Ref: Philippians 2:8, Romans 5:19, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 3:9
Justification is not merely the cancellation of my unrighteousness. It is also the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to me. I do not have a righteousness that commends me to God. My claim before God is this: “not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ” (Philippians 3:9).
This is Christ’s righteousness. It is imputed to me. That means Christ fulfilled all righteousness perfectly; and then that righteousness was reckoned to be mine, when I trusted in him. I was counted righteous. God looked on Christ’s perfect righteousness, and he declared me to be righteous with the righteousness of Christ.
I’ve heard that Martin Luther called justification ‘The Great Exchange’. At the cross, Christ took on my sin, filth and unrighteousness. And I get to take on Christ’s sinless perfection and righteousness. He gives something of infinite worth to get something that is totally worthless.
That just makes me want to sing, dance and weep. We sometimes take our salvation so lightly, and yet even angels long to look into it.