“Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”
might live for righteousness—
“For” — the death of Christ provides a motive for living.
“Righteousness” is rightness. God wants us to be right toward himself and right toward man. This is not imparted but practical righteousness. This motive goes far beyond simply the negative of not doing evil (II Cor. 5:15).
The death of Christ is our motive for living for righteousness.
God saves us to be different from those around us. Jesus endured the worst kind of injustice, and yet he died for us and left us an example. After we believe that Jesus died for our sins on the cross, we begin to live. Before that, we were spiritually dead. We were alive psychologically and physically, but we were dead spiritually. We were dead to God. Now we are alive to God.
God expects us to live in such a way as to be a credit to Christ. Jesus saves people free of charge. They render no merit, no work, no effort. After we become a Christian, God expects us to live a life that reflects our life in Christ. After we become Christians, it can no longer be business as usual. People who hear of our conversion have a right to expect a different quality of life from us. If they do not see change, why should they want what we have?
A danger in the study of the Bible is that we might get spiritual indigestion. We learn more than we live. We have more in our heads than in our hearts. This is spiritual gout. We know much and live little. Yet God makes us responsible for what we know. If we know a maximum and live a minimum, God will hold us accountable for that. The quality of our lives here will determine our reward hereafter.
Are you on the level with God?