Notes on Christian Warfare (16)

“Fighting the Good Fight”

The way, the truth and the life!

The Need for Christ’s Righteousness  (Ephesians Chapter 6 Verses 10-20)

The breastplate is a necessity, it protects our vulnerable hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). To be clothed upon with and to stand in the righteousness of Christ is a must. It is the truth that is the foundation and the dynamic of a righteous life. The truth concerning the righteousness of Christ, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:5-6). It is a righteousness of another that enables us to stand before God uncondemned (Philippians 3:9; 1Corinthians 1:30). He, Christ, is the source of our life, it is because of him, that we are in him that we live (Galatians 2:20). It is forensic. We are judged and declared by God to be, not just not guilty, in his court, but righteous altogether. Because of another’s righteousness, Christ’s. This is a central part of God’s saving truth. It is this that makes our hearts impenetrable against Satan. God’s verdict acquits us of sin and its guilt and declares us righteous. We are naturally related to Adam (Romans 5:12). We were dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1). We were dead not because we sinned, rather we sinned because were born dead. But now we are alive in Christ (Romans 6:3-11). He, Christ, died, was buried and raised from the dead and we were in him, therefore, we too have raised to newness of life. All this that he has accomplished is ours in him. Freely, graciously, as if it were our very own. The forgiveness, the righteousness, the favour, all the blessings of God, ours (Romans 8:33ff).

Once Adam was our federal head, all that was his, sin included was ours. But now we have a new covenant head, Christ, and all that is his is now ours, righteousness. Sadly this is so seldom preached today. The thought that we can be held accountable for Adam’s sin is a horrific thought to many. But if we reject the federal headship of Adam, where does that put us regards the federal headship of Christ? This is our great comfort. Faith declares us to be in Christ (Romans 8:1). Our faith declares that at Calvary all our sins were paid for in full, past, present, and future. I was crucified with Christ, raised with Christ. Now I live, because of him. I stand in his perfected righteousness, and armour-plated righteousness, that Satan the devil cannot penetrate. This was earned, purchased not by me but for me, by Christ. The sentence and the pawl of death hangs over the world, but we shout “I LIVE!” So who is your federal head, is Adam? Or is it Christ? It is one or the other. The old spiritual song asks of you, “were you there when they crucified my Lord?” The answer, yes, you were, we were all there, in our Adamic natures, under his covenant headship. Only through faith in Christ, with him as our federal head, clothed upon with his righteousness are protected from sin and its consequences, now and in the last day.

(© James R Hamilton, written Summer, 2014)
Sermon Audio

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