In Phil. 3:9 we read:

"and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;" (KJV)

Our righteousness who believe in Christ is from God. Our righteousness is the righteousness of God.

If our righteousness is the righteousness of God, does it mean that our righteousness is equal to God's righteousness?

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    Righteousness is not an object to be transferred but a quality of obedient blameless people. The source is not God but man himself for which he is rewarded. Righteousness of God phrase means righteousness criteria belonging to God. Righteousness from God is a false translation. There's no from or source of it in the text. Refer to other better literal translations.
    – Michael16
    Aug 2 '21 at 8:23
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    This question is predicated on the erroneous assumption that there are varying degrees of righteousness. That is untrue - righteousness = right doing which is either right or not! In any case, the answer should be obvious - only perfect righteousness is acceptable to God. See Matt 5:48.
    – Dottard
    Aug 2 '21 at 8:30
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    This is a theology question that is not answerable from the designated text.
    – Dottard
    Aug 2 '21 at 9:37
  • Up-voted +1. Abraham believed God and there was accounted to him unto righteousness. That righteousness is (as revealed in the NT) 'the righteousness of God'.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 2 '21 at 10:52
  • The question is fully answerable from the quoted text.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 2 '21 at 10:52

God's righteousness is intrinsic to his very Being. It is who he is - Righteous, just as he is Love, and he is the Almighty etc. As for us, well, God tells us both in the OT and the NT that

"...we have before proved both Jew and Gentiles, that they are all under sin: As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. There is no-one who does good" (Romans 3:9-10, quoting Isaiah 64:6-7 where God's own people are warned that 'All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags etc').

That is looking at matters from the divine aspect, how God sees the matter of our attempts to be righteous. It's not how we see things at all! Our pride causes us to flag up how good we are, and how many good works we do, that we are sincere and that we are right. We don't view any of our deeds as filthy rags! That's because we are not righteous by nature. God is.

That is why Paul explains that the gospel of Christ

"...is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith'[Habakkuk 2:4] . For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:16-18).

What a warning, that we might hold (have) the truth, yet be unrighteous with it! That is why it's not a matter of head-knowledge that counts with God. It is a matter of faith. Then God graciously contains our unrighteousness, lifting it up and away from us, because nothing we can do or say will ever remove our unrighteousness - only faith in the gospel of Christ can save us from all unrighteousness.

Hence Paul states that the seal of God has this foundation:

"The Lord hath known those who are His, and, Let him depart from unrighteousness - every one who is naming the name of Christ... and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, with those calling upon the Lord out of a pure heart" (2 Timothy 2:19-22 YLT).

Only those who have had their unrighteousness contained and removed by God's hand of grace can then name the name of Christ and pursue God's righteousness. God does not have to pursue righteousness because he is, in his Being, Righteous. We are unrighteous and only through faith can anyone begin to pursue righteousness. Therein lies the difference.


Those whose faith is in Jesus Christ are the recipients of God's righteousness. Jesus fulfilled the Law for use. I was impossible for us to fulfill. Thus, we did not earn it. It is a gift for those who will receive it. The have is in Jesus Christ; not in ourselves.

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Rom. 3:21–28, ESV)

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23, ESV)

Read the first eight chapters of Romans for a complete picture.


In the moment when we act a divine deed it is by syn-ergy, co-operation with God that we act the divine deed, thus it is God's deed through us. But is this deed of our co-operation with God equal to God's deed? I guess, no, because God is infinite, whereas our cooperation with Him can be and is gradual. For instance, a prophet co-operated with God by warning Paul not to go to Jerusalem, and he did it well according to Grace given to him, for according to this Grace he warned his brother Paul not to endanger himself and thus this prophet's cooperation with divine Grace given to him was perfect. However, Paul did not listen to him, and still was poised to go to Jerusalem, because Paul received a greater portion of divine infinite, uncreated Grace and was through this Grace ready not only for arrest, but even for beatings and death for the sake of Christ (Acts 21:11-13).

That’s why the Lord urges us not to be ever satisfied, but after each divine deed, i.e. deed acted in God (John 3:21) to consider ourselves as unworthy servants, who just did what was due to be done (Luke 17:10), for our deed, even if divine, will never fathom the infinity of God.

Thus, for us, men, it is possible to act divinely by cooperating with divine Grace, i.e. divine Presence and Operation within us, but only one man can claim to equal God's deeds - and He is God-man Jesus Christ, because only He has presence of God's Spirit in Him infinitely (John 3:34).


Psalm 143:2 Do not bring Your servant into judgment, for no one alive is righteous before You.

Mark 10:18

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.

True righteousness belongs only to God.

Philippians 3:9 describes two kinds of righteousness:

and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law,

The horizontal kind comes from the law.

but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

The verticle kind comes from God.

Jeremiah 33:16

In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely, and this is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.

Does our righteousness that comes from God is equal to His righteousness?

Yes, this is true righteousness.


You asked, "Does it mean that our righteousness is equal to God's righteousness?"

Yes, one little word sometimes can make a huge difference in our understanding, especially in the verse you just quoted from.

Phil. 3:9

not having my righteousness, which is of law, but that which is through faith OF Christ -- the righteousness that is of God by the faith,

Here's another scripture that bears witness that it is the same Righteousness of God:

Rom. 3:22

and the righteousness of God is through the faith Of Jesus Christ to all, and upon all those believing, -- for there is no difference

It is by Christ's faith, His work showing forth His faith in God by his perfect obedience not only to the law he was under. But by the spirit of the law, he fulfilled the two greatest commandments.

Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matt: 22:37-40)

We know ultimately his greatest test of faith was when he went to the cross and his obedience to the Father was perfect.

He also gives us the gift of faith to believe in his work.

By grace ye are having been saved, through faith, and this not of you -- Eph. 2:8

Faith is God's gift as well.

It is from him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom from God for us

  1. our righteousness
  2. sanctification
  3. redemption

In order that, as it is written: "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." (1 Cor. 31:30)

  • Agarza, Thank you so much for editing that!
    – Sherrie
    Aug 2 '21 at 20:05
  • You ought to add the @ before the name in order to notify them of your comment. Agarza probably won’t find this comment Aug 4 '21 at 23:43
  • @ Nihil Sine Deo I tried editing but nothing seem to happen… I just tried it on yours so let me know if you got this message and appreciate you letting me know.
    – Sherrie
    Aug 5 '21 at 1:30
  • Almost they need to be together @sherrie I will try yours but since you posted it my not work Aug 5 '21 at 4:41

There are two types of righteousness ours and God’s. Our righteousness is compliance with the requirements of the Law. God’s righteousness only comes as a gift and is received by faith God’s righteousness is perfect. Our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

One of the key words of this passage is “DIKAIOSUNE,” translated “righteousness.” It is hard for one English word to portray all that this means. A paraphrase of Paul’s thinking may be “a right relationship or right standing before a holy God.” Paul sought to establish his own righteousness–that is, a righteousness based on his own actions–in order to be pleasing unto God. He found that it was no more acceptable before God than the refuse thrown upon the garbage heap.

Right standing before a holy God is not to be achieved in the keeping of the Law but in humble trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Those who are trusting in their own righteousness cannot have the benefit of Christ’s righteousness. The righteousness that gives mankind relationship with God is the righteousness of God, and it comes freely through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22).

Notice that Paul said he wanted the righteousness that comes through the faith of Christ, not faith in Christ. It is true that we obtained this righteousness by putting faith in what Christ had done for us. When we place our faith in Christ, the righteousness that Jesus obtained by His faith becomes ours. We are possessors of Christ’s righteousness, which His faith produced

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