A Bible passage that has become increasingly precious to me is 1 Corinthians 1:30-31. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” What I especially treasure is its teaching that Jesus has become our righteousness.
Righteousness is an important biblical word, but one that a lot of people aren’t that familiar with because it is not used that often outside of religious discussions. I confirmed that by googling it. Almost all the references that came up placed it in a religious context. My dictionary defines it as acting according to what is right, being upright.
That is why I so treasure the above quoted passage. As the years go by, I am increasingly aware of my failure to always act uprightly, to act righteously. The battle between flesh and Spirit that Paul describes in Galatians is something I feel regularly. (“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” 5:17). No matter how hard I try to lead a Christ-centered life, I find myself putting self in the center. No matter how hard I try to always be patient and joyful, I find myself still being impatient and moody. On and on it goes.
What a relief – what a joy it is, then, to be told that Jesus has become our righteousness. Not only did Jesus die in my place, he also lived in my place – as my Substitute. All his perfect and righteous thoughts, words, and actions are credited to my account. Not only did he undo what I did, he also did what I didn’t do. As God now looks at my account, He doesn’t see any debts since they were erased by Jesus’ blood. Instead all he sees is righteousness – the righteousness of Jesus that has been credited to me.
No wonder the Bible says, “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” To Jesus, my Savior, my Righteousness, – be all glory!