Our righteousness is a gift from God. It does not ebb and flow with our behavior because it is based on Jesus’ sinlessness, which is eternal. Therefore, I can behave any way I please. Right?
Your premise is correct. Your conclusion, not so much.
Titus was a young leader in the early church. He was not of Jewish heritage. He was a Greek and grew up with a different moral compass. Titus had the difficult assignment of “setting things that are lacking in order” in Crete. The Cretans were known as liars, murderers, and robbers. So Paul, his mentor instructs him on what to teach the men and women of Crete.
They had received Christ, they had been declared righteous but now Titus was tasked with teaching them how to live like who they were, the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul gives specific directions – be sober, be reverent, show integrity, have sound speech, love your spouses and children, respect your bosses. But you do not have to do this your own power. No, the same force that brought you salvation is the same power that will enable you to walk in righteousness.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” Titus 2:11-12 NIV
We live righteously because Jesus, our Savior gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purified us as His own very special people.
As Christians we have had it backwards. We think: “Live right so that you may be righteous.” But the truth is “We are righteous and therefore we can live like who we are.”
Are you struggling with gossiping, complaining, an addiction? Remind yourself, “I am the righteousness of God and grace has taught me to say no to ungodliness and yes to the things of God.” You are righteous! Now be who you are.