His Death Is The Foundation of Our Righteousness
One of the great majestic names of the LORD God is “The LORD Our Righteousness” (Jer. 33:16).
Jesus Christ is our righteousness (1Corinthians 1:30). We do not and cannot attain a right relationship with God in our own righteousness because our self-righteousness is as filthy rags. We are guilty sinners in the need of a perfect righteousness (Rom. 3:23; Jer. 17:9; Mark 7:20-23).
When we speak of Christ our righteousness, we are using a great forensic term referring to our acquittal by God. All that we have as Christians we have received as a free gift of God through Jesus Christ. We are justified once and for all by grace through faith in Christ. It never has to be repeated because it is a non-repeatable event.
When we are untied to Christ, we have a righteous and holy standing before God. We are “in Christ.” We have a vital union in Him. We enjoy a right relationship with God because of the finished work of Christ on the cross. Christ is the basis of our perfect acceptance with God (2 Cor. 5:21).
God has robed us with the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. He is the basis of our acceptance with God.
Godet said, “It is the act of grace whereby God removes the condemnation pronounced on the sinner, and places the sinner relatively to Himself, as a believer, in the position of a righteous man. The possibility of such a Divine act is due to the death and resurrection of Christ.” His death is the foundation of everything God does for the sinner.
The apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:12 that we are through the atoning death of Christ declared righteous before God. This “righteousness” of God in Christ is that quality, which is ours when God acquits the believer, based upon the finished all-sufficient death of Christ (Rom.4: 22-25). God acquits the believer for Christ’s sake, not ours.
This righteousness, like justification, is always forensic (the investigation of a crime). God is Judge, and we must stand before Him. We can only plead guilty because we are guilty. God treated Jesus Christ as if He were the guilty sinner, and deals with the believing sinner as though he or she were righteous.
Christ did not deserve the curse; we did. The imputed righteousness of Christ to the sinner is a demonstration of the wisdom of God. It is a display of His justice, mercy, grace, love, and power as would never enter into the mind of men, or of Satan! It is a manifestation, “The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom….” (I Cor. 1:25). This is poetic for it is obvious the infinite capabilities of God are greater, stronger and wiser than anything we humans know.
The cross and the resurrection is the power of God unto salvation. Let us glory in the cross of Jesus Christ and God’s saving grace.
Because our right standing with God is His work, He alone can get all the glory. God pronounces the verdict based upon whether we have accepted or denied Jesus Christ as our Savior. Man cannot satisfy the Judge unless he is righteous.
There is no denying; no person is righteous before God. No man can produce the righteousness God requires. It has to be given to him.
Under these circumstances, his faith is counted to him as righteousness (Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:26). Christ Himself becomes the righteousness we need (2 Cor. 5:21). God the Righteous Judge views us not as we are in our sinfulness, but in Christ. He is our perfect standing before God. It is only the righteousness of Christ that can satisfy the perfect demand of the law of God.
Christ is our righteousness; none other will satisfy God.
The more we make ourselves available to God and The Christ the deeper becomes our awareness of that intimate relationship with Him. The life we live, we live by sincerity and faith in the risen Christ.
Stephen Newdell, March 27, 2018 drawn from inspirational notes at http://www.abideinchrist.com