Wednesday, July 30, 2008

JESUS is Your: Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, Redemption

In I Corinthians 1, the apostle Paul reminds us that without Jesus we are nothing. He even goes so far as to say that we are foolish and weak and base. But that even though we have nothing to be proud of in ourselves, Jesus is made to us who are in Him: wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. (verse 30)

What does that mean? All those attributes can be looked at separately and I believe they also form a progression

Wisdom is the ability to use knowledge with love. The beginning of wisdom according to Proverbs 1:7 is the fear of the Lord. That fear means a holy respect of God based on knowledge of His nature. His nature is absolute Goodness which rejects all badness. To understand that is to acknowledge our need of a Savior from the inherent badness in us all.
To understand that God’s nature is also Love gives us hope that He will do something about our needy condition. Wisdom comes through Jesus to us to show us our need and where to find the answer. Then wisdom is our own and we look to God for salvation.

Righteousness is not only right standing with the Father but rightness or goodness itself. Jesus
“became sin so that we can become the righteousness of God.” (II Cor. 5:21) Jesus didn’t just die on the cross and take the punishment deserved for our sinfulness. He took the sin itself. To understand that takes a revelation from God. Grace and Mercy are beyond human understanding. But Praise the Lord, He did not leave us with only our human understanding. He reveals Himself and His love through His actions. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them.” (II Cor. 5:19) If you have received Jesus as your savior, and been born again, you are now righteous. Not only are you in right standing with the Father, you have within you a righteous or good nature.
But do you ever wonder where it is hiding?

Sanctification is the process of goodness working itself outward from your new born-again spirit through your soul nature: will, mind, and emotions. And then out further into your body, actions, and circumstances.
Think of yourself like Mary who said “Be it done to me according to your word.” And the Holy Spirit came upon her and the life within her was the child of God.
When you asked the Lord to be your Savior, God placed a new life in you. Right now that life is growing and maturing. One day you will celebrate your own Christmas when that new life has matured enough to be seen forever in the world around you.
Unlike Mary you see that new life at work sometimes now. Goodness is a process.
“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:12,13)
You have to cooperate but it is His nature and life inside that is working goodness all through your nature and life.
Redemption is the result of God’s work for you and in you.
“You are not your own, you are bought with a price.”
(I Cor. 6:20) We sing “redeemed by the blood of the Lamb” but do we really know what that means?
Did you or anyone you know ever use a pawn shop. People take something precious there and leave it in exchange for money. They have a certain amount of time to redeem the item…buy it back…before it is sold.
Adam sold himself and his descendents into the hands of the enemy. But in the fullness of time, God sent Jesus to redeem - buy back- Adam’s race.
Every single result of the fall of Adam in the garden is done away with by the blood of Jesus who was given as the redemption price.
The devil is called the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10) He wants you to believe that you deserve bad things. He will even try to make you think God sends bad things to you but he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).
The truth is that you are redeemed (bought back) from all the bad things that happen from being separated from God.
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ…” Gal. 3:13 Sometimes go back in to the Old Testament and read in Deuteronomy 28 to find out what belongs to you and what you are redeemed from.

Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, Redemption – all yours through Jesus Christ.