You are guilty!
You don’t measure up!
You are such a disappointment!
You have let God down SO many times!
Such is the mistaken view far too many have about themselves and their standing before God. Indeed, even that phrase “standing before God” speaks of a legal trial, one in which we are found guilty. From this perspective, the Bible is a book of rules that have been broken, and expectations fallen short of. God set a standard, we failed to meet that standard, thus God is angry and disappointed. Day after day, we continue to fail to meet God’s standard.
Today I want to state, without qualification, that for the follower after Christ, this is a point of view that we need to jettison as quickly as possible.
The Bible is not a story of failure and corrective behaviors we must perform to clean up the mess we have made. No. The Bible is the story of how God entered time and space in the person of Jesus Christ, to redeem his creation and restore relationship with Himself. “Standing before God” becomes “relationship with God.” God took the initiative.
Consider the beautiful, yet simple message of Romans 5:8:
“God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Notice two things in that verse: 1) God did this while we were sinners, rather than expect us and wait for us to fix ourselves before dying for us. 2) We were sinners – past tense.
If we were sinners, then we must be something else now, something other than sinners, because that is what we were, not what we are. I vehemently disagree with those who say we are just sinners saved by the grace of God. Saved by the grace of God, yes, but not sinners. We do sin, but we are not sinners. That is what we were. Now we are something quite different. Now, we are the righteousness of God. You want proof of that?
2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
In him, in Christ, we become the righteousness of God. It is not something we have, or possess. Is is not something we are shrouded in. It is not something we enjoy the benefits of. It is what we ARE.
As followers after Christ, children of a Heavenly Father, beloved of the Creator, joint heirs with Christ, we need to claim our new identity. We have moved from outside of Christ to in Christ. We have moved from sinner to righteousness. Each of us needs to be comfortable saying, “I am the righteousness of God.” Anything less is an insult to the finished work of Christ.
Victoriously in Christ!