In order to go to heaven, you must be as holy as God and have a perfect record in keeping all of God’s commandments. Every human being has failed miserably, but praise God that Jesus Christ’s righteousness can freely become ours by faith.
If I was to give you a handout – I have a handout here called “Your Righteousness.” And basically what it does is it goes through the 10 Commandments and it breaks it down and it asks you questions about each commandment. In other words, you rate yourself from 1 to 10. And it just breaks it down. “I have always served the Lord with all my heart, mind, and soul.” Give yourself a number from zero (I’ve never done it ever) to 10. And you put a number here. Now you would put a number for all of these and you might come up with a score at the bottom. The problem is if you don’t put a 10 for all of them, then you don’t have the righteousness of God. So the Law does its work. It comes in and it shuts you down. It says: Give me a 10 or go home. Come on, what’s it going to be? “Well, I’m pretty good. I’m better than that guy. I’ve got an 8.” ? You still didn’t get a hundred. Christ comes and when He dies on the cross and takes away our sins, His numbers are all 10’s. And here’s the Gospel. God commands you to come and take His righteousness. Here’s yours. Put it on top of yours and by faith – notice what “by faith” is – it’s none of this. It’s this. Believe it’s mine. That’s it. And He goes to grade the papers. Okay, yep, Romeo, I see 100. That’s what He sees. Why? It’s Christ’s righteousness. It’s on top of yours. So, this isn’t righteousness. This is just faith. That’s why you can’t trust in your faith. You have to trust in what Christ has done. But, faith has to be applied in order to hold it together. Make sense? Now that’s a mercy isn’t it? It’s a big one! So where’s the works involved? There’s no works involved. That’s why faith is not of works. You just have to believe and trust that His righteousness He will give freely to you to all who ask and want it. You want to be saved tonight? You want to be right with God? Do you want to get rid of this test score? You’re going to have to trust that Somebody else’s test score is going to be laid upon yours. And it’s going to count on Judgment Day to be your test score. You have to believe. What happens if this paper clip comes off? Well, if you’re of the Lord, He staples you with the paper clip. But you have the paper clip. You’ve got to keep the paper clip on because we persevere by faith, but we persevere. But you’re kept by the power of God it says in 2nd Peter, because you’re stapled. But this has to stay on here. So I’m just using this as an illustration how the righteousness of Christ is everything for you. This gives you the ability to answer the most basic of questions. Most Christians can’t answer this question. I don’t understand it. If you were to die tonight, and you’re to stand before God, and He was to ask you, “Why should I let you in?” what would you tell Him? You know what most people would do? They’d tell me about this. Seriously? You’re going to tell me about this? “Well, you know, I go to church.” Let’s see. What number is that? What number do you give yourself for going to church? “Well, I don’t beat my wife like my neighbor does.” That’s worth a couple points. Seriously? “Well, I don’t look at porn – well, not as much – I don’t look at porn on the Internet as much.” Where is that on here? See, why are you showing me this? You need to be talking about this. The reason I believe I will go to heaven is because of what Christ has done. He’s taken away my sins. He’s taken away my sins. See? In that case, they’re covered. And He’s given me His righteousness. So I would say I go to heaven because I’m as holy as God. Now, is this as holy as God? ‘s on everything? Or no? It is. But it’s not my righteousness. It’s Somebody else’s righteousness. You’re going to tell me you’re as holy as God? I sure am. In another Man’s righteousness. See, you’ve got to be able to articulate that. If I wake you up at 2 in the morning and say, “stand up at attention at the side of your bed and tell me why you should go to heaven,” you should be able to articulate that. Because that’s the Gospel in its most kernel, basic form. Imputation. Somebody else’s righteousness for yours. That’s a mercy.