Thursday, 3 April 2014
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 1 Corinthians 1:30
In the past four verses, Paul has written about the workings of God, specifically mentioning “God” three times:
1) God has chosen the foolish things of the world
2) God has chosen the weak things of the world
3) The base things of the world and the things which are despised, God has chosen
After that, he noted that because of God’s efforts “no flesh should glory in His presence.” Because all was a work of God, then we come before Him with empty hands. There can be no boasting in self because of the work of another.
And so in verse 30, he begins with “But of Him.” This is speaking of God who has been noted as the One who has accomplished the work of reconciliation which began with His selection of us. It is “of Him,” meaning God, that “you are in Christ Jesus.” God selected us and God did the work for us through His Son. Because we have received the work of Christ, we are “in” Christ. We move from Adam to Christ, from death to life, from condemnation to salvation.
We have moved into a positional relationship with God by being in Christ Jesus “who became for us wisdom from God.” As seen in the previous verses, the calling of God is predominantly among the weak, the base, the despised, and etc., according to the world’s standards. And even those who are highly intellectual, mighty, or noble had to let go of self and humble themselves before God. This is because the great attribute they possess is actually nothing before Him. Rather than our own wisdom, we find the wisdom from God when we find Christ. All things make sense: life has purpose, the reason why we are here suddenly becomes clear, the Scriptures with their unusual stories suddenly clear up and are understandable. It is in Christ, and only in Him, that such wisdom can be obtained.
And along with the wisdom, we also receive more. In Christ there is:
1) “Righteousness.” Before coming to Christ, we were unrighteous. As humans we bear sin, both inherited and committed. Sin is an offense to God and thus we are born in and continue in unrighteousness until it is removed in Christ. At the cross, a transfer is made. Our unrighteousness is transferred to Him to be removed at His death and His righteousness is imputed to us (2 Corinthians 5:21).
2) “Sanctification.” Because of our position in Christ, we are sanctified by His Spirit. Prior to Christ, we were deemed unholy and unclean before God. But our position in Him means that we are considered holy and pure. This doesn’t mean that we have actually attained this state, but that we are regarded as such because of Christ. In position, we are sanctified.
3) “Redemption.” Jesus said that the one who sins is a slave to sin (John 8:34). John confirms that he who sins is of the devil (1 John 3:8). Because we are born into sin and continue in a life of sin, the devil is our master. But Christ Jesus can redeem us from this through His work. When we receive Him by faith, we are redeemed from the power of the devil. Because we are so redeemed, we are in Christ and can never lose this position. This truth is noted in 2 Corinthians 5:19 –
“For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.”
If we falter, it doesn’t change our position because God is “no longer counting” our sins against us. The doctrine of eternal salvation is written all over this concept. What kind of a Savior would come only to provide eternal insecurity? Rather, in Him we are declared righteous, we are sanctified, and we are redeemed. This is the marvelous work of God in Christ for us!
Life application: To be in Christ is the sweetest place to be.
Lord God, You sent Jesus to justify a sinner such as I. I receive Him. You sent Jesus to sanctify us from our impurity. I receive Him. And You sent Jesus to redeem us from the power of the sin. I receive Him. Thank You for the work of Christ. In Him, I have found peace with You. Thank You for the infinitely glorious work of Jesus my Lord. Amen.