And be found in him - Be found a believer in Christ, not having mine own righteousness - not trusting in any thing I have done or could do, in order to my salvation; relying on no scheme of justification, set up either formerly by myself or by others.
But that which is through the faith of Christ - That justification which is received by faith through the atonement made by Christ.
The righteousness which is of God - God's method of justifying sinners through faith in his Son. See the notes on Romans 3:21, Romans 3:23; (note), Romans 3:25; (note), where this subject is treated at large.
And be found in him - That is, united to him by a living faith. The idea is, that when the investigations of the great day should take place in regard to the ground of salvation, it might be found that he was united to the Redeemer and depended solely on his merits for salvation; compare the notes at John 6:56.
Not having mine own righteousness - That is, not relying on that for salvation. This was now the great aim of Paul, that it might be found at last that he was not trusting to his own merits, but to those of the Lord Jesus.
Which is of the law - see the notes at Romans 10:3. The “righteousness which is of the law” is that which could be obtained by conformity to the precepts of the Jewish religion, such as Paul had endeavored to obtain before he became a Christian. He now saw that no one complied perfectly with the holy law of God, and that all dependence on such a righteousness was vain. All people by nature seek salvation by the law. They set up some standard which they mean to comply with, and expect to be saved by conformity to that. With some it is the law of honor, with others the law of honesty, with others the law of kindness and courtesy, and with others the law of God. If they comply with the requirements of these laws, they suppose that they will be safe, and it is only the grace of God showing them how defective their standard is, or how far they come from complying with its demands, that can ever bring them from this dangerous dependence. Paul in early life depended on his compliance with the laws of God as he understood them, and supposed that he was safe. When he was brought to realize his true condition, he saw how far short he had come of what the law of God required, and that all dependence on his own works was vain.
Righteousness which is of God by faith - Which proceeds from God, or of which he is the great source and fountain. This may include the following things:
(1) God is the author of pardon - and this is a part of the righteousness which the man who is justified has.
(2) God purposes to treat the justified sinner as if he had not sinned - and thus his righteousness is of God.
(3) God is the source of all the grace that will be imparted to the soul, making it really holy. In this way, all the righteousness which the Christian has is “of God.” The idea of Paul is, that he now saw that it was far more desirable to be saved by righteousness obtained from God than by his own. That obtained from God was perfect, and glorious, and sufficient; that which he had attempted to work out was defective, impure, and wholly insufficient to save the soul. It is far more honorable to be saved by God than to save ourselves; it is more glorious to depend on him than to depend on anything that we can do.
Writing to the Philippians, he describes his experience before and after his conversion. “If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh,” he says, “I more: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” Philippians 3:4-6. SR 311.1
After his conversion his testimony was: SR 311.2
“Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” Philippians 3:8, 9, A.R.V. SR 311.3
The righteousness that heretofore he had thought of so much worth was now worthless in his sight. The longing of his soul was: “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:10-14. SR 311.4Read in context »
Throughout his later ministry, Paul never lost sight of the Source of his wisdom and strength. Hear him, years afterward, still declaring, “For to me to live is Christ.” Philippians 1:21. And again: “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, ... that I may win Christ, 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: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings.” Philippians 3:8-10. AA 128.1
From Arabia Paul “returned again unto Damascus” (Galatians 1:17), and “preached boldly ... in the name of Jesus.” Unable to withstand the wisdom of his arguments, “the Jews took counsel to kill him.” The gates of the city were diligently guarded day and night to cut off his escape. This crisis led the disciples to seek God earnestly, and finally they “took him by night, and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a basket.” Acts 9:25, R.V. AA 128.2
After his escape from Damascus, Paul went to Jerusalem, about three years having passed since his conversion. His chief object in making this visit, as he himself declared afterward, was “to see Peter.” Galatians 1:18. Upon arriving in the city where he had once been well known as “Saul the persecutor,” “he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.” It was difficult for them to believe that so bigoted a Pharisee, and one who had done so much to destroy the church, could become a sincere follower of Jesus. “But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.” AA 128.3Read in context »
The great motive powers of the soul are faith, hope, and love; and it is to these that Bible study, rightly pursued, appeals. The outward beauty of the Bible, the beauty of imagery and expression, is but the setting, as it were, for its real treasure—the beauty of holiness. In its record of the men who walked with God, we may catch glimpses of His glory. In the One “altogether lovely” we behold Him, of whom all beauty of earth and heaven is but a dim reflection. “I, if I be lifted up,” He said, “will draw all men unto Me.” John 12:32. As the student of the Bible beholds the Redeemer, there is awakened in the soul the mysterious power of faith, adoration, and love. Upon the vision of Christ the gaze is fixed, and the beholder grows into the likeness of that which he adores. The words of the apostle Paul become the language of the soul: “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: ... that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings.” Philippians 3:8-10. Ed 192.1
The springs of heavenly peace and joy unsealed in the soul by the words of Inspiration will become a mighty river of influence to bless all who come within its reach. Let the youth of today, the youth who are growing up with the Bible in their hands, become the recipients and the channels of its life-giving energy, and what streams of blessing would flow forth to the world!—influences of whose power to heal and comfort we can scarcely conceive—rivers of living water, fountains “springing up unto everlasting life.” Ed 192.2Read in context »
6 (John 1:1-3, 14; see EGW on John 1:1-3; Revelation 12:10). Equality Between Christ and the Father—Christ's position with His Father is one of equality. This enabled Him to become a sin-offering for transgressors. He was fully sufficient to magnify the law and make it honorable (Manuscript 48, 1893). 7BC 905.1Read in context »
Falsehood Mingled With Truth—As we near the end of time, falsehood will be so mingled with truth, that only those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be able to distinguish truth from error. We need to make every effort to keep the way of the Lord. We must in no case turn from His guidance to put our trust in man. The Lord's angels are appointed to keep strict watch over those who put their faith in the Lord, and these angels are to be our special help in every time of need. Every day we are to come to the Lord with full assurance of faith, and to look to Him for wisdom.... Those who are guided by the Word of the Lord will discern with certainty between falsehood and truth, between sin and righteousness (Manuscript 43, 1907). 7BC 907.1
9 (1 Peter 1:18, 19; see EGW on Matthew 27:45, 46; Mark 16:6; John 1:1-3, 14; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 4:15). Sufferings of Deity—“In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Men need to understand that Deity suffered and sank under the agonies of Calvary. Yet Jesus Christ whom God gave for the ransom of the world purchased the church with His own blood. The Majesty of heaven was made to suffer at the hands of religious zealots, who claimed to be the most enlightened people upon the face of the earth (Manuscript 153, 1898). 7BC 907.2
(Hebrews 1:3.) A Perfect Specimen of Sinless Humanity—In Christ is gathered all the glory of the Father. In Him is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of His person. The glory of the attributes of God are expressed in His character. The gospel is glorious because it is made up of His righteousness. It is Christ unfolded, and Christ is the gospel embodied. Every page of the New Testament Scriptures shines with His light. Every text is a diamond, touched and irradiated by the divine rays. 7BC 907.3
We are not to praise the gospel, but praise Christ. We are not to worship the gospel, but the Lord of the gospel. Christ is a perfect representation of God on the one hand, and a perfect specimen of sinless humanity on the other hand. Thus He has combined divinity and humanity (Manuscript 44, 1898). 7BC 907.4
9, 10 (John 1:16; Hebrews 4:15). Dwelling Upon Christ's Character—In Christ dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily. This is why, although He was tempted in all points like as we are, He stood before the world, from His first entrance into it, untainted by corruption, though surrounded by it. Are we not also to become partakers of that fullness, and is it not thus, and thus only, that we can overcome as He overcame? 7BC 907.5
We lose much by not dwelling constantly upon the character of Christ (Manuscript 16, 1890). 7BC 907.6
10 (Zechariah 3:1-5; Philippians 3:9; see EGW on Matthew 22:37-39; Hebrews 2:17; 9:24). The Robe of Christ's Perfection—Through His sacrifice, human beings may reach the high ideal set before them, and hear at last the words, “Ye are complete in him,” not having your own righteousness, but the righteousness that He wrought out for you. Your imperfection is no longer seen; for you are clothed with the robe of Christ's perfection (Manuscript 125, 1902). 7BC 907.7Read in context »
Virtues Wanting Among Us—The gold that Jesus would have us buy of Him is gold tried in the fire; it is the gold of faith and love, that has no defiling substance mingled with it. The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ, the wedding garment which Christ alone can give. The eyesalve is the true spiritual discernment that is so wanting among us, for spiritual things must be spiritually discerned (The Review and Herald, April 1, 1890). 7BC 965.1
(Isaiah 64:6; Philippians 3:9.) Ample Provision for All—The true Witness has said, “Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” What is the shame of this nakedness and poverty? It is the shame of clothing ourselves with self-righteousness, and of separating ourselves from God, when He has made ample provision for all to receive His blessing (Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 139). 7BC 965.2
(Ch. 7:14.) Encouraging Counsel for the Church—The counsel of the true Witness is full of encouragement and comfort. The churches may yet obtain the gold of truth, faith, and love, and be rich in heavenly treasure. “Buy of me gold ... that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ that may be wrought into the character. Purity of heart, purity of motive, will characterize every one who is washing his robe, and making it white in the blood of the Lamb (The Review and Herald, July 24, 1888). 7BC 965.3
(Isaiah 61:10; Zechariah 3:4, 5.) Woven in the Loom of Heaven—There is nothing in us from which we can clothe the soul so that its nakedness shall not appear. We are to receive the robe of righteousness woven in the loom of heaven, even the spotless robe of Christ's righteousness (The Review and Herald, July 19, 1892). 7BC 965.4
(Matthew 6:22; James 1:23-25.) Correct Views for the Conscience—The eye is the sensitive conscience, the inner light, of the mind. Upon its correct view of things the spiritual healthfulness of the whole soul and being depends. The “eyesalve,” the Word of God, makes the conscience smart under its application; for it convicts of sin. But the smarting is necessary that the healing may follow, and the eye be single to the glory of God. The sinner, beholding himself in God's great moral looking glass, sees himself as God views him, and exercises repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.... 7BC 965.5
The Laodiceans ... were not entirely blind, else the eyesalve would have done nothing to restore their sight, and enable them to discern the true attributes of Christ. Says Christ, By renouncing your own self-sufficiency, giving up all things, however dear to you, you may buy the gold, the raiment, and the eyesalve that you may see (The Review and Herald, November 23, 1897). 7BC 965.6
18-20. A Merchantman Laden With Riches—The great Redeemer represents Himself as a heavenly merchantman, laden with riches, calling from house to house, presenting His priceless goods [Revelation 3:18-20 quoted] (The Review and Herald, July 23, 1889). 7BC 965.7
(Job 22:21-25.) Knocking at the Heart's Door—The Lord knocks at the door of your heart, desiring to enter, that He may impart spiritual riches to your soul. He would anoint the blind eyes, that they may discover the holy character of God in His law, and understand the love of Christ, which is indeed gold tried in the fire (The Review and Herald, February 25, 1890). 7BC 965.8
(Isaiah 13:12; Matthew 13:45, 46.) Spiritual Riches for the Soul—Jesus is going from door to door, standing in front of every soul temple, proclaiming, “I stand at the door, and knock.” As a heavenly merchantman, He opens His treasures and cries, “Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” The gold that He offers is without alloy, more precious than that of Ophir; for it is faith and love. The white raiment He invites the soul to wear is His own robe of righteousness; and the oil for anointing is the oil of His grace, which will give spiritual eyesight to the soul in blindness and darkness, that he may distinguish between the workings of the Spirit of God and the spirit of the enemy. “Open your doors,” says the great Merchantman, the possessor of spiritual riches, “and transact your business with Me. It is I, your Redeemer, who counsels you to buy of Me” (The Review and Herald, August 7, 1894). 7BC 965.9Read in context »
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: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. Philippians 3:9, 10. UL 78.1Read in context »