The Bridge Chicago is a way to offer the resources of Mission:USA to help people do good ministry.
What is the difference between God is righteous and God is faithful? Why God is righteous in making the sinner righteous?
This is one of those age old theological questions. It is normally phrased a little differently: how can God be loving and be just. It is a fundamental question to the Christian faith and it is a great thing to take a long look at.
The two ideas that have to be reconciled are that God is just, so Sin has to have a punishment; and God is loving, so we have the opportunity to avoid the punishment of Sin and be with him forever in Heaven. The answer to that is that Jesus took our punishment on the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says: “God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus took the punishment for our sin, which He could because He was sinless, and because of that our sentence has been paid and we can be free.
Your second question is fascinating: Why is God righteous in making the sinner righteous? It’s not that God increases His righteousness by making us righteous, righteousness is a yes or no thing. God is and people, without intervention, are not. God is righteous whether or not He saves us. God saves us out of love. Righteousness is the vehicle. It is because Jesus was sinless that his sacrifice makes us righteous. Romans 4:24-25 says “God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
So God’s righteousness and faithfulness are the key drivers behind our salvation. Because God is righteous He can credit the righteousness of Jesus to us, and because He is faithful, he followed through on His promise to fix the problem of Sin through Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross.
-Matt from The Bridge