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Category Archives: righteousness

Short selling the righteousness of Christ

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)

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It’s grace, grace, God’s grace.

Thanks first of all to the grace of God. The grace of God is freely given to those who believe and the righteousness of Christ is credited to him. We read in Romans 4:1-8:

1 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7 Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.

Secondly, a big hat tip to Scott at Through The Veil for finding this incredible video that says it all.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2008 in God, grace, Jesus Christ, righteousness

 

Who can charge God’s elect?

It’s been a while since I have posted anything. I have been a little sidetracked since the passing of my mother a few weeks ago. To be honest I have been having a hard time coming up with something to write about since attending the memorial. I had forgotten how natural it is to write about the things of Christ. As a believer in Christ and His gospel it should be at the forefront of your daily thoughts. Yesterday my son from Tennessee called to speak with my wife and I and in my conversation with him it naturally turned to the things of Christ. One of the many things we discussed were the promises to the believers found in Romans chapter 8. In particular verses 33 and 34. Two short verses with powerful implications for the believer. In verse 33 the apostle Paul poses the rhetorical question:

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?

Much like what we read in Job, Satan stands in heaven accusing those that belong to God. How can he accuse? He does so because we still continue to sin. But as I mentioned above, Paul’s question is rhetorical because the believer should know full well that the punishment for our sins, past, present, and future, were satisfied by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Believers have not done anything to save their selves from the deserved punishment. For if we did, wouldn’t Satan’s accusations be credible? But thanks be to our Lord Jesus Christ that our sins were paid by Him and the rhetorical question has an answer. This is found in Paul’s proclamation in the next verse.

It is God who justifies.

If it is God who justifies the sinner through the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ, what leg does Satan have to stand on as he accuses? It is God who justifies the believer, His own, His elect. What this means for the believer is since God justifies, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the believer. In other words the sinlessness of Christ is attributed to the believer and God declares us righteous. If we have the righteousness of Christ then the accusations of Satan are null and void. He cannot make a charge against God’s elect. I am so thankful that God is the one who declares me righteous through Christ’s death and resurrection, and not something that I earn. God, who is rich in mercy and grace, is the only one who can declare you free from all charges. Forever!

Soli Deo Gloria!

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2008 in Justification, righteousness, Romans, Theology

 

The righteousness of God

While listening to a song called “Watch Your Words” by Alter Bridge the lyrics reminded me of a passage in Romans chapter 1. In particular, verses 16 and 17. The apostle Paul writes about the Gospel and how it reveals the righteousness of God.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

What is meant by “the righteousness of God” here in this passage. Is Paul writing about the the very nature of God? For He alone is righteous. Is he writing about the righteousness expressed in His promises kept? This very term is mentioned many times throughout scripture in reference to God. But how is it used here in this particular passage in Romans 1? I went to a “new to me” bible exposition to look up how it is used here. The bible exposition is from the Puritan John Gill. In it the use of “the righteousness of God” is made clear to me. Here is what I found:

By “the righteousness of God”, is not meant the essential righteousness of God, the rectitude of his nature, his righteousness in fulfilling his promises, and his punitive justice, which though revealed in the Gospel, yet not peculiar to it; nor the righteousness by which Christ himself is righteous, either as God, or as Mediator; but that righteousness which he wrought out by obeying the precepts, and bearing the penalty of the law in the room of his people, and by which they are justified in the sight of God: and this is called “the righteousness of God”, in opposition to the righteousness of men: and because it justifies men in the sight of God; and because of the concern which Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit, have in it. Jehovah the Father sent his Son to work it out, and being wrought out, he approves and accepts of it, and imputes it to his elect:

So what is found in the Gospel that Paul writes about here? The Gospel reveals the very righteousness of God that justifies men in the sight of God through the work of His Son, Jesus Christ. God the Son is the author through His obedience and death, and this righteousness is revealed through God the Spirit to men.

So when it is written that “the righteous man shall live by faith”, that faith has been given by God which reveals the “righteousness of God” through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For just as John Gills writes above “this is in opposition to the righteousness of men” which does not save. Romans 1 is an excellent chapter to read about the Gospel of Christ and how it relates to sinful man. Please take time to read it again.

Below are the lyrics that prompted me to think about this subject and post this:

To truly see well
You must have faith
Oh the righteous they can’t wait
A saving grace
That we all know
Let us pray
Let us hold on

Finally and as a side bar. For those who live here in Nebraska, Alter Bridge is coming to Lincoln December 8th at the State Theater. My wife and I have tickets. We will probably stick out in the crowd. We will be the middle-aged head bangers. Maybe we’ll will see you there.  Rock On!!

Picture credit

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2007 in Alter Bridge, John Gill, righteousness, Romans