When God Looks At You…

Right now, if you are in Christ, when God looks at you – regardless of your situation – He sees the righteousness of Christ.  If we really believed that – not only with our heads but also with our hearts – it would change everything in our lives.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 47

What Does It Mean to be “In Christ?”

Regardless of how we happen to be doing in the obedience department today, there is great joy and delight to be found in the fact that Jesus has trusted and obeyed in our place, and now his faith and perfect obedience are credited to us every moment of every day.  To be in Christ means that whenever the Father looks at us, he sees us wrapped around with the righteousness of his Son and he is delighted.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 208

 

Though Your Sins Are Like a Mountain…

Though your sins are like a mountain, his righteousness soars above them all and reaches the throne of grace to disarm the wrath of God and merit for you the eternal delight of your heavenly Father.  Praise God, we are not under law, but always bathed in the gushing fountain of his amazing grace!

Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 154

Grace Sufficient to Survive Brutal Failure

Many Christians have never heard of grace that is sufficient to survive brutal failure in our performance and nonetheless enables us to find deep joy and peace in the righteousness of Christ.

Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 125

It Is So We Can Accept the News, Both the Good and the Bad

To receive the Light, we must have our darkness exposed; to be clothed in Christ’s righteousness, we must acknowledge our righteousness as filthy rags; to live in Christ, we must die to our former identity.  Only the Spirit can raise those who are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), so that we can accept the news, both the bad and the good of it.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 125

Irrelevance of the Doctrine of Justification

The Doctrine of justification – that in, God’s act of declaring the wicked righteous by imputing our guilt to Christ and Christ’s righteousness to us through faith alone – is only irrelevant or incomprehensible for our society today because God and sin have become irrelevant or incomprehensible for the church.

– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 52

Christ Not Only Died for Us, He Also Lived for Us

Our salvation rests not only in Christ’s atoning death, but also in his life of perfect, active obedience.  If to secure our redemption Christ only needed to make an atonement for us, he could have come down from heaven and gone directly to the cross.  But he also had to fulfill all righteousness by submitting to every point to the law of God.  By his sinless life he achieved positive merit, which merit is imputed to all who put their faith in him.  Christ not only died for us, he lived for us as well.

Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 68

An Alien Righteousness

In our justification, faith is the means by which we are linked to Christ and receive the benefits of his saving work.  By faith we receive the transfer or imputation of the righteousness of Christ.  Faith is not only a necessary condition, it is a sufficuent condition for Christ’s righteousness to be imputed to us.  Faith, true faith, is all that is required to be justified by the righteosness of Christ.  Faith trusts in and lays hold of a righteousness that is not our own.

Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 66-67

What Is Forensic Justification?

The Reformed doctrine of justification is often called forensic justification.  The term forensic is frequently heard in criminal trials.  We hear of forensic evidence and forensic medicine.  The word forensic refers to legal declarations.  Forensic justification means we are declared righteous by God in a legal sense.  The ground of this legal declaration is the imputation of Christ’s righeousness to our account.

Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 61

The Question on Which the Reformation Focused

The Reformation focused on the question, How is a person justified?  Clearly justification involves a legal judgment by God, a declaration by him that we are just.  Then the burning question becomes this: On what basis or grounds does God ever declare anyone just?  Must we first become just inherently before God will make such a declaration?  Or does he declare us just before we are in ourselves actually just?  John Calvin answered the question this way:

A man is said to be justified in the sight of God when in the judgment of God he is deemed righteous, and is accepted on account of his righteousness; for as iniquity is abominable to God, so neither can the sinner find grace in his sight, so far as he is and so long as he is regarded as a sinner.  Hence, wherever sin is, there also are the wrath and vengeance of God.  He, on the other hand, is justified who is regarded not as a sinner, but as righteous, and as such stands acquitted at the judgment seat of God, where all sinners are condemned…Thus we simply interpret justification, as the acceptance with which God receives us into his favour as we were righteous; and we say that this justification consists in the forgiveness of sins and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ.

– John Calvin

as quoted by Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 60-61