FURTHER STUDY: Compare Jesus' message to Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) with Paul's teaching regarding righteousness by faith (Romans 3; Galatians 3; Titus 3:5-7). Read "A Truth Bearing the Divine Credentials" and "Christ the Way of Life," Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 359-368.
"Genuine faith appropriates the righteousness of Christ, and the sinner is made an overcomer with Christ; for he is made a partaker of the divine nature, and thus divinity and humanity are combined." -Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 363, 364.
"In ourselves we are sinners; but in Christ we are righteous having made us righteous through the imputed righteousness of Christ, God pronounces us just, and treats us as just. Lie looks upon us as His dear children. Christ works against the power of sin, and where sin abounded, grace much more abounds. 'Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.' "-Selected Messages, book 1, p. 394.
SUMMARY: Jesus presented Nicodemus with five points on righteousness and salvation by faith: (1) the cross makes salvation possible; (2) God forgives the sins of those who accept Jesus and seek pardon; (3) the righteousness of Christ is counted, or reckoned, to those who believe in Christ; (4) the righteousness of Christ is bestowed upon believers by the Holy Spirit; (5) works acceptable to God are the result of faith in Christ and are empowered by the Holy Spirit.