In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. In previous weeks we’ve started looking at how God created humans. We’ve seen that God created humans male and female; with living, reasoning and immortal souls; in God’s image; and with a knowledge of him. This week I want to look at how God created humans righteous.
In the beginning God made humans morally righteous. We see this right after God makes Adam. God looks on Adam and the rest of creation with satisfaction: ‘God saw all that he had made, and it was very good’ (Genesis 1:31). Adam is not unrighteous and bad, rather, Adam is righteous and very good. This is why he can be naked with Eve and feel no shame: ‘The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame’ (Genesis 2:25).
However, humans did not remain in the holy state that they were created in. Humans sinned against God and now every human born is unrighteous: ‘There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins’ (Ecclesiastes 7:20). Therefore all humans deserve to be punished for their unrighteousness. Paul says: ‘The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction’ (Galatians 6:8).
But thankfully God does not leave us in our unrighteousness, he often recreates humans in righteousness. This is what Jesus is talking about when he says to Nicodemus, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again’ (John 3:3). Paul also describes humans being recreated as righteous: ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). How do you get to be recreated as righteous? Paul says in that quote that you must be ‘in Christ’. So how do you get ‘in Christ’? Paul says elsewhere that you are found ‘in Christ’ by faith: ‘What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith’ (Philippians 3:8-9).
Have you been recreated as righteous by God through faith in Christ?