Jesus in the Small Words

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption

1 Corinthians 1:30

Paul says that Christ Himself became our wisdom, but he doesn’t stop there. He adds three more things that Christ became for us: righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Paul could have added more things still. He could have continued for quite a long time. Christ became more for us than we have yet to understand.

What we mean by salvation and what God’s means by it are not the same. God means what we mean, but also much more. The Bible gives us many words to help us understand our salvation, and each of those words means more to God than it does to us. Nevertheless, we want to understand them as best we can, and to always be growing in our understanding, however imperfect it may be.

Righteousness, sanctification, and redemption are precise words, and each one means something different yet related. It’s good to study and ponder these words, but it’s even better to hold fast to Christ, who is all of these things for you and more.

A man may simply know that he is guilty before God and needs forgiveness. He may never have heard of righteousness, sanctification, or redemption. Yet when he gets forgiveness, he gets all these things as well.

With God we always get more than we realize we are getting.

Righteousness, sanctification, and redemption are life-changing words. However, don’t lose sight of those smaller yet also amazing words in this verse: for us.

Christ became for us. These words are just as powerful. In fact, they give those other words their power by making them accessible to us.

Also, don’t forget those other little words: of Him. That means God Himself. This is His doing.

And then there is that mind-boggling word in. You are not just near Christ, or even with Him. You are in Him.

All of the Bible should be studied. Righteousness, sanctification, and redemption are important concepts to understand. But if someone were to somehow take these big words away from you, you would still have the gospel in the little words.

Of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us!

Just think about that for the rest of your life. You’ll never get to the bottom of it. Just try to establish exactly what these three words—Christ for you—mean to you. They’ll always mean more to God than they do to you.


This is an excerpt from The Foolishness of God, the Hidden Wisdom, and the Mind of Christ