Sin results from 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.’
While Jesus forgives sins, sin and evil are not the chief issue. Life is. Un-life results from our separation from God. Jesus forgives our sin and makes us one with God. 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.
‘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.
The tragedy for many is that this life is not found in religion, which means it is not found in Christianity. It 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. They will be spirit and life – they will be Christ come in their flesh. They will be aligned with the Spirit of the Age: 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 death that spread from the tree of knowledge and the new beginning of life that spreads out from His resurrected self, 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 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.