“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” [2Corinthians 5:21]
The Good News for Modern Man rendition of 2 Corinthians 5:21 puts it even clearer: “Christ was without sin, but God made him share our sin in order that we, in union with him, might share the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD”.
The Kingdom of God to which we belong is not meet and drink, but peace, righteousness and joy in the Holy Ghost. What this means is that the Kingdom of God cannot be separated from God’s righteousness. The righteousness of God is what makes His Kingdom a reality. So it would be right to say: “No righteousness, no Kingdom”.
Preach about this LIFE!
This was the angel’s straightforward instruction to the apostles, who had been incarcerated by the Jewish leaders for preaching about the resurrection of Christ, according to Acts 3:12-15. “12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? 13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses”.
The message of the apostles about Christ didn’t end with His death, just like many Jewish leaders had wanted. Christ actually died for our sins, but that wasn’t all there was to it. He was brought back to life by God in order to create room for mankind to be partakers of the divine nature – God’s Life. His resurrection is what guaranteed the imputation of this divine nature [God’s Life – His righteousness] in man.
When the angel told the apostles he had freed from incarceration to “preach about this Life”, he was actually referring to the New Life in Christ, otherwise known as God’s righteousness. The church in Jerusalem got severely persecuted that every Christian fled except the apostles. In the midst of the persecution we’re told that:
“But the believers who had fled Jerusalem went everywhere preaching the GOOD NEWS about Jesus! [TLB].
They preached the Good News about Jesus. Saint Luke the narrator, narrows down his story to one of those who fled – Philip – and tells us that “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them” [Acts 8:5].
Whatever Philip must have said about Jesus in Samaria, was the Good News referred to in verse 4, which the believers who had fled Jerusalem because of the persecution, preached.
The question is: what was this Good News about Christ that these persecuted Christians kept preaching even when they knew full well that that was the reason why they were persecuted? The answer is found in the content of Philip’s message in Acts 8:12 [TLB] “12 But now they believed Philip’s message that Jesus was the Messiah…”
Philip preached that Jesus was the Messiah. That is what the Bible referred to as the Good News about Christ which the persecuted believers carried everywhere they went. Their message was hard for the Jewish leaders to believe, given that that was the reason why they persecuted them.
The Implication of This Message
To preach that Jesus was the Messiah implied that He was still alive. Contrary to this, the Jewish leaders saw Him [Jesus] crucified on a wooden cross. By their belief, the Messiah wasn’t supposed to have a known background, like what Jesus had; and also, the Messiah wasn’t supposed to die. By their judgment, Jesus didn’t have these two qualities, and so He wasn’t fit to be the long awaited Messiah.
Even non-Jewish religious leaders like the Samaritan woman knew this. This explains why in her interaction with Jesus John the Beloved tells us that: “5The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he” [John 4:25-26 KJV].
Philip had a different view. He knew from Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah. You see, Jesus had to live as 100% man and 100% God. The Jewish leaders didn’t understand this. He could die only as a man by giving up His life for ours; but not as God because God doesn’t die. In dying, God’s Word teaches us that “24 He personally carried the load of our sins in his own body when he died on the cross, so that we can be finished with sin and live a good life from now on. For his wounds have healed ours!” [1 Peter 2:24 TLB]
Being brought back to life was actually a demonstration of His peculiarity as the Messiah, given that a Messiah is not destined to die. The part of Him that death’s grip couldn’t hold back in the grave was His Messianic nature. This was because of the New Life that He received from God, imparted in Him by the Holy Spirit [John 3:6; Romans 8:11]. As the Messiah, what He has brought to us is the New Life from Heaven; the very Life of God; His righteousness [Romans 4:25; 6:4].
What’s God’s Righteousness?
You see, I don’t really know what you have been taught about God’s righteousness or what you have read or know about it, but I’m going to show you what God’s righteousness is in the light of His Word.
One of the ways to understand what the Bible teaches is to acquaint ourselves with the original languages in which it was written.
For instance, the New Testament wasn’t originally written in English. It was written originally in Greek. So to clearly understand the meanings of words used in our English translations of the Bible, we would need to look them up in the original languages from which our English translators took them.
With this established, you’ll find out that the word “righteousness” in Matthew 6:33, Romans 5:17 and 2 Corinthians 5:21, for instance, is from the Greek word [dikaiosunē]; which means [equity of character].
I need to explain this to you: Jesus didn’t just bring us God’s New Life [righteousness], but He’s God’s New Life [righteousness] personified. What this means is that, He’s the righteousness of God personified.
Stephen referred to Him by divine revelation as “the Righteous [Just] One” in Acts 7:52. Going by what “righteousness” means in Greek, the implication of what Stephen said is “Jesus has equity of character with God.” that makes Him one with God. This sounds like what Jesus said long before Stephen got born again in John 10:30-38 [KJV].
Being “The Righteous One” made Jesus equal with God – a thing the Jewish leaders were never ready to accept, but that was and is still the truth. Even when they killed Stephen, the other believers continued to spread the same message.
As stated earlier, the word “righteousness” is from the Greek word [dikaiosunē], which means “equity of character.” Character is the combination of all the qualities that make a person who he is. Speaking about God, Character is the combination of ALL what makes Him God. You find this in Jesus; that makes Him one with God.
What about Us?
According to 2 Corinthians 5:21, we’re the [dikaiosunē] of God. Through Christ, we have been spiritually positioned on a supernatural platform where we’re equal with God in character. The insinuation of this is that we share the same life with Him. This would also mean that we’re not just born of God, but our born again spirit is a container of EVERYTHING that makes God who He is. We contain everything God is.
Dear friend, you can personalize this and keep saying to yourself that because
I’m in Christ
I’m born of God’s Word
Created in His exact likeness
I’m love just like God’s Love
I’m light just like God’s Light
I’m full of compassion just like God’s full of compassion
I’m life just like God’s Life
I’m the Spirit and the image of God
I contain everything God is
I’m absolutely filled with God
I’m crowned with God’s glory and honour
I have dominion over the works of God’s hands
God has put all things under my feet.
I’m certain that you have been blessed by this post. Please, don’t hesitate to leave your comment and recommend this site [http://www.ncrealities.wordpress.com] to someone you love and care for. Remember, I’m only an email away and will gladly receive a direct mail from you through firstname.lastname@example.org in order to share some spiritual issues that are bothering you, bearing in mind that your spiritual welfare is my utmost concern. Follow me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/prosperanang. I love you and I’m praying for you.
You’re deeply loved, highly favoured and greatly blessed because you’re a life-giving spirit just like Jesus.
Jesus Is Lord!