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The Perfect Righteousness of Christ

God has provided a perfect divine righteousness for the sinner who believes what God has revealed in His Word.

The believing sinner stands before God, not in his own self-righteousness which in reality is no righteousness, but in the very righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is utterly holy and without sin because He is God. He is intrinsically righteous. Jesus always did what was pleasing to the Father (John 8:29b; 4:34; 5:30; 6:38). No one could ever prove Him guilty of unrighteousness (Jn. 8:46a). He is the one exception in history; He was absolutely sinless (Matt. 17:5; Jn. 12:28; 1 Pet. 2:22-23).

Moreover, Jesus is also perfectly righteous by His obedience to the law of God. He “fulfilled all righteousness” (Matt. 3:14-15).

Jesus lived a perfect life of obedience to the Law of God. He dotted every "i" and crossed every "t." In no manner did He fail to keep the Jewish law. No other individual has ever completely and absolutely fulfilled the law.

Not only did Jesus fulfill the law personally, but because He was deity He could therefore pay the full penalty demanded by the law for those who had failed to complete it. He paid the penalty in full. The law demanded the death penalty for all who broke it. "The wages of sin is death." "The soul that sins will surely die." Jesus paid this penalty not because He had broken it, but as a substitute for those who had failed. Jesus did not die for His own sins. He died as our representative for sin. He took your guilt and mine upon Himself, and He bore its punishment. The penalty of the law was measured out upon Him. Jesus fulfilled the law completely, actively and passively, positively and negatively. Therefore there is nothing further the law can demand because He has satisfied all its demands upon the sinner. 

Now this is the very righteousness of Christ that God gives to sinners who repent and put their faith in Christ. The utterly amazing thing is He gives it freely, apart from any works or merits on our part. Because we are so sinful, everything we touch is contaminated by our moral and spiritual depravity. The perfect righteousness of Christ stands in stark contrast to our unrighteousness and condemns us. It condemns our attitudes and actions. We stand utterly condemned by His holy presence. “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God” (Rom. 3:10). Our own self-righteousness is worthless and condemns us. “There is no one who does good, not even one” is God’s judgment against sinful man.

The good news from God is that He has provided the righteousness of Jesus Christ as a gift to the believer. Faith is the channel by which the sinner receives the righteousness of Christ. God’s gift is “the righteousness that is by faith from first to last.” “The righteous person will live by faith” (Rom. 1:17; Hab. 2:4).

God imputes the righteousness of Jesus Christ to the sinner. That is the way He makes application of the righteousness of Christ to us. Spurgeon said that it is like putting the infinite moral capital of the Lord Jesus in our empty bank account. God takes the riches of heaven’s storehouse and puts them at our disposal. The way He makes it available to us is by faith.

What is faith? It is a resting in Christ and His saving work for us. Faith is not work. Faith is going to God with open hands and receiving the righteousness God gives freely.

C. H. Spurgeon wrote in All of Grace, “Faith is not a blind thing; for faith begins with knowledge. It is not a speculative thing; for faith believes facts of which it is sure. It is not an unpractical, dreamy thing; for faith trusts, and stakes its destiny upon the truth of revelation. Faith is the eye which looks. Faith is the hand which grasps. Faith is the mouth which feeds upon Christ.”

It is this simple trusting in Christ that gives us a right standing in the presence of a holy and righteous God.

Do you stand in a perfect relationship with God? Do you have peace in your heart because you know you are in Christ? Are you trusting in your self-righteous good works and religious accomplishments, or in the righteousness of Christ alone?

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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