The righteous fulfillment of the law


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The righteous fulfillment of the law

  1. 1. The Righteous Fulfillment of the Law Romans 8:4 Introduction: Paul states that what the law could not do (make us righteous), God did through the sending of his Son. That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. In what way has God fulfilled the righteous requirement of the Law in us? I. There are two distinct teachings concerning the idea of the imputation of righteousness. A. There are those (Calvinist) who believe regardless of what you do as a Christian, once you have been baptized into Christ, the perfect life of Christ is imputed to you. In other words you are righteous because he was righteous. Christ’s righteousness has been laid to your account. The scriptures do not teach this although they are twisted to attempt to say this. Romans 3:25, Romans 5:18; 2 Cor. 5:21; Tit. 3:5 1. The problem with this doctrine that originated with John Calvin is that it denies man has any responsibility before God to obey. Romans 6 would refute this. We are servants of righteousness. Titus 2:11-12—God’s grace has appeared to all men but not his salvation. It is dependent on our obedient to him. 2. This Calvinistic teaching would actually deny the imputation of righteousness. To impute comes for logizomai and means to reckon. The word that means to put down to ones credit (ellogao) is only used twice in the scriptures (Romans 5:13; Philemon
  2. 2. 18) and in neither case is the writer speaking about imputing righteousness to another. 3. The doctrine of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to our lives is wrong because it places salvation in the perfection of his life not in the perfection of his death! It is the shedding of his blood that brings salvation. (Matt. 26:26) B. Most brethren In the conservative fellowship believe that faith is reckoned as righteousness when we are obedient to all of God’s law. This amounts to perfect law keeping= righteousness. Romans 5:17-21; 6:23. In an article in Truth Magazine, November 27, 1980, brother Marshall Patton wrote the following: Righteousness simply means without guilt, and it is a gift of God to the sinner upon the condition of an obedient faith. … the Bible teaches righteousness is a gift from God, not upon the basis of meritorious works…but upon the basis of obedience to conditions whereby faith is perfected (Romans 4:3; James 2:21-24) This seems to be somewhat contradictory. Obedience is essential for righteousness, according to our brother, but it is not meritorious works, righteousness itself is a gift from God. 1. The problem with this doctrine is righteousness being a gift is a summation of the process in one word. Righteousness is an action, it is the act of doing what is right. What is right is faith! Eph. 2:8 2. Abraham had righteousness imputed (reckoned) to him when he believed before he did anything (Romans 4:9-10) God knew he would follow through.
  3. 3. II. The problem with these two explanations of the doctrine of imputation is that they both are wrong!!! A. Romans 8:3-4- What the law could not do. If righteousness comes because of faithful obedience to law, then righteousness could have been had by the law. But man cannot keep law perfectly. The moment you violate one law, you become a lawbreaker (unrighteous). (James 2:10; Rom. 2:25; Gal. 5:3) Righteousness does not come by the law (Galatians 2:21) Justification does not come by keeping law (Gal.3:11) B. Jesus kept the law perfectly, thus fulfilling the requirement of law (that it be kept). Therefore, he could die as the perfect sacrifice for sin because he was without spot or blemish. C. We are made righteous because of faith in his righteous sacrifice. It is his blood that atones our sins and continues to remove our iniquity. D. This, however, is conditional on us walking in the Spirit (Romans 8:5-14) E. It is His grace that is the gift. Righteousness comes when we believe God and follow his teachings. Therefore God reckons us to be righteous even when we are sinful. 1 John 1:7. This happens because we are walking with him and God covers our sins. This does not mean that we can continue in sin that grace amount multiply (Romans 6:1), but that as we walk with him and learn of him we become more like him.
  4. 4. Conclusion: The judicious requirement of the law is that we all die for our sins. But Christ has satisfied this requirement, being sin for us or in our place, took the penalty for us. We, therefore, are able to be righteous because of the sacrifice of his blood in atonement for our sin. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (Heb. 9:22) Therefore it is not His righteous life that creates in us righteousness, but his righteousness made him the perfect sacrifice for sin. Thus in his blood we obtain righteousness when our faith brings us to walk in the Spirit.