Credited with Righteousness: Part 2
Are you ready for some good news?
If God were grading our lives, we would all fail apart from Christ. But when you are in Christ, it is as if God has already given you an A+.
“For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” (Galatians 2:19–21, ESV)
If God forgave you of your sin, declared you not guilty, and said it’s just as if you had never sinned, it would be glorious unto itself. However, it would not make you meritorious – you wouldn’t deserve eternal blessing. Simply being forgiven does not mean you merit Heaven. Forgiveness alone would make you morally neutral, like Adam before sin entered the world. But we need more than forgiveness.
When you are justified through faith in Christ, you are not only declared not guilty, but you are reckoned by God, through your faith, as righteous, as if you have lived a perfectly righteous life, just like Jesus Christ. As such, you are apt to be rewarded, favored, and blessed as if you had lived a completely meritorious life. It has always been God’s plan to not only forgive you but to also adorn you with His own goodness. Isaiah said it in Isaiah 61:10, “He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, and he has covered me with the robe of righteousness.” It is a righteousness that is imputed to us by God’s sovereign grace, not at all by our own merit.
This means, therefore, that God is justified in pouring out unlimited eternal blessings upon your life. He always said that obedience would be rewarded and disobedience would be punished, so God has made such reward available to those who were otherwise disobedient because we are reckoned as if we are righteous through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It changes everything.
God is saying before you start the class, “I’m giving you an A as if you had done perfect work; so live your life without fear of making a failing grade. Go ahead and live with faith that you are already an A student. When you accept Christ, you receive not only His forgiveness but also His righteousness. And that’s the Gospel!
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