Accounting ledger book

Justification: Exchanging Ledgers


If God loves who we truly are, then why do we preface His understanding of us with phrases such as “in God’s eyes we are righteous” or “forgiven” or “loved” or “pleasing” and so on? Are we trying to say that God is not living in reality? That He is somehow involved in self-deception? Is He just some old grandparent type who wants to overlook the faults of His grandchildren? Either He really knows who we are or He doesn’t. Playing with words this way keeps us from experiencing the reality of who we are. It also dishonors God.

God Has Canceled Satan’s Formula

When you equate your self-worth with performance and others’ opinions, you are judging yourself based on a satanic formula designed to enslave you in the performance trap. Thankfully God has canceled this equation altogether!

Accounting ledger book

Visualize two ledgers. On one is a list of all your sins; on the other is the righteousness of Christ. Now exchange your ledger for Christ’s. This exemplifies justification — transferring our sin to Christ and His righteousness to us.

“He made Him (Christ) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become teh righteousness of God in Him.”

2 Corinthians 5:21

Justification carries no guilt with it and has no memory of past transgressions. Christ paid for all of our sins at the cross — past, present, and future. Hebrews 10:17 says, “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” We are completely forgiven by God!

In the same act of love through which God forgave our sins, He also provided for our righteousness, the worthiness to stand in God’s presence. By imputing (placing within) righteousness to us, God attributes Christ’s worth to us. The momrent we accept Christ, God declares that we are no longer condemned sinners. Instead we are forgiven, we receive Christ’s righteousness, and we are creatures who are fully pleasing to Him.

We’re Made RIghteous Before God

God intended that Adam and his descendants be righteous people, fully experiencing His love and eternal purposes. Sin short-circuited that relationship, but Jesus’ perfect payment fo rsin has since satisfied the righteous wrath of God, enabling us again to have that status of righteousness and to delight in knowing and honoring the Lord.

We are forgiven and righteous because of Christ’s sacrifice; therefore, we are pleasing to God in spite of our failures. Neither success or failure is the proper basis of our self-worth. Christ alone is teh source of our forgiveness, freedom, joy, and purpose.

Some people have difficulty thinking of themselves as being pleasing to God because they link being pleasing so strongly with performance. They tend to be displeased with anything short or perfection in themselves, and they suspect God measures them by the same standard.

The point of justification is that we can never achieve perfection on this earth; even our best efforts at self-righteousness are as filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6). Yet He loves us so much that He appointed His Son to pay for our sins and to give us His righteousness, His perfect status before the Father.

Disciplined To Live Godly Lives

This doesn’t mean that our actions are irrelevant and that we can sin all we want. Our sinful actions, words, and attitudes grieve the Lord, but our status as holy and beloved children remains intact.


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