Thursday, January 01, 2009

more religion

This is to build on Jesus in Contrast.

Because we are created as God's image bearers we are made for righteousness, we yearn for it. But we are sinners and therefore we pursue it through self-righteousness (Ro 10.3). Often this is through vain attempts to live by God's and our own laws. All of these are destined for failure (Mt 5.20) and are repugnant to God (Isa 64.6).

Jesus however humbly became a man to take back through obedience what was lost through sin (1 Cor 15.45). He, the righteous, took our place, the unrighteous (1 Pet 3.18). We are gifted righteousness which in no way emanates from ourselves but is wholly from Him. Our righteousness is now through faith alone (Gen 15.6; Rom 3.21-22; 4.4-5; 10.4; 1 Cor 1.30; Phil 3.8-9).

Through faith alone we can know the great exchange. Here are the words of Martin Luther based on 2 Cor 5.21.

Lerne Christus, und zwar als Gekreuzigten; lerne ihm zu singen und an dir selbst verzweifelned ihm zu sagen ; du, Herr Jesu, bist meine Gerechtigkeit, ich aber bin deine Suende; du hast angenommen was du nicht warst, und mir gegeben was ich nicht war.

That is;

Learn Christ and him crucified. Learn to sing to him and, despairing of yourself, say, 'Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness, just as I am your sin. You have taken upon yourself what is mine and have given me what is yours. You have taken upon yourself what you were not and have given to me what I was not.

The really good news is that this righteousness is both imputed and imparted. We enjoy the status of being God's children. According to Ephesians 1 we are now "in Christ"; no longer belonging to the kingdom of darkness, we have become citizens of the Kingdom of Light (Col 1.13). More so, we also have the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us so that we can live as children of the Great King. Our heart has been and is being made new and from the overflow of this heart spring our attitudes and actions (Prov 4.23). This free gift (Eph 2.8-9) changed not only how God sees us, but also how we live day in and day out.

We no longer seek righteousness by doing good, we do good because we are righteous.

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