Be found in Christ – (in Christ alone) not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God, by faith.
Our righteousness is as filthy rags, says the Lord. My dress is ugly and stained, torn and dirty. Truth is hard to swallow. Truth is never flattering to human pride. Truth exposes the dirt and grim and sin of the true nature. And God describes it as it as ugly; ugly; ugly. And we shrink from this description of our own, old sin nature.
For the best of human righteousness is as filth to Him, and the kindest of human acts remain in the pits of slime in God’s eyes. Nothing we do of ourselves is satisfying to Him. Holy God points an accusing finger at sinful man and proclaims, CONDEMNED. “Change me”, I cry in despair, “Not so”, the Lord replies, “Can a leopard change its spots“, He declares, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin“, He proclaims. “can a sinner change himself into a saint?” ..”Never declares the Lord!” But the gospel makes an announcement of righteous dress.. adequate in the sight of a holy God, whose eyes are as a flame of fire – acceptable to the most pure eyes of the sinless Lord of Righteousness.
The righteousness which is of God is pure; the righteousness which is of God is holy; the righteousness which is of God is glorious; the righteousness which is of God is beautiful; the righteousness which is of God is acceptable; the righteousness which is of God is mine by faith – the righteousness which is of God is become my glorious garment. “Change me” I cry in despair “Not so,” says the Lord, “but I will exchange your ugliness, for my beauty, and I will exchange your filthy rags for my glorious garment. I will exchange your death for My life – and I will exchange your sin, for My glorious righteousness.
For God hath made Christ Jesus to be sin for us. The Lord of glory, Who knew no sin was clothed in my filthy rags and He did this so that I who have no robe of righteousness and no glorious dress and no fine attire…He did this so that I mightbe made the righteousness of God in Him;so that I might wear the glorious garment of praise – so that I might be covered in finest robes of glory.
This is no fairy tale; this is no romantic novel; this is no unreachable star. This is no unattainable desire. This is no wild imagining of an over furtive mind. This is not attained by our goodly works or human goodness. This is not gained through a striving heart, or struggling improvements. This is not won as the chivalrous knight of old won his spurs. This is not awarded through an act of gallantry. This is no olympiad wreath of plaited leaves, that fades into night.
This glorious exchange is gifted freely and without expense, come buy, without money, without cost – without price. This precious exchange was offered freely and paid in full, on Calvary’s cross – for you and for me.
Jesus Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty and my glorious dress;
Midst flaming worlds in these arrayed
With joy I shall lift up my head.
So stand calmly beloved, bow down and worship in the gracious presence of The Son of His love, for our human “righteousness!” has been exchanged for His holy righteousness. Our unrighteousness has been exchanged for the righteousness of God.
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