Philippians 3:7-11 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Righteous only through Jesus
Here Paul clearly explains the righteousness of faith and what it consists of: that God looks at his Son and for his sake permits us not to suffer for our sins.
Instead, he regards us as righteous, as if we were neither sinners nor corrupted by nature. He looks at the power of Christ’s resurrection and our sharing of his suffering. For Christ’s suffering and death are our death, and we become like him through faith; we enjoy the power of his resurrection.
Similarly Paul writes in Romans 4(:25): “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification."
That means: As soon as Christ rose from the dead, the power of his resurrection was so great that whoever believed on him was no longer considered a sinner but was considered righteous in God’s sight. [The reason:] he had put on the obedience of Christ, which the Savior rendered the Father even unto death.
It is written (Galatians 3:27): “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Again (Colossians 2:12–14): “[You were] n buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross."
The fruit of righteousness
From all this it is plain and clear that when Holy Scripture speaks of the righteousness of faith and of our justification in God’s sight, nothing else can be understood but this:
- how we are declared utterly free in God’s sight of our sins, which we have committed, which still cling to our flesh, which we cannot completely lay aside as long as we live in this world; and
- what God looks upon and why he will not regard us as sinners and does not cast us away and condemn us eternally as sinful, disobedient children
[All of this is ours] because of the obedience of Christ, which he rendered to his Father even unto death as the satisfaction and payment for our sins and as our righteousness.
Source: Jakod Andreae (1528-1590). Andreae, like Martin Chemnitz, was a significant Lutheran voice in the generation immediately after Luther. Because of his sound theology he was appointed to help draft major statements regarding proper understanding of the Scriptures.