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Our Righteousness Is in Him

ani3dredrosec.gifThe word “righteousness” isn’t one we use every day and so sometimes we only have a vague idea of what that means. It’s a very complete term which includes, “virtue, morality, justice, decency, uprightness, honest, goodness, correctness and integrity.” Quite a tall order. The most familiar synonym used, however, is “uprightness”, for it speaks of our being able to stand upright before God.

ani3dredrosec.gifSin had crippled us, made us ugly, even repulsive to God. We were bent over like a withered tree. We could not stand before God in our own righteousness, for it was as “dirty rags (“But we are all as an unclean thing , and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6). Yet God wished for us to stand before Him, not just in all perfection, but as His righteous children. So Jesus became that righteous Son, and in Him we have that perfect righteousness that pleases God.

ani3dredrosec.gifThe apostle Paul writes, “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:21) If we look at this we can see the thread of our study so far. For sin has had dominion over us, leading us to death, yet God gave us His grace that we might receive His mercy, and not only that, but that we might receive eternal life. God does this by offering it through (or by) “Jesus Christ our Lord”. Sin, therefore, we see, leads to death, not just the death of the body, although that is sometimes the case, but death, eternal separation from God. Mercy, on the other hand, leads us to eternal life WITH God. God’s grace stands between sin and mercy, giving us the power to receive His mercy. It is there, at that point of grace, that we understand that Jesus is God’s mercy.

ani3dredrosec.gifIf then Jesus is God’s mercy, then it is through Him that we have eternal life, for we are no longer slaves to sin, no longer bent over by guilt and evil, but made clean and RIGHTEOUS, made to stand, in Christ, UPRIGHT before God. Let no one deceive you into thinking that good works earn you into God’s favor. First of all that negates the mercy of God, through Jesus, which He extends to you. Second, it completely disregards the fact that God loved us BEFORE we were saved. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

ani3dredrosec.gifMaybe I’m not saying this right. If we have to earn God’s favor, then why does He love us BEFORE we come to Him for salvation? Why did Jesus die for us BEFORE we got ourselves cleaned up? No! We do not have to earn God’s favor. We are loved by Him with an everlasting, unfathomable love. So God calls to us and when we answer Him we find ourselves IN JESUS. As such, we are made RIGHTEOUS before God. As we have seen in the book of Ephesians, we are found seated in Christ at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places. Here we find that we can stand before God as righteous, upright, as Jesus is our righteousness.