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Six Billion Dollars

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted November 12, 2015
RELIGION- Imagine this: you wake up tomorrow morning and look at your bank balance on your cell phone and see six billion dollars! That happened a few weeks back as there was a mistake made by a Deutsche Bank employee that meant a client received a massive surprise. According to a Financial Times report, a junior employee of the massive German bank accidentally transferred $6 billion into one client’s personal account in June. Deutsche Bank discovered the error a day later and managed to recover the money before the client could make a withdrawal or transfer. Six billion came and left in one fell swoop!

We as Christians get something better and longer lasting that a six billion bucks sitting in our bank for 24 hours, we get the righteousness of Jesus Christ given to us! 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Break that down: God takes our sin (infinite and unpayable by ourselves) and gives it to Jesus (radical extreme to take because of His love for us) and then gives us (freely apart from any good we have done) the perfect record of obedience of Jesus and applies it to our account when we trust in Jesus alone for our salvation.  This is theologically speaking called justification.

Justification has a positive and a negative element. It consists at once in the removal of guilt and the imputation, or granting, of righteousness. It rescues the sinner as a brand from the burning and at the same time gives him a title to Heaven. If it failed to do either of these, it would fail to do anything. For man, as a sinner against God, must have that enormous guilt somehow removed. But at the same time, if he had the guilt removed, he would still be devoid of positive righteousness and with no title to Heaven and would also be certain to fall again into sin and condemnation. (John Gerstner, Theology for Everyman, Moody, 1965, Chapter 6.)

To be justified means more than to be declared “not guilty.” It actually means to be declared righteous before God. It means God has imputed or charged the guilt of our sin to His Son, Jesus Christ, and has imputed or credited Christ’s righteousness to us. As we come to Christ then, empty-handed, claiming no merit of our own, but clinging by faith to His blood and righteousness, we are justified. We pass immediately from a state of condemnation and spiritual death to a state of pardon, acceptance, and the sure hope of eternal life. Our sins are blotted out, and we are “clothed” with the righteousness of Jesus Christ. In our standing before God, we will never be more righteous, even in heaven, than we were the day we trusted Christ, or we are now. Obviously in our daily experience we fall far short of the perfect righteousness God requires. But because He has imputed to us the perfect righteousness of His Son, He now sees us as being just as righteous as Christ Himself.  (The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges, 2002, p. 107.)

How does this become true for us? Think about it like this: You have a very poor woman who is going to marry a very rich man: This very poor woman is a very poor woman until the very moment that she marries a wealthy man. But at the moment that she becomes his wife, she becomes a wealthy woman. It is by means of her acceptance that she becomes a wealthy woman, but her acceptance does not make her a wealthy woman; it is her husband's wealth that makes her so. Our faith is our coming to Jesus, our trusting Jesus, our resting in Jesus. The moment we are united to Jesus by faith, we are immediately endowed with all that Jesus has secured for us. We are immediately justified before we have done a single good deed, because we are Jesus’ and He is God's.

So think about this: you have the riches and perfection of Jesus at your disposal, are you living by Jesus’ gracious provision? Are you hoarding these riches when you should be sharing them with others? Have you forgotten all that is yours as a child of God? Are you struggling with guilt over your sins and failures? Think about all Christ has given you and be moved to serve and obey today! Pastor Phillip

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