Righteousness from God

Dr. Michael Kruger, Speaker

Romans 3:21-26 | May 9 - Sunday Morning,

Sunday Morning,
May 9
Righteousness from God | Romans 3:21-26
Dr. Michael Kruger, Speaker

Well, good morning, Christ Covenant, it’s great to be with you again this morning, and let me express my own Happy Mother’s Day greeting to all our mothers here, and I’m sure we’ll all be making sure that we make that phone call that we realize we just forgot to make this morning later today to our moms and tell them how grateful we are for them.

Here’s one other thought on that. Also don’t forget your spiritual mothers. Many of us have mothers in our life though maybe not biological but spiritual. They’ve really mothered us in the faith and we certainly owe them so much gratitude for that.

If you have your Bibles, today we are in the book of Romans, chapter 3. So let’s go ahead and turn our attention there. Romans chapter 3. As you’re turning there, of course, you’re thinking to yourself, “Hold on a second, I thought we were in the Genesis series here at Christ Covenant,” and we have been. Those who’ve been part of our morning service for the last number of months know that we’ve been making our way through the book of Genesis, bit by bit.

Taking a little hiatus this morning as Kevin is away, and he’ll be back next week to resume that series.

But you’ll see, though, that the passage today is not wholly unconnected. In fact, you’ll recall, if you’ve been in the series, that we’ve talked about Abraham and his great faith and how it was by believing that God regarded him as righteous. Today it’s that same theme but in Romans chapter 3.

So we’ll be reading just a few verses here in 21 through 26. So let’s listen now to what God has to say to us in this amazing passage.

Romans 3, starting in verse 21: “But now, but now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins. It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

Amen. Let’s pray ask God to bless that incredible passage to us today. Let’s pray.

Our Lord, we marvel at this declaration that there is a kind of righteousness that does not come from us but comes from you, and it’s that righteousness that can save. We rejoice in that today. Bless us, we pray, as we open this up. We ask in Christ’s name. Amen.

Well, if you know anything about the life of Martin Luther, you know that in his younger years he was not your ordinary monk. In fact, Luther was a guy who was wracked with anxiety and worry and fear. In fact, most of his early days were spent just fretting and fearful, unlike most of his other monks. Now, Luther wasn’t worried about the things that most people in our world today are worried about, people who lay up at night and can’t sleep, maybe they’re worried about paying off a credit card bill or getting a promotion at work or what have you.

No, Luther laid awake at night absolutely worked with anxiety over a problem he couldn’t solve in his head. I mean, Luther was just doing the math. He realized, wait a second, I see my own heart and my own life and how unrighteousness I am and how much I sin, and then I know that someday I’m going to stand before God and that God is really holy and always upholds His law and justice, and so how in the world am I going to be accepted? Accepted by the God some day when I stand before Him.

Or to put it another way, Luther was wondering this question: How is it that God could regard me as righteous, even though I’m so unrighteous? How’s that going to work out?

So Luther thought, well, I’d better get to work here in trying to make up for my lack of righteousness. And if you know the story, Luther did a lot to make up for his lack of righteousness. He pretty much out-monked all the other monks.

He was famous for sort of making life harder on himself, intentionally sleeping without a blanket in the cold monastery in winter. He would go up the steps of the monastery one by one, praying each step along the way as he went. He would go to confession for hours a day, driving his other monks a little crazy with his obsession over his own righteousness, and Luther thought maybe somehow, some way, I can make up for it all by just trying harder.

Now, of course it didn’t take away his anxiety, and it continued to get worse until one day he was reading the Bible and he came across this verse: “But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known. A righteousness from God that come through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”

That’s right. Luther read the very verse that we read a moment ago, the very verse we’ll be talking about today, and it revolutionized his life. Reading the verse he realized, maybe of the first time, that wait a second, I can have a righteous standing before God, but not because I’m personally righteous. I can have a righteousness gifted to me by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

In other words, Luther stumbled across in this passage what we now call the doctrine of justification.

For that reason, Luther called this passage, this is his exact words, he said: “This passage is the center of the whole Bible.”

Now you might think, well, that’s a little overstated, but it’s interesting, other scholars since have echoed Luther’s sentiments. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who preached on Romans famously for about five years, said this about this passage. He called it the most important and crucial passage in the whole of Scripture.

Leon Morris, another scholar, said this: “Possibly the most important single paragraph ever written.”

Donald Barnhouse said, “These verses are the most important in the whole Bible.”

Now that’s high praise. In fact, as I read those quotes, I think to myself, “Why in the world am I preaching on these verses? I’m bound to let everyone down in a passage like this.”

But this is the center of the whole Bible. Why is that? Well, Luther realized that this verse and these verses are the key to understanding your and mine eternal fate. A person’s eternal fate is determined by whether they can stand before God someday and be regarded as righteous. Even though they’re not. And Luther realized in this passage that we have this amazing truth here, that God can declare unrighteous people to be righteous, that is the doctrine of justification and its amazing good news.

Now of course it raises questions, doesn’t it? How is that God can declare unrighteousness people to be righteous people when they’re not righteous people? You see, you and I have never thought about that conundrum. But Luther and Paul have thought about that conundrum a lot. In fact, this whole passage today is going to unpack that doctrine of justification in such a way that we can understand why it is that we can have security in knowing that we can stand in God’s presence forever and be regarded as righteous even though we know we’re not.

Now make no mistake about it. Today’s topic is not about being righteous. Okay? That’s a different subject about how to live a godly, holy life. That’s not the subject today, as important as that subject is. Paul’s not concerned here about being righteous, he’s concerned about you being reckoned or regarded as righteous in the sight of God even though you’re unrighteous.

So the issue today is an issue of righteous status, not righteous actions, as important as those are in the life of the Christian.

Okay, so here’s what’s going to happen in this passage. Paul’s going to sort of unpack this theme of getting this foreign righteousness to our account in sort of three waves.

First, and this is really remarkable, he’s going to begin just by acknowledging the mere existence of this and how good news it is. He starts with this reality of justification and says, “Do you realize there’s an answer to your problem? God has done something amazing.”

And then secondly he’s going to talk about the instrument of justification, sort of well, if there’s a righteousness available to us that’s not our own, how do you get it? What’s the means by which you get it?

And then thirdly and finally, and this is really where he builds up to, he’s going to talk about the grounds for your justification. How is that God can declare unrighteous people to be righteous and not get Himself in trouble, so to speak?

That’s where we’re going to go today.

Okay, let’s start with this very first one, just the reality of our justification. I want you to look down in your text. Now the only way you’re going to let that verse sink in with the drama that Paul intends it to have is if you understand what Paul’s been doing up to now in the book of Romans, and I know we don’t have time this morning to go sort of read all through the first three chapters of Romans, but if you had read it, and I know many of you have read it in the past, you would know that Paul has been making a point for three straight chapters. And what is that point? No one is righteous, not even one.

In other words, what Paul has been doing for three chapters is proving the point that no one’s own righteousness can get the job done, that no one’s own righteousness can give them standing in God’s presence. That our own righteousness is just inadequate because we’re all fallen sinners. And I can tell you three whole chapters of this, Paul has been making this point, carefully, meticulously, slowly, making sure there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, no excuses, no exceptions, every single human being’s righteousness falls short.

Now here’s the amazing thing. You ever wonder what would have happened if Paul had just ended the letter at that point? I mean, if you go back up one verse from our verse, you’ll see how he ends that prior section. Look at verse 20 for a moment. Just one verse earlier than what we read. Notice how Paul ends this prior section: “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in His sight.”

You can almost hear the gavel falling. Boom. None of us are righteous enough on our own.

Now what if Paul had just said, okay, that’s all I’ve got to say. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings. That’s it. End of my letter. Now you know what we don’t ever think about is that theoretically God could have just decided that He would do nothing to save us, that we all are unrighteous because we’ve broken His law and that’s the way it goes and we’re subject to judgment and He will do nothing to save us.

But what’s amazing here is what happens in verse 21. Look again at it: “But now.” Could those two little words, “but now,” be two of the most beautiful words in the whole Bible? Lost in our own unrighteousness, we had no hope, but now, but now God has done something. But now a hope has been revealed.

And notice the language here: But now the righteousness of God has been manifested. It’s a little unfortunate here in the ESV because they don’t capture what I think the old NIV did well here. The old NIV read this “the righteousness from God has been revealed.” In other words, what Paul is saying is your righteousness couldn’t get it done; I’ve spent three chapters proving to you that your righteousness couldn’t get it done, but I’ve got good news for you. Now a different kind of righteousness has been revealed. A righteousness from God. Not your righteousness, not from you, but from another place entirely.

In other words, the good news of this passage is that Paul is announcing, he’s declaring that there’s another option. There’s another kind of righteousness that can fit the bill. There’s another righteousness that can get it done. But it’s not from you, it’s from outside of you, it’s from another place, it’s from God given to you.

Now that, that’s amazing good news. What’s incredible here, Paul says, and don’t think I’m just making this up, the Law and the prophets have been talking about this for generations.

Look at verse 21 again. This righteousness from God has been manifested apart from the Law and look at this next clause. Although the Law and the prophets bear witness to it. In other words, what Paul is saying is this great revealing of another kind of righteousness you can have isn’t a new idea. The prophets have been talking about this for generations. They’ve been waiting, longing, anticipating for God to finally do it and now, says Paul, He’s done it in Christ.

Here’s the thing I want you to realize about this first point today, just the reality of our justification, and that is God has done something. He has not left us completely hopeless and completely lost. You could see if you were Martin Luther why this passage would strike you and why it would stand out to you. You’d be stunned by it. After all the anxiety, after all the worry, how am I going to be considered righteous in front of God when I know I’m now? Now you have an answer. God has revealed another kind of righteousness that you can get.

I wonder sometimes whether we don’t really take this as that good of news. Whether we hear this and think, well, you know, that’s fair news. That’s kind of decent news. And sometimes we think it’s only decent news because maybe we figured we were fairly righteous already and maybe we just had a little gap that needed to be made up, and so it’s modest news.

Ah, but if you had read chapters one through three, this isn’t modest news or fair news. This is amazing news. We don’t have just a little gap to make up. We need an entirely different kind of righteousness, and Paul says it’s been revealed. You can have a righteousness from God.

Now here’s the next question that comes up. How do you get it? If there’s a righteousness that’s different from my own messed up life that I can get and I can get it from God, how do I get it from God? Well, this leads us now to our second point here this morning in this text, and Paul’s also very clear about this. This righteous status has a very unique channel by which you get it. I mean, you want it, right? There’s a sense in which I want to find a way to seize this righteousness so I can claim it for my own. How do you get it? Paul says very plainly, you get it by faith.

Look at verse 22 again: The righteousness of God, this is the righteousness Paul’s talking about. How do you get it? He tells us. This righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.

Paul here introduces us, then, to the instrument of our justification. Okay? The channel by which we get this amazing righteousness outside of ourself. And notice Paul says you don’t get this righteousness by just trying harder. You don’t get this righteousness by just upping your game a little bit. You get this righteousness outside of yourself. This is a righteousness that doesn’t come from within you, it comes from another place and you get it by believing.

This is an important thing for Paul to say, because he knows that whenever someone tells us as human beings that our righteousness isn’t up to snuff, our knee jerk reaction is to say, well, let me get it up to snuff. I’ll just try harder.

What if that? By the way, what if that was the good news today? What if the good news Paul was giving to you was, well, I’ve got good news, your righteousness falls woefully short, but here’s my good news for you today: If you just try a lot harder, maybe you can get there. Maybe if you just up your game. Maybe you’re just not working at it enough.

Now if you heard that this morning, I would imagine very few of you would think that counts as good news, especially if you know your own heart. Your like, well, I’m the problem, not the solution. Don’t leave it with me.

Here’s the thing about faith, then. Paul says faith is that channel, that instrument, that means by which we get the thing we need so desperately. Get that other thing out there, namely the righteousness of Christ given to our account.

Now here’s the thing though about the instrument of faith, is I think we misunderstand it, and this is where Paul’s very careful here in this passage to make sure we don’t confuse what faith is doing. Lots of times in the Christian life we think that we’re saved because of faith, rather than by faith. I’m going to say that again. Lots of times in the Christian life we’re confused and we think that we’re saved because of faith, rather than saved through and by faith.

What that means is some of us have this idea that faith is the one thing we do that God rewards with heaven. That God looks out in the world and says, “Well, if you had just believed then My meritorious reward for you would be heaven, so I’m waiting for you to believe. If you would just believe, then you get heaven as a reward for your belief.” As if faith is the grounds for our salvation and faith is the thing that saved us.

But no. Faith is not the thing that saves you. Faith is the thing that gets you the thing that saves you. The thing that saves you is Jesus. Faith merely gets you Jesus. Don’t confuse your faith as the reason you’re saved versus the thing that gets you the thing that saves you, namely Christ Himself. It is merely a channel, merely and instrument.

Why is that so important to note? Ah, here’s why. Because some of us go through our life with a great deal of anxiety about how shaky our faith is. Maybe that’s you today, maybe you’re thinking well, you know what, my faith is, it fluctuates. Some days are better than others and I’m really worried my faith doesn’t seem very strong. We think in some sense that it needs to be super-strong because I’m saved sort of because of my faith.

But what if the key to faith was not the faith itself? What if the key to your faith was the thing it’s in? What if the object of your faith is what saves you? Not your faith. Your faith is merely the means by which you get that object, and that is the good news here in this passage, is that we get Jesus through this channel of faith and the object is more than sufficient to save.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed in our world, but our world likes to talk a lot about faith. Are you a person of faith? Are you a faith person? If you listen to Oprah, she talks a lot about faith. Here’s one thing you’re never going to hear on those sorts of contexts is what your faith is in. Notice they never talk about the object of your faith. Because in our world’s eyes, faith is just something you have in your heart that sort of saves you intuitively in and of itself. And they never talk about what you believe in.

But for Christianity, faith is the instrument, the channel, the means by which you get the thing that saves you, namely Christ itself.

Now why is that such good news today? Let me explain about the second point, why this matters so much to you.

If the righteousness that we so desperately need comes by faith, then that means you can have that righteous status right now today. Just let that sink in for a moment. What if I told you that the kind of righteous status that you needed would take you 27 years of work to archive? So get going. Well, then you would say, well, I then I can’t have that righteous status today.

Well, what if I told you, and this is what Paul is saying, you can have that status by faith alone? Just by believing. And if you could have that status just by believing, then you can believe right now, today, and have that status before God, before you even leave church. That’s the great news about the Gospel is that if you get it by faith, that you can get it immediately.

Now of course God wants you to live a life of obedience after that, but you’re not safe because of that future obedience. You’re saved immediately because of Christ has done to you if you believe.

Here’s the amazing thing today. If you’re here today and you don’t know what you think about Christ and you’re not sure about this whole Christianity thing, here’s an amazing truth for you today, and it is great news: You can know today that you stand before God entirely justified, simply by believing in Christ, because that is the channel He has chosen to save and it requires no good works, it merely requires faith in Him. That is good news.

Now Paul is not done. He’s got a third and final point he wants to make here, and honestly he’s been building up to this, because this is really where he’s going. So the first point was just realizing the reality of our justification that God didn’t have to do anything but he announces He’s done something to save us. Secondly, the instrument of our justification we get this righteousness outside ourselves by believing, by trusting, not by good works, not by law-keeping. And then now thirdly Paul’s going to want to talk about the grounds of our justification. The grounds. Or another way to say it is the basis for our justification.

Here’s something amazing. We don’t think about this very much in our world today, but Paul is wondering how can God pull this off? I mean, if God is a righteous, good judge, how could He ever let a sinner of the hook? More than that, how could He, if He’s a good, righteous judge, declare an unrighteousness person to be righteous when they’re not righteous?

Imagine an earthly judge doing that? What if an earthly judge had a horrible criminal who’d done unspeakable atrocities come into his courtroom and an earthly judge just said, “Well, I’m not really worried about what you’ve done. Tell you what. I’m going to declare that you’re a really good guy, that you’re righteous, and tell you what, no punishment for you. Out the door. Have a good day.” If an earthly judge did that, you and I would all be up in arms. We’d think, “What? That’s a travesty of justice. You can’t just let the wicked go free.”

But yet God does. How’s He pull it off?

Here’s the thing that’s interesting to me, is that so few Christians ever reflect upon that. Why is that we never pause to wonder how God forgiving us might compromise God’s own character? Does it not ever bother us that God calls unrighteousness people righteous? It bothered Paul. He’s like, “Look, how does God do that and maintain His justice?” That’s Paul’s question. How does God declare unrighteousness people to be righteous and not become unrighteousness Himself?

The answer, of course, and we know this, lies in this thing, this amazing thing that has been done for us on the cross. Something happened there that allows God to forgive us and not compromise His character.

And we see it here in verse 25. Look down there with me. I want you to notice this amazing word that Paul uses here. Talking about Jesus in verse 25, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood to be received by faith.

And look at the next clause: This was to show God’s righteousness because in His divine forbearance He had passed over sins.

And then notice verse 26. He says the same phrase again. It was to show His righteousness.

What does the word “propitiation” mean? It’s a fascinating word. Paul is very intentional in using it here. Propitiation refers to a sacrifice that fully satisfies God’s divine wrath on sin. That Christ so fully pays for our sins, that God’s wrath has been so fully poured out on Christ in our place, that Jesus has soaked up like a sponge every last drop of God’s wrath intended for our sins, Jesus has taken it and soaked it up Himself.

Now the fact that that had to happen at all is exactly the point Paul wants to make. He’s saying, look, when you look at the cross, you’re seeing a picture of one simple truth, that God cannot just overlook sin, that God must punish sin, that every sin that’s ever been committed on the planet throughout all of human history, all of them will be punished, either by the person who committed them or they’ll be punished in Jesus on the cross. God does not lower His standard. That’s why Christ had to die.

You know, sometimes I get the impression that we as Christians think that God’s saving us is sort of God letting us off the hook, as if God says to us, “Well, you gave it a good run on your own righteousness, didn’t turn out so hot, did it? But you know what? I’m a forgiving kind of God, and I’ll just, tell you what. I don’t really care about law and I don’t care about justice, I’m just going to give you a pass, come on into heaven.”

But that’s not what happens. God must uphold His holiness. So He sends Christ as a propitiation to soak up all of His wrath. So you can say rightly He did punish that sin. He didn’t lower His standard. He punished it in Christ.

You realize something then? When you look at the cross, you’re not just seeing a picture of God’s amazing mercy, although you are. And His amazing love, although you are. When you look at the cross, you’re seeing a picture of God’s amazing justice. That there would be a cross at all mans that God takes sin that seriously, that it must be paid. And He’s paid it in Christ.

This is where we come to this amazing line at the end of verse 26, which is my favorite in the whole text, because it’s so remarkable. Look at verse 26 again: God did this in Jesus to show His righteousness at the present time so that He might be, look at this language, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Notice those two words. At the cross God is both just, sins are paid for, He doesn’t let them go, He doesn’t lower His standard, but He’s also a justifier. He has done it for us so that we might be declared righteous even though we’re not. That’s an amazing piece of good news.

Here’s what that means for you today. That means your security, your eternal confidence that God is for you, and not against you, is because He’s such a just God. If He punished your sins in Christ, He can’t turn around and punish them in you. That would be a double jeopardy. Imagine God saying, “I poured out all My wrath for your sins in Jesus. Oh, but I’m still upset with your sins, I’m going to pour them all out on you again.”

No, He can’t do that. If He spent on Jesus, He cannot spend it on you. God is not going to commit double jeopardy. You’re counting on His justice.

So don’t make this mistake. Some people say, “I just wish God was less just so that He would forgive more easily.” No, you want God to be just. It’s God’s justice that you’re counting on. If He’s punished your sins in Christ, then you know a just God would never hold you accountable for those same sins. That’s why you’re safe and secure with your sins forgiven. They’ve been fully paid.

This word “propitiation” has so much amazing riches in it. So remember Paul’s conundrum. How can God still be just even though He forgives sinners? Well, this is how.

Ah, but he’s not done. There’s another question out there that’s floating in Paul’s mind, and that is this. Okay, so God’s justice is upheld because He punishes sins in Jesus, but there’s another problem. God declares us to be righteous even though we’re not. Where’s that righteousness coming from? How can God look at me, a sinner, and say, “This person is righteous,” even though I’m not. Whose righteousness do I have?

The answer, of course, is the righteousness of Christ, and this is also built into the word “propitiation.” Propitiation is a substitute; it’s someone who stands in our place. And when they stand in our place, what’s true of them is true of you. So if Christ was regarded as unrighteous even though He’s righteous, we’re regarded as righteous even though we’re actually unrighteous. There’s a swapping, there’s a substitution. Jesus is regarded as a sinner and I am regarded as righteous. Jesus is regarded as a sinner even though He’s perfect, and I’m regarded as a righteous person even though I’m not. It’s a complete reversal.

What that means then is that the reason you get to go to heaven someday and be safe and secure there is because you have the righteousness of Christ credited to your account. When God sees you, He doesn’t see your sin. He sees the righteousness of Christ wrapped around you securely.

By the way, if God’s holy gaze is staring on you, you’re going to need something wrapped around you, and you want it to be absolutely perfect, absolutely flawless, with no dent, no scratch, no problems, no holes. Christ credits His perfect righteousness to us at the cross. All His obedience is regarded as yours and is regarded as mine.

Do you realize then that when you read the Gospels, about Jesus keeping the Law, when you read the Gospels about Jesus obeying, do you realize He’s doing that for you? That that obedience is credited to your account? You’re disobedient, Christ is obedient, and you’re regarded as the Law keeper, by faith. Do you realize that when Jesus withstood the temptation of Satan in the wilderness that His perfect obedience in the midst of that temptation was for your credit? Your account? That that in effect saved you, because it’s that righteousness that wraps around you and protects you?

Ah, now you’re realizing why our salvation is so secure. Why is your salvation so secure and unassailable? Because God has spent all His wrath on Jesus in your place and because He wraps you in perfect righteousness of His Son.

What better news could you possibly want?

And here’s where we come to it today with this amazing reality then. This theme has been about getting a righteous status that can allow you to stand before a holy God, and now you find out what Luther discovered. Luther discovered, “I figured it out, it’s not my righteousness, it’s a righteousness that’s a gift from God based on what Christ has done. He paid my penalty, He kept the Law, so that I could stand before God perfectly.”

You know, when I read this passage about Jesus’ righteousness wrapping around us, I think about just needing to be protected when you have the holy hot gaze of God on you. I think back to actually 2003. In 2003 there was a great national tragedy there, you may remember, when the space shuttle Columbia, on a rather routine flight, was reentering the earth’s atmosphere. And as it reentered the earth’s atmosphere, they began to notice something wasn’t going quite right. Little alarms were going off and little sensors were firing, the temperature inside the shuttle was increasing. Then before they knew it, they realized you could look up in the sky and see bits and pieces of space shuttle Columbia breaking apart as it reentered the earths’ atmosphere in this horrific tragedy. It broke up and scattered pieces all over Texas and Louisiana and Arkansas. And as you no doubt remember, in that shuttle disaster, every single astronaut perished as they reentered the earth’s atmosphere.

They found out later what went wrong. Turns out in the investigations they uncovered that at launch a piece of foam had broken off one of the boosters and hit a wing on the shuttle and punctured a small hole in the heat shield. It was actually a really small hole, only about 6 inches, this hole in the heat shield. And you think about the size of the space shuttle, its massive, just one 6-inch hole, you think we’ll be fine. Well, they didn’t know that hole was there, and on reentry, the heat as you know on reentry is thousands upon thousands of degrees, and that one little hole was enough. It just started to eat away at the space shuttle and broke that thing entirely apart.

When I think about that scene, I think about this passage, and here is why. Someday we’re going to stand before the hot holy gaze of God, and what is the shield you will have wrapped around you? If it is your own righteousness, that is going to be a shield with gaping holes, huge gouges, cracks all around, and it will not hold up. You need something that’s absolutely impeccably pure without a gouge or a scratch or a stain to have that kind of heat held up.

There’s only one kind of righteousness that can do it; it’s the righteousness of God’s own Son.

This passage today is good news. It’s good news because we have someone who paid the penalty so that God’s still just, and we have good news because we have a righteous status that’s given to us and so God can really say, “You are righteous in My eyes.” Not because we really are, but because of what Christ has done, and that will be the kind of righteousness that will hold up in eternity.

My prayer today for you is if you’re here and you don’t that Christ, and you don’t know how you’re going to stand before God someday, that you consider what will be wrapped around me when I stand before God on that important day. By faith, today if you believe, you can have the full righteousness of Christ wrapped around you. Amen.

Let’s pray and ask God to bless us as we consider these things. Let’s pray.

Lord, we’re grateful for this text today. Lord, we’re grateful for the amazing truth of the Gospel of justification. Lord, we admit that our righteousness is chock full of holes, all kinds of problems, all kinds of issues. It would never, ever hold up. But Lord, we rejoice today that in Christ we have such great news. You can be both just and the justifier in Him, and in that we rejoice. We pray this all in Christ’s name. Amen.