Righteousness Through Christ
Open Your Bible
Romans 3:21-28, John 1:1-5, 14-18
BY Diana Stone
Text: Romans 3:21-28, John 1:1-5, 14-18
“The grace of God,
through the righteousness of Christ,
has more power to bring salvation,
than Adam’s sin had to bring misery.”
– Matthew Henry
In the New Testament, the Greek word for righteousness, dikaiosýnē (dik-ah-yos-oo’-nay), means “a condition having divine approval.” In other words, what God approves of in His own eyes.
Even when I squint my eyes and tilt my head, the most “righteous” things I’ve done in my life are still tainted by my sin. I’m not sure my very best days would qualify to receive a thumbs up according to the impeccable standards of the Creator of the world, the holy God of Israel.
Given the the darkness in this poor, fallen world—and the reality of sin in each person who’s walked the earth—it doesn’t take long to realize that not one of us is worthy to be deemed as having dikaiosýnē by the Holy God. Only Jesus is wholly righteous. Only He is worthy of divine approval.
The incarnation of Jesus turns the whole concept of justice on its head. Rather than standing alone before God, our Judge, with only our faulty defense and a few character witnesses by our side, Jesus steps in to take our place in the defendant’s chair. He is the only one to walk our earth and breathe our air and remain sinless—the only one to maintain dikaiosýnē before God. With God as Judge, we are found “not guilty.” When God looks at the seat of the would-be guilty, He sees only the righteous blood of Christ.
We walk into the courtroom a guilty woman, destined to a life sentence or worse, and we walk out free, our slate wiped forever clean.
This, friends, is the Good News:
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”
-Colossians 1:21-22 (emphasis mine)
We were created, loved, pursued, and redeemed. We did nothing to deserve the mercy that stems from the love we initially rejected—that we often still reject. We can never make any rules or attain enough perfection to gain favor in God’s eyes. But Jesus. Because of Jesus, there is grace.
“The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more…” – Romans 5:20
Christ finds us in our helpless state and intercedes for us before the Father—He becomes our perfect defense and righteousness, covering us with grace upon grace so that we can stand, chosen and blameless, in front of our God (Ephesians 1:4).
“For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21
On this eleventh day of Advent, let us focus on the supreme and eternal nature of Jesus—HE is the One through whom our righteousness is achieved and then gifted to us.
Glory to God in the very highest.
For an added layer of worship during this sweet season of adoration and expectation, we’ve created a Spotify playlist for Advent 2014! You can find the complete SheReadsTruth | O Come Let Us Adore Him playlist at this link, or listen to today’s track on the player below. Enjoy!