There's a quote from Jerry Bridges that has been making the rounds over the past few days. I get a squirmy feeling when I read it, but I seem to be the only one who thinks this may not be quite right:

"Justified" is not "Just as if I'd never sinned." That is a great truth. But it is actually better than that: "Just as if I'd always obeyed." God has credited the very righteousness of Jesus Christ to every believer. - Jerry Bridges (from a recent message at PCRT 2009 Sacramento)

While I do believe that God has, indeed, credited the very righteousness of Jesus Christ to every believer, I'm not sure that is the same thing as saying it is "just as if I'd always obeyed."

If it were truly as if I had never sinned and I had always obeyed, then why would Christ need to intercede for me before the throne of God? Is it not rather that we are clothed in His righteousness and we have been forgiven rather than the idea that all our past is totally expunged? Even when we are glorified with Christ, will we ever really experience salvation as if we had lived a perfect life? If so, from whence would our eternal praise to the Lamb come?

So many prominent men are rejoicing in this phrase that it makes me wonder if I have misunderstood justification. I'm afraid I haven't phrased my question very well. I hope that you can figure out what I'm trying to express.

Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine