“For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.” (Psalm 25:11)
The righteousness of God is the infinite zeal and joy and pleasure that he has in what is supremely valuable, namely, his own perfection and worth. And if he were ever to act contrary to this eternal passion for his own perfections he would be unrighteous, he would be an idolater. How shall such a righteous God ever set his affection on sinners like us who have scorned his perfections? But the wonder of the gospel is that in this divine righteousness lies also the very Foundation of our salvation. The infinite regard that the Father has for the Son makes it possible for me, a wicked sinner, to be loved and accepted in the Son, because in his death he vindicated the worth and glory of his Father. Now I may pray with new understanding the prayer of the psalmist, “For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great” (Psalm 25:11). The new understanding is that Jesus has now atoned for sin and vindicated the Father’s honor so that our sins are forgiven “on account of his name” (1 John 2:12). The Father’s infinite pleasure in his own perfections is the fountain of our everlasting joy. The fact that the pleasure of God in his Son is pleasure in himself is not vanity. It is the gospel.