Him, not Me
Biblical doctrine is good food and the truth of the substitutionary atonement of Christ is pure joy. The Lord Jesus lived a faultless life and died a miserable death so that we could live eternally with Him in the consummated Kingdom of God.
We have escaped the justice of hell and have gained everlasting mercy through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. David rejoiced in this reality when he cried out, “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity…” Psalm 32:1-2a and the apostle Paul reminds us in the fourth chapter of Romans that, “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness…”
God recognizes Christ’s obedient and submissive work and declares me just.
He did everything for me. He took my place both actively and passively during His life on earth. He obeyed God fully in all things and was willing to be punished for my sins past, present and future by suffering crucifixion on the cross. Christ is my substitute.
He actively obeyed the Law of God completely; living a perfect life without sinning in thought, word or deed thereby securing our release from the necessity of personally keeping the requirements of the Law as a condition of justification (being made right with God – being declared righteous).
In His passive obedience Christ received in His own person the penalty due for our sins. He was treated as if He were the sinner himself and bore the wrath of God for those sins; yet, He himself was completely innocent and perfectly pure.
He allowed Himself to be betrayed, punished, and killed so that we could live.
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2Corinthians 5:21
We receive these eternal benefits by God’s elective grace and through the gift of faith so that no one can attempt to brag about their salvation. God alone receives the glory. All the merits of Christ are given to our account, all of our debts to God have been paid and we will never receive what we deserve again. We are treated as if we were the one who performed and did the works of righteousness ourselves, yet even on our best day we fall far short of the holiness that God requires.
It is in reflecting upon this glorious truth that we catch a glimpse of the beauty and wonderment of our Mighty Savior. Rejoice in your God!