“The Receipt”

… having made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high

Heb. 1:3

The Foundation Of Our Salvation

Either God Loves Us Or Not, He Is Legally Bound To Forgive Us

Both love and grace may change, but righteousness is solid and steadfast. God is free either to love us or not to love us. However, He is bound by His righteousness. Now that Christ has died to fulfill God’s righteous requirements, God has put Himself into a position where He is legally bound.

Whether He loves us or not, He is bound by His own righteousness to forgive us. Thus, the foundation of our salvation is righteousness, not love or grace. Psalm 89:14 says, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of thy throne” (Heb.).

The very foundation of God’s throne is also the foundation of our salvation. Can the foundation of God’s throne be shaken? Certainly not. Likewise, the foundation of our salvation cannot be shaken, for this foundation is not love nor grace, but righteousness.

God Has Recognized The Death Of Christ As The Full Payment Of Our Debt

The Bible does not say that love is the power of the gospel; neither does it say that grace is the power of the gospel. But it does reveal that the righteousness of God is the power of the gospel.

If we consider ourselves, we shall realize that we are not lovable nor worthy of God’s grace. We simply do not deserve anything from God. But God is righteous. He put Christ to death on our behalf, and He has recognized the death of Christ as the full payment of our debt.

Christ Sitting At God’s Right Hand Is The Receipt Of Payment

Furthermore, the resurrected Christ sitting at God’s right hand is the receipt of payment. Since God has already issued this receipt, how could He righteously claim payment again from us? If He would do so, we could point Him to Christ and remind Him that He must take care of His righteous position, even the foundation of His throne.

According To His Righteousness He Has No Choice Except To Save Us

We can boldly tell God, “If You don’t deal with me according to Your righteousness, Your throne will be shaken. The important issue is not whether I shall be saved or perish; it is whether or not You will allow the foundation of Your throne to be shaken.

God, for me to perish is a secondary matter. The primary matter is the righteous foundation of Your throne. God, I remind You of Your righteousness. Christ has died for my sins, and He is now at Your right hand as proof that You have received His payment of all my debts.

According to Your righteousness, You have no choice except to save me. Christ has died, You have accepted His death and have resurrected Him from among the dead, and now You are legally bound to forgive me.

By resurrecting Christ You indicated that You were satisfied with His payment and You issued a receipt of payment. O God, if You were not satisfied with Christ, then You should have allowed Him to remain in the tomb.

O Father God, I appreciate Your love and Your grace. But now I stand before You not so much in love or in grace, but in Your righteousness. Now, no matter what my condition is, You must forgive me.”

Have you ever prayed to God in such a way? It pleases Him whenever someone prays like this. This is a prayer that appeals to God according to His righteousness. The gospel of Christ is the power of God because the righteousness of God is revealed in it.

Whether He Is Happy With Us Or Not

By forgiving us God shows forth His righteousness. He makes a declaration to the whole universe that because He is righteous, He must forgive us of our sins. Because His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, was put to death by Him on the cross on our behalf, He is legally obligated to forgive us.

Whether He is happy with us or not, He must forgive us according to His righteousness. God knows that whenever a person points to the resurrected and ascended Christ as the receipt for the payment for sin, God must forgive that one. In this matter, God has no choice.

Looking At The Ascended Christ

We should not look at ourselves, but look at the ascended Christ. Hebrews 1:3 says that after Christ made purification for sins, He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

The ascended Christ seated at the right hand of God is the receipt for the payment for our forgiveness. This is a matter of tremendous significance, for it is the foundation of our salvation.

Whenever our conscience condemns us because of our failures, we need to remember to stand upon the foundation of God’s righteousness. You may be fervent for the Lord today. But in the future, you may fail Him and therefore become very disappointed with yourself, unable to believe that God could ever forgive you.

If you remain under this feeling of condemnation and disappointment, you will not be able to rise up. Instead, you may become subject to the subtlety and deception of the enemy. At such a time you need to praise God for His righteousness.

Tell Him that no matter how much you have failed, Christ is still at His right hand as the receipt for payment for all your debts. Our experience may fluctuate, but God remains righteous. Whenever we claim the blood of Jesus and appeal to God’s righteousness, God has no choice except to forgive us (1 John 1:9).


All quotations in this post, unless otherwise noted, are from Life-Study Of Romans, message 57 by Witness Lee. Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA, U.S.A. 1989. Source: ministrybooks.org

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