You Got an A+, Part 1
Are you ready for some good news?
When you are in Christ, you are credited with the righteousness of Christ. If you were working for a grade, it means that you’ve already been given an A+ for the whole course.
“For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” (Galatians 2:19–21, ESV)
In Galatians 2, Paul writes that we are justified in Christ. The sound alike play on words works: It’s “just as if I’d never sinned.” Therefore, because this is the way God regards you through Jesus Christ, it means logically that you cannot be held accountable for, punished for, made to be ashamed of, penalized, or experience the disappointment of God for any past sin you have committed or for any sinful posture of your heart. It means that while the Christian may experience the loving discipline of God, he or she will never experience the wrath of God or any of the penalty that he or she so deeply deserves. It’s just as if I’d never sinned. It beggars our belief, but that is surely what the Gospel teaches.
When you believe that it’s just as if you had never sinned, the power of all legalistic thought, “the written code,” Paul says in Colossians, is cancelled and nailed to the cross. This is a big part of what Paul means when he says in Galatians 2:19-20, “I was crucified with Christ. I died to the law that I might live to God.” It’s dying to a whole system of thought. It is an extraordinary idea, but when God looks at the Christian, He sees you as not guilty, completely innocent. When He looks upon you, He doesn’t see your sin – He sees His Son’s righteousness. And that’s the Gospel!
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