Chapter 8, “The Righteousness of Christ”
Bonhoeffer here calls his disciples to hold to Christ’s righteousness. His righteousness consists in fulfilling God’s Law. Against those who think Jesus came to destroy the Law, Jesus came to fulfill the Law. Bonhoeffer points to some of the consequences of Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law. he says (Loc. 1707) that we must hold to the law and follow Christ. The two cannot be separated. They must be done together. We are bound, then, to the Old covenant law, just as the Pharisees were, but by following Jesus we have a better righteousness.
How then does Bonhoeffer see our relation to Jesus? He says (Loc. 1745) that he is the one who validates the law, showing that we are to obey as he does. The righteousness we then receive is that which belongs to Jesus. It is a gift of God, received as we follow Jesus.