The righteousness that is ours through faith in Christ (Phil. 3:9) is an amazing and wonderful reality of the Christian faith. Throughout his life, Christ perfectly obeyed the law for us, on our behalf. And his obedience included his act of laying down his life for us, in our place. In other words, in his active and passive obedience, Christ satisfied divine justice. Through faith in him, we’re counted righteous before God (1 Pet. 3:18). His obedience is credited to us; our sin is credited to him (2 Cor. 5:21). We’re justified by faith alone in Christ alone!
Thomas Brooks (d. 1680) wrote an excellent meditation on the righteousness of Christ that is ours by faith. He said it is one of the jewels in the Christian’s cabinet. I’ll summarize it below. Enjoy!
- In this righteousness there is enough to satisfy the justice of God to the utmost farthing. The righteousness of Christ is so perfect, so full, so exact, so complete, and so fully satisfactory to the justice of God, as that divine justice cries out: ‘I have enough, and I require no more; I have found a ransom, and I am fully pacified toward you’ (Ezek. 16.62-63).
- This righteousness of Christ takes away all our unrighteousness; it cancels every bond, it takes away all iniquity, and it answers for all our sins (Is. 53, Col. 2:12-15).
- This righteousness of Christ presents us perfectly righteous in the sight of God. It is that pure, fine, white linen garment whereby our nakedness is covered before the face of God (Rev. 19:8).
- This righteousness of Christ will answer to all the fears, doubts, and objections of our souls. How shall I look up to God? The answer is, ‘In the righteousness of Christ.’ How shall I find acceptance with God? The answer is, ‘In the righteousness of Christ.’
- The righteousness of Christ is the best title that you have to show for an unshakeable kingdom, for incorruptible riches, for an inheritance that does not fade away, and for a house not made by hands, one eternal in the heavens. The righteousness of Christ is your life, your joy, your comfort, your crown, your confidence, your heaven, your all.
Thomas Brooks, A Cabinet of Jewels, volume 3 of his Works, p. 485-487.
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015