2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NET
21God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
21For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Today we complete our comments on the above verse, 21God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God. We know the one who did not know sin is none other than Jesus the Christ. We also know that even though He did not know sin He became sin for us.
Ellicott’s Commentary tells us, The words are, in the first instance, an assertion of the absolute sinlessness of Christ. All other men had an experience of its power, gained by yielding to it. He alone gained this experience by resisting it, and yet suffering its effects. I think most of us knew that, but I really like how Ellicott called it an assertion of the absolute sinlessness of Christ which it is.
Why did Jesus do this? [S]o that in him we would become the righteousness of God. That’s what the rest of the verse tells us, but what are we to make of it? First of all, the righteousness of God is an undeniable attribute of Jesus. Ellicott concludes, The importance of the passage lies in its presenting the truth that the purpose of God in the death of Christ was not only or chiefly that men might escape punishment, but that they might become righteous.
In addition to this, the Benson Commentary says this about Jesus, who knew no sin, made to be sin, Or a sin-offering rather, (as the expression often signifies both in the Old Testament and the New;) for us — Who knew no righteousness, who were inwardly and outwardly nothing but sin, and who must have been consumed by the divine justice, had not this atonement been made for our sins; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him — Might be accounted and constituted righteous by God, or might be invested with that righteousness; 1st, imputed to us; 2d, implanted in us; and, 3d, practised by us; which is, in every sense, the righteousness of God by faith. Yes! Jesus was a sin offering for all of mankind!
Think of what it means for each of us who believe Jesus died for our sins and rose on the third day as we repent of our sins. We become righteousness, by having Jesus’ righteousness imputed to us, implanted in us, and then we are to show what has happened to us by practicing our new righteousness as best and humbly as we can. There can be no pride or arrogance here as it is all the doing of Jesus.
Bottom Line: Through Jesus God not only absolves us of our sins, but in imputing Jesus’ righteousness to us He gives us the primary tool to live righteously if only we will not only repent but seek to live within God’s will.
Prayer: Almighty God, Thank You for not only saving us, but also for showing us that we are truly expected to do our best to live within Your will. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton