Updated: Nov 20, 2019
"Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins." (Romans 3:24 NLT).
The scripture above speaks of an amazing truth about what God has done, in love, for all who have received Jesus Christ into their lives—He has made us righteous! This means that, to God, we are no longer sinners; we've been declared free and not guilty of our sins against God and have been given the gift of righteousness. There are two aspects of righteousness: legal righteousness and vital righteousness.
Legal righteousness is when a person is granted right standing with God; it's to be made right with God, before God, and by God. It's the ability to stand in the presence of God without guilt, fear, shame or inferiority. This isn't something that you accomplish for or by yourself, it's God's gift to you through the Lord Jesus. The Bible says, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV). Jesus never committed a sin in His life; He never thought, said or did anything wrong in the sight of God. He was righteous, and thus, was the only one fit and qualified to die for sinners and pay the penalty for their sins. The perfect and guiltless died for the imperfect and guilty so that He might bring us to God and make us right with Him (1 Peter 3:18). That's legal righteousness: someone righteous paying the price for the sins of someone else and the sinner being declared free and not guilty of their sins, and being freely credited with the righteousness and perfection of the other.
There's no Christian that's more righteous than the other today because the righteousness that we've received is not our own but the righteousness of the Son of God. Every Christian is as righteous as Jesus is because that's the exchange that took place when Jesus died on the cross: He took our sins, and we were credited with His righteousness, freely. Another important truth to take note of is that you can't be more or less righteous than you are today because you received righteousness as a free gift from God through your faith in Jesus and the vicarious atonement that He accomplished for us: "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." (Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT). It wasn't your right-living or your works that made you righteous in the first place; it was God's lovingkindness! So, you can't be more or less righteous because of what you did or didn't do because it wasn't your working for it that made you righteous; righteousness is one of God's cardinal gifts to you.
If you look at 2 Corinthians 5:21 again, you'll see that Jesus took our sins and paid for them so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him; that's dealing with vital righteousness. Vital righteousness is the nature of God that He imparts into a person's spirit that gives him or her the ability to do right and be right, in the same way that God does right and is right. Until a person receives the impartation of that nature into his or her spirit, they cannot live right. That's one reason to why God didn't send Jesus to just die for your sins, but raised Him up again to make it possible for you to receive the gift of righteousness. Some people think that Jesus just came to die for us, but that's not the full truth. His death was a means to an end--it was to accomplish something far greater. He died for us to pay for our sins, but the Bible says that He was raised to life to make us righteous (Romans 4:25).
You have to make the decision to live in the light of God's truth today by believing and accepting that you are free and not guilty of your sins, not because you never committed any sins in your life, but because Jesus has already paid for them all (Isaiah 53:5), thus, legally making it as though you never committed any sins. At the same time, you've received the vital gift of God's righteousness into your spirit, that enables you to do right and be right, like God does and is right, by being born again as His child with His very life and nature. Until and unless you do this, you won't be able to live the beautiful and glorious life that God came to give you through the Lord Jesus.
Share this Divine Update with someone else today and help them to live in the liberty and beauty of God's love, blessings and provisions.