Made Right With God


2 Corinthians 5:21 (New Living Translation)

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For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

For God made Jesus Christ pure of sin produced of no sin to be offered for death to save us from our own sin so that we a re giving life and be made right in the eyes of God saving us from death

What Does 2 Corinthians 5:21 Mean? ►

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:21(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Jesus is the personification of love and the message of the Cross is written in His blood. Christ’s sacrificial death at Calvary is the greatest demonstration of the love of God for mankind, for God demonstrated His deep love towards us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. The Son of God was made sin for us and the great design of the gospel of grace is full and free reconciliation – unconditional peace with God.

The Gospel of reconciliation and all it means to us is a great and profound mystery, which should engender in all of us, both wonder and praise. “That God the Father made God the Son Who knew no sin to be made sin on our behalf…so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

God in His grace stretched out His arm of peace to the fallen race of man, through the gift of His only begotten Son, so that He could be our Kinsman-Redeemer.. so that the blood He shed on Calvary’s tree, would pay the price for our sin. Jesus took the punishment we deserve so that we might be imputed with His perfect righteousness.

God in His mercy stooped down to humanity so that the sacrificial death of the sinless Lord Jesus would pay the penalty for our sin through faith in Him… so that sinful man might be declared righteous, forgiven of our sin forever, and eternally clothed in the glorious righteousness of Christ.

God in His love clothed Himself in mortal flesh, so that through the surrender of the unblemished Lamb of God on the altar of sacrifice, we could be fully identified with Him – becoming the righteousness of God in Him and being declared holy in the sacred sight of God. God in His grace, mercy, and love, adopted us as His children and made us joint-heirs with Christ.

God the Father treated the Lord Jesus like a condemned criminal, pouring the full force of His anger and wrath on the Son of His love, as He bore the accumulated sin of the whole world on His sinless shoulders. Jesus was cursed on our account and paid the price for our sins. He carried the guilt of every man and every woman and bore the shocking penalty that we justly deserve so that by faith in Him we might be declared righteous, and become the righteousness of God in Him.

Acting as our Kinsman-Redeemer, Jesus was made sin by becoming the full and final sacrificial sin-offering, The One Who knew no sin was made to be sin and was condemned on our account. He was identified with man’s fallen race and imputed with the sin of all humanity, causing Paul to write, “God Made Him to be sin – for US. God made Him Who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf.”

Surely there is no more profound mystery than this? Surely, it is the wonder of all wonders “God Made Him Sin…so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  While Christ identified with sinful man and was imputed with the grossness of our sin… by faith, WE are identified with Christ and imputed with His perfect righteousness!

The eternal and holy Son of God became the pure and perfect Son of Man. After a life of humiliation and sorrow, where He was despised and rejected of men. He was slaughtered on a cursed tree… and yet His final words pleaded, “Father forgive,” and all that fallen man has to do to receive His forgiveness is to say, “I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ – I believe that He died for ME.”

Our sinless Saviour was made sin on our account. The eternal Son of God bore the accumulated sins of the whole world upon Himself – including YOUR sin and MY sin. The Lord Jesus identified with our sinfulness and shame so that we could be eternally identified with His magnificent glory and everlasting righteousness, simply by believing in the name of the only begotten Son of the most high God. 

What wonderful condescension.

What amazing grace.

What profound wisdom.

What depth of love.

What a testimony to the terrible gravity of sin.




What does it mean that Jesus became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21)?


“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). This verse has inspired a great deal of debate among theologians over the years. There is no doubt that the verse expresses a unique truth about Jesus: He became sin for us. While on the one hand the verse states the simple gospel truth that Jesus took upon Himself the sins of all who would ever believe in Him, it also makes a somewhat enigmatic statement. How exactly did God make Jesus to be sin for us?

Perhaps the best way to understand He became sin for us is to begin with what it does not mean. First, it does not mean that Jesus actually became sin itself. To posit such a theory denies all of Scripture, which clearly presents Jesus Christ as the One in whom there is no sin (1 John 3:5), who commits no sin (1 Peter 2:22), and who is holy, blameless, and pure (Mark 1:24; Acts 3:14; Revelation 3:7). For Jesus to “become” sin, even for a moment, would mean He ceased to be God. But Scripture presents Jesus as “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He was and is and always will be the Second Person of the Godhead (John 1:1).

Second, the idea that Jesus became sin for us does not mean that He became a sinner, not even for a moment. Some have said that Christ may be considered as the greatest of sinners, because all the sins of mankind (or at least of the elect) became His own sins. When Christ suffered in our place and died for us, He bore the punishment for our sins in His own body (1 Peter 2:24). But Jesus at no time became a sinner personally.

Third, it does not mean He was guilty of actual sin. No one is truly guilty who has not transgressed the law of God, which Jesus never did. If He were guilty, then He deserved to die, and His death could have no more merit than that of any other guilty person. Even the Pharisees who sent Jesus to Calvary knew He was guiltless: “And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed” (Acts 13:28).

If He became sin for us does not mean Jesus was sin, or a sinner, or guilty of sin, the proper interpretation can only be found in the doctrine of imputation. This is confirmed by the second part of 2 Corinthians 5:21: “So that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” To impute something is to ascribe or attribute it to someone. On the cross, our sin was imputed to Christ. That is how Christ paid our sin debt to God. He had no sin in Himself, but our sin was imputed (attributed) to Him so, as He suffered, He took the just penalty that our sin deserves. At the same time, through faith, Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us. Now we can stand before God sinless, just as Jesus is sinless. We are not righteous in ourselves; rather, Christ’s righteousness is applied to us.

So, “God made him . . . to be sin for us” means that Jesus, although sinless, was treated as if He were not. Although He remained holy, He was regarded as guilty of all the sin in the world. Through imputation of our sin to Him, He became our substitute and the recipient of God’s judgment against sin. Having saved those who believe, He is now “our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).



Christ took on our sins so we could be put right with God – 2 Corinthians 5:21

July 11, 2021 Melissa Taylor, Faith Chapel

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

– 2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV

More About This Verse


God is perfect and without sin; he hates sin and cannot be in relationship with anyone or anything that is sinful. This is where Jesus comes in. Jesus existed in relationship with God long before we were ever created. But God loves us and wants to be in relationship with us so much that he created a way for us to be blameless and free of sin: God sacrificed Jesus to choose relationship with us. Jesus—a being who did nothing wrong—didn’t just die for our sins: he became our sins, taking on all of God’s wrath and punishment that we deserved.

God sent Jesus (who was without sin) to become a man on earth, to die on the cross and take on our sins so we can be righteous before God. To be righteous means to be correct or faultless. Do you know what this means? This is the best deal we will ever see! Basically, we make mistakes but someone else takes our punishment. Our past is erased! We get to enjoy all the benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice by gaining a close relationship with God. That is amazing!


We get the most out of each verse when we understand them in context. So, feel free to dig a little deeper into the meaning of this verse with these resources:

• The Message version says this verse this way:

“How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, MSG).

Read this chapter on Bible Gateway

Watch a video summary of this book

What does 2 Corinthians 5:21 mean?

Paul puts even more clearly the central message of the gospel. This is the same teaching he had delivered to the Corinthians and to many other people around the world. This verse may be the most concise presentation of the gospel in all of Scripture.

God acted for our sake. That means God acted out of His love, to make it possible to remove the separation between us and Him: our sin. To accomplish this, God made Christ, who had never sinned during His life on earth in any way, to become our sin. Jesus’ death, then, paid the price for our sin, removing our guilt and removing the obstacle between us and God. Instead of “being sin” ourselves, those who come to God through faith in Christ are given credit for Christ’s righteous, sinless life. We “become God’s righteousness” and are reconciled in our relationship with Him.

In short, by His gift of grace and through our faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8–9), God receives Christ’s death as payment for our sin and gives us credit for Christ’s righteousness in return. That’s what it means to be “in Christ.”

Context Summary

Second Corinthians 5:11–21 describes an appeal to those in Corinth who know Paul. It’s important they understand he is not crazy for continuing to preach the gospel, even though it leads to so much suffering for him. Christ’s love compels Paul to continue to tell all people that they be reconciled to God through faith in Christ, just as he was. In Christ, God is not counting people’s sins against them, but instead giving them credit for Christ’s righteous life. As Christ’s ambassador, Paul begged all people to be reconciled to God through faith in Christ.

Chapter Summary

Why does Paul endure so much suffering for preaching about Christ? He continues here his discussion of eternity, comparing our earthly bodies to living in a tent. Paul would rather live in the eternal body God has prepared for those who trust in Christ, free from the groaning and burden that afflicts everyone here. With that to look forward to, he preaches with courage that all in Christ are new creations. In Christ, God is reconciling people to Himself, not counting their sin against them. Paul implores everyone to be reconciled to God in this way through faith in Christ

Author: J. Palmer

Living under the wings of God and the angels around me keeping me going and safe. Sharing the love of Christ.

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