Sin results from our separation from God. Righteousness results from the re-absorption of the human race into fellowship with God. In the new covenant age, Christ is our righteousness and we are righteous in Him. Now righteous in Him because He is our grace and hence our righteousness. Now righteous because Father, Son and Holy Spirit live in us and impart their spirit to us so that we as sons/daughters become the righteousness of God. The Bible says, ‘You are the righteousness of God in Christ.’ God is incarnated in people.
God is not obsessed with sin and He has our sin problem in hand. His obsession is life to the full for all.
While Jesus forgives sins, sin and evil are not the chief issue. Life is. Life is the issue: To be alive or dead or partially so. Un-life results from our separation from God. Jesus forgives our sin and makes us one with God so that we can share His life. This is the atonement, more correctly seen as the at-one-ment of human beings with Father. We have been rejoined to the Source of all life.
Jesus forgave sin, but His ministry was never a sin-obsessed ministry. His obsession was revealing His Father and presenting Himself as life to the full and the new and living way to our Father. So let’s be clear. His mission was never about the clothes one should wear or about days, times and places or ‘foods.’ It was and is about life.
‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ John 10.10 NIV.
Those of us addicted to law, or the Christianized version of it where law is all the things of the principled life Christians should live, can be suspicious of the real gospel. It seems too easy and annihilates the satisfaction that we think we have by being ‘worthy.’ Many of us have absorbed the idea that godliness is ‘doing things.’ With the implication that we are earning some status of favour with God. For others religion is ‘keeping close to Jesus.’ But we are no more successful in being close than we are at keeping the law. Godliness is never a state doing. It is our being in Christ. So let’s live from where we have been put – in God.
The tragedy for many is the attempting of life in religion. Life is not found in anything not Jesus and this includes our attempts to live a moral life. Yet any person whose life is Christ will live more than morality and better than integrity. They will be holy as God is holy and they will be spirit and life – they will be Christ come in their flesh. They will be aligned with the Spirit of the Age of the Kingdom: The reality that is Christ.
‘I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV.
Life to the full is found in Jesus. He is the undoing of death; the annulment of the paralysis that spread from the tree of knowledge and the new beginning of life that spreads out from the tree of the cross and the resurrected Jesus, from Father and Holy Spirit. It is our encounter with the life of God, our union with Father as sons that drives out the crookedness that we know as sin. The law of sin and death is driven out by the Spirit of life that begins when we receive Jesus and ends when we are in heaven with the Lord. Even then without sin, we will journey on from life to life.
‘When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory’ 1 Cor 15.54 NIV.