Beloved, you are the very righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us...
Galatians 3:13, NKJV
This is good news because we were once prisoners of sin. You see, sin is more than an action; it is a place—it is a noun. In the book of Romans, 47 times the word "sin" is hamartia, which is a noun. We have thought of sin as our actions, but sin is a position.
We weren't sinners because of our actions; we were sinners because of Adam's sin. Romans 6:17 says, "...you were once slaves of sin..." (ISV).
But Jesus did something beautiful.
Because of His unfailing love for you, Jesus broke you loose from the prison of sin and secured for you a place of righteousness. He provided the divine exchange—His perfection for your imperfection; His beauty for your ashes; His provision for your poverty; His health for your sickness.
As a believer of Jesus, you are no longer a sinner. Jesus has made you righteous!
That means that when God looks at you, He doesn't see your sins—He sees you as forever righteous. And He sees you this way because He sees Jesus.
When you pray, you pray as a righteous man or a righteous woman. Wherever you go, doors open up to you because you are righteous. Even when you fail, God says you are nothing but righteous in His sight.
You are approved. You are accepted. You are free from the power of sin.
In Romans 6:18 Paul goes on to say:
And having been set free from sin,
you became slaves of righteousness.
The divine exchange is the greatest jailbreak in all history! You have been freed from sin and found in righteousness. Sin has no power in your life!
But many believers today are still living in guilt and condemnation. They believe that Christianity is about right living. So when they fail, they are consumed with guilt. Christianity is not about right living (though it will produce right living); Christianity is about right believing. Right believing always leads to right living.
When we see ourselves as sinners (still caught in the prison of sin), guilt and condemnation actually empower sin. Whenever we live under condemnation for what we have done, we are doomed to repeat it. It's a vicious cycle.
The power of sin is broken when
you refuse to receive condemnation.
Beloved, don't focus on sin. Sin has no power in your life. You cannot lose your righteousness through your disobedience, because you never got it in the first place by your obedience.
Your righteousness is from Jesus. Focus on Him.
You Have First-Class Righteousness
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Some Christians believe that they have to work at becoming more righteous. And they kick themselves when they do wrong. They don’t realize that by doing these things, they are not seeking God’s righteousness, but are trying to establish their own righteousness by their law-keeping and right conduct.
Righteousness is not about right conduct. It is a gift from God to us through Jesus. And since it is a gift, we cannot earn it by our law-keeping and right conduct. We can only receive it!
How do we receive this gift? We receive it through the cross. God made Jesus “who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”. So today, we are the righteousness of God in Christ. We are as righteous as Jesus is!
When God gave us Jesus, He became our righteousness. So we have His righteousness. This means that we are 100 per cent righteous in God’s eyes! We cannot but have first-class righteousness!
You might say, “I don’t understand. How can I be righteous when I have done wrong?” Think about this: Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us. Jesus knew no sin, did no sin and in Him was no sin. But at the cross, He received our sin and became sin for us.
Likewise, we, who were sinners, knew no righteousness, did no righteousness and in us was no righteousness. But at the cross, we received His righteousness and became the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
At the cross, the divine exchange took place. Jesus took our place so that we might take His place. He did not deserve to be made sin, but He was made sin in our place. We did not deserve to be made righteous, but we were made righteous because we received His righteousness. What good news! What amazing grace!