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
The title of today’s message may lead many people to think that Jesus died for us on the cross. And that’s true, He did that for us; but we must understand the true meaning of the sacrifice of Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 1:30, the apostle Paul tells us that Christ was made by God wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Therefore, His death on the cross had specific purposes that have to do with every human being who receives Him and place their faith in Him.
Righteousness is the action of making someone righteous before God. Righteousness happens when God declares that whoever puts his faith in Christ is righteous. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. That is, Jesus became our substitute on the cross so that we could become “righteous” before God. We were guilty, but God has declared us righteous. Our righteousness reaches us unreservedly, for the price paid by Jesus in our place.
There are doctrinal discrepancies among Christians regarding the meaning of sanctification. Many agree that sanctification means being separated to God. Others understand that sanctification includes all that God does in us by His Spirit in releasing us from the power and presence of original sin. And there are those who say that sanctification involves the work of the person. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 says, But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
Through the redemption of Christ He has delivered us from guilt. Romans 3:24 says, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. The word redeem means “to buy.” The term was used specifically with reference to the payment of a slave’s freedom. The application of this term to the death of Christ on the cross means exactly that. If we are “redeemed,” then our precondition was slavery. God has paid for our freedom, and we are no longer under the bondage of sin or Old Testament law.
Taking our place on the cross, Jesus did many things for us. We were all unrighteous because we had broken the Law of God through sin. We did not deserve to receive an acquittal; but the righteous Jesus carried on His blessed shoulders our guilt and received the condemnation that corresponded to each one of us: the sentence of death for our sins. That also opened the doors to the Holy of Holies to gain access to the Holy God. And He redeemed us, paying the price for our ransom from the slavery of sin.
Do you realize what Jesus did for you and me? Certainly we who sinned were us, not Him. The wages of sin is death and that is exactly what we deserve. Neither you nor I are good enough to deserve to be justified by God. Only grace, undeserved favor gives us the opportunity to be justified, sanctified, and redeemed. What do you wait to give your life to Jesus Christ? He already gave His for you. God bless you.