Active/Passive Obedience of Christ
"Jesus lived the life we should have lived, and died the death we should have died!" - Dr. Tim Keller
"...the Lord Christ fulfilled the whole law for us; He did not only undergo the penalty of it due unto our sins, but also yielded that perfect obedience which it did require... Christ's fulfilling of the law, in obedience unto its commands, is no less imputed unto us for our justification than His undergoing the penalty of it is." - John Owen
The righteousness which is of the law (Lev 18:5 & Rom. 10:5) is a righteousness which is based upon and demands perfect and entire obedience to all the commands of God's law (Wilckens). Thanks be to God who sent His Son Jesus who did this very thing... "fulfilling the law" for us (living the life we should have lived), and dying the death we deserve, doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. "...Law righteousness" (Rom 10:5) comes through human performance or activity as its basis or ground, but the "righteousness by faith" (Rom 10:6) is a righteousnes that is exclusive of human endeavor and is received through faith." (Guy Waters) The former is an impossible supposition after "the fall" (But God's demand for perfection has not changed), and the later is made a reality because Christ fulfilled all righteousness on our behalf. The Scripture says as a human being "because of his reverence. ...he learned obedience ... And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek." Heb 5:9-10
Dr. Robert L. Reymond defines the active obedience of Christ as:
“Christ’s full obedience to all the prescriptions of the divine law…[making] available a perfect righteousness before the law that is imputed or reckoned to those who put their trust in him.
Dr. Robert L. Reymond defines the passive obedience of Christ as:
“[Christ's] willing obedience in bearing all the sanctions imposed by that law against his people because of their transgression…[being] the ground of God’s justification of sinners (Rom. 5:9), by which divine act they are pardoned…”