"For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." ~ Matthew 5:20Well. I certainly don't feel like my righteousness surpasses that of Pharisees and teachers of the law! So, what does this mean?
"All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away" (Isaiah 64:6). Yep, my righteousness definitely is better described as filthy rags.
God made His Son Jesus “who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21).
"For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness," (Isaiah 61:10).
Christ now clothes me with His robes of righteousness! Which FAR surpasses!
He makes me righteous not me. His righteousness is my righteousness. Woohoo!
I'm covered -- literally. You?
*This is not to say that we should not pursue righteousness in our lives. For indeed His Spirit inside us helps us to live and think rightly. But our righteousness does not get us into Heaven -- faith in Christ alone does that and that's how we get His righteousness!
**This is what theologians call the doctrine of imputed righteousness.