Righteousness in Christ: Part 2
Are you ready for some good news?
In Christ, God restores you to right standing with Him. That right standing, or “righteousness”, is full and pure and complete. To be credited with “righteousness” means that you are reckoned by God to have done all the right things as much as Jesus Himself actually did. It means you can be completely unconcerned about your Father rejecting you for any lack of righteousness.
In a radio broadcast, I shared three scriptural vignettes that portray the idea of credited righteousness. One is a scene that Jesus described in parable form as He tells about a king who threw a huge party for his son in preparation for the prince’s marriage (see Matthew 22).
Weddings in ancient Palestine were extravaganzas. Even poor people found a way to celebrate a wedding. But when a king gave a wedding banquet it was lavish beyond your wildest dreams. However, this particular king was shocked by repeated rejections from the noblemen he had invited. Because the party must go on, the king sent his messengers out to invite anybody – the riff raff of common humanity – to come.
Imagine you’re one of the commoners in first century Palestine who gets invited to the gala at the palace. Perhaps you’re even a petty thief. You think the king’s servants are arresting you, but, upon entering the palace, you are given royal attire and invited to come in and enjoy the party.
It’s hard to enjoy a party like that. You don’t feel like you should be there in the first place (remember, you’re a thief). So, perhaps you stand in the corner. If I remain obscure and anonymous perhaps no one will figure out that I don’t belong here.
But, soon, you recognize your buddy Joe. He’s a petty thief too. You see him laughing, eating lamb chops, and enjoying the king’s hospitality to the full.
“Joe, what are you doing here?” you inquire. “What are we doing here?”
Joe explains: “Well, I was scared at first. But I’ve been here for hours and I realized that the king really wants me here and that I might as well enjoy it.”
To be declared “righteous” is to be more than forgiven; it is to be credited with nobility. To have your righteousness in Christ restored means that you are not only invited to the party at the King’s house, but that you are free to enjoy yourself. It’s so hard to believe, but in Christ, God reckons you as one who really belongs in His presence. And that’s the Gospel!
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