Trust God in His Righteousness
How many of us have had jobs where we earned money or some other type of wage? Probably all of us have earned wages at one time and we all believe we should be compensated for our work. It’s just common sense, right? Well, maybe in the business world it is, but when we speak of our salvation, particularly justification, we should think again. In the context of salvation, we read of wages in this manner, “the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23). The only wages all of us earn in this life is sin and it leads to death. We are told that all our righteous deeds are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and that there is no one righteous or good (Romans 3:10-12). We might wonder why this is the case, even if we are truly sincere in our works. The reason being is that our work is a self-centered endeavor before God and rejects His work to bring us near to Him. This is why our good works are worthless regardless of how good they look. There is no charitable deed, ritual to perform, or anything you can physically do to make you right with God and bring you to Him.
Then we should ask, if our good works cannot bring us near to God, if they are of no use to justify us, then how does God declare us righteous? “To the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.” (Romans 4:5) For those who trust in Christ, God takes His heavenly ledger that details all their sin and wipes it away. In its place, He writes in His righteousness and justifies them on that basis alone. This is imputation. In other words, God credits or imputes Jesus’ righteousness to the Christian. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21). This goes against the grain of our human nature. We just want to be a good person and try to do our best and hope God accepts us. God says, “Your righteousness is as filthy rags! (Isaiah 64:6) Trust in what I have done through my Son, Jesus Christ, and I will accept you as perfectly righteous.” This is what makes the good news so wonderful – we can be with God based on what He has done for us! Our problem is we want to do everything ourselves when our work is a slap in the face of God who accomplished everything in Christ. We must lay down all our religious works, efforts, and good deeds and humbly come to God trusting only in His work of righteousness. Whose righteousness do you stand in?