First Lesson - Ezekiel 36:13-28
Second Lesson - Romans 4:1-25
Here [Philippians 3:7-11] Paul clearly explains the righteousness of faith and what is consists of: that God looks at His Son and for His sake permits us not to suffer for our sins; Instead, He regards us as righteous, as if we were neither sinners nor corrupted by nature. He looks at the power of Christ's resurrection and our sharing of His suffering, for Christ's suffering and death are our death, and we become like Him through faith; we enjoy the power of His resurrection. Similarly he writes in Romans 4:25: "He was put to death for our trepasses and was raised for our justification." That means: As soon as Christ rose from the dead, the power of His resrrection was so great that whoever believed on Him was no longer considered a sinner but was considered righteous in God's sight - for he had put on the obedience of Christ, which He rendered the Father even unto death. It is written (Galatians 3:27): "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Again (Colossians 2:12-14): "You were buried with Him in baptism in which you were also raised with Him through faith, which God effects, God, who raised raised Him from the dead. And you, who were dead in sin, God made alive with Him, having forgiven us all our sins, having canceled the bond which stood against us."
From all this it is plain and clear that when Holy Scripture speaks of the righteousness of faith and of our justification in God's sight, nothing else can be understood but this: (1) how we are declared utterly free in God's sight of our sins, which we have committed, which still cling to our flesh, which we cannot completely lay aside as long as we live in this world; and (2) what God looks upon and why He will notregard us as sinners and does not cast us away and condemn us eternally as sinful, disobedient children: because of the obedience of Christ, which He rendered to His Father even unto death as the satisfaction and payment for our sins and as our righteousness.