ROMANS 10:1-4 (1)
(from a manuscript of a sermon preached on 7/25/10 at Sovereign Redeemer Assembly)
Please turn in your Bibles to Romans chapter 10. I'll be reading verses 1 through 4:
Romans 10: (1) Brothers, truly my heart's pleasure and supplication to God on behalf of Israel is for [it] to be saved. (2) For I testify to them that they have zeal to God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ [is] the end of Law for righteousness to everyone that believes.
After saying that Israel stumbled at the stone of stumbling and rock of offense, Paul says that his "heart's pleasure and supplication to God on behalf of Israel is for it to be saved." This is a continuation of what Paul said at the beginning of Romans 9, that his grief is great, and a never-ceasing pain is in his heart for Israel, his brothers according to the flesh. The Greek word for "pleasure" can also mean "desire." And the Greek word for "supplication" can also mean "prayer." Thus, we see that Paul DESIRES that Israel be saved, and he is PRAYING that Israel be saved. He adds the word "truly" for emphasis. This is the Greek word men, which can also mean "indeed." The KJV totally leaves this word out here and in many other places.
Now let me ask you a really easy question: Since Paul has a great and never-ending grief and pain for Israel, and since it's Paul's desire and prayer that Israel be saved, is Paul saying that Israel is LOST, or is Paul saying that Israel is SAVED? Well, does a believer have GRIEF and PAIN regarding the spiritual state of someone who is already saved? Does a believer DESIRE the salvation of someone who is already saved? Does a believer PRAY FOR the salvation of someone who is already saved? Of course not. So, in order for a believer to have grief and pain regarding someone's spiritual state, and in order to desire and pray for the salvation of someone, that believer has to FIRST make a what? A JUDGMENT. That believer must first JUDGE that the one whose salvation he desires and prays for his UNSAVED. Thus, when Paul makes the statement that he desires and prays for the salvation of Israel, he is making a JUDGMENTAL statement. He is judging Israel to be LOST. Now those who say that they can't judge the hearts of anyone can't pray for the salvation of anyone, can they? Those who say that it's mean and unloving to judge anyone to be lost HAVE to say that it's mean and unloving to DESIRE the salvation of anyone, since to DESIRE the salvation of someone is to judge that person to be LOST! What they call hate, we call love. And what they call love, we call hate. It is actually HATRED not to judge these people to be lost.
But Paul, out of a judgmental and a sincere heart, desires and prays for the salvation of lost people. And we should be like Paul. We should desire and pray for the salvation of lost people. This in no way undermines the fact that God does not desire the salvation of the reprobate. We don't know who the reprobate are. We can't tell who, among lost people, are God's elect and will end up in heaven, or are the reprobate and will end up in hell. We don't condemn lost people to hell. We tell them that they are lost, we preach the gospel to them, and we desire and pray for their salvation.
On to verses 2 and 3:
Romans 10: (2) For I testify to them that they have zeal to God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness of God.
These verses give the non-judgmentalists even more fits. Not only does Paul judge people to be lost in verse 1, he gives the BASIS for his judgment in verses 2 and 3, and this basis is offensive to most who call themselves Christians. This is an extremely important passage in Scripture. I hope you read it over and over and reflect on it and think about what this really means. This is the REASON why Paul judges certain people to be unsaved, and thus it is the REASON why WE judge certain people to be unsaved. When you think about making a judgments of someone's spiritual state, your mind should always go to this passage.
So let's go into detail into verses 2 and 3. The first phrase is "for I testify to them." This is translated "for I bear them record" in the KJV and "for I bear them testimony" in Young's and "for I bear them witness" in the New King James. The Greek verb is mar-too-REH-oh, which comes from the word mar-TOOS, meaning, "a witness." It's where we get the word "martyr" from. Paul gives witness or testifies something. He is giving EVIDENCE of their lost state. Now the LITV uses the word "to," as in, "I testify TO them," but it can also mean that he testifies ABOUT them. What you need to keep in mind is that he is about to give the reason, the evidence, the proof of their lost condition.
The next phrase is, "that they have zeal to God." Isn't it interesting and telling that the first thing Paul mentions when he's giving evidence of their lost condition is that they have zeal to God? What is zeal? Zeal is enthusiastic diligence, eager desire or endeavor, intensity of purpose. Now is zeal to God, in and of itself, sufficient evidence that someone is lost? Well, it's not, if you're talking about zeal to the true and living God. We who are believers say with the Psalmist, "Hot zeal has seized me because of the wicked forsaking Your Law," and "My zeal has eaten me up, for my enemies have forgotten Your Word" in Psalm 119 verses 53 and 139. Jesus Christ had zeal for God when He chased all the people and animals out of the temple with a whip and poured out all the money and turned over the tables in the temple. Paul commended Christians in different cities for their zeal. We are commanded to be zealous for God. We are to have enthusiastic diligence, eager endeavor, intensity of purpose for God in our Christian walk. So why did the Holy Spirit through Paul mention zeal first? Well, what is the most common evidence that is given by lost religionists that other lost religionists are saved? What do lost religionists say about other lost religionists who may not agree with them on all points of doctrine? What do they point to as the main evidence that these people are saved? It's their RELIGIOUS ZEAL. They'll say things like, "He may have a lot of doctrine wrong, he may even have doctrine that I hate, but his zeal for God is second to none." Zeal trumps doctrine.
And once again, we turn to the lost religionist Charles Spurgeon for proof. John Wesley was an Arminian who believed in conditional election, free will, perfectionism, inefficacious atonement, justification conditioned on the sinner, and conditional perseverance, and who openly hated and reviled unconditional election and reprobation. Here's what Calvinist Charles Spurgeon said about Arminian John Wesley: "Most atrocious things have been spoken about the character and spiritual condition of John Wesley, the modern prince of Arminians. I can only say concerning him that, while I detest many of the doctrines which he preached, yet for the man himself I have a reverence second to no Wesleyan; and if there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitefield and John Wesley. The character of John Wesley stands beyond all imputation for self-sacrifice, zeal, holiness, and communion with God; he lived far above the ordinary level of common Christians, and was one 'of whom the world was not worthy.'" This is a perfect example of how lost religionists think. Spurgeon said that he "detest[ed] many of the doctrines which [Wesley] preached" - and what were those doctrines? Those were the doctrines that were diametrically opposed to the true gospel, such as the doctrine that a saved person could lose his salvation. Oh, yes, Spurgeon detested MANY of the doctrines that Wesley preached. But on what basis did Spurgeon consider Wesley to be a brother in Christ? Was it his doctrine? No. It was his, quote, "self-sacrifice, zeal, holiness, and communion with God." There you go. That's EXACTLY what Paul is talking about here in Romans 10:2. They have a ZEAL TO GOD. Their lives were characterized by what Spurgeon said Wesley's life was characterized by. THIS is why the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul mentions this first. It is to say, ALTHOUGH they have a zeal to God, there's something else that shows that they are lost. And this something else TRUMPS their zeal. It makes their zeal MEANINGLESS when it comes to judging their hearts. How many times do you hear that from lost religionists? Suppose we have a person who prays and reads his Bible every day, attends every gathering of his local religious assembly, enthusiastically sings praise to God, says "Amen" during the sermons, spends time in fellowship with the members of his assembly, gives money to his assembly and to other ministries, is active in helping the poor, is zealous for good works, is as outwardly moral as they come, and hates the immorality of the world. How many lost religionists would judge this person to be saved? Yet we haven't even gotten to the basis of judgment! That's just outward religious activity!
Okay, he has a zeal to God. But what's the next word in the sentence? It's that little three-letter word that packs a lot of meaning: BUT. It's actually a four-letter word in Greek: al-LA. It means "but," "nay," "nevertheless," "notwithstanding," or "yet." They have a zeal to God, YET, NEVERTHELESS, there's something else that is the evidence that they are lost. This means that we are NEVER EVER to judge a person to be saved based on his religious zeal. NEVER. They have a zeal to God, BUT their zeal means NOTHING when it comes to judging their hearts.
What comes after "BUT"? They have a zeal to God, but NOT ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE. Oh, man. This confounds the lost religionists to their very core. The Bible says that it is NOT a matter of ZEAL, but it IS a matter of WHAT? KNOWLEDGE. It's a matter of KNOWLEDGE. Wow. Think about that. You know, if we told a typical tolerant Calvinist that it wasn't a matter of zeal but of knowledge, you know what we'd be called? Gnostics. Rationalists. Perfectionists. Elitists. Arrogant. Even cultic. But if you think it's bad now, wait until we get into the actual CONTENT of the knowledge. But for now, let's just stick with the general term "knowledge." Paul says that Israel is lost, because, although they do have a zeal to God, their zeal is not according to KNOWLEDGE. The Greek word for "knowledge" is EP-ig-no-sis. Uh-oh - we have a word that has the same root as "gnostic." What are we going to do? Are we going to shy away from the truth? Well, not only are we not going to shy away from it, we're going to go even further. There's a Greek word that is just simply GNO-sis - G N O S I S - that means "knowledge." So what's the difference between GNO-sis and EP-ig-no-sis? Well, the preposition EP-ee means "over" or "above." Uh-oh. Are you thinking what I'm thinking about where we're going here? According to Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, "epignosis akin to epiginosko, denotes 'exact or full knowledge, discernment, recognition,' and is a strengthened form of gnosis, expressing a fuller or a full 'knowledge,' a greater participation by the 'knower' in the object 'known,' thus more powerfully influencing him." So we have in Romans 10:2 that Paul judges certain people to be lost because, although they have a zeal to God, it is not according to epignosis - a strengthened form of gnosis, denoting a full or fuller knowledge, discernment, or recognition. The LITV translates this Greek word as "full knowledge" in 17 out of the 20 times this word occurs in the New Testament. Why isn't it translated "full knowledge" here? I think it's because of the theology of the translator and even possibly because of the uproar it would have created. Just think if it were translated more accurately as, "For I testify to them that they have a zeal to God, but not according to full knowledge"! But that's exactly what it means. So our enemies need to start calling us epignostics instead of gnostics! So we see thus far that if one's zeal is not according to full knowledge, then that zeal is an empty zeal that is just wicked works, evil deeds, and fruit unto death. Zeal is vain without full knowledge. We see all these zealous religionists around, being intensely dedicated and eager and enthusiastic for their religion, but it's not according to full knowledge, and thus we must judge them to be haters of God.
Now let's read verse 3:
Romans 10: (3) For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness of God.
Here we get into the CONTENT of that knowledge that these zealous religionists do not have. We first see that the Holy Spirit through Paul says that they are IGNORANT. The Greek verb is ag-no-EH-oh. Once again, we can see how this connects with gnosis, or knowledge. The prefix "a" or "alpha" means "not," so ag-no-EH-oh means "to not know." So it's on the opposite end of the knowledge spectrum from epignosis. Here's the contrast between full knowledge and no knowledge. And no knowledge in English is "ignorance." If someone is "ignorant," he does not know about something.
Now we can see more of what Paul is saying. These people whom he judges to be lost have a zeal but not according to full knowledge, for they are ignorant of something. Paul judges them to be lost BASED ON their ignorance. The word "for" at the beginning of verses 2 and 3 establish the logical connection of how Paul judges them to be lost. You can hear the lost religionists now, can't you: "You're trying to tell me that you judge someone to be unsaved based on the fact that they're just ignorant of a few things? Where's the room for growth? You're saying that a saved person immediately has knowledge of certain doctrine! You're asking these babes in Christ to eat meat while they can still only handle milk!" And we answer them, "It is Holy Scripture that says these things. You either bow to Scripture or you remain in rebellion. Paul judges these people to be lost because they are ignorant of certain doctrine. That's not me - that's God. GOD SAYS that when it comes to certain doctrine, IGNORANCE IS DEADLY. And since God says that all who are ignorant of certain doctrine are unsaved, then it is also true that all who are saved know this same certain doctrine of which the unsaved people are ignorant. There is no such thing as a regenerate person who is ignorant of this certain doctrine. That smashes the lies of the Hyper-Calvinists, the tolerant Calvinists, and all other false religionists who think that a saved person can be ignorant of certain doctrine.
Now what is that "certain doctrine" that these lost people were ignorant of and that all saved people know and believe? Paul puts it into this phrase: "The righteousness of God." The Jews had a zeal to God, but not according to the full knowledge of the righteousness of God. They were ignorant of the righteousness of God. There's a lot packed into this small phrase, "the righteousness of God." Let's go into what "the righteousness of God" means.
The first time the phrase "the righteousness of God" appears in Romans is in the first chapter, in verse 17. Let's read verses 16 and 17:
Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to everyone believing, both to Jew first, and to Greek; (17) for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; even as it has been written, But the just shall live by faith.
From this passage, we see where the righteousness of God is revealed. Verse 17 says, "for in IT the righteousness of God is revealed." What is "IT"? From the context in verse 16, we see that "IT" is the gospel. So the righteousness of God is revealed in THE GOSPEL. Let's now see how the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel. Let's turn to a passage in which the phrase "the righteousness of God" is used two times, which is Romans 3, verses 9 through 26:
Romans 3:9-26 What then? Do we excel? Not at all! For we have charged both Jews and Greeks before, all [with] being under sin; (10) according as it has been written, [There is] not a righteous [one], not even one! (11) [There is] not [one] understanding; [there is] not [one] seeking God. (12) All turned away, [they] became worthless together, not [one is] doing goodness, not so much as one! (13) Their throat [is] a tomb being opened; they used deceit with their tongues; [the] poison of asps [is] under their lips; (14) whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness. (15) Their feet [are] swift to shed blood; (16) ruin and misery [are] in their way; (17) and they did not know a way of peace; (18) there is no fear of God before their eyes. (19) But we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those within the Law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world be under judgment to God. (20) Because by works of Law not one of all flesh will be justified before Him, for through Law [is] full knowledge of sin. (21) But now a righteousness of God has been revealed apart from Law, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, (22) even the righteousness of God through faith of Jesus Christ toward all and upon all those believing; for there is no difference, (23) for all sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (24) being justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, (25) whom God set forth [as] a propitiation through faith in His blood, as a demonstration of His righteousness through the passing over of the sins that had taken place before, in the forbearance of God, (26) for a demonstration of His righteousness in the present time, for His being just and justifying the [one] that [is] of the faith of Jesus.
First, we see that every human being is unrighteous by nature; there is no difference between the pagan, immoral Gentiles and the religious, moral Jews. Then we see that no one will be justified by their works. Then we see that the righteousness of God is revealed apart from the law. This means that the righteousness of God has NOTHING TO DO with our law-keeping. It has NOTHING TO DO with any of our own efforts. So what does this righteousness have to do with? We see the answer starting in verse 22 and going through verse 26.
First, the righteousness of God is THROUGH the FAITH, or actually, the FAITHFULNESS, of Jesus Christ. The righteousness of God has to do with Christ's FAITHFULNESS. Faithfulness to do what? Verses 24 and 25 - "being JUSTIFIED freely by His grace through the REDEMPTION in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth [as] a PROPITIATION through faith in his blood." Jesus accomplished JUSTIFICATION, REDEMPTION and PROPITIATION. And look at the next words in verse 25: "for a showing forth of His RIGHTEOUSNESS." Justification, Redemption, and Propitiation show forth the righteousness of God.
Let's first talk about PROPITIATION. To propitiate means to appease or to pacify. Christ appeased or pacified God's wrath when the sins of His people were imputed to Jesus Christ, when Jesus Christ became sin for His people, and He incurred the judgment for that sin. There is no fellowship with God when there is sin. Why is that? It is because God is RIGHTEOUS. RIGHTEOUSNESS is the opposite of SIN. So in order for God to fellowship with sinners, the sin of those sinners MUST BE PUNISHED in a substitute who is a man who is totally without sin. The only one who qualifies for that is Jesus Christ. Christ took on the sins of His people, and God punished Christ for those sins, and God was pacified. God was at peace, not at war.
The next is REDEMPTION. To redeem means to pay the price for a possession so as to rescue or deliver that possession. Ransom is another word that is used. Christ's blood paid the price for His people's sins and bought them as His very own. What did His people do to make themselves into God's own possession? Absolutely nothing. It is CHRIST ALONE who paid the price. We had nothing to pay. Nothing that we ever did or were enabled to do would pay the price. It is only through the blood of Christ.
Now let's talk about JUSTIFICATION. Let's read verse 26. "For the showing forth of His righteousness in the present time" - there's the mention of the righteousness of God again. How does God show forth His righteousness? Let's read on: "for His being just and justifying the one that is of the faith of Jesus." Here He talks about JUSTIFICATION. But if you notice, He doesn't just talk about justification of His people. He talks about His own JUSTICE. God is a JUST God. This means that He is faithful to BLESS those who are righteous and CURSE those who are wicked. His justice demands that all who are not righteous MUST be punished. Now to JUSTIFY someone means to declare that the person is RIGHTEOUS, NOT GUILTY. But we read further up in chapter 3 that there's NO ONE who is righteous! We read that no one will be justified by his best efforts to keep the law! So how can it be true that God declares some to be RIGHTEOUS who have no RIGHTEOUSNESS in themselves? It can only be through the perfect righteousness of a substitute! And that substitute is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life. He obeyed the law perfectly for his entire life.
So how does God declare US to be righteous, when it is only Jesus Christ who lived a perfect life? The answer is in Romans 4. Paul first shows that Abraham could not have been justified by his works. He says that justification is not by works; instead, God JUSTIFIES the UNGODLY. And how does God justify the ungodly? The Holy Spirit through Paul goes to the Psalms for the answer. Look at verses 6-8 (Read):
What does it mean that God COUNTS righteousness apart from works? It means that God justifies the ungodly based on a righteousness that is COUNTED to him. Another word for this is IMPUTED. It means LEGALLY CHARGED TO THE ACCOUNT OF. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and was perfectly obedient, even unto death. This righteousness of Christ is IMPUTED to or COUNTED to or CHARGED to God's people. Even though God's people are not righteous in their own character and conduct, they are COUNTED righteous because the righteousness of Christ is IMPUTED to them.
We can see how God remains JUST to JUSTIFY those who are not righteous in and of themselves. Isaiah 45:21 says that God is both a JUST God AND a Savior. How can this be? Because the sins of God's people were imputed to Christ, and Christ bore the punishment that our sins deserved, and because the righteousness of Christ is imputed to God's people, and God declares His people righteous. There are two imputations - sin imputed to Christ, and the righteousness of Christ imputed to God's people. As Paul said in Romans 1, the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel. The gospel means "good news." What is this good news that reveals the righteousness of God? It is the good news that God saves His people based on these two imputations. When the sins of God's people were imputed to Christ, Christ endured the wrath of God for those sins and paid the price in full. When the righteousness of Christ is imputed to His people, God declares His people not guilty. This is good news. This is the righteousness of God that is revealed in the gospel. And this is the righteousness of God that the lost people in Romans 10:1-3 were ignorant of.
So back to our text in Romans 10. Let's read verse 3 again:
Romans 10: (3) For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness of God.
So we've seen that Paul judges these people to be lost because they were ignorant of the righteousness of God, and that righteousness of God is the righteousness that is revealed in the gospel that shows how God is just to justify the ungodly through the effectual work of Jesus Christ alone. Now we get to the next phrase, which is, "and seeking to establish their own righteousness." Here's more logic from Paul. If one is IGNORANT of the righteousness of God whereby He justifies the ungodly based on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone, then one must AUTOMATICALLY be seeking to establish his own righteousness if he wishes to be in favor with God. How does this follow? Think of this scenario: Mr. X desires to be in fellowship and favor with God and to go to heaven. How does he go about fulfilling this desire? Suppose he is ignorant of the fact that God demands perfect righteousness in order for anyone to be in His fellowship and favor and is ignorant of the work of Christ that is the only way in which sinners have fellowship and favor with God. How, then, does he get into fellowship and favor with God and go to heaven? He has to make it up, doesn't he? He has to make up some way in which he gains and maintains God's favor. And by nature, men believe that their own works and efforts can gain and maintain favor with God. So he makes up a religious system in which his own works and efforts gain and maintain favor with God. And in making it up, he is seeking to establish his own righteousness. Now suppose Mr. X has heard a false gospel in which Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception. Mr. X wants to have fellowship and favor with God and go to heaven. How does he do it? Well, he's been told that the work of Jesus Christ was for everybody without exception, including those in hell, so it's not the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. Thus, in order for him to have favor with God, according to this false religion, he needs to do something that makes him to differ from those who go to hell. Then, when he does something, he believes that this something that he did makes the difference between salvation and damnation. He is seeking to establish his own righteousness. And we can think of all kinds of scenarios in which Mr. X believes in false religions like Roman Catholicism or Islam or Hinduism or anything else. If one is ignorant of and does not believe the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ alone, and he wants to have fellowship and favor with God and go to heaven, then he must go about establishing a righteousness of his own whereby he believes he is accepted before God.
Now to the last phrase in verse 3: "they did not submit to the righteousness of God." In being ignorant of the righteousness of God and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they are AUTOMATICALLY not submitting to the righteousness of God. For one thing, they can't submit to what they don't know. And secondly, since seeking to establish their own righteousness is antithetical to submitting to the righteousness of God, one cannot submit to God's righteousness and seek to establish one's own righteousness at the same time. It's either grace or works. To be submitted to the righteousness of God is to be truly humble - to see yourself in the light of God's law and justice, to see that you are unable to meet up to the standard that God requires, to see that you are totally unworthy in and of yourself to receive even the least of God's favors, and to believe that your entire salvation, from regeneration to final glory, is conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone, totally apart from your works and efforts. This is true submission to the righteousness of God. All who are submitted to the righteousness of God believe that the work of Jesus Christ demanded and ensured the salvation of everyone whom He represented. All who are submitted to the righteousness of God believe that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation.
Romans 10:4 summarizes the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel:
Romans 10: (4) For Christ [is] the end of Law for righteousness to everyone that believes.
"End of law" reminds me of Romans 3:21, that says, "But now a righteousness of God has been revealed APART from Law." This means that Jesus Christ met in full the demands of God's holy Law and fulfilled the condition of perfect obedience. Thus, righteousness does not come through our own works and efforts but through the righteousness of Christ that is imputed to us. The Israelites who were seeking to establish their own righteousness did not believe that Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness; instead, in following after a Law of righteousness, they did not arrive at a Law of righteousness, because it was not of faith but as of works of Law. Such is the case when anyone is ignorant of and is not submitted to the righteousness of God that shows how God remains just to justify those who are not righteous in and of themselves.
To close, let us read Isaiah 45:20-21:
Isaiah 45: (20) Gather yourselves and come; draw near together, escaped ones of the nations; the ones who set up the wood of their carved image, and the ones who pray to a god who cannot save; they know nothing. (21) Declare and bring near; yea, let them consult together. Who has revealed this of old; [who] has told it from then? Is it not I, Jehovah? And there [is] no God other than Me; a just God and a Savior; [there is] none except Me.
Notice first in verse 20 that those who pray to a god who cannot save KNOW NOTHING. They certainly have a zeal for their god, since they take time to set up and pray to their carved images, but their zeal is without full KNOWLEDGE. They are IGNORANT of the righteousness of God. Then in verse 21, God says who He REALLY is and what they're ignorant of: God is a JUST God and a SAVIOR. How is God both a JUST God AND a Savior? The sins of God's people were imputed to Christ, and Christ bore the punishment that our sins deserved, and because the righteousness of Christ is imputed to God's people, God declares His people righteous. Two imputations - sin imputed to Christ, and righteousness imputed to God's people. As Paul said in Romans 1, the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel. The gospel means "good news" -- the good news that God saves His people based on these two imputations. When the sins of God's people were imputed to Christ, Christ endured the wrath of God for those sins and paid the price in full. When the righteousness of Christ is imputed to His people, God declares His people not guilty. This is good news! This is the righteousness of God that is revealed in the gospel! Believe it and have everlasting life! Amen.