Most Christians only understand righteousness in the context of what they do right. Religion says we can qualify to be made righteous by our own good deeds; however, true righteousness is a gift from God. A gift is something we do not work for or earn, and possibly do not even deserve, yet still receive. This gift is received by faith when we accept Jesus Christ and the grace He offers us. Accepting this gift from Jesus gives us new identities based on who He says we are in Him, and empowers us to rule in life and live in victory over adversity. As long as we continue to think that our righteousness depends on our own efforts, we will remain spiritual babies; we begin to mature spiritually when we realize that it only comes through Jesus’ righteousness, not ours. Grace makes this right-standing with God available to us; receiving it frees us from the chains of self-effort.