Monday, August 13, 2012

"The Righteousness of God" - An Example

The phrase "the Righteousness of God" has been one of those phrases which has caused much consternation within the History of the Church.  As Paul points out in Romans, people often flip it -- we think of it as the righteousness that God has that we ourselves must obtain to, that we must make manifest in ourselves in order to be worthy of Him -- thus turning everything into salvation by works.  On the contrary, the righteousness of God is His righteousness that drives Him to save us.  Let me give an example to explain.

Let us say that you are walking along the sidewalk, and you see a kid, maybe 4 or 5 years old, playing in the middle of the street not paying attention, and behold, a speeding car is careening towards him.  What do you do?

Do you say, "Well, that miserable sinner of a child obviously didn't listen to his parents, he deserves what is coming"?  Or do you say, "Well, if his parents paid more attention to their kid, they wouldn't be suffering in a few moments, now would they"?  Or do you say, "Oh, if only we had put speed bumps in this child wouldn't get pasted in around 5 seconds"?

No!  You run into the street and knock the kid out of the path of the car, even if you yourself get hit.  Why?  Because it is the right thing to do - you just do it.

That is what the Righteousness of God is.  When God beholds His creation stuck in the grasp of sin, consigned to death, when He sees your sin, He doesn't wipe His hands of you.  He doesn't blame Adam and Eve for your suffering. He doesn't try to make better law for you to try to live by -- no, Christ Jesus jumps between you and sin and death upon the Cross - He lets that speeding car of death, with Satan's foot jammed to the floor hit Him so that you might live.

That is His righteousness -- and it has nothing to do with your works, what you do.  It's all about Him and what He does for you.  Why?  Because He is righteous, and that's just what He is going to have to do.  

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