Saturday, January 9, 2010

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: A rebuke for those who pharisaically trust in themselves that they are righteous

Jesus demonstrates that we can have faith or trust, but if we lodge this faith in the wrong object -- namely, ourselves and our own righteousness -- we miss the imputed righteousness of Christ. "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God" (Romans 10:3). Christ alone is our righteousness (see Jeremiah 23:6 and I Corinthians 1:30).

Luke 18:9-14 says, "And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: [10] Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. [11] The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. [12] I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. [13] And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. [14] I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

True saving faith is self-renouncing, receiving and resting in Christ alone -- specifically, His passive or penal obedience in taking our sins upon Himself and becoming a curse for us; and His active or preceptive obedience in fulfilling all the just demands of the Law and purchasing the eternal reward of glorified life for us when we are clothed in His spotless, perfect garment of righteousness by God's forensic act of imputation.

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