We Are Righteous
[original text in italics]
Prior to the cross, mankind was in a continuous state of sin, and since the punishment for sin is death, then death reigned on the earth.
PSALM 14:3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
ROMANS 5:12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men [mankind] because all sinned.
God is just and he cannot ignore His law and justice, which must be kept. When God looks at a sinner, he must pronounce a judgement and a sentence. The judgement is that the person is a sinner and the sentence is death.
EZEKIEL 18:3 the soul who sins shall die
JAMES 1:15 sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
ROMANS 6:23 For the wages of sin is death,
God also loves his creation and wanted to save mankind. In the beginning, he provided temporary covering of sins through the innocent blood of animals, but his plan had always been a permanent and eternal remission (cancellation of debt or penalty). So in love, he provided a way to save His creation and keep His law. Jesus the Son of God, a sinless man, became our sacrifice. He became our propitiation [sin offering, pardon, atonement] :
1 JOHN 2:2 He is the propitiation [sin offering, pardon] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world
1 JOHN 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation [sin offering, pardon] for our sins.
Therefore, for all of us who have submitted to the lordship of Christ, Christ became our redemption [ransom, gaining possession of us by providing full payment for our sins]. By his innocent blood, Jesus made amends and provided a compensation that purchased us back to God:
HEBREWS 9:12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption [ransom].
And Christ justified [approved and accepted] us, made us righteous [state of approval and acceptance], according to the righteousness [what is deemed right by the Lord, justice, judicial approval and acceptance] of God. Consider these three definitions as you read the following:
ROMANS 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified [approved] by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
ROMANS 3:21-25 But now the righteousness [justice] of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it - the righteousness [justice] of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified [approved] by his grace as a gift, through the redemption [ransom] that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation [sin offering, pardon] by his blood, to be received by faith.
Through his sufferings, death on the cross, burial, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus removed us from sin and destroyed the power of sin in our life. This is the great exchange. Jesus bore our sins and we received God's approval. We now stand in the righteousness of God. We are as righteous as Jesus is in the presence of the Father. This has nothing to do with how we feel or what we do. Righteousness was accomplished in the courtroom of heaven outside of us. God has judged us to be righteous, all of us who are in Christ Jesus.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness [justice] of God.
ROMANS 5:9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified [approved] by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God
This new covenant [testament, will, covenant between two parties] in Christ's blood satisfied both God’s love for his creation and God’s justice: Jesus put on himself the sins of mankind and, in exchange, he gave his righteousness to those who repent (turn to him) and believe.
MARK 14:24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament [testament, will, covenant between two parties], which is shed for many.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for making a way for us to be one with you. Thank you, Jesus, for paying the price for us. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for raising up Jesus as the Christ and for raising us up with him.