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Jesus Christ — Our Righteousness (Part 1)

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Onward Christian Soldiers #44

1 Corinthians 1:30: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”

In his letter to the believers at Corinth, Paul tells them that Jesus has become four things for us that we cannot be on our own. Without God, we cannot be wise, righteous, sanctified, or redeemed. In His grace and mercy, God has allowed us to obtain these things through Jesus Christ. Let’s look at what each of these things mean very briefly.

1. Jesus Christ has become wisdom for us. Our passage states, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom…“ In His teaching and in His life, we see God’s wisdom. We receive God’s wisdom by taking heed to Jesus’ words and we become wise by following in Jesus’ footsteps.

2. Jesus Christ has become righteousness for us. Our passage states, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us…righteousness…“ Being righteous means that we are declared “not guilty” before God. The righteous character of Jesus is accounted to us because we are washed in his blood.

3. Jesus Christ is our sanctification. Our passage states, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us…sanctification…“ To be sanctified means to be separate from the world and dedicated to God. When we were saved, Jesus claimed us as one of His own, and thereby, we belong to God.

4. We have our redemption through Jesus Christ. Our passage states, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us…redemption…“ The word redeem is connected to the practice of slavery. When a person paid for their own freedom, he was said to have redeemed himself. However, we could not pay for our own freedom from the slavery of sin, so Jesus Christ paid for it for us. He became our redemption.

Today, we are going to focus on Jesus Christ as Our Righteousness.

1. God’s Holiness and Our Unholiness

Man was created to glorify God and to enjoy fellowship with Him, but because of man’s rebellion and sin, he became separated from God. The purpose of salvation is to bring us back into right relationship with the holy God so that we may once again enjoy fellowship with Him.

Because we are sinful human beings, it is almost impossible for us to understand or even conceive of the holiness of God. The Bible teaches that God is all light and glory. He is perfect in righteousness and purity. He is absolutely holy and without sin. Many times in the Bible darkness stands for sin, and the Bible says of God, “…God is light, and in Him is no darkness [no sin] at all.”

The prophet Isaiah once had a vision in which he saw the Lord God on His throne. Around the throne were heavenly beings who were praising God, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.”

Isaiah was so overcome by what he saw of the glory and holiness of God that he cried out, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”

What was it that caused Isaiah to say, “Woe is me, for I am undone”? It was his sense of sinfulness. Isaiah realized that he did not have the righteousness he needed to be in the presence of the holy and glorious God. And no man on his own has that righteousness.

2. We Need a Righteousness Acceptable to God

To enjoy fellowship with God, we must not only know that we have been forgiven of every sin but we must also know that we are clothed with a righteousness that is acceptable to God.

There is a difference between forgiveness and righteousness. Forgiveness is like taking a bath; righteousness is like putting on clothes. We take a bath that we might be cleansed from all impurities. We put on clothes that we might be properly dressed to appear before people.

When we expect to visit important people, we always think, “What shall I wear?” If we had an audience with the president or with a king, we would be very concerned about our clothing.

When we pray to God or enjoy fellowship with Him, we are, in a sense, coming into His presence. And when we think about coming into the presence of the holy God, we realize that we must be clothed in a special way. We must be clothed with a righteousness that is acceptable to God.

What kind of righteousness does God accept? The only kind of righteousness which is acceptable to God is a perfect righteousness found in Jesus Christ.

3. How is Jesus Christ Our Righteousness?

Can we produce a righteousness that is acceptable to God? No, we cannot. The Bible says in Romans 3:10 and 12: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Even our “righteousnesses” — the best things we do — cannot make us acceptable to God. The Bible says in Isaiah 64:6, “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…”

we can never be righteous on our own, so God has provided a way for us to be righteous by giving us His Son, Jesus Christ. First Corinthians 1:30 says, “But of him [of God] are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us righteousness.” The words IN CHRIST express the glorious position God has given to the believer. We ourselves are not righteous, but God has put us IN CHRIST, so that when God looks at us, He does not see us as we are; He sees only Christ. Because we are IN CHRIST, we have a perfect righteousness before God.

Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” We are made “the righteousness of God” IN CHRIST. This righteousness is perfect because Christ is perfect. This righteousness never changes because Christ never changes. This righteousness is now our righteousness because we are IN CHRIST. Only those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior can be made the “righteousness of God.”

This perfect righteousness is not obtained by our works. We cannot produce it ourselves. It is given to us as a free gift through the sacrifice of Christ..

The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:8-9, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

This wonderful gift of perfect righteousness is for all believers. The moment we believed, God put us IN CHRIST and we received this perfect righteousness. We can rejoice with Isaiah who said, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.”

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If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Until next time, May the Lord Bless You!