You would agree with me that righteousness springs from the nature of God and speaks of His judgments and standards. God is righteous and therefore everything He does is right. He cannot be faulted because righteousness is found in the core of his being!
Righteousness also is a product of faith because it is revealed when faith is in operation (Rom 1:16). THERE WILL BE NO RIGHTEOUSNESS WHEN THERE IS NO FAITH. However, man lost righteousness through the fall and God wanted man restored and to do so, God has only option was to train man to walk in the path of righteousness – strictly by faith!
When God visited Abraham, man had degenerated far into disobedience (death) as evidenced by the fact that Abraham’s ancestors were idol worshippers (Assyrians) Deut. 26:4. Abraham however found mercy to journey with God into a kind of righteousness which actually is THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF A LIVING SOUL (1Cor. 15:45). Through Adam’s disobedience, man’s spirit (including that of Abraham and posterity) was not alive unto God, so God had to start by training his soul to attain a kind of righteousness that could earn him a blessing for the genealogy of mankind.
Abraham responded in faith (Gen 12:1), because he could never have pleased God of himself. As God was showing Abraham “how He wanted to be pleased”, Abraham received grace to respond and righteousness was imputed (credited) to his account (Gal. 3:6). This same principle applies to us in the New Testament; it is also by faith – though a superior kind of God which was unveiled in Christ Jesus. At new birth, we believed in the Son of God and were quickened because righteousness was imputed to our human spirit (Eph. 2:1). Our spirit has been made the Righteousness of God (Rom. 8:10)
Although Abraham was commended for believing God (Rom 4:3), his journey did not end there. He went ahead to complete the full count of righteouness allocated for him and his seed to come. God placed a demand upon Him not only to BELIEVE but to take steps of OBEDIENCE (revealed righteousness – Rom. 1:16). Abraham was led along an unfamiliar path and as he hoped against hope, he demonstrated an unshakable trust in God. HE OBEYED GOD THOUGH THAT WAS AN UNINTERESTING ADVENTURE TO HIS HUMAN FRAME. He obeyed God until he came to a place of oath. God ratified his earlier promise with an oath – i.e. two immutable thing (Heb. 6:17-18)
In Christ, that oath is fulfilled, and we are made partakers of the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Our righteousness in the New Testament is after the order of the quickening spirit, Christ Jesus (1Cor. 15:45). Thereby is our spirit born anew and fully clothed with that righteousness! The next programme is for our souls to LEARN THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS by OBEYING ITS PRINCIPLES so that we can be made PERFECT (QUICKENED) IN GOD’S JUDGMENT.
So when we believe Jesus and confess Him, His Righteousness is imputed to us (our spirit). But the whole essence of faith is for our souls to come into obedience (Rom. 16:26). FAITH THEREFORE BEGINS WITH BELIEVING BUT ENDS IN OBEDIENCE (Rom. 16:26d/). After God has imputed His righteousness in us, we are required to obey the principles of that righteousness which is an art of faith. IT IS ONE THING FOR US TO BE IN HIM AND ANOTHER THING FOR HIM TO BE FULLY FORMED IN US AS OUR VERY OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS - A RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT SHOULD BECOME PRIMARY PRINCIPLE BY WHICH WE LIVE. Here it is not just faith without my works, but faith demonstrated by walking in the path of righteousness.
So after our spirit has received God’s righteousness, it stands on that ground while the soul journeys into becoming the righteousness of God (Rom. 1:16). While on this adventuring to God, the soul gets to a place of obedience where it would be clothed with fine white linen, which is the righteousness of the saints (Rev. 19:8) . If we are unable to obey faith, we will not have the Righteousness of Jesus as personal experience or inheritance. Righteousness here is not attained by confession but by LOVING or WALKING in its path (Heb 1:9).