But now the righteousness of God has been manifested…This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. (Rom. 3:21, 25)
When you first consider it, you wouldn’t think that a little baby would be a statement of righteousness from God, would you? But the righteousness of God is supremely shown in Jesus Christ.
What is righteousness? Wayne Grudem defines it this way, “God’s righteousness means that God always acts in accordance with what is right and is himself the final standard of what is right.”
God is righteous, and so he cannot just let sins go by. The issue that Paul brings up in Romans is the passing over or overlooking of sins that were committed before Jesus came. Did God just let all those sins go without judging them? The answer is no, he didn’t let them go.
God is a just God. He is just and righteous in all that he does. In his patience he was looking forward to the fact that Jesus would be the one who would make God’s children righteous. God, before Jesus came to earth, was looking forward to that day when he would judge all the sins of all his children in the person of Jesus Christ.
When we sing of the glories of his righteousness, we are singing about Jesus. Jesus displayed in a beautiful and amazing fashion God’s righteousness. Jesus provided the means by which sinful people could receive God’s mercy, experience God’s forgiveness, and live in a right relationship with God, as if we had never sinned. What a glorious God!