Righteousness is not what you think it is.
When it comes to righteousness, most of us think like Pharisees. We see it as a position we must earn or else a quality we must create within ourselves through our actions. We’re wrong on both counts. (Explore this further in Part 1 of this discussion here.)
Jesus said our righteousness must surpass (“abound above”) Pharisee-righteousness if we even want to enter the kingdom of heaven. Paul agrees: he constantly tells us that we are justified (“made or proclaimed righteous”) with God by faith, not by works. Paul and Jesus are making the same point.
The same point Jesus made when he said that if we want to enter the kingdom, we must be born from above.
So what is kingdom righteousness? How do we get it, and what does it look like?
Righteousness that comes by faith is righteousness that comes by relationship.