Isaiah 64 verse 6 speaks of the futility of self-righteousness:
"All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away." (NIV)
Notice this is true of the entire human race. It says we have all become like one who is unclean and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. The best we can do in our own righteousness is nothing but a filthy rag in God's sight; it is totally vain to come to God with our own righteousness. But God has made provision through the death of Jesus that we may receive his righteousness.
Compare this other passage in Isaiah chapter, 61 verse 10:
"I will rejoice greatly in the Lord. My soul will exult in my God; For He [the Lord] has clothed me with garments of salvation, he has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." (NIV)
Here is an expression of intense, tremendous joy. What's the reason? The reason is the outcome of this exchange. For God has clothed me with garments of salvation, he saved me from the consequences of my own sin.
But not just that, after salvation there comes righteousness. He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness. That righteousness is not our own righteousness. It's the righteousness of God, it's the righteousness that's made available to us through that substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus. He covers us totally. Every area of our old sinful, carnal nature, every mistake, every transgression, every sin is totally covered under that all-embracing robe of the righteousness of Jesus.
We don't any longer come to God in our own righteousness. We're not concerned about trying to do the best that we can. There's the righteousness of God made available to us through faith in Jesus. He wraps us around with his own righteousness. We never have to feel sinful or ashamed or apologetic any longer. That is also so beautifully summed up in that one verse in Romans chapter 8, verse 1, one of my favourite verses:
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (NIV)
No condemnation, there's nothing held against us. We're not guilty on any charge, we are acquitted on all accounts. We don't appear before God trying to do our best or brushing up our own righteousness, but we're wrapped around with the robe of God's righteousness in Jesus.
Thank You, Father, that You have wrapped me with the Robe of Righteousness of Jesus Himself Thank You that You only see me in that Robe, in Jesus, Your Son. Thank You that I no longer need to be concerned about trying to do the best that I can to present myself before You, because I am righteous with Your righteousness. Praise God, amen!