He Has Made Him Sin

He Has Made Him Sin

Joe Terrell

For he has made him sin for us, who knew no sin; hat we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21)

The Lord Jesus being made sin for us must extend beyond the idea of the imputation of our sin to Him. We would never be made the righteousness of God in Christ as a result of His being merely charged with our sin. No, He must also suffer for those sins. He must not merely bear our sins, but must bear them on the tree of curse and punishment. To bear the sins of someone else and suffer in their place is the very definition of a sin offering, so we understand Paul to mean that the sinless Christ was made a sin offering for sinful us. Paul’s words are essentially the same as the prophet Isaiah in 53.10 of his prophecy, “…you shall make his soul an offering for sin.” In the original Hebrew the word “offering” does not appear, for, in the language of the OT, the word for sin and the word for the offering to put it away are one and the same.

Nor is our being made the righteousness of God in Christ merely an act of imputation. In the case of our being “made” the righteousness of God, the word signifies a change in the very essence of a thing. In being made a sin offering, Christ’s status before God was changed, as the word signifies; but His essence remained unchanged. But, in being made the righteousness of God, our very essence is changed. Christ’s sacrificial death did not make us the righteousness of God in Him, but opened the door to the other works of God’s grace which do, indeed, make us the righteousness of God. Christ’s work for us made possible God’s work in us. Thus, beginning with the New Birth and finishing with our glorification to be like Christ, we are quite literally made into something different from what we were at our natural birth: our nature is changed by God.

When in glory, we shall not be righteous only by a legal act of imputation, but we shall be essentially righteous, even as the Lord Jesus Christ is righteous. And even now, the born again child of God possesses a new nature called spirit – the restored image of God – which is flawless in every respect. It is the beginning of the New Creation and bears the image of the One Who made it. It is incapable of sinning, for it is the offspring of its Perfect Creator. The child of God – who still finds no good thing in his flesh – is yet flawless in his spirit; and in those things the spirit does, he acts without sin.

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