“For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.”
- Romans 5:19
“What is justification? A. Justification is an act of God's free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.”
- Westminster Shorter Catechism 1:33
“(Christ’s) Obedience, therefore, is not something that may be construed of artificially or abstractedly. It is obedience that enlisted all the resources of his perfect humanity, obedience that resided in his person, and obedience of which he is ever the perfect embodiment. It is obedience that finds it permanent efficacy and virtue in him. And we become the beneficiaries of it, indeed partakers of it, by union with him.”
-John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, p. 24
Several years ago at a regional conference pastor Mark Driscoll referred to some of his Mondays as ‘bread-truck Mondays.’ He and his wife coined this phrase to describe those funk-filled Mondays that followed a full Sunday and the oft-times inevitable post-Sunday let-down. For a pastor Mondays can be a day of critical self-evaluation and second-guessing. For Driscoll these were the Mondays when he felt like driving a bread truck. Here he could turn on sports radio and mindlessly deliver loaves of bread throughout downtown Seattle. Oftentimes the pastor is his own worst enemy. There is a realization of not doing or not saying everything he should have, or of saying things he shouldn’t have. There can be a sense of overwhelming inadequacy in the preaching task. What do we do when our weakness is tragically apparent? Somewhere along the way smarter men than me have coined the phrase ‘Christ’s active obedience.’ This is simply theological shorthand for describing the continual, conscious, unfettered, compliant, glad, and actual obedience of Christ at all times to the will of God. There was never a time when Christ did not obey the Father. One of the wonderful aspects of our salvation is the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us. What this means is that Christ’s righteousness in His active obedience to the Father has become my righteousness. In my trust in Christ His continual, conscious, unfettered, compliant, glad and actual obedience have become mine. In Him there was never any want of conformity to, or transgression of, the Law of God (Westminster Shorter Catechism Q. 14). This is good news. Understanding the imputation of Christ’s righteousness will help us when we fall woefully short whether we are preachers or homemakers. To consider that Christ has fulfilled all righteousness for me is my only hope on bread-truck Mondays.