Clothed in Christ’s Righteousness
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord. Psalm 4:5.
Paul realized his weakness, and well he might distrust his own strength. Referring to the law, he says, “The commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.” He had trusted in the deeds of the law. He says, concerning his own outward life, that as “touching the law” he was “blameless”; and he put his trust in his own righteousness. But when the mirror of the law was held up before him, and he saw himself as God saw him, full of mistakes, stained with sin, he cried out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
Paul beheld the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. He heard the voice of Christ saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” He determined to avail himself of the benefits of saving grace, to become dead to trespasses and sins, to have his guilt washed away in the blood of Christ, to be clothed with Christ’s righteousness, to become a branch of the Living Vine. He walked with Christ, and Jesus became to him—not a part of salvation, while his own good deeds were another part, but—his all in all, the first and last and best in everything. He had the faith that draws life from Christ, that enabled him to conform his life to that of the divine example. This faith claims nothing for its possessor because of his righteousness, but claims everything because of the righteousness of Christ.
In the gospel the character of Christ is portrayed. As He descended step by step from His throne, His divinity was veiled in humanity; but in His miracles, His doctrines, His sufferings, His betrayal, His mockery, His trial, His death by crucifixion, His grave among the rich, His resurrection, His 40 days upon earth, His ascension, His triumph, His priesthood, are inexhaustible treasures of wisdom, recorded for us by inspiration in the Word of God. The waters of life still flow in abundant streams of salvation. The mysteries of redemption, the blending of the divine and the human in Christ, His incarnation, sacrifice, mediation will be sufficient to supply minds, hearts, tongues, and pens with themes for thought and expression for all time; and time will not be sufficient to exhaust the wonders of salvation, but through everlasting ages, Christ will be the science and the song of the redeemed soul. New developments of the perfection and glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ will be forever unfolding. And now there must be perfect reliance upon His merit and grace; there must be distrust of self, and living faith in Him.