1 Corinthians 1:30
But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
What is Christ to us? This is a great, an all important question. The answer to it is an answer to all vital questions respecting our present and future. To God, Christ is much; to the angels, much; to many men, nothing - a mere "root out of a dry ground" (Isaiah 53:2). What to us? To the believer Christ is -
I. WISDOM. This is the supply of a great want, for though in the world there is much talk of wisdom, there is but little possession. Every philosopher has come with the promise of wisdom, but how few with the fulfilment! The great questions of life have found no satisfactory answers in even the profoundest human systems. But Christ is made to us the truest wisdom. From him we learn what to choose, reject, pursue, enjoy, in daily life. He teaches how to live. He is the Revealer of God. We have glimmerings of the Divine Being, but we know him not until we know him through Christ. "Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him" (Matthew 11:27). He makes us wise in a true knowledge of God. Through him we are made wise unto salvation. He discloses to us the future, and at the same time he instructs us in the fitting preparation for it. The closer our union with Christ, the wiser shall we become; the more of Christ we have, the more of wisdom we have. When the union is complete, we shall know even as we are known. This is a wisdom which will not come to nought (1 Corinthians 2:6).
II. RIGHTEOUSNESS. Our natural state is sinful; our righteousnesses as "filthy rags," that is, complete unrighteousness. But when we receive Christ, his righteousness is imputed to us; as our Representative, the second Adam, he was righteous for us in his obedience to the Divine Law, and satisfied the claims of Divine justice in his death. So we cry, "The Lord our Righteousness." He took our sins and gave us his righteousness. This righteousness is
(2) accepted by God, and thus
(3) of justifying efficacy.
III. SANCTIFICATION. We need not only righteousness imputed, but righteousness realized; not only justification, but purification, regeneration; not only a vital alteration in our relation to God, but a vital alteration in ourselves. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Through Christ we receive the Divine Spirit, who renews us and conforms us to Christ. He transforms us into the likeness of Christ, and when our sanctification is complete, we shall be "like him." "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
IV. REDEMPTION. Christ redeems us from the curse of sin, but here reference is to the final redemption from corruption, pain, peril, sorrow, death, the fruits of sin, which we shall experience at last if we are Christ's. This redemption includes the redemption of the body. How bright is the believer's prospect! Well may he "glory in the Lord." Note:
1. Christ is wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, only to those who are in him. To be in Christ is to believe in him, to love him, to serve him, to follow him.
2. It is through God, of Divine grace alone, that we can be in Christ: "Of him are ye in Christ Jesus." God gave Christ; God calls us to find salvation and all blessing in Christ; and faith itself is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). As no man cometh unto the Father but by the Son (John 14:6), so no man cometh unto the Son but by the Father (John 6:44). All the praise of our salvation must be rendered to God: "According as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." - H.
Parallel VersesKJV: But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: