Christ is Our All in All!
“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” (1 Cor. 1:30).
What an amazing heritage and inheritance we have in Christ! As believers, we know that all that we have in the Christian life is because of our identity in and union with Christ. Jesus is our all in all, always, and all of the glory goes to Him, both now and forevermore! As Paul writes to this church in Corinth, as you well know, he has to deal with a lot of challenging situations and terrible sin. To teach and instruct them in holy living, he begins the letter by reminding them that they belong to Christ and are called holy (1:2). However, all throughout the letter he reminds them again and again that everything they have now, and will have eternally, goes back to Him.
In the verse listed above, Paul first tells the Corinthians that Christ is their wisdom, indeed, the very wisdom of God. Wisdom is knowing how to properly apply truth and knowledge to everyday living. Wisdom is what allows us to live rightly before God and before men. The wisdom of God always trumps the wisdom of man. Jesus, as the God-man, came, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, perfectly lived out the wisdom of God in word, deed, action, and emotion. He never failed to be anything other than perfect wisdom and, thus, He is our wisdom today. Therefore, because of Christ, we have the ability to live out the wisdom of God in our own lives. We now have the privilege of displaying the knowledge and truth of God to those around us. Because Christ is your wisdom, will you live today in His power and show those around you what divine wisdom looks like? In him, you can show wisdom in your reactions, your decisions, your behavior, and your general manner of living. The world is in desperate need of seeing wisdom lived out. And we, who are in Christ, who have the wisdom of God, and who have Christ as our wisdom, can show the world what they need – the wisdom of God.
Secondly, Jesus is our righteousness. As we stand before the holy throne of God, we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ. The dirty garments of our sin and wickedness have been thrown off, and we have been clothed with a righteousness that is not our own. This “alien righteousness” is what brings us into a right standing with God. Christ took our wickedness and gave us His perfection. Therefore, righteousness, which is the perfect moral character of God, has been given to us in Christ. In His strength, we can live this out by doing that which is good and true and right. Because He is our righteousness, we can live out in a righteous way what we have received from Him. We can love His commands, and we can live according to them. That will show itself in your use of words, in your use of your time, talent, and treasure, and in the attitudes of your heart. Will you, today, live out this righteousness, showing the world what it is to be good and upright and just in daily living? Righteousness is much needed today, but it can only be lived out by those who are in Christ.
Thirdly, Jesus is our sanctification. That is another word for holiness. Holiness means, in the first instance, that we have been set apart for a holy purpose and divine design. Jesus came and was set apart to be our sacrifice for sin; indeed, to be the propitiation of our sin, satisfying the holy demands of a righteous God. Because He was sanctified, set apart for God, we are set apart in Him for holy service to our Holy God for His eternal glory. Sanctification also means to be holy in one’s practice and nature. Jesus was completely holy in all of his actions, words, and thoughts, and that sanctification has been given to us in the “great exchange” at the cross. Our wickedness and impurities were exchanged for His holiness. Therefore, as God looks at us through the “Son-glasses” of Jesus, He sees us as holy, as set apart for service. Now, we, who have been declared holy in our position before God, can become holy in our practice before God and before men. For those who have tasted of this holiness, they know that there is no more joyful way to live. What could be more enjoyable than becoming more like Jesus, the ultimate manifestation of God’s holiness? Do you long for the holiness of God to become a greater reality in your life? That is a mark of salvation. Will you, this day, live in such a way that people will see what holiness looks like? Holiness in your thoughts? Holiness in your words? Holiness in where you go and what you do when you get there? Holiness is what will allow us to see God one day. Holiness, done in the power of Christ, is a joyfully lived-out life for his glory.
Lastly, Jesus is our redemption. Redemption is paying the price to set someone free from slavery. In this case, it refers to the slavery of sin. God redeemed Israel from the slavery of Egypt. It required a great price, and it was a great redemption. In a far greater way today, however, God has redeemed us from the slavery of sin. In Christ, God delivered us from the kingdom of darkness and death and brought us into the Kingdom of Light and Life. Jesus was the price to be paid for our sin. In His perfect life and sacrifice, He bore God's Wrath on the cross. He took our rejection of God, our contempt of God, and our rebellion against God, and He made them His own. He bore the wrath that we deserved, paying the price required to set us free from sin. In that act of deliverance, He is our Redemption. He is Our Redeemer. In Him, we find our protection and cover from the judgment of sin. As a blood-bought, precious, chosen child of God, will you live out your redemption on a daily basis? Will you let the world see what a person set free from sin looks like and lives like? Being stuck in sin is so normal that seeing one set free from sin will not fail to gain the attention of those around us. As they look and as they see, we will be able to communicate the Gospel to a needy audience. Live as those set free from sin and now free to love the Lord with heart, soul, mind, and strength.
As we look at this wonderful, four-fold blessing that we have in Christ: wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, there is only one suitable response for us to have – and that is to give him all the praise and the honor and the glory! Thus, it is fitting to conclude with what Paul said in 1 Cor. 1:31: “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” My friends, we are indeed a blessed people. May God, is His grace and strength, show us how to live out that great blessing.