Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Astonishingly, we are told here that Christians have “become the righteousness of God.” In other words, God gave us his own righteousness through our faith in Christ. That begs the question, How much of God’s righteousness did we get? Did we get 50 percent? Or 75 percent? No, we received 100 percent of God’s righteousness, which is now our righteousness in Christ.
At a conference where I was teaching about the distortions we often believe about God making us righteous, a pastor named Roy raised his hand and asked if he could say something. His comments were so profound that I’ve never forgotten them.
As I listened to you teaching, I smugly believed I wasn’t learning anything new. I thought I’d heard it all before. But then you completely messed me up when you went over those distortions we tend to believe about being righteous. Every one of them stabbed me like a knife and I realized how deceived I was. I really didn’t believe I was righteous. I actually believed God just saw me that way. Now I can truly say with joy, “I knew I was saved but I didn’t know I was that saved!”
Are you like Roy? Did you know you were saved but didn’t know you were that saved? How awesome is our God and the salvation he has given us in Christ! Because God made you righteous in Christ, you are unconditionally accepted by him and you can’t mess it up. He not only loves you; he likes you! This is the gospel not only for unbelievers but also for Christians so few of them seem to have heard.
Let’s take this one step further. Because God accepts you, you can accept yourself. You may be wondering how you can accept yourself since you know how much you blow it and sin. The answer is this: if God accepts you, who are you to reject yourself?