No one has anything in him out of which righteousness can be made. Thus the righteousness of God is put, literally, into and upon all that believe. Then they are both clothed with righteousness, and filled with it, according to the Scripture. In fact, they then become "the righteousness of God" in Christ. And how is this accomplished? God declares His righteousness upon the one who believes. To declare is to speak. So God speaks to the sinner, who is nothing, and who has nothing, and says, "You are righteous," and immediately that believing sinner ceases to be a sinner, and is the righteousness of God. The word of God, which speaks righteousness, has the righteousness itself in it, and as soon as the sinner believes and receives that word into his own heart by faith, that moment he has the righteousness of God in his heart; and since out of the heart are the issues of life, it follows that a new life is begun in him; and that life is a life of obedience to the commandments of God. Thus faith is indeed the substance of things hoped for, because faith appropriates the word of God, and the word of God is substance.