“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Romans 10:1-4 (KJB)
Righteousness. What is it?
True righteousness is defined by God, displayed by God according to His word. According to His word, the Bible, there is only one who is righteous, and that is God. Jesus even said,
“There is none good but one, God” Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18
and that is a fair thought for the word righteousness; one who does what is good and right. Do not put yourself on a pedestal thinking this describes you. Keep in mind that truly only God is good.
The Jews down through the years sought righteousness through the obedience to the law. The religious leaders even made it more and more complicated by adding loopholes, to ease the way for themselves while condemning the people.
God displayed His righteousness and holiness as He judged His only Son Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. The righteousness of Jesus Christ was on display there as He became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), taking the full judgment for our sin; becoming unrighteousness; and then He gives to us His righteousness.
This would all mean nothing though if He had not risen from the dead. Because of the work of the righteous Son of God on the cross, His burial, and resurrection when we call on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13) He declares us righteous and just (Romans 5:1-2)
We have no righteousness of our own. We, by good living, doing good to others, even going to church or our places of worship cannot be made righteous. We are only righteous as we call on the name of the Lord, and trust only in Him.