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things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption: that according as it is written, He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord.”
Some, perhaps, will say, there is a text in Jeremiah which favours the opposite sentiment. The Prophet, speaking with reference to days of the Messiah, says, “his name whereby he shall be called, is, The LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." The Prophet introduces the phrase, The Lord our Righteousness, thus: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called. The Lord our Righteousness.” As Judah and Israel were to be saved, by the righteousness of the righteous Branch, which God would raise up unto David; there was no impropriety in his name being called, not only the Righteous Branch, but the Lord our Righteousness. Not only Judah and Israel must be saved by the Righteous Branch; but there is no other name given under heaven among men. whereby any man can be saved, beside the name of Him, whose name is, The Lord our Righteousness. But it does not follow from this, that the righteousness of Christ is transferred, or imputed to us, in any other sense, than, that we are benefited by it.* This righteousness is the foundation of our salvation, the only ground of hope. Were it not for this Righteous Branch, whose name is, The Lord our Righteousness none could be saved. All mankind must sink into eternal despair. Hience, if we would be saved, we
“They who say, that Christ is made our righteousness, by his righteousness imputed to us, have the same reason to say also, that he is made our wisdom, ny his wisdom, imputed to us,' &c. (Whitky.] "But who can have wisdom, health, or liberty, by imputation!” “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeih righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” If we be not righteous ourselves, the righteousness of another will not save us. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?"
must look to him whose name is The Lord our Righte
“Look upto me,” says God by the prophet Isaiah, "and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God and there is none else. I have sworn by myself; the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear. Surely shall one say, In the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory” The peace of them therefore, who obey the Lord shall be as the River, and their blessedness as the floods of the
But let us illustrate more particularly, by comparing Scripture with Scripture, bow, or in what sense, Christ is The Lord our Righteousness. Christ is The Lord our Righteousness, as it is through his righteousness that we become righteous. By nature, we all are entirely destitute of righteousness There is none righteous, no, not one." We are all, not only destitute of righteousiess, but dead in trespasses and sins. And of ourselves we can never become righteous. Being dead in sin, none can arise but by the mighty power of God. And the saine Power which raised Christ from natural death, is displayed in raising the sinner from moral death. And this glorious display of the power of God in raising sinners from sin to righteousness and true holiness, is through the righteousness of Christ; the righteousness of him whose name is The Lord our Righteousness. This agrees with the saying of the apostle, “By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Paul says to the Colossians, set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye arc dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is Our Life, shall appear, then shall ye also
* Lowth's Translation.
appear with him in glory.” So then Christ is said to be the Life of the believer: but he cannot be the Life of the believer in any other sense than that he is the Cause of the believer's life. So Paul, in another place, says; "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Paul lived a spiritual life: he himself lived: it was not an imputed life. T'he life of Christ was not imputed or transferred to him: he lived, but Christ was the Cause of his living. Had it not been for the righteousness of him whose name is The Lord our Righteousness, Paul would never have lived; he would have remained eternally in a state of moral death.
Jesus said to Martha, after the death of Lazarus, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection, at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am The Resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. Now, does Christ, or the power of Christ, mean the same as the rising of Lazarus from the dead? None can suppose this. Christ's saying, I am the Resurrection, means that he had power to raise the dead.
to raise the dead. Christ was the life of Lazarus, that is, it was Christ who raised him from death. Christ is the Life of the good man that is, it is Christ who raises him to spiritual life. We see by these illustrations in what sense the righteous Branch is The Lord our Righteous ress.
There is a siconcinnity” in the name given to Christ by the prophet. And if good things, yea, the best things coine to us through this name, which is termed The Lord our Righteousness; then let Christ, whose name is the righteous Branch, be celebrated by men and angels for ever and
It is perhaps the opinion of some, that there is a passage in the prophecy of Isaiah, which makes it evident, that the righteousness of Christ is made over,
transferred, or imputed to the believer; for the church in her exalted situation, or the believer personating the church, says; “He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jew
If we examine the sense of the whole chapter, (Isaiah 61,) we shall readily see the sense of the passage now quoted. In the former part of this chapter, Christ is clearly brought into view: For “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, says one who is no doubt the Messiah, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings onto the meek:-to proclaim liberty to the captives; and the opening of the prison to them that are bound:-to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God:--to comfort all that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. Here it is evident, that when the Prophet calls the church, the people of God, Trees of Righteousness, the planting of the Lord, he speaks in metaphorical language. A good man is compared to a good tree, bringing forth good fruit. He is called a Tree of Righteousness; but when this is the case, his character is expressed by a metaphor. The meaning must be that he brings forth the fruit of righteousness, that is, good fruit. The good tree bringeth forth good fruit. Men are known by their fruit. Trees of righteousness, then, are not only good trees, but they appear beautiful without. And us a garment is an outward covering; so the garment of praise is an outward expression, that the heart is filled with gratitude to God for his wonderful goodness. Trees of righteousness, the planting of ihe Lord that he might be glorified, is language expressive of the excellent character, and happy situation of the people of God. God has made thein glorious within and beautiful without, by plant
ing them trces of righteousness, and covering them with the garment of praise. The Lord having done so much for his people, and having expressed it in melaphors, they reply in the same kind of language; "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garment of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels ” God expresses what his church is by these metaphors; Trees of righteousness
, the Planting of the Lord. By planting them and making them trees of righteousness, their mouth is filled with praises; saying, God hath clothed us with the garments of salvation, he has covered us with the robe of righteousness. Thus the saints are represented as acknowledging that all their righteousness and blessedness are from God. The saints will be eternally employed, in acknowledging the goodness and grace of God, in making them trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that God may be glorified. The saints being trees bearing the fruit of righteous. ness, will always express the grace of God in their redemption and salvation. Trees full of fruit may be said to be covered with fruit; and if full of the fiuit of righteousness to be covered with righteousness, or with the robe of righteousness. On such trees the Sun of Righteousness will forever shine. Hence the chuch in her heavenly state, is represented by a symbolical woman, clothed with the sun, and crowned with a crown of twelve stars. She is now clothed with the garment of salvation, and covered with the robe of righteousness. She is therefore properly represented by trees of righteousness, trees of the Lord's planting: these trees bare twelve manner of fruit, and yield their fruit every month; and the leaves of such trees will finally heal the nations.