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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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RIGHTEOUSNESS

Samuel A CainFor our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)

If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (1 John 2:29 ESV)

To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. (Proverbs 21:3 ESV)

God is righteous, but absolute righteousness is not possible for human beings. Men are not pronounced righteous based on personal virtue, but are declared righteous by grace through Jesus Christ. These persons produce the fruit of righteousness because God is working in them. Living a righteous life is not easy for anyone. The righteous life requires discipline and humble obedience to God. With determination the heart can be trained in righteousness. In time, the Christian will find that more of his attitudes and actions are guided by righteousness as he becomes more like Jesus.

The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient and infallible rule of saving knowledge, faith, and duty. Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein He pardons our sins and receives us as righteous in His sight. Whom God effectually calls, He freely justifies by pardoning sins and by accounting them [Elect] as righteous. This is accomplished by imputing Christ’s active obedience to the law and His passive submission in death to the elect. Through faith in Christ, the righteousness of Christ is given to us. This is known as “imputed” righteousness. When we place our faith in Jesus, God credits the righteousness of Christ to our account so that we become perfect in His sight. “For our sake he made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)

Therefore, our own personal sins are imputed to Jesus. Jesus Christ had no sin, but our sin is imputed to Him. As He suffered on the cross, He was suffering the just punishment that we deserve. John Bunyan wrote, “Our sins, when laid upon Christ, were yet personally ours, not his; so his righteousness, when put upon us, is yet personally his, not ours.”

What man cannot do to be accepted by God, God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Can you present a righteous life to God on your own? The answer is emphatically – NO!  Only Jesus could do this for us. Moreover, God would not be righteous, holy, or just unless He dealt with our sins. God’s law was lived out faultlessly for us by Christ and the penalty we justly deserved was paid perfectly by Him. This alone is the basis of our righteousness before God.

For if, because of one man’s [Adam] trespass, death reigned through that one man [Adam], much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s [Adam] disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s [Jesus] obedience the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:17-19 ESV)

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  1. Reblogged this on My Delight and My Counsellors.

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