you said, "But God! He shocks us!" He sure does, doesn't He?!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth