Be a Faithful Ambassador (Part 3 of 3)

Today we wrap up our series on being Ambassadors, which leads me to point 3.

3. Know what a faithful ambassador should be saying(21).

Look at verse 21, He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf , so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

He, God, made Him to be sin on our behalf. Now this Him is a very special person, He is a person who never knew sin. And who is this very special sinless person, Christ, the savior. Now what does it mean to be sinless? I guess we should answer that by first understanding what it means to be sinful.

The Greek word Paul uses here for sin means to miss the mark, to be mistaken, to go against God’s law in thought or deed. And as we trace Paul’s usage of this word we find him describing how sin works itself out in our lives, especially in Romans chapters 1-3. We fall short of God’s standard of perfection. We are mistaken about who God is. We live against God’s perfect will for us.

So for Christ to know no sin means that He perfectly glorified God, He live up to God’s standard. Christ only had right knowledge about who God is. Christ never lived against God’s perfect will for Him. Christ was perfect, He never sinned! And this sinless One was actually made sin on our Behalf.

Now to understand what this statement means I want to first state what it does not mean. It does not mean that God made Him to be an open sin payment, as though God were simply opening a bank account out of which every human being could now draw from to pay their debt to God. The reason we know this is because of the qualifying statement on our behalf.

Christ actually became the sin of those individual believers at Corinth. Which means Christ actually came under the punishment of God as though He had lived the sinful life of each individual who ever had and would ever believe in Him.

Meaning God treated Christ, who never sinned, as though He had lived my life of sin, so that He could treat me, who only sins, as though I had lived His sinless life. Christ gave Himself up under the wrath of God, to experience the hatred God has for individuals because we have sinned against Him, so that I could be under God’s kindness and pleasure. This act is called atonement. He payed the dept we owe God and in so doing made us right with God.

This is personal and it is actual. Christian, when I say it is personal,  understand that when Christ was on the cross He absolutely had you in His mind, because He was being punished as though He were you. And by actual I mean that individual sins were  payed for, your sins were placed on Christ and He was punished for them satisfying God’s wrath against you. In the Bible the nature of sin payment has always been personal and actual, and it is no different with Christ’s payment of sin.

Christ’s death did not merely make salvation possible it actually saved individuals. That’s why in John 3:36 it says,  “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” Listen, if you die in unbelief  and find yourself in hell it’s not that you didn’t take hold of what Christ did to make salvation possible, it means that your sins were never payed for. It means that Christ was never made sin on your behalf.

And that’s not all of our message. With this payment of sin we who are in Christ become the righteousness of God. Look at the rest of the verse with me, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

God has an end goal in mind here. Christ being made sin on our behalf is the means by which God accomplishes His purpose in our life, and that purpose is not ultimately our comfort. It is not ultimately our joy. It is not ultimately our satisfaction. It is true that those all come with being made right with God through Christ, but they are more like the frosting on a cake they are not the ultimate purpose God has for those He has reconciled to Himself. Ultimately God has punished His sinless son on our behalf so that we might become His righteousness. The righteousness of God in Christ, this will happen to all who believe.

Remember that as sinners we completely missed the mark of who God is and do not live according to His will for us. Well essentially this is reversed for all who are in Christ. God, in His mercy and grace, has sent His Son to pay for the sins of certain individuals so that those individuals would be transformed into the righteousness of God. Christians, the way Paul uses this word righteousness here means we become, in Christ, the representation of God’s nature. We become a mirror of God’s splendor and glory and it’s all because He graciously offered up His beloved perfect Son as a replacement for us under His wrath.

Therefore, praise God and be a faithful ambassador.

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  1. Mike, thank you so much for pointing us to God these past three days!

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