2 Corinthians 5:21 “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Righteousness is what Jesus paid for by His blood – with His blood He made us the righteousness of God. So righteousness is our new nature that Jesus has given to us through His blood. It’s already won and completed in Christ. So “practicing righteousness” is not mustering up energy trying not to fail but it’s continually thanking Jesus for His victory; for making us righteous by making us one with Him through His blood and the indwelling of Holy Spirit.
1 John 3:3 “and everyone who thus hopes in Him, purifies himself as He is pure.”
When all of our hope and trust and love are in Jesus all day, and we live in a state of knowing that He loves us and has made us His own, then righteous fruit follows. If we believe He has already made us righteous by His blood then righteous fruit will grow.
From this place, we begin to realize that His desire for our success is greater than our own. He knew we would strive for purity and He promised beforehand that His love would purify us. He knew we would long for peace and He promised to become peace to us. All that we long for and hope to be, He already is – love, joy, peace, kindness, faithfulness, self-control – this is what we carry and this is who we already are because of our trust in Him. So let’s shift our gaze from the struggle for righteousness within us, to hoping and trusting the One before us, who has already made a Way.