Made the Righteousness of God IN HIM

At 2 Cor. 5: 21 Paul writes of being "made the righteousness of God in Him". At Phil. 3: 9 he speaks of being "found in Him", not having his own righteousness but the righteousness which is of God by faith. Being "in Him" refers to being "in Christ", and being "in Christ" refers to the New Man or the New Creation--the Body of Christ:

"Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of two one New Man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one Body by the cross" (Eph. 2: 15-16).

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a New Creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5: 17).

When a sinner believes the gospel then at that time the Holy Spirit baptizes him into the Body of Christ: "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body...the Body of Christ" (1 Cor. 12: 13, 27). At that time the believer is completely identified with both the "death" and "life" of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This identification with the life of the Lord Jesus is so complete that Paul says that the believer is "risen" with Christ and "sits" together with Him at the right hand of the Father: "Even when we were dead in sins, hath made us alive together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved), And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2: 5-6).

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God...For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory" (Col. 3: 1).

Not only is the believer told that he is risen with Christ but he is also told that his life is "hidden with Christ" and that the Lord Jesus "is our life": "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son" (1 Jn. 5: 11). This is not a reference to the future state, but instead it is the place and calling of the Christian here and now. For it is a present truth that the believer has been "translated into the kingdom of His dear Son" (Col. 1: 13). All believers are to know that "our citizenship is in heaven" (Phil. 3: 20). This position as members of the Body of Christ is fully entered the moment that the sinner believes the "gospel of grace": "That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same Body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel" (Eph. 3: 6).

Ye are Complete in Him

"For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, Who is the Head of all principality and power" (Col. 2: 9-10).

Since all believers are "complete in Him" there is nothing left for believers to do in order to attain eternal life. The believer's salvation is based on the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ and not on his own righteousness. Christ has done it all, and all believers are complete and secure in Him: " them who are sanctified by God, the Father, and perserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love be multipied" (Jude 1-2). A believer's salvation is not of himself but instead it is the free gift of God: "For by grace ye are saved through faith: and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2: 8-9).

The spiritual and hidden meaning of the parable of the "Good Samartian" illustrates the fact that that the Lord Jesus has done it all in regard to salvation for the believer:

" A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee" (Lk. 10: 30-35).

In this parable the Lord Jesus reveals how a ruined sinner can be saved:

" The traveller upon the road from the city of blessing to the city of the curse is robbed of his all, and left wounded almost to death, and helpless. A priest and a Levite pass by. Why a priest and a Levite? Because He would thus impersonate the law and, in a word, religion. These could help a man who was able to help himself, but for the helpless sinner they can do nothing. 'But a certain Samaritan came where he was.' Why a Samaritan? Because He would teach that the Saviour is One whom, but for his ruin and misery, the sinner would despise and repel. 'And'- let us mark the words -'when he saw him he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him;' and at the inn he paid the reckoning, and made provision for his future."

"In every detail the story has its counterpart in spiritual truth. It tells of a Saviour who saves; who comes to a sinner where he is and as he is; who binds up wounds that are deeper and more terrible than any brigand's knife can inflict; who brings him out of the place of danger to a place of security an peace, and provides for all his future needs. And all this without bargain or condition, and unconstrained by any motive save His own infinite compassion" (Anderson, The Silence of God, Kregel Publications, 1978, pp. 102-103).

"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God" (Ps. 40: 2-3).


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