“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”
Robert Hawker once asked, “Who shall undertake to describe that glory imparted to a poor worm of the earth, who is brought into union with God’s dear Son?” This is the believer’s standing. We are in Christ. This is Christianity. This is salvation — to be in Christ, nothing less, nothing more, nothing different. It is not partly in Christ and partly in the law, or partly in the ordinances, or partly in the church. To be saved is to be in Christ.
Religion is knowing doctrines and facts. Salvation is knowing God (John 17:3; 1 John 5:20). Religion is knowing what I believe. Christianity is knowing whom I believe (2 Tim. 2:12). Religion is being reformed. Salvation is being regenerated (John 3:3). Religion makes men new converts. Christianity makes us new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17). Religion is being in the church. Salvation is being in Christ (John 15:1; Eph. 5:30).
Believers are people who are in Christ. We are in him by God’s eternal decree, by the Holy Spirit’s mighty operations of grace, and by a living union of God-given faith.
To be in Christ is to have perfect righteousness before God. Our righteousness is not something we establish by performing good works, but something Christ established for us as our Representative before God. We do not make ourselves righteous by our obedience to God’s law. Christ made us righteous by his obedience to the law for us (Rom. 5:19).
Our righteousness before God is the righteousness of God in Christ imputed to us by God himself. As I stand before the holy Lord God, I want to be found in Christ. As I live in this world, I want to be found in Christ, having no righteousness of my own, but only the righteousness of God in Christ; when I offer any service, prayer, or sacrifice to him, having no righteousness of my own, but only the righteousness of God in Christ; when I leave this world, having no righteousness of my own, but only the righteousness of God in Christ; when I stand before his great bar of judgment, having no righteousness of my own, but only the righteousness of God in Christ.
Ever to thy Savior cling,
Trust in Him and none beside
Never let an earthly thing
Hide from thee the crucified