By His Doing
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." (1 Corinthians 1:30)
In this one verse we find described four aspects of Christ's work on our behalf. As we look at each one, let us first note that it is "of him," literally "by his doing," that we are in Christ Jesus, who "is made" or "who became" these things to us and for us.
Wisdom of God: This is the preferred rendering. Paul was writing to the church at Corinth (a Greek city). The Greeks were infatuated with wisdom, but Paul declared Christ Jesus to be the "wisdom of God." Such wisdom is likewise imparted to believers (v. 24), while "the foolishness of God is wiser than men" (v. 25).
Righteousness: Christ, being "made" righteousness, becomes an all-sufficient righteousness to us. This imputed rightness before God gives us a new standing before Him, permitting us access to Him, peace with Him, and ultimate glory with Him.
Sanctification: In Christ, we not only have this righteous standing, we are assured of a holy state as well. Through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we know that our lives will be constantly molded into Christ-likeness.
Redemption: Christ is made redemption for us, and in its fullest definition, this is His final goal. Through His redemptive work, we have been completely delivered from the power of sin, and will one day be delivered from the presence of sin.
The introductory phrase "of him" or "by his doing" is emphatic in the Greek text. When we see what He has done, we realize just how helpless we were, and how strongly He has acted on our behalf. "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" (v. 31). JDM