This question came to me via email. "If we have already been made the righteousness of God in Christ, then why did Paul tell Timothy to pursue righteousness"?
That's a great question. The answer will be found in the Word. Lets begin...
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22 NKJV
In this passage we see the Apostle Paul admonish Timothy to pursue righteousness. Sounds lofty and spiritual. Sounds like advice we should all take. Now the legalist mindset jumps for "joy" at Scriptures like this. On the surface it appears to contradict a righteousness that is unearned or unmerited. Does the Word contradict itself? Did Paul have what the World calls a "senior" moment? Note what Paul himself said in 2 Corinthians.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Take notice what Paul wrote in Romans 5: