Thursday, February 28, 2013

Can a Sheep of Christ Ever Perish (Part 6)

Clothed with His Righteousness
All such judgment or chastening has to do with this life and never brings in question the believer's eternal acceptance before God. The sheep of Christ is clothed in the "Robe of  righteousness" and is enabled to stand in the presence of God. "Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them (Gen. 3:21). God made these coats and dressed them both with His own hand. So He has also in His grace provided for us a robe of righteousness. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is that Robe of righteousness. He is "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS," "who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness" (Jer. 23:6, 1 Cor. 1:30). God can declare the sinner "righteous" because His righteousness has been fully and perfectly met in the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus told a parable about a lost, rebellious son in Luke 15:11-32. Upon the son's return and confession the father gave him "the best robe." That "best robe" is a picture of Christ, the Robe of righteousness which displaces the filthy rags of self righteousness (Is. 64:6).

Christ's resurrection is the proof of our justification: "Who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification" (Rom. 4:25). We see the Lord Jesus seated at God's right hand after having "by Himself purged our sins" (Heb. 1:3), so we know God is satisfied with the work of His dear Son on the cross. By one act of righteousness in obedience to the will of God, Christ offered Himself up without spot, glorified God and purged away our sins. God puts that righteousness tot he account of all who believe in Jesus (Rom 5:18-19, 4:5-6).

The believing sinner is clothed by God in all the merit and value of Christ's work on the cross. He is accepted into favor with God, the righteous Judge, because of that beautiful Robe. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21). In love for us He judged Christ there on the cross as though He were (in His sinless nature) what we are (in our sinful nature). The believing sinner is accepted by God in righteousness and so receives justification that brings life. Much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ...even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of (or "that bring") life...So that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 5:17-18, 21).

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