No Wooden Cross For Us To Carry (Thoughts on the Righteousness of God)

A picture of a cross with a sunset view in the valley

There is no wooden cross for us to carry because God has initiated and manifested righteousness.

“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets” Rom 3:21

It is called the righteousness of God because it was conceived, initiated, and carried out in every part by God himself. 

The first creation was an act of God from the beginning to the end. Man contributed nothing to this creation. He only enjoyed the created things that God had pronounced “very good.”

Likewise, we contribute nothing to the “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is equally an act of God from the inception to the end. Our part in this second creation is to enjoy and not to neglect “so great a salvation” (Hebrews 2:3).

In our capitalist world, we labor to get material things. In the same breath, we imagine that we must work for our salvation too. Our labor-conditioned minds cannot appreciate the proffered free salvation - it’s beyond belief. We even taunt the advocates of this true gospel as “cheap grace” peddlers.

It is this same thing that the Apostle Paul had to contend with in his preaching. The gospel was too good to be true to the ears of the religious leaders. The thought leaders of the established religion of the day could not imagine of righteousness devoid of human effort. Such a gospel was not tenable with their systems of beliefs. So instead of embracing it they fought it tooth and claw to succor the future of their religion.

This battle between the righteousness of God and righteousness emanating from human works still rages on in our time. Across time, the righteousness of God has often been misunderstood and opposed.

Our key text (Romans 3:21) makes a declaration that God has ushered in a new reality. God’s righteousness is no longer a secret. The maze of human traditions, theories, and unbelief cannot hinder or hide it anymore. It is now revealed by God with no strings attached.

God’s righteousness compensates for our unrighteousness. In the real sense, it is our unrighteousness that fits and qualifies us for this righteousness.

Someone has said, “There’s nothing for free in this life, someone must have paid for it.” I submit to you that God's salvation to the human race is free because Christ paid the price.

We need not take long pilgrimage journeys to faraway lands and caves to seek God’s favor. We can do it in the comfort of our houses, offices, and our day-to-day activities with certainty that we are accepted of Him.

There is no wooden cross for us to carry. Christ bore the cross for you and me.

It is God’s will that we receive, enjoy, and accept this righteousness gift in Christ. It is His will that we should bask in the sun of His righteousness.

Is it your desire to receive this gift? You can have it. Whisper a little prayer of faith right now wherever you are. Claim this gift, claim release from the shackles of sin that bind you.

Won’t you?
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Book cover The Cross of Christ by John Stott

Why is the cross so central to the Christian faith? Why did Jesus die? What did his death accomplish?

John Stott in this book answers these and many other questions regarding the cross of Christ. He gives greater clarity on the reality of the cross and the substitutionary atonement. This book is a product of careful biblical exegesis written in simple language - no technical fluff or a long list of references to individuals that would get in the way of the message of the book.

The book is written with the intent of inspiring our hearts to worship God for His immense sacrifice and love for us.

I recommend this book to every Christian. It can be read individually or in a group Bible study.