devotional

28JUN
2014

The Surety of Grace is Christ

 

“But [Jesus], after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God…For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified,” Hebrews 10:12, 14. The certainty a Christian has in grace is truly something worth singing about. It’s passages like this that at times just demand to be preached. They have to be loved over you sometimes. What this verse (and its context) absolutely assures Christians of is that Jesus’ work on the cross has had a perfecting power in their eternal lives! Guys, it’s really not hard to see. Jesus’ righteousness is why this is so easy. You have to understand what it means to be saved like this: “I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake,” 1 John 2:12. You get that, you get it!

            An “Imputed righteousness,” rightly understood, is the surety of grace. Imputed righteousness essentially means that the Christian doctrine of the gift of righteousness (or you could say forgiveness) is both free and given in full measure. It is the very heart of passages like Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:3-5, Romans 5:1, Philippians 3:8-9, etc. Christ’s righteousness is actually Christ Himself. He is the gift. Christ’s righteousness never leaves His hand. It’s not that Jesus gives us of His righteousness like it’s something we can have apart from Him. That would be ideologically conceivable and true in some small measure, but a far more accurate biblical picture of this righteousness being given to us is that we’re given Jesus Himself. Or you could say that He is given us. We share Him. It is because we have a relationship as Redeemer and redeemed with Jesus that we will be saved! So when we say, “Jesus’ righteousness is my righteousness” what we’re saying is Jesus is mine, and I am Jesus’. Imputed righteousness is the crediting of righteousness to my account on behalf of Christ. It’s Him paying my debt in full. Sola fide! Faith alone! His very being as God, His life on earth, His death on earth, His life now- all of it. It’s all why I’m redeemed.

            It was “one offering” He made. He “finished” that work. He “Sat down” afterward. He “accomplished” it. Just go read Hebrews 7-10 and look for all the synonyms for this "finished" work that He did on the cross. He, “Once for all time” received from the Father the authority to do so by virtue of His life, death and Resurrection, cf. Philippians 2:5-11. A crude example of Christ’s conquering of sin and death, and thus His gift of righteousness to us, could go something like this: Imagine an obstacle course that absolutely everyone has attempted and that no one has ever conquered. Everyone who’s tried has died trying. The prize for the conqueror is admittance to life both for the conqueror and for whomever the conqueror wishes. Christ has made it through, Acts 2:23-24, 2 Timothy 1:10. Christ did something monumentally higher than this and from the other side of the door has come back, opened it, and calls those who will repent and trust in Him to come around the side of the obstacle course and enter into eternal life. That is His “right.” He has won it. He can open that door. The obstacle course is sin. The Holy Spirit now makes obstacle course attempts appear as what they are- impossible. He directs the attention of the elect to the door that was previously bolted shut that’s now wide open. See, only God could ever conquer this course. Only someone not stained by sin, without the 150 lb ankle weights it comes with, could even attempt it. That’s why everyone else has failed.

            The certainty of this grace then is that it is at the disposal of the one who has already completed every requirement for its dissemination. Jesus can give this perfect grace at any time to anyone. Anyone can therefore trust it because it is perfect already. He is perfect. The work is done. It’s like trusting the most reputable home builder in a city to build you a home; you can trust it. It’s like receiving a painting from the finest painter, a song by the finest lyricist, a car by the finest engineer. All this pales in comparison to the perfection of the giver of this gift, of course, but the point is simply that because the grace is intact or from an expert it can be trusted. Don’t attempt to build your own righteousness. Don’t attempt this obstacle course. Look to the law. You can’t. Receive Him. Receive His righteousness. Christians, “Have been” perfected by it. Oh, what surety we have before a God so gracious! We trust it because it is NOT us we trust.

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