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Sermon Illustrations: Righteousness

Righteousness is not a long face and a big Bible.


Imputed righteousness: I'm a billionaire, you're a pauper, and I make you a secondary credit card owner on my account. You're drawing credit from my account.


2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. This verse reminds us of a very important truth which I'll illustrate. Imagine: The mailman arrives, and there's a fancy-schmancy envelope with a coat-of-arms. I open it up, and it's from the Queen. I've been invited to meet with her. I'm in the middle of celebrating when I open another envelope. Same fancy-schmancy deal. It's a list of requirements for seeing the Queen. And one is that even though I have an invitation, I have to wear a $10,000 suit from the best tailor in London. "What!" I exclaim. "I can't afford a $10,000 suit. Where am I going to get $10,000? My suit's worth $100 maybe $150." And just when I'm thinking I'm never going to get to see the Queen, I get a call: "You don't know me, but I know you, and that you've been invited to see the Queen. I also know that you can't afford a $10,000 suit, but I have one that's never been worn that would fit you. You can have it." So I turn up at Buckingham Palace wearing my $10,000 suit. And just as I'm about to go in, I see another guy saying, "But I have an invitation." "I'm sorry sir. Even with an invitation, you can't see the Queen in that suit." I can have either of two responses: You pathetic slob! Imagine trying to see the Queen dressed in that suit! But if I respond like that, haven't I forgotten something? That I'm actually wearing somebody else's suit? Sure it's mine now, but I didn't pay for it. Shouldn't I rather respond with compassion: Oh, that poor guy. What a pity he didn't have a generous benefactor like I've got. Let's go back to our verse: He made Him who knew no sin… This verse is telling me: God made Jesus who knew no sin to be treated as if He were sin, so that I could become the righteousness of God. You want to see the righteousness of God? You're looking at it. It's me. Not because of anything I've done, but because God gave me His righteousness. Just like the guy with the suit, I can stand tall, and hold my head up high in the presence of God, because I am clothed in a suit that Jesus paid for. Is 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness… I am now clothed in God's righteousness.