One morning during our family prayer time I asked God to help my wife and I live the righteous life we were called to and for our kids to be made righteous. After I concluded with an “Amen” my daughter looked at me with a half grin and said, “We can’t be righteous, only God is righteous!” She is truly a smart child. She was indeed right but she was also wrong. This was another opportunity to share the Good News of Christ with her. I let her know that yes, God is the only One who is righteous and He demands righteousness from His image bearers. I explained to her that God did something so amazing and caring. “Big Girl, although we have sinned against God in every way imaginable, which makes us unrighteous, God still sent His Son for us.”
As I was sharing with her it was also encouraging to me. I let her know that Jesus the Christ lived a righteous life on our behalf. I informed her that Jesus is fully God and truly human. I wanted her to know that His perfect life on earth wasn’t just for Him but it was to please God and it was also for all who would believe in Him. “You see, in order for sinful people to be forgiven and made righteous someone has to be righteous to pay for the sins of the unrighteous. So Jesus laid His perfect life down on the cross and He received God’s wrath and punishment for us!”
I made it known to her that when Jesus was raised from the grave three days later it showed that the penalty for our sins were paid for once and for all. I explained to her that He also ascended back to heaven and He will return for all His people. “So yes Big Girl, because of Jesus all who turn from themselves and trust in Him will receive His righteousness and we will be/are made righteous.” It was a great reminder that all who are in Christ have died with Christ and have been raised with Christ into newness of life (Romans 6). We are righteous because of His righteousness.
When we walk by the Spirit we are fulfilling the law in Christ. So I reminded my daughter and myself, because of Jesus and His work, all of the sins of His people have been extinguished and Jesus’ righteousness is forever ours. Every person in Christ and who will be in Christ is now and forever declared righteous. “So yes Big Girl, only God is righteous, but because of the Lord Jesus dying and being raised on our behalf all who are in Him are indeed righteous.” May our hearts thirst for righteousness and may God grant us wisdom to see that it's only found in the person and finished work of Christ. Believer, because of Christ we are righteous. Lord, help us to live according to our righteous call.
"For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."
2 Corinthians 5:21
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Amen! Love it. Thanks for this post, Kwame!