While studying through Romans chapter 3 in our Sunday morning sermon yesterday, Pastor Pat reminds us what justification is and is not. I think many of us who have been a teacher or learner through any evangelical church has heard the phrase definition offered for the justification believers receive at salvation. The phrase I am referring to is justification = just as if I had never sinned. But when we provide this definition we are in fact selling short, and I mean way short, the righteousness of Christ in our justification. You see, when we are saved by God’s grace, we are declared righteous by God. The only way a righteous and just God can declare the sinner righteous is by imputing the righteousness of Christ on the sinner. In other words, the sinless and righteous life Christ lived for us on this earth was imputed, or attached to the sinner when by God’s grace he believes. That, my friend, is the only justification that satisfies a righteous God. So when we say that justification means that it’s as if we hadn’t sinned, that only gives us a clean slate and short sells the righteousness of Jesus Christ. But when we look at the correct meaning for righteous justification we again are focused on Christ and his righteousness and what he accomplished on the cross. Amen?
Soli Deo Gloria!
Divine Righteousness and the Cross (Romans 3:21-31)
October 13, 2008 at 6:52 pm
Nathan W. Bingham
October 13, 2008 at 10:32 pm
The theological categories for this is the Active Obedience of Christ (His perfect, sinless life lived under the law) and the Passive Obedience of Christ (His suffering upon the cross).
When people preach the gospel they often only mention the Passive Obedience of Christ – but that’s only the half of it, and as you said, that “short sells the righteousness of Jesus Christ.”