Alright…I want to give two blog posts that unpack a bit more what was taught briefly here. So here goes part 1 of 2…
Why was Abraham considered righteous by God? Because, by faith, He was covered by God’s righteousness. It was not because he was inherently righteous. No, in him was death, but God pronounced Him alive (see Romans 4). Similarly, inside the Christian is sin (which leads to death), but God pronounces us righteous (which leads to life).
This all happens because we are “covered in Christ”. Other words describing this include: atoned and justified. We are covered/atoned/justified by what Jesus did. So when God looks at the Christian, He looks at Jesus’ life covering him. Imagine someone having bright green skin (think of the Hulk). And then they are covered by a beautiful red blanket. When someone looks their way, all they see is red. Even though the person is still green, they are covered by red, and that becomes their identity. That becomes what marks them: red, not green. In the same way, we have sin dwelling in our flesh (passed to us all from our great-great-granddaddy, Adam). But, through faith in Christ’s person and work, we are covered by His blood and righteousness. So when God looks at us, He sees Christ covering us, even though our nature still is tainted with sin.
Said another way, we are imputed with Christ’s righteousness, though we ourselves are not righteous. We are like Noah and his family: covered completely by the ark, so that the wrath of God (i.e. the storm that raged) was absorbed completely by the ark. Those inside did not receive any of God’s wrath, because they were covered by something that took on all of God’s wrath. Similarly, as Jesus absorbed all of God’s wrath at the cross, Christians are considered as covered in Jesus. Meaning, we don’t receive God’s wrath, because we are covered by Him who did. We are like Noah’s family covered by the ark.
Many more illustrations from the Bible of being covered in Christ can be found here.
Next post, we will unpack a bit more of what this all means for our nature and experience. If we are covered with Christ, for instance, do we have good natures now or bad natures? Are we inclined to sin or do righteous? Stay posted…