Christ Became Sin So That the Christian Could Be Made Righteous

5 Mins read

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (KJV, 2 Cor. 5:21)

“For he hath made him”

Here we see the source of the making is God the Father. Therefore, the Father must not be excluded from the thoughts of the Christian concerning salvation. Salvation comes as a unified effort of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is wrong to assume that only One of the members of the God-head plays their part.

The Father elected, the Son died, and the Holy Spirit gives life. Salvation comes from the Father, through the Son, and by the Spirit of God. In the verse at hand, we read that God the Father “made” Christ something. But what does it mean when the Bible tells us that God “made?”

The Christian must slow down as he reads and take note of the words that God uses in the Bible. The backdrop Paul uses for the portion of Scripture at hand is that of the Old Testament. When God instructed the people to put forward an animal as a sacrifice, it could be said that God made the sacrifice into something. But what was Christ made?

“to be sin”

Here we see that the Father made Christ to be sin. To say that Christ became a sinner is inaccurate. Christ has always been absolutely holy. Christ never became a sinner. However, there must be an explanation for such a reference here when the Bible tells us that the Father made the Son to be sin.

Yet again, we must look to the foreshadowing events in the Old Testament. When God instructed Moses to put forward an animal as a sacrifice, the animal was not sinful. If the animal did have sin, it could not have atoned for another.

God gave the Hebrew people a sacrificial system that highlighted God’s design of a substitute. When the people gave their animals to be sacrificed, the sin of the people would be transferred to the animal, and the animal would be offered in their place.

When the Bible speaks of Christ being made sin, it speaks of imputation. In regards to Jesus Christ, this means that God credited Christ with the sins of man, and in this sense, Christ became sin. As a result, God viewed Christ as guilty and punished Christ in the place of sinful man.

“for us”

Here we see that God the Father made Christ to be sin “for us.” Stopping on these words to grasp the magnitude of what they are conveying is necessary. God is “for us.” God is not opposed to His creation. God does not want anyone to perish but that all would come to repentance. God did not send Jesus into the world to condemn the world, nor does God delight when the wicked die.

God has done what needed to be done so that man could be forgiven for his sin and made right with Him. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, God was for them and promised a Savior. When sin was wreaking havoc in the land, God spared His creation and bestowed favor upon Noah. Despite the wickedness of man, God brought His redemptive plan to light in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

When Israel went astray from God time and time again, God continued to bring His people back so that the promised Messiah would be born a Jew. Although Peter denied Christ three times, he never fell from grace. Likewise, the sin of Paul was shown to be lesser than the grace of God. No matter what happens in the life of the Christian, nothing can snatch him out of the palms of God’s hands, and nothing can separate him from the love of Christ.

God is for His creation, and the Bible repeats this reality continuously throughout its pages. The devil would seek to thwart such lofty thoughts of God, but the one who knows the Word fights against such deceit.

“who knew no sin”

If Christ were a sinner, He could not have atoned for the human race. If Christ were guilty, it would not have been such a horrific event to see Him crucified on the cross. God’s amazing grace is that Christ, the only One Who knew no sin, became sin “for us.” The sinless perfection of Christ is seen throughout Scripture.

The Bible says, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness” (Heb. 1:9).

Elsewhere we read, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

Later we read that Jesus was “…holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners…” (Heb. 7:26).

Jesus never sinned but died a sinner’s death. But why?

“that we might be made”

The Bible tells us that Jesus died so that we might be made something as well. The wording is the same as the first. Earlier, we saw that the Father made Christ to be sin “for us.” But for what purpose? Paul tells us Christ was made to be sin so that the Christian would be made something as well.

Yet again, imputation is at stake. Imputation is seen throughout the Bible and is the only way to heaven. Man cannot build a tower high enough to get into heaven. Nor can man obey every command of the law. Those who place themselves under the law are under a curse.

But the Bible tells us, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Gal. 3:13).

Christ became sin, and Christ became the curse so that man would be made into something he was not.

“the righteousness of God”

Christ was not sinful and did not deserve the curse. Man is sinful and deserves the cursing of God. However, there has been a great exchange. God the Father initiated, Christ carried it out, and the Holy Spirit applies the results to the Christian’s account.

Paul tells us that Christ became sin so that man might be made righteous. Here we see a quick glimpse into the doctrine of justification by faith. Man will only be made right with God through faith. If all the good works ever done were applied to one sinner, it would not save him. The reason being is that he has already broken the law.

People often look in the wrong place. They look to the “good” they have done to the neglect of the sin they have committed. They believe that if their good works outweigh their bad, that will be enough. However, the Bible teaches that no one is good but God alone.

Despite the depravity of man, God has made a way for sinful man to be righteous before Him. What does the Bible teach? The Bible teaches the righteous will live by faith. The only way to be right before God is to believe that Christ became sin, God punished Christ in the place of the sinner, and Christ will give his righteous life to those that believe in Him.

“in him”

Apart from Christ, the sinner is hopeless and without God. The unbeliever does not have a little bit of God; he has none of God. Repent and believe are the responses to the work of Christ on the cross. Turn to Him in faith and believe He died for the sinner so that the sinner could be made right with God.

The only ones who stand before God as righteous are those who are in Christ. For those on the outside, they can never be right before God. For those on the outside, they are in Adam and are, therefore, guilty. But the message is simple, and it does not require deep learning.

Believe that Jesus died for man’s sins so that man could be forgiven for his sin. Turn to Jesus this day and embrace Him as Savior and Lord.

Final prayer

Father, I thank You for Jesus. He is an amazing Savior, and words cannot express the praise that He deserves. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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