SUBSTITUTION & IDENTIFICATION
By Bill Stephenson
1 Corinthians 1:30 we read "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."
Notice the word "made"
here. It means "to become". In other words, our dear Father has made His Son to become our all in all!
Also, we are now joined together as one spirit according to 1 Corinthians 6:17,
"But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."
"Forms a single spirit" (Shonefield).
"But the man who is in union with the Lord is spiritually one with Him" (Williams).
"But he who joins himself to Christ, becomes one with Christ in spirit" Conybeare).
"But, if a man joins himself to the Lord, he becomes spiritually one with Him" (Barclay).
"But he who has a connection with the Lord is one spirit" (Byington).
"But if you give yourself to the Lord, you and Christ are joined together as one person" (Living Bible).
Now that's living union!
Back to Jesus becoming sin. If Jesus did not literally become sin but was just our sin bearer, then we are not the righteousness of God. And we are not any better off than they were in the old
covenant. The blood of goats and calves had to be continually offered for temporary atonement. This means we are not in right standing with God. To the degree Jesus became our sin is the degree we become God's righteousness. That
is substitution and identification in the truest sense.
There are two important points in Paul's revelation. These are substitution and identification. Webster defines substitute as "a person or thing that takes the
place of another; to take the place of, replace." Jesus took our place on the cross. He literally became what we were. He died in our behalf - in our stead. He went where we would go without God. We were dead in trespasses and
sins and on our way to hell. Jesus took our place and went there for us!
But this is only half of the revelation. For if we merely stop at substitution we have come short of the will and plan of the Father's eternal purpose
in giving His son. The second point is identification. Webster defines this word identification as "To make to be the same; to unite or combine in such a manner as to make one; to treat as being one or having the same purpose
or effect; to consider as the same in any relation." You see this is where we come in. For what Jesus did for us, we actually did in Him! In God's mind we were literally there in Christ when He was our substitute! How genius
God is! In other words we are literally dead to the old man and alive in the new man Christ Jesus.
We are crucified, dead, buried, suffered, made righteous, made alive, resurrected and seated in heavenly places Christ
Jesus. We are filled with all the fullness of God because the old man we used to be died in the person of Christ
"Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold,
all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
"So if any man is in Christ, he is in a new world: the old things have come to an end; they have truly become new" (Basic).
"So that if
any one is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old state of things has passed away; a new state of things has come into existence" (Weymouth).
"For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether - the
past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new" (Phillips).
All scripture must be interpreted from the revelation of Jesus Christ according to the Apostle Paul.
In Romans 2:16
Paul says under the inspiration of God, "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel."
Weymouth translates this verse, "In the day when God will judge
the secrets of men's lives by Jesus Christ, as declared in the Good News as I have taught it."
"In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men, according to my good news, through Jesus Christ (Young's Literal
We will be judged according to Paul's revelation of Jesus Christ. No wonder Paul's message is so important!