“Only by ‘righteousness’ could it be pacified; and nothing less than that which is divine could meet the case. At the cross this ‘righteousness’ was found; human, yet divine: provided for man, and presented to him by God, for relief of conscience and justification of life. On the one word tetelestai, ‘It is finished,’ as on a heavenly resting-place, weary souls sat down and were refreshed. The voice from the tree did not summon them to do, but to be satisfied with what was done. Millions of bruised consciences there found healing and peace.”
– Horatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness, p.9 (italics in original)
“‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus’ [Romans 8:1]. To be in Christ Jesus is to be perfectly identified with Him in the judicial reckoning and dealings of God: and it is also to be one with Him as vitally united by faith. Immunity from condemnation does not depend in any-wise upon our “walk,” but solely on our being “in Christ.”
– Arthur W. Pink, Comfort for Christians, p.10
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians. 5:21)
Mourning Christian! Why weepest thou? Art thou mourning over thine own corruptions? Look to thy perfect Lord, and remember, thou art complete in him; thou art in God’s sight as perfect as if thou hadst never sinned; nay, more than that, the Lord our Righteousness hath put a divine garment upon thee, so that thou hast more than the righteousness of man—thou hast the righteousness of God. O thou who art mourning by reason of inbred sin and depravity, remember, none of thy sins can condemn thee. Thou hast learned to hate sin; but thou hast learned also to know that sin is not thine—it was laid upon Christ’s head. Thy standing is not in thyself—it is in Christ; thine acceptance is not in thyself, but in thy Lord; thou art as much accepted of God today, with all thy sinfulness, as thou wilt be when thou standest before his throne, free from all corruption. O, I beseech thee, lay hold on this precious thought, perfection in Christ! For thou art “complete in him” (Col. 1:20) With thy Saviour’s garment on, thou art holy as the Holy one. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom. 8:34) Christian, let thy heart rejoice, for thou art “accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:6) —what hast thou to fear? Let thy face ever wear a smile; live near thy Master; live in the suburbs of the Celestial City; for soon, when thy time has come, thou shalt rise up where thy Jesus sits, and reign at his right hand; and all this because the divine Lord “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
– Morning & Evening, Charles Spurgeon, April 4th, Morning
“Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. It is a very surprising thing—a thing to be marveled at most of all by those who enjoy it. I know that it is to me even to this day the greatest wonder that I ever heard of, that God should ever justify me. I feel myself to be a lump of unworthiness, a mass of corruption, and a heap of sin, apart from his almighty love. I know by a full assurance that I am justified by faith which is in Christ Jesus (Gal. 2:16), and treated as if I had been perfectly just, and made an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ (Gal. 4:7); and yet by nature I must take my place among the most sinful. I, who am altogether undeserving, am treated as if I had been deserving. I am loved with as much love as if I had always been godly, whereas aforetime I was ungodly. Who can help being astonished at this? Gratitude for such favor stands dressed in robes of wonder.
Now, while this is very surprising, I want you to notice how available it makes the gospel to you and to me. If God justifieth the ungodly, then, dear friend, he can justify you.”
– Charles Spurgeon, All of Grace, p.9-10
“Thus you see that a rainbow is round about the throne of grace, and what this rainbow is. Look then, when you go to prayer, for the throne; and that you may not be deceived with a fancy, look for the rainbow too. The rainbow, that is, as I have said, the personal performances of Christ your Saviour for you. Look, I say, for that it is his righteousness; the token of the everlasting of the covenant of grace; the object of God’s delight, and must be the ground of the justification of thy person and performances before God. God looks at, look you at it, and at it only (Psalm 71:16). For in heaven or earth, if that be cast away, there is nothing to be found that can please God, or justify you. If it be said faith pleases God; I answer, faith is a relative grace; take then the relative away, which as to justification, is this spangling robe, this rainbow, this righteousness of Christ, and faith dies, and becomes, as to what we now treat of, extinct and quenched as tow.”
– John Bunyan, Prayer, p.82
“He who supposes that Jesus Christ only lived and died and rose again in order to provide justification and forgiveness of sins for His people has yet much to learn. Whether he knows it or not, he is dishonoring our blessed Lord and making Him only a half Savior. The Lord Jesus has undertaken everything that His people’s souls require: not only to deliver them from the guilt of their sins by His atoning death, but from the dominion of their sins, by placing in their hearts the Holy Spirit; not only to justify them, but also to sanctify them. He is, thus, not only their ‘righteousness,’ but their ‘sanctification’ (1 Cor. 1:30). Let us hear what the Bible says: ‘For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified.’ ‘Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it.’ ‘Christ . . . gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’ ‘Christ . . . bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.’ Christ ‘has . . . reconciled [you] in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight’ (John 17:19; Eph. 5:25, 26; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24; Col. 1:22). Let the meaning of these five texts be carefully considered. If words mean anything, they teach that Christ undertakes the sanctification, no less than the justification, of His believing people. Both are alike provided for in that “everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure,” of which the Mediator is Christ. In fact, Christ in one place is called ‘He who sanctifies,’ and His people ‘they who are sanctified’ (Heb. 2:11).”
– J.C. Ryle, Holiness, p.20
“In view of Paul’s emphasis on the inability of works if any sort to bring about salvation, it is perhaps unnecessary to labour the point that faith is not being depicted as a different kind of work. Paul is not saying, ‘To be saved by works is too hard, So God allows you to produce something easier – faith.’ He does not see faith as a merit at all. Rather it is the abandonment of all reliance on merit. Faith is the recognition that there is nothing in the sinner that can avail to bring him salvation. Faith is the casting of oneself wholly on God. Faith is the hand that reaches out to God for salvation. Faith is no more than the mean through which salvation is received.”
– Leon Morris, The Atonement, p.197
“Because Jesus was righteous and good, He was the only one who could bear our sin. That’s why God sent Him into the world. If God was going to save sinners, there could be no alternative. On the cross, the judgment of God falls upon the beloved Son of God. Jesus dies forsaken by the Father; bearing our sin; in our place. He pays the debt we owed for all the laws of God we had broken–and all the sin we will ever be guilty of. Thus, the holy demands of God are fully met. Our sin is punished. Wrath is turned away from us; and the love, grace and mercy of God come to us instead. This is God’s answer to human sin. This is the gospel.
“It’s the gospel that saved us, made us Christians, and, as these truths are continually turned over in our hearts and minds, refreshes us and keeps us close to the Lord.”
– Peter Jeffery, Believers Need the Gospel, p.28
“It’s the good news about Christ. It’s the message of what God has done in and through the Lord Jesus Christ to deal with man’s sin and to make the guilty sinner acceptable to God.
True, the gospel has many sub-messages, but, in essence, it’s not about Christ healing our bodily diseases. He may do that, but that’s not the gospel. If it were, there would be no offense in it. Neither is the gospel about Jesus solving our marriage, emotional or financial problems. The gospel is about Christ dealing with our sin. Sin involves the cross, and the cross is always an offense to sinful man because it accuses us, judges us, condemns us–and leaves us in no doubt that we are guilty before God. This is the offense of the cross, but the glory of the cross is that it’s our only hope of salvation.”
– Peter Jeffery, Believers Need the Gospel, p.15