Romans 1:17 – Righteousness Not My Own

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”


Now, nothing is more clearly taught in the Scriptures than that no one in himself is righteous in the sight of God (see 3:20, 23). It is no less clearly taught that no one can make himself righteous; that is, he cannot attain the righteousness which the law demands and which is necessary for his acceptance with God. The reason for this is that the law demands perfect obedience, which no one has given or can give. It is therefore clear that by the works of the law no one can be justified before God (3:20; Galatians 2:16). Righteousness is not by the law (Galatians 3:21) or through the law (Galatians 2:21) or by observing the law (Galatians 2:16). Men are not justified by their own righteousness (10:3). And yet righteousness is absolutely necessary for our justification and salvation. The Gospel reveals such a righteousness – a righteousness which is “without the law”; which is not of works; which is “by faith”; a righteousness which is not our own (Philippians 3:9); which is gift of God (5:17); which is “from God”; which is imputed without observing the law. Christ is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30); we are righteous before God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21). (Hodge, 30)


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