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|Found by God||JANUARY 7|
COUNTED AS RIGHTEOUS
If without any work to his credit he simply puts his faith in him who acquits the guilty, then his faith is indeed "counted as righteousness." Rom. 4:5, N.E.B.
Men have sometimes concluded from this verse that good works are of no importance in the Christian life. Obeying the law of God has been made light of. This reckoning, or imputing to us of Christ's righteousness on faith alone, has been used to evade rather than to fulfill the law of God. Men have been told that all that is necessary is to "get on board the gospel train, ride all the way to heaven," while denying the claims of the law of God.
Is faith, then, to be regarded as actually permitting Christian people to lie, to steal, to commit adultery, in the name of the gospel? How can we profess to receive the gift of Christ's righteousness in which we do not ourselves share? How can any one of us be saved from sin except by not sinning, by not transgressing the law? How can we desire and claim this perfect righteousness of Christ unless we want to live that way? How can we receive it if we lose the distinction between righteousness and unrighteousness? If obedience is not required of the Christian, then we must admit that Christ does not save from sin at all, but encourages us in our sins. Such a salvation leaves us where we are, in our sins. How can we, in the name of righteousness, believe in such a system of salvation that leaves us unrighteous?
Nowhere does Christ's gift of righteousness endanger morality or render men careless of how they live. The moment we believe, God puts to our account the righteousness of Christ. We have still a long way to go in the restoration to the image of Cod. Faith also means that we see what is the righteousness that God desires for us. Under His divine power we shall increasingly partake of that righteousness of Christ in the life. Christ has now become the very life and guardian of our minds, hearts, and conduct.
Do you believe in Christ and accept His righteousness as your greatest need? To have this righteousness put to our account does not make us careless of how we live. Christ imputes His righteousness to us in order to work it out in our lives.
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