9 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.
If you are looking for me, I’ll be found in Him [Jesus]. Some translations combine the last part of verse 8 with this verse. “That I might gain Christ, and be found in Him.” It’s still Paul’s desire that when all is said and done, he wants to be found in Jesus.
How are you found in Him? Paul did not want to be found with having a righteousness earned by keeping the law. Paul learned the law well. But he didn’t obey it. He killed Christians and put them in prison. He found the law a cruel taskmaster. He tried to keep it but the harder he tried the more he disobeyed the law (Romans 7).
Paul found grace. He found out that Jesus fulfilled the law—the only one who ever has. He found he no longer had to find his righteousness in trying to obey the law. That was self-righteousness. Trying to do something God has already done for you through Jesus is worse than self-righteousness; it’s just ignorance of the Word.
The righteousness Paul found was the gift of righteousness through faith. We too have that gift and are now the righteousness of God by faith. The law demands we perform. Grace gives. Grace is a gift. Grace is Jesus, God’s gift to the world. Righteousness is not right living nor is it any manner of works. You can’t earn it, merit it, or steal it. It’s a gift. Righteousness is what you are. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
“And to have a relationship with him. This means that I didn’t receive God’s approval by obeying his laws. The opposite is true! I have God’s approval through faith in Christ. This is the approval that comes from God and is based on faith” (Philippians 3:9 GW).
Meditate on this and say it out loud today, “I am found in Him righteous through faith because it is a special gift for me from Jesus.”