Righteousness alone will not achieve salvation from sin. In Matthew 5:20, Jesus says, “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” There is nothing man can do to be better than God. Man only knows righteousness due to his/her encounters with God. 1 Corinthians 3:19, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.” Man’s wisdom and righteousness can never compare to the wisdom and righteousness of God. Man’s righteousness is based on his own wisdom and understanding, and this verse makes it clear that man’s wisdom does not go very far.
The good news is that God made a way for man to know and experience his righteousness: through Jesus Christ and his gift of salvation. Romans 1:17 says, “This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” Your faith in Christ will produce righteousness within you. You have the ability to live a righteous life, to make the right decisions, and when you struggle with it, he will offer forgiveness and guidance through the Holy Spirit.