“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
In a devotion I read this morning, dwelling on the covenant God has made with us through Christ, Charles Spurgeon wrote, “[God’s people] see that the law was made void because it was a covenant of works and depended upon merit, but this [new covenant] they perceive to be enduring because grace is the basis, grace the condition, grace the strain, grace the bulwark, grace the foundation, grace the topstone.”
It is all grace.
My mind was drawn to the above verse from Paul’s letter to the Romans. For so long, the law was the measure of righteousness. But Christ brought an end to this. The law is no longer our righteousness – He is. It is as the prophet Jeremiah wrote centuries before: “In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which He will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness’” (Jeremiah 23:6).
The LORD our God is our righteousness. Because Jesus Christ has ascribed His righteousness to us. Our hope, our salvation, rests not on what we do, but on who our Savior is. Our Savior who chose to be perfected in that role through deep suffering. Our Savior in whom is no darkness, no sin, no betrayal or failure or change. He is enough, and His sacrifice is enough to cover our every wrong.
It can be so easy to measure ourselves by how closely we’re keeping the law. But let us remember – that is not who we are. Our identity is in Christ. We are the people and the family of God. Heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. We are loved and indwelt by the Spirit of God Himself. And we are righteous because we have chosen to believe in the Righteous One, whose blood has covered our sin and who has turned God’s wrath to favor toward us. Only favor. Only grace. Only steadfast, constant, unimaginable love.
I’ve heard Andy Stanley say in a sermon that living according to the law is following a set of rules, but living according to the Spirit is following a person. How true that is. We are followers of Christ. Our task is to trust in Him, look to Him, learn His voice, be sensitive and obedient to His Spirit, and we will find ourselves looking more like Him. Acting like Him. Speaking like Him. For “we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
“For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in [Christ] we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Rejoice today. Let the weight be taken off your shoulders. The law, with all of its expectations and requirements, is not your righteousness. Jesus Christ is, and He is with you in each moment. Strengthening you, guiding you, walking with you, and loving you without fail.
“May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 3:5