96. The leaders of the church in our time have a quite different description of the Lord's righteousness, and regard its impress on a man's faith as the key to salvation. Yet the truth is that the Lord's righteousness, being of such a nature and origin that it is purely Divine, could not be linked with any person, so that it could not cause anyone to be saved, any more than the Divine life can, which is the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom. The Lord enters into every person with these, but unless that person lives in accordance with order, though he has that life within him, it contributes nothing to his salvation, giving him merely the ability to understand truth and to do good. Living in accordance with order is living in accordance with God's commandments. When a person so lives and acts, he acquires righteousness for himself, not the righteousness that comes from the Lord's redeeming, but the Lord Himself as righteousness. These are the people described by the following passages, as well as others.
Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of the heavens, Matthew 5:20.
Blessed are those who undergo persecution for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens, Matthew 5:10.
At the completion of the age angels will go forth and separate the wicked from out of the midst of the righteous, Matthew 13:49.
The righteous in the Word mean those who have lived in accordance with Divine order, since Divine order is righteousness.
 Righteousness itself, which by His redeeming acts the Lord became, cannot be ascribed to, impressed on, fitted on or linked with a person, otherwise than light to the eye, sound to the ear, will to the muscles of one who acts, thought to the lips of the speaker, air to the breathing lungs, heat to the blood, and so on. Anyone can see for himself that these things have an effect and are accessory without being linked to the organ. But righteousness is acquired the more a person applies it, and he applies righteousness, the more the love of what is right and true inspires his dealings with his neighbour. Righteousness dwells in the actual good, or the actual service, which he performs. For the Lord says that every tree is recognised by its fruit. We recognise another person by his actions, if we pay attention to the end and purpose of what he wills, and the intention or cause behind his actions. This is what all the angels observe, and so do all the wise people in our world. In general, every plant and shoot the earth puts forth is recognised by its flower and seed, and the service which its seed performs; likewise every metal by its worth, every stone by its quality, every piece of ground by its, every food by its, every land animal and every bird of the air by its. Why not man too? The quality and origins of a person's actions will be disclosed in the chapter on faith [336-391].