The promised Saviour is the Satan-crusher (Genesis 3:15) and is called ‘the Lord our righteousness’ in Jeremiah 23:6. Paul likewise describes the Gospel as concerning ‘the righteousness of God’ (Rom 3:21-22). Too often want to make it all about us, and we think God exists to forgive us as if that’s his job. We need to think more deeply. The Gospel is about God’s provision of righteousness through the obedient last Adam (1 Cor 15:45); a righteousness accessed through faith, so that God is both just and the justifier of whoever believes in Jesus (Romans 3:26). Justification is by Christ as the meritorious foundation in his obedient life in my place and in bearing my sins on the Cross fulfilling all required and being raised and glorified in our nature so that he lives in the power of an indestructible life. He gains what the first Adam forfeited. Faith is the instrument that unites me to Christ in his saving work. Deeds truly good because they proceed from a renewed heart that seeks to please God are evidences of justification. They are fruits of the new relationship not causes of it.
Rowland Ward born in Melbourne, Australia in 1945, is a lecturer in Church History and Research Lecturer at Presbyterian Theological College, Melbourne, and minister of the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia. One of his favorite movies is the Sharp series set during the Napoleonic wars, he has a Shetland Sheep dog named Bonnie, his favorite smell is not coffee but fresh bread from the oven, his first job after leaving school, and before Seminary in the 1970s in Scotland, was a general insurance officer in Melbourne, and when not engaged in Spiritual disciplines he enjoys family history research.