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Life-Study of Romansby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0958-6
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 5 of 69 Section 1 of 6

LIFE-STUDY OF ROMANS

MESSAGE FIVE

JUSTIFICATION IN GOD’S WAY

Now we come to the section on justification, a most significant doctrine (3:21-5:11). Martin Luther was raised up by God to wage a fierce battle over justification because it is such a great doctrine in the Bible. Although Luther contended for the truth of justification, we have to understand how justification relates to propitiation, redemption, and reconciliation. In this message, we shall cover all these terms and seek to make them clear. However, we first need to consider the righteousness of God.

I. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD

A. God in Justice and Rightness

What is the righteousness of God? We may say that the righteousness of God is what God is with respect to justice and rightness (Rom. 3:21-22; 1:17; 10:3; Phil. 3:9). God is just and right. Whatever God is in His justice and rightness constitutes His righteousness. Furthermore, all that God is in His justice and rightness is actually Himself. Therefore, the righteousness of God is God Himself. The righteousness of God is a Person, not merely a divine attribute.

B. Christ as the Righteousness of God
to the Believers

Many Christians say incorrectly that they have the righteousness of Christ. We should not say this. Our righteousness is not the righteousness of Christ; it is Christ Himself. Christ Himself as a Person, not His attribute of righteousness, has been made the righteousness of God to us (1 Cor. 1:30). Do not say that the righteousness of Christ has become your righteousness. Instead you should say, “Christ is my righteousness. My righteousness before God is the living Person of Christ, not an attribute. The righteous Christ is mine.” God has made Christ, who is the very embodiment of God Himself, our righteousness.

C. The Believers Made the Righteousness
of God in Christ

Second Corinthians 5:21 says that the believers are made the righteousness of God in Christ. Paul does not say that the believers are made righteous; he says that they are made righteousness. We have been made the righteousness of God in Christ. This is a deep matter. How can we become the righteousness of God? By having Christ wrought into us. We have seen that Christ is the embodiment of God, and that God, as a living Person, is righteousness. Therefore, righteousness, God, and Christ are one. The righteousness of God is God Himself. Since this God is embodied in Christ, Christ is the righteousness of God. Christ has been wrought into us, and we have been put into Christ. We have been mingled together with Christ as one. Thus, we become the righteousness of God. Paul declares, “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). As Christ has been wrought into us, we can say with Paul, “For to me to live is Christ.” Suppose we have a glass of water. Once tea has been blended with it, it no longer is plain water; it is tea. Likewise, once Christ has been wrought into us, we become one with Him.

The righteousness of God is not only God Himself in His justice and rightness, and it is not only the living Person of Christ; it is also we who have been made one with Christ. The living Person of Christ as God’s righteousness has been wrought into us, and we have been put into Him. Therefore, we have been made the righteousness of God. We must proclaim, “I am the righteousness of God. I have been justified. God is righteousness, and I am too. I am the righteousness of God in Christ. I am what God is. I’m fully justified. God and I have been identified. I approve God, and He approves me. We mutually approve each other.” This is justification by faith.

Some may think we should not say that we approve God. Nevertheless, we all must approve Him. God likes to be judged and approved by us (Rom. 3:4). Thus, we can say to God, “You approve us, and we approve You.”


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