Christ, Our Righteousness
In Jesus Christ there is sure salvation, because He is our righteousness.
Today’s reading: Jeremiah 23-24; 2 Timothy 2
5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’ Jeremiah 23:5-6
8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2:8-10
The prophet Jeremiah had the uncomfortable, but important, task of denouncing the failed, rebellious kings and prophets of Judah. God promised to punish them, but He also gave hope to the faithful among the people. Here we have a clear promise of a future king, of the lineage of David, who would deal wisely, execute justice and righteousness, and bring salvation and security to Judah and Israel. This and other prophecies kept the believing remnant of Israel hopeful until Jesus Christ, the Messiah, came [e.g. Luke 2:25-38]. Jeremiah and his contemporaries probably could have not imagined in their wildest dreams the extent of this prophecy. God did everything He promised and far more, by calling to Himself through Christ people from every tribe, nation, and tongue, all His elect down through history who in one voice confess, “The Lord is our righteousness.” [1 Corinthians 1:30].
Paul was concerned that the Church, which was beginning to reflect this global, cross-cultural composition, would be faithful to the gospel and to her head, Jesus Christ. He gives instructions to Timothy about preaching the word, appointing qualified godly leaders (see 1 Timothy), and insuring that the truths taught by the apostles to men like Timothy be passed on from generation to generation. Timothy needed to be careful about his own life, being watchful to avoid distracting entanglements with the world and foolish, ignorant controversies. He must do his best in handing the word of God. To do these things he will need to always keep Jesus Christ central in his mind. Ultimately, Timothy, Paul, Jeremiah and all other faithful believers down through history are united with us today to say “He is our righteousness!”
God’s word proclaims that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, but in Christ all who call upon Him are declared righteous before God. Be sure that is your confession and hope, even while you seek to be faithful in your service for Him.