A person who has an open wound or sore will usually prepare a poultice or ointment to treat it so it will heal. If an ointment was made up, but never placed upon the sore, what would happen? That preparation would be of absolutely no benefit and would do nothing for the sore until it was applied. This is also true in matters pertaining to our spiritual life. We can read all about Jesus; we can even believe that He is—the devils believe also— but if we do not “put on” our Lord Jesus Christ, what difference is there between us and the world?
What is the value you place on Jesus? Have you applied what you know of Him to your life, or are there other things of more value to you that come first, taking more time in your life over and above Jesus? “Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4. That word “despisest” means to dis-esteem or consider worthless or of no value. What value is Jesus to you?
God has given to us a treasure in the gift of Jesus which few value as they should. We need to understand what Jesus is to us, so that we may apply Him to our lives personally and be like Him.
God tells us what Jesus is to us when we apply Him to our lives: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” I Corinthians 1:30. To understand what Paul is really meaning here we need to break this verse down.
The very first attribute that God has made Jesus Christ to be for us is wisdom. We are told that “fools despise wisdom.” Proverbs 1:7. Remember the word despise means to consider worthless or of no value. Society is full of worldly wisdom, rejecting the wisdom of Jesus. Each of us may think we have wisdom, but it does not show us our spiritual condition. Worldly wisdom causes envying and strife in hearts (James 3:14–16). It is not of a heavenly source because it does not show us that these worldly character traits are wrong. The devil wants us to have this worldly wisdom because it reflects his character and seems to look good, because the majority of the world carry this kind of wisdom. The devil also wants us to be ignorant of our spiritual condition, but God has made His Son Jesus to be our wisdom so we do not need to be ignorant. This world is in great need of Jesus, the source of wisdom.
When you put on the Lord Jesus Christ as your wisdom, Proverbs 3:13 says, “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom.” Read Proverbs 3:13–18 to understand what a blessing wisdom is.
God gave Jesus to us to be our wisdom, so we need to “put on” Jesus Christ and receive that wisdom, which is from above, which “is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17.
With this heavenly wisdom, we are able to discern our sin and the resultant danger. Our true spiritual condition can be hid from us no longer as the cloud of ignorance is removed. The stupendous value of the gift of wisdom is beyond our deepest thoughts.
Proverbs 2:10–13 says, “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness.”
Praise God for the gift of wisdom. Will you right now apply this gift to your life, or will you “despise” the gift and continue to be ignorant, giving glory to the god of this world, the devil?
As this wonderful gift of wisdom is applied to our lives we become aware of our unrighteous state and that there is nothing we can do about it; there is no way to cover our unrighteous life. Look again at I Corinthians 1:30 and see what God has provided us. God has made Jesus also to be our righteousness.
We are alerted through wisdom to the danger we are in, and realizing that our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), we feel sad and repent of our unrighteousness. As we apply and accept Christ to be our righteousness, our past sins are forgiven and the ugliness and unrighteousness is covered.
As our guilt from past sins, or unrighteousness, is covered, there needs to be a change in heart so we do not continue in the sins that have been covered. To accomplish that, the next attribute that God has made Jesus to be for us is sanctification.
As we apply Jesus to our lives, we no longer need to yield our members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but we can yield our members as instruments of righteousness unto God, as we are now alive from the dead (Romans 6:13).
We now have the wisdom to make an intelligent choice between good and evil. We have Christ’s righteousness which covers our past sins, and the gift of sanctification to make us clean from our sinful state as wisdom directs our path through God’s Word and we walk in His paths. The Holy Spirit works in our hearts, as our knowledge increases, to transform our hearts in such a way that Christ’s righteousness flows forth in our lives, no longer revealing our own filthy rags.
“Sanctification is not an instantaneous but a progressive work, as obedience is continuous. Just as long as Satan urges his temptations upon us, the battle for self-conquest will have to be fought over and over again; but by obedience, the truth will sanctify the soul. Those who are loyal to the truth will, through the merits of Christ, overcome all weakness of character that has led them to be molded by every varying circumstance of life.” Faith and Works, 85.
Thus far, Christ has been made unto us wisdom which covers and heals our ignorance. He has been made unto us righteousness which covers our past life, and He has been made unto us sanctification, in which we are cleansed moment by moment. And last of all God has made Jesus to be our redemption.
“What is redemption? It is that process by which the soul is trained for heaven, and it requires something higher, something more divine than the mere knowledge of books. This training means knowledge of Christ; it means emancipation from ideas, from habits and practices that have been gained in the school of the Prince of Darkness. The soul must be delivered from habits and practices which are opposed to loyalty to God. In this life we are to learn submission to the Divine will, or we shall not be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven. True religion enables a man to overcome stubbornness, pride, selfishness, worldly ambition, questioning, and unbelief. There is grace and strength in Christ to enable us to rise above the alluring, infatuating temptations of Satan and lead us to the Cross of Calvary that we may become active, devoted, loyal workers for the cause of truth.” (Australasian) Union Conference Record, July 12, 1899.
Jesus Christ is all that is necessary to our souls. Without Jesus you and I would be in the clutches of the god of this world in a most miserable life with no future. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us!” I John 3:1.
“It is the grand, great work of redemption. It is Christ, made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 80.
“We are individually to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. To each one of us He must become wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” Colporteur Ministry, 49.
Along with these most precious attributes, God has also provided us armor to put on. Ephesians 6:13 says, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” [Emphasis supplied.] Who is this armor? It is Jesus. Are you beginning to realize the value of the gift God has given to us in giving us Jesus? Look at the armor:
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” Ephesians 6:14. [Emphasis supplied.] Who is the Truth? John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Who is our righteousness? I Corinthinans 1:30. Look through Ephesians 6:13–17. You will see Jesus in every piece of the armor, and this armor came from our Heavenly Father. (Read John 3:16.)
So, Jesus is not only made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, but He is also the armor which God has given to us. We must put it on for it to protect us from the wiles of the Devil. We must put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now you can know for sure in your own hearts that Jesus Christ is the solid Rock in your life.
“Let us, under all circumstances, preserve our confidence in Christ. He is to be everything to us—the first, the last, the best in everything. Then let us educate our tongues to speak forth His praise, not only when we feel gladness and joy, but at all times.” Sons and Daughers of God, 328.
“Jesus is all in all, and without him we can do nothing. Without Christ, spiritual life would be impossible.” The Review and Herald, December 4, 1894.
“Shall we not now tune our hearts to praise God from whom all blessings flow?” The Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, April 1, 1889.
Judy Hallingstad is part of our LandMarks team. She can be contacted by email at: email@example.com.