I can certainly remember when I qualified for the South African driver’s license. It was July 31st 2017, 10:45am. The testing station was at Bedfordview and the examiner was a Mr. Niekerk – a soft-spoken, non-threatening and unassuming gentleman who guided me through the test. I arrived at the test station at 10am in a mad rush because I had miscalculated some appointments. He did some paperwork and went ahead to explain what the test would entail and after a few minutes led me to the yard.
I must say the test went very well. I passed the test the first time. I am one of the few that could actually attest to the fact that they did the test and passed it the first time. For most people it is a harrowing experience.
After the test he did his calculations and informed me that I had passed the test. He was happy for me. I had officially qualified as a holder of the South African driver’s license. I paid and received a temporary driver’s license that I could use on the roads for 8 weeks until my valid license arrived.
It gets interesting from here…
So, guess what I did after I got my license? Take a guess. I left the testing station and went looking for traffic cops. That’s what I did. I went on a hunting spree looking for traffic cops. I sourced them out at their favorite spots. I was like bring it on guys. I was high on confidence. I was bold. I was singing in the car. I was in seventh heaven. I knew if they dared stop me, I’d just show them the license. I was excited. Weird right? I know, I know.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet any traffic cops. The next day I went looking for them, but I didn’t find them. The third day I did the same thing. On my fourth try, I finally found them but they didn’t stop me. I was beginning to get frustrated. Finally, a week later I went to pick up some goodies and when I turned a corner, the traffic cops were there. It was a massive road block. The cops were conducting searches on cars passing through that area. A lady cop stopped me and then explained to me the reason for the road block and requested for my driver’s license. My time had come. Yes, ma’am I said to her! Confidently and without hesitation, I gave the lady cop my temporary driver’s license. She took a good look at it, searched my car, and let me on my way.
Driving away I shouted inside the car, “Wow, finally, yes, yes, yes”….. I was ecstatic.
Days later still on the high of my driver’s license road block experience, I begun thinking about my driver’s license and it dawned on me that this is how the gospel works.
The traffic cops represent the Law of God with its requirements and demands. The Law of God has requirements and demands – You have to fulfill certain demands and criteria to be blessed, accepted, and favored. You have to DO to RECEIVE. You have to OBEY to be BLESSED. Deuteronomy 28 is a perfect representation of this idea.
If you will Do – I will bless you
If you don’t DO – I will curse you
The driver’s license was proof that I am a qualified driver – that I had met requirements and demands needed to legally drive on the road. The driver’s license qualified me to face the traffic cops without any fear. The driver’s license represents Christ’s righteousness that has been imputed on me. This is exactly what Christ’s righteousness that has been imputed in us does for us. When we are clothed in Christ righteousness, in essence we have met all the righteous requirements of the law.
Check out what Paul says in Romans 8:3-4 NKJV
For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
A common acronym for justification is just-as-if-I-have-never-sinned. The gospel makes this true. When I stand before the perfect law of God, I stand clothed in Christ’s righteousness in me. I stand just as if I have always obeyed all of the Ten Commandments. Therefore, I can receive and enjoy all the blessings and privileges and not receive the punishment for breaking any of the laws. This is the gospel. This is amazing grace.
How did I qualify for my driver’s license? I did the test and qualified. In the case of Christ’s imputed righteousness on me, He did the test and I qualified.
Jesus did the test and I qualified.
When did Jesus take the test?
He took the test in the wilderness and passed. (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13) The children of Israel failed the test in their wilderness journeys. Both tests took place in the wilderness and only Jesus passed the test.
He took the test at the garden of gethsemane and passed. (Matthew 26:36-44) Adam failed the test in the garden of Eden. Both tests took place in a garden and only Jesus passed the test.
He passed the test and we qualified. God blesses, accepts and favors us on account of Jesus’ performance. And boy didn’t Jesus pass the test with flying colors? Wow
My driver’s license has some limitations. Under South African law, if I commit six traffic related offenses, guilty of driving under the influence of liquor or drugs, exceed the speed limit, or overload my car, my drivers license can be suspended for up to 24 months. One more thing – I have to renew my license every five years. The driver’s license has a limited period of use.
The righteousness I now have because of Jesus is irrevocable. The righteousness by faith is permanent. It has a life time warranty. I don’t have to renew this righteousness every five years. No matter how I act, I can never lose it. It can never be suspended. I can never get penalty points. I can never be found guilty or condemned. Never!
How come? Firstly, this righteousness didn’t come to me because I acted right. It came to me because I believed on the one who lived and did right. It’s faith on Jesus’ performance for me that qualified me for this righteousness. It’s Jesus’ obedience that made me righteous. Therefore, I cannot lose it because I act bad. On the flip side, I am not blessed or rewarded because I do good things. I am blessed because of Christ’s imputed righteousness on me. It’s all Jesus – first to last.
It’s faith on his performance for me that qualified me for this righteousness. It’s his obedience that made me righteous.It’s all Jesus – first to last.
What gave me this confidence that I could face the traffic cops? The driver’s license. What gives me confidence to face the Law of God? The righteousness of God by faith through Christ Jesus.
With the righteousness by faith, the Law has no more condemnation over me because I am in Christ Jesus who fulfilled all the requirements and demands of the Law for me and as me. (Romans 8:1)
I am forever righteous. Even if I sin or fail, my righteousness can never be revoked. It is permanent.
The clincher for me is this – Because of Jesus, I have fully obeyed the Law of God. In God’s estimation, I have never broken any of His Laws. I am forever righteous.
That’s what grace looks like