Thursday, March 5, 2009

Counted Righteous in Christ

MckMama's post today reminded me of something I wanted to talk about on here.

A few nights ago I was reading Counted Righteous in Christ by John Piper. On a side note, John Piper is my absolute favorite author ever, even a bit over Jane Austen (whom I am in love with). Anyway, this book is about Christ's imputation of righteousness to us. That's a big thought, so let me break it down:

The word "justification" is a fancy term for the fact that when we are saved, 1. our sins are transferred to Christ, who has already paid the penalty for them by dying on the cross, and 2. Christ's righteousness is "imputed" (or transferred) to us, which means that when God sees a saved person, he doesn't see our sins, as he did before we were saved, but he sees Christ's perfect life. This is the doctrine of justification that Christians have believed since Paul's Letter to the Romans. Piper explained this to his 6 year old daughter with a story about two men who were being tried in court: one man was declared innocent by the judge and set free (and thus treated well by society, as he was innocent), but another man, who had committed the crime, was told by the judge that even though he was guilty, he would go free and that not only was he forgiven for the crime, but no one could ever treat him as if he had committed it. (This is an important distinction because many criminals are treated poorly by society, even though they have perhaps "paid for" their crime by doing what the court has punished them with.)

All that to say that John Piper made an amazing connection for marriage: if we are to treat our spouses like we should (i.e. as God treats us), then we have to consider them fully justified. That means that even when they have done something wrong or haven't done something that we needed them to do, we should see them as having done it right, as Christ would have done. It's hard to get mad at someone so perfect!

When I get upset with Jonathan, he'll often tell me, "You can't get mad at me! I'm perfect! I've never done anything wrong." What a truth that is (even though he doesn't realize it when he's saying it)! With Christ's righteousness imputed to him, he is perfect.

This is also important for me to remember about myself, since I can tend towards seeing myself in a very negative light. I have the righteousness of Christ and no one can condemn me!

1 comment:

Jessie said...

I haven't read Mckmama's post yet, but I had never thought about justification in terms of my marriage and husband. It's a good reminder to not just look past his faults, but to really truly see him as God sees him.