God’s Righteousness - Our Unrighteousness
I suppose that if we were to consider the righteousness of God as being one side of a coin, we could consider the other side of the coin as being our unrighteousness. It is essential that we understand both. Just as there can be no coin without two sides, there can be no salvation without an understanding of (and acceptance of) God’s righteousness and our own unrighteousness. Nor is there any room left for pride when we accept this.
One of the places in scripture where God drops this two-sided coin into our hand and begs us to examine both sides is in the third chapter of the book of Romans as shown below.
19. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
We are told plainly here what the purpose of God’s law is: to make us aware of our own sin.
21. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
God says that there is a righteousness without the law (and that this righteousness is evident in the Old Testament as well as in the New). This righteousness is “by faith of Jesus Christ” and it is available to all.
23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
God makes sure that we know that every single one of us has sinned.
24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
So, how is this gap between our unrighteousness and God’s righteousness to be bridged (for it is our sin that separates us from God)? It is through faith in the blood of the righteous Son of God. This gap can be bridged freely by the grace of God which is only available to us when we abandon any claim to our own righteousness and trust completely in the righteousness of God who paid for our sins with his own blood. When we take the coin that God has handed us and fully accept both sides, trusting in our heart that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day for our justification, we can accept God’s free gift of grace and be assured that the gap has been bridged for ever.
26. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
You see, it is his righteousness, not ours.
27. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
I cannot boast in the free gift that I accepted from God when I was very young because I never worked for it and never gave anything in exchange for it. What I deserved was eternal punishment for my sins. Because Jesus Christ loved me so much that he died for me, the free gift was made available to me and I accepted it by faith.
29. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
30. Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
This free gift is available to every single one of us.
Have you examined both sides of the coin?
Have you accepted God’s great gift of salvation through faith?
If not, God wants you to do so.
For those of us who have, let us declare his righteousness!