Today’s Scripture: For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Confession: I am the righteousness of God in Christ. My standing with God is secure. God is for me. He is my friend. My prayers are powerful and effective.
The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Being a Christian means that we accept that Christ and Christ alone is our righteousness. We were created in his image and likeness, and we were fearfully and wonderfully made in our mother’s womb by God. God sent us here during this generation for a purpose.
Because of our tendency toward sinfulness and the influence of evil all around us, we need Christ’s righteousness continually infused into our lives. This happens as we grow in the Scriptures, are continually filled with the Holy Spirit, and as a result of our deliberately developing life-giving relationships with others.
That is why we can fearlessly declare that God has made us righteous. We didn’t do it. God did it. Righteousness means right standing with God. Jesus who is righteous became our righteousness so we can stand in the presence of God as though we had never done wrong. We can stand in God’s presence without a sense of condemnation or spiritual inferiority.
We can measure how healed we are in a variety of ways. Any physician can test our physical healing, and our mental health is often revealed by our long-term life-giving friendships. But how do we measure our spiritual health? It’s simple—by how we respond to someone else’s sin.
To the degree that we are impressed with ourselves and our own righteousness is the degree to which we respond to another’s sin judgmentally and/or punitively. To the degree that we believe that Christ and Christ alone is our righteousness is the degree to which we respond to someone else’s sin redemptively. When we are spiritually healthy, we are like God in our response to the failures of another. God sent Jesus, his son, in response to our sin. We, as his instruments, view the sins of another as our opportunity to model the effectiveness of the Gospel.
We must be experience some healing to effectively heal others.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed (Isaiah 53: 4-5).
The Hebrew word which is translated weaknesses in Isaiah 53:4 is translated everywhere else in the Old Testament as sicknesses. Remember, He was whipped so we could be healed.
Matthew quotes this passage in Matthew 8:
That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command and he healed all the sick. This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, ‘He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases’ (Matthew 8:16-17).
So the cross provides healing for our weaknesses, sorrows, rebellion, and sins. We are made whole in Christ. He was whipped so we could be healed. And since he took our sicknesses and removed our diseases, we can be whole physically, mentally, and emotionally. As we receive his righteousness and the other benefits of the cross, we are fully capable of being, as Paul says, ambassadors of Christ in our generation.
Though none of us will be perfect until we see him face to face, we are God’s people, chosen by him to do good works. We are saved by grace through faith in who Jesus is and what he did for us, and then we are empowered by his love to serve others. Let’s do that.
Pastor Ted Haggard, DD, CHBC, is a Bible teacher with an emphasis on New Testament solutions to the human condition. His Bible teaching is informed by biblical scholarship, Choice Theory (Glasser), Attachment Theory (Johnson), and Behavioral Studies using DISC (Rohm).
This and other blogs by Pastor Ted Haggard are available at http://www.tedhaggardblog.com as a ministry of St. James Church. If you would like to strengthen the ministry of St. James Church and Pastor Ted Haggard by giving, please use the “give” tab at http://www.saintjameschurch.com.