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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law part 101

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1 Peter 2:22-24

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law 

In this passage, justify is utilized in a legal sense, meaning to acquit a guilty person and declare him righteous—yet, on account of the righteousness of another, namely Christ’s, which is conveyed to us by faith. Since in this passage, our righteousness is the imputation of the righteousness of another, we must speak here of righteousness in a different manner than a philosophical or judicial inquiry about the righteousness of one's own work, which certainly is in the will. Accordingly, Paul says, “He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30). “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21).

Pulling It Together

Jesus took our sin upon himself and died with it on the cross. When our sin was transferred to Christ, his righteousness was assigned to us through faith in him. There was nothing that the disciples could do on that horrible, yet blessed day, but watch. Jesus did it all, bearing the guilt and blame of everyone, justifying all who believe (Acts 13:39). Jesus paid the price of our sin so that we would receive the benefit of his righteousness. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21). Like his first disciples, we can do nothing to assist in our justification. We cannot clear our own names but we can take the name of Jesus Christ, given to us in baptism and apprehended through faith (Gal 3:26-27).

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for bearing my sin on the cross, becoming my righteousness. Amen. 

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