“The Righteousness of God”

“The Righteousness of God”

…further reflections on Romans 1:16 – 17(ESV)

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

“I greatly longed to understand Paul’s Epistle to the Romans and nothing stood in the way but that one expression, ‘the justice of God,’ [Rom. 1:17] because I took it to mean that justice whereby God is just and deals justly in punishing the unjust. My situation was that, although an impeccable monk, I stood before God as a sinner troubled in conscience, and I had no confidence that my merit would assuage him. Therefore I did not love a just and angry God, but rather hated and murmured against him.Yet I clung to the dear Paul and had a great yearning to know what he meant. Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that ‘the just shall live by his faith’ [Rom. 1:17]. Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas the ‘justice of God’ had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressively sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a gate of heaven.”

— Martin Luther Luther’s Works, Vol 34, ed. Helmut L. Lehmann (Minneapolis, MN.: Fortress Press, 1960), 337“When our conscience won’t quiet down as it should, when we’ve taken ourselves over and over to Calvary in repentance, we’ve got to declare to our self-condemning hearts, ‘My righteousness isn’t made up of repentance, my good record, or even my faith. No, I’ve got the righteousness of God. If that’s not enough for you, you proud, demanding conscience, nothing will be! Now, silence yourself before the love of this great God. Rather than spend time thinking about your demands, I now choose to rejoice in all God’s done for me.’”

— Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Dennis E. Johnson Counsel From the Cross (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2009), 120

Daniel 9