“How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman?”
Righteousness is a biblical word that speaks of standing before God. A person who is righteous is one who has met God’s standards, is living pleasing to Him now, and will be accepted into heaven when this life comes to an end. When it comes to views of righteousness there seems to be contrasting positions. Some people, like the Pharisees of old, consider themselves to be righteous because of their heritage or accomplishments. They believe they will be accepted because they are inherently good. They neglect to fully understand the far reaching effects of sin or the holiness of God. Paul wrote,
Romans 10:3 “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”
Right standing with God will never be met by our own accomplishments, no matter how good we think we are. God is holier than that.
The second view is the exact opposite. There are those who think they are so bad they could never come to God, or if they do, they are destined to live as second class citizens in His kingdom. This person is usually haunted by a grievous failure in their past or by an addiction they are unable to shake. Again, it is important to realize that righteousness is not based upon our own accomplishments, but by the work Christ performed upon the cross. When we choose to trust Jesus for salvation, His righteousness is granted to us. We are clothed in the perfection of Christ, and the power of the Spirit of God is now at work in us to bring about the changes we were never able to produce on our own.
To answer Bildad’s question, a man can be made righteous when he trusts in Christ.