The righteousness that saves is that of Christ
that he imputes (not imparts) to those who
trust him to be their Righteous Substitute.
That is imputed rather than imparted because
only God can actually ever be that righteous.
The "righteousness" that does not save
is our own, that is, that which we have
rather than that which Christ has.
Of course, people should always seek
to be righteous, and yet they must always
do so without trusting in that whatsoever
for salvation, since all trust must be on Christ alone.
The moment Christ gives us faith to trust him to be
our Righteous Substitute, he imputes his righteousness
to us, and so he then gives us eternal life.
That life is indeed eternal (forever without end) because
it is entirely based in Christ who is God and cannot fail,
and not in the very least based in us at all.
Thus we are saved because our Substitute who is Christ
is righteous, and not because of anything about us at all.
After being thus saved eternally, we will never be taken
away from Christ because he is God and keeps all of his.
Sheep that wander are brought back by the Shepherd
as he will and in his time and by his sovereign power.
Christ is the Eternal Life, and he lives his life in those that
he has saved: after he has saved us, he then immediately
comes into us, and he begins to live his life in us and thru us,
and he bears his fruit in us, and without him we can do
nothing at all; but he enables us to keep our trust on him to
always be our Righteous Substitute who lives his life in us.
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