Man cannot be righteous in the sight of God on his own merits therefore, man must have God's righteousness imputed, or transferred, to him.
According to the prophet Isaiah:
6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts areAnd as Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians:
like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins
sweep us away. -Isaiah 64:6
7-9 The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I'm
tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to
take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought
were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of
knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had
going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that
I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn't want some petty,
inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I
could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God's righteousness.
-Philippians 3:7-9 (The Message)