Reflections From the Psalms
The Righteousness of God
For thou, Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield. (Ps. 5:12)
The OT is a type and shadow of Jesus Christ. The NT is Christ Himself – “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27) The Psalms often give us a prophetic revelation – in type and shadow – of the Person of Jesus Christ. In this Psalm, there is reference to, “the righteous.” This is a reference only to Jesus Christ – for other than Christ, “none is righteous, no, not one.” By extension, it is a reference to Jesus Christ in us – who is the righteousness of God in us. The believer has NO righteousness.
God has not merely given a righteousness to believers BECAUSE of Jesus Christ. God has given Jesus Christ Himself to believers, and thus, Christ in us IS our righteousness. Believers are, “in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.” (I Cor. 1:30-31)
The doctrine of justification by faith states that if we put our faith in Christ, God will impute to Christ our sin, and impute to us His righteousness. This is a good way of describing how God LEGALLY justifies the sinner. But God has given us more than a LEGAL salvation. God does legally IMPUTE to us the righteousness of Jesus Christ – but salvation is the result of God IMPARTING to us Christ Himself. We are joined to the Lord and become one spirit with Him. (I Cor. 6:17) Christ becomes our life – that is why we are saved. Christ is made to be unto us righteousness — that is why we are justified. As Paul stated, “Yet not I, but Christ.” (Gal. 2:20) All of the blessing of God are given to the believer IN CHRIST. This is the Truth behind the proclamations of the Psalmist regarding, “the righteous.”