Thursday, May 22, 2014
We Need Righteousness - God Supplies It
What is the answer to the dilemma posed yesterday? Sin at its core is the desire to reign in place of God. How is this problem solved, especially for the Christian who desires to do right but finds, like the Apostle Paul, that sin is right there inside?
We basically have two issues that need to be solved. Since God's righteous standard is perfection, we've already failed. There's no use thinking about how to do better in the future since we've already blown it. The goal of perfection has already been forfeited. The second issue is that if we can find a solution to the first problem, how can we live an obedient life that is pleasing to God? How do I do this? How?
Paul begins Romans 8 with these words, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” This is God's answer to the first problem. We need a righteousness that is perfect and it needs to remove our guilt in Adam from us and it needs to cover us from the beginning of our lives to the end. What God has done is to provide us with his righteousness. His righteousness is perfect. Our problem is that we seek to establish our own righteousness rather than submitting to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3). God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
If we flee to Christ and trust the provision he has made for our spiritual need, he gives us freely his own righteousness and takes upon himself our sin. That is what we mean when we say that Christ died for our sins. If we accept it, our sins are placed on him and because of that he had to die as a punishment for those sins, even though he had not committed them himself.
When that is true, we are in Christ and are under no condemnation whatsoever for any of the sins we have committed. And further, since we are in Christ, he has become our representative rather than Adam. Before we come to Christ, God sees Adam as having spoken for all of his offspring when he decided against God back in the garden of Eden. But as a believer, Adam ceases to be our representative and Christ becomes the representative for us. And how did he respond to God's commands? He responded perfectly obediently and thus God sees us as having responded obediently even from birth.
Next time we will look at the resources God has given us for living a victorious Christian life here and now.