Paul says the ‘mystery’ of the gospel is:
“Christ in you – the hope of glory.” (Col 1:27)
‘Glory’ in the bible means ‘a beauty and majesty distinctive to God’. And ‘hope’ means ‘a joyful confidence.’ Now if I stand on a street corner and proclaim ‘I am the beauty and majesty of God’ I’d probably be locked up in a loony bin for heretics. But Paul is saying, because Christ is in us, we can say this with a joyful confidence! We are adorned with the beauty and majesty of God!
Now, we can’t adorn ourselves with the beauty and majesty of God – we can’t give ourselves something we haven’t got. In the same way we can’t add to our righteousness by our good works. If we think anything we do can add to our righteousness we are being self-righteous. We are only righteous because of Christ in us. Nothing we do.
As Paul says, it is the ‘gift’ of God.
“…how much more will those who recieve God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life?”
– Romans 5:17
This is why Isaiah gets so excited when he says:
“I’m overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God, for He has clothed me in garments of salvation. He has draped me in a robe of HIS righteousness!”
– Isaiah 61:10
Isaiah’s overflowing with joy. He can’t believe it. Why? Because he understood God’s grace. God had adorned him with His beauty and majesty and draped him in a robe of His righteousness. And notice how Isaiah doesn’t say he clothed himself, but God clothed him. His ‘righteousness’ was not his own doing, but God’s. Just like Paul when he says:
“I consider everything rubbish compared to knowing Christ – not having a righteousness of my own that comes from obeying the law, but that which is through faith in Christ. A righteousness that comes from God and is by faith!”
– Philippians 3:8
Isaiah and Paul were both ‘overwhelmed with joy’ – they knew that they were draped in a robe of His righteousness. They were draped in the beauty and majesty of God. And so are we if we are in Christ.
“Look at the flowers of the field. Not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned as beautifully as these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, how much more will he clothe you?”
– Matthew 6:30
In garments of salvation, a robe of His righteousness, and in the beauty and majesty of God!