Jesus' Role in Making Us Righteous
Christ did not need to have committed even one sin in order to made sin for you, so you do not need to do even one righteous thing in order to made righteous!
Jesus came to make you righteous. What sin took from you in the fall, Jesus came to restore. Humanity was created in God’s image and enjoyed a perfect union with God. Sin interrupted that until Jesus came making it possible to be brought back into that perfect standing because of the righteousness He gives as a gift through faith.
The Law of Substitution
The same principle that made you a sinner is the same by which Jesus makes you righteous. “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).
Brent Barclay, who writes the blog, Righteous in Christ, makes this great observation, “Just as Christ did not need to have committed sin in order to be made sin (or a sin offering) for you, so you do not need to have done righteous things in order to be made righteous.” This is an amazing thing, this is how the law of substitution works!
Jesus took our sin, our shame, our broken fellowship and gave us His righteousness, His holiness and His perfect nature in the exchange. It is not based on anything we can do and have ever done, it is based solely on what Jesus did. Paul tells us, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (II Corinthians 5:21).
Righteousness Is What Jesus Came to Proclaim
Psalm 40 paints a wonderful picture of Jesus, this scripture is a prophecy about the Christ. Jesus searched the scriptures, found himself, knew this was about Him and knew that righteousness was the message He was sent to bring us.
“Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare,
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, by my ears you have pierced
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come — it is written about me in the scroll.
I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”
I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, as you know, O Lord.
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly”
In reality, God did not require sacrifices and burnt offerings, He never required from mankind what He Himself would provide. This was always the plan from the very beginning (Revelation 13:8). This speaks of His faithfulness to us and this is the message Jesus came to announce. He proclaimed God’s law, written on His heart to us, which is God’s righteousness, His faithfulness and His salvation. And now God writes this law of faithfulness and righteousness on our hearts as well (Hebrews 8:10-12). Not of the letter which kills, but of the spirit which gives life (II Corinthians 3:6). This is an amazing truth!
Righteousness is the Symbol of Jesus’ Kingdom
“But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom” (Hebrews 1:7-8).
This message of righteousness is one of the most important messages you will ever hear. It is so important that righteousness is forever the symbol of Jesus kingdom, rule and reign to remind us of this truth. It is the scepter that signifies His rule and His subjects are a people made righteous and fashioned in His image (Ephesians 4:24). Being made righteous through Christ restores us to the place of perfect fellowship with God, this is what humanity was created for and now it has been made possible in Jesus.
Join me for Part VII; 'Total Forgiveness'.