Understanding the difference between the righteousness of God and the righteousness of men is very important. It is at the heart of understanding what it means to operate in the righteousness of God.
Sin makes cowards of men.
Your sin has the potential to make you act like a coward.
When you sin, you begin to display characteristics that stop you from standing up for your rights as a believer.
Your reborn spirit has gone to war with your mind, will, and emotion.
Your sin brings guilt.
Righteousness is standing before God without a sense of guilt or inferiority.
We often wrongly conclude that if we feel guilty, we are no longer in right-standing with God.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Not to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 4:4-5
We do righteous things because we are righteous, not because we are unrighteous and have to earn it.
We do not pray to become righteous, righteous people pray.
We do not go to church to become righteous, righteous people go to church.
We do not tithe to become righteous, righteous people tithe.
We do not walk in love to become righteous, righteous people walk in love.
Robe of Righteousness
I delight greatly in the Lord. My soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10
We continue to wear our robe of righteousness but when we sin it is stained. 1 John 1:9 says we are cleansed, not redeemed again.
To be cleansed from our sins, we need to confess our sins to the Father. Through our confession, we need to exercise our right to be cleansed. He has given us the right to be cleansed, and our right standing with him is not in jeopardy.