But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed — attested by the Law and the Prophets — that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. God presented Him to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.
Creation (on some level) reveals the righteousness of God. Our conscience speaks internally to our minds to reveal (on some level) the righteousness of God. The Scriptures (on every level) show us most plainly the righteousness of God. All of these sources are meant to reveal to us our unrighteousness, so that we might seek a righteousness apart from the law.
2000 or so years ago, God brought forth his righteousness apart from the law in the person of Jesus Christ. God demonstrates his righteousness by showing that his justice demands wrath. Jesus Christ comes forth to be our wrath bearer (propitiation). Now, because God’s justice has been appeased by the sufficient and effective sacrifice of Jesus Christ, he is able to justify freely by his grace, and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.
Let that sink in for just a moment…through faith in the person of Jesus Christ, and particularly in the sacrifice of his blood, God declares you and I righteous by our faith in his sacrifice. If you are righteous, then there is no penalty that can be enacted upon you for any unrighteousness. All of the guilt, and penalty your unrighteousness deserves has been vaporized by God’s grace. He has given you and I something that we do not deserve, he has given us righteousness and his forgiveness.
“God presented Him to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.”
1. How is one declared righteousness by God?
2. Do we need to be declared righteousness in order to enter heaven or is there another way?
3. How can God declare you righteousness and innocent if you are indeed unrighteous and guilty?