Often times it is heard from those outside of Christ, that those saved by Him are self-righteous. This is one of those cases where their own words are cast into a mirror and reflect upon themselves; for it is only those who are in Christ that are not self-righteous, they are actually Christ-righteous! Having the righteousness of Christ imputed to them by faith they no longer consider any deed as a righteousness of self, but rather attribute all to Him who has washed them in His own blood. These indeed and these alone are so far from being self-righteous, they can only be Christ-righteous!
Self-righteousness belongs to those who are preparing to present God or man some righteousness of their own. Some look to the positive moral codes and conducts of the world, others may look to biblical standards. These hope that their abiding by certain standards all will go well with them. What they are looking for is a righteousness of self that will make them acceptable before God or man, in other words a self-righteousness. What they refuse to admit is that “all their righteousnesses are as filthy rags”, this, those who are fixed upon their self-righteousness cannot and will not hear.
When one is Christ-righteous they understand that “in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing” and have looked elsewhere for the righteousness required to stand before a perfect and holy God. How they appear to man matters little to them, their great concern is being brought into right fellowship with a holy God. They understand they have no righteousness of their own that will meet the perfect standards required by a perfect God, so they have gone to Christ by faith for this righteousness and have found that He in turn imputes His own righteousness to them as promised. With the imputation of the righteousness of Christ in the believer comes new desires and actions that heretofore were not even possible. Desires for the glory of God at the expense of our own, desires for communion with God through His Son, and ultimately a love of God for His very person as He Himself has revealed, rather than some god made up by our own imaginations. These desires originate from God Himself and are transferred to us from the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit. Each of them has a role and none can be left out of the equation, otherwise there is a break in the conduit leaving us short of any fellowship with God.
In short, we take God as He is, He takes us as we are, and supplies all that is needed to make us capable of communion with Him. That is the glory of Christ-righteousness!