In continuing our discussion on whether God is conscious of sin, we have to understand what took place on the cross. When thinking of the cross, our train of thought effortlessly moves to Jesus paying for our sins, which He did. However, what we often fail to think about, is how it happened. Understanding how Jesus paid for sins will shed light on whether God sees sin or not. This is important to understand because answering this question, will show you how God sees you. And nothing is more empowering, more healing, more restorative, then understanding how God sees you. Knowing who you are in Christ, knowing how God sees you is the catalyst to living in His finished works, to living everyday life experiencing God’s perfect love. This is the very essence of grace, and its power to break the bondage of sin in your lives.
Romans 5:11 (KJV): And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Atonement is a powerful word. A word that is misunderstood, in my opinion, by the church. It is a word that is found in the Old and New Testament. But you see, the word ‘atonement’ in Romans 5:11 is a different ‘atonement’ than what is found in the Old Testament. The Old Testament atonement, from animal sacrifices, was a covering as in it covered sins. Before Jesus paid for our sins on the cross, sins had to be covered with the blood of animals. But this did not take away our sins, it only covered them. Hence, the Hebrew (the original language of the Old Testament) word for atonement is “kippur”, which comes from the root word “kaphar”, and means ‘to cover’.
Exodus 29:36 (KJV): And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it.
What is interesting, is that the word ‘atonement’ in the New Testament, as in Romans 5:11, is the Greek (the original language of the New Testament) word “katallagē” (καταλλαγή), and means “exchange”. Jesus Christ did not cover our sins with His blood on the cross, as I have thought for years, leaving the undertone that they still exist. He did one better, He exchanged them. How did He exchange them? Jesus, literally, became our sin.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV): For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
When Jesus was the atoning sacrifice, or propitiation, for our sins on the cross, He became our sin in exchange for His righteousness! Christ literally became our sin, and we became His righteousness. This is the Great Exchange. This is why we are, literally, the righteousness of God through Christ (Romans 3:22). The definition of exchange, is “to give up one thing for another, to replace”. It does not mean to cover. When one implies a covering, it is saying the ‘thing’ being covered is still there, you just can’t see it. It exists, but its out of sight. Kind of like sweeping dirt under a rug. Or stuffing dirty laundry under a dresser. There is a big difference between covering and exchanging. The difference is that our sins are not merely covered, but they do not exist! God does not see our sin because they have been replaced with righteousness through Christ. There is nothing to see! I am not saying that God does not know about them, for He is all-knowing. He honors what His son has done through His perfect sacrifice, which is why when He looks at us, He sees us spotless, blameless, and righteous, without sin.
This is how you need to see yourself. When God sees you, He sees you perfectly. This is grace. This is how grace overpowers sin (Romans 5:20). This is how we have a perfect standing in Christ (Romans 5:22). And this is important. Because what you believe about yourself is what you will become (Proverbs 23:7). When you believe you are the righteousness of God, through Christ, you will live in righteousness, and the bondage sin will be broken. If you focus on sin, you will believe you are a sinner, and you will continue to live in sin. You cannot be both righteous, and a sinner. Two opposing realities cannot exist in the same domain. Darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. As I stated in the last blog, in John 16:10-11, we see how to deal with sin. Admit you are the righteousness of God, and that the kingdom of darkness has been defeated.
When you focus on what Christ has done, on His grace-your unmerited favor, you will stop focusing on sin and your eyes will be fixed on Jesus. When you fix your eyes on Jesus, your life will naturally drift into the righteousness of God. You will begin to display the nature of God, which is in you. But, you have to believe it. And if you are to believe it, you have to acknowledge that sin is not in your nature anymore. You are a new creation. Believe what Christ has exchanged for you, and start seeing the fruits of His exchange in your life today: righteous living!
So, you might ask why is there a need, and power, in confession if sins do not exist? I am glad you asked! 🙂 That will be the next blog, and I am truly excited to share with you. Contrary to the thoughts that may be ruminating around in that mind of yours, it will continue to support that God does not see your sin, but rather your righteousness in Christ!