Doctrine of Salvation
DOCTRINE OF SALVATION
Many Christians neglect to study the doctrines that define NT salvation and as a result they really miss the rich blessings that understanding them brings. You see salvation has many different aspects no single term or principle can adequately define it. To show believers the extent of what they have in Christ the Holy Spirit put no less than eight separate doctrines in the Bible to explain NT salvation. And each one of these doctrines, describe it from a slightly different perspective. A good understanding of these doctrines is essential for a Christian to become mature in the faith and truly appreciate what God has done for him.
A. Doctrines That Define New Testament Salvation
Every Christian should be fully acquainted with the terms, justification, regeneration, adoption, imputation, sanctification, reconciliation, propitiation and redemption. Yet many have only a shallow knowledge of these doctrines if any knowledge of them at all. However if the believer will study the scriptures as the Lord commands him to [II Tim. 2:15] the Holy Spirit will reveal these truths to the believer [John 14:26]. In order for the Holy Spirit to revel God’s truth to us we need to be studying the Word of God, putting God’s Word in us for the Holy Spirit to be revealing anything to us.
B. The Importance for Understanding These Doctrines
God wants the sinner to learn that without Christ he is lost and headed for hell. And he wants the Christian to learn what happened to him when he received Christ. Apart from the scriptures no one could know either. In several places in the scriptures the Holy Spirit pleads with believers to not be ignorant of doctrine [Rom. 11:25; I Cor. 12:1]. Every Christian should have the same attitude towards the Bible as the Bereans who after the Apostle Paul’s words we’ told [Acts 17:11-12] that they searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so. Students will find that these eight terms describing salvation are not terms Christians generally use to describe salvation. The Christian usually describes what God has done for them by saying their sins have been forgiven, remitted, or pardoned. Though all three of these words can be found in the Bible in some form they are not words the Holy Spirit places emphasis on. The above words just mentioned are not even mentioned in the Books of John, Romans and Galatians except forgiven is quoted in [Rom. 4:7]. And these are the books, which tell us the most about salvation. Of course salvation includes forgiveness and remission of sins but it goes much beyond the meaning of these terms. It contains eternal life, a standing of righteousness, perfect holiness, a new birth, a new nature and a host of other virtues all purchased by the death and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. All who receive Christ are freely given these blessings and it’s only fitting that each believer, have a good understanding of what they are. All of these blessings refer to what we have as believers right now, not referring to something in the future or to rewards you can earn by obedience. They became fully effective the instant we received Jesus Christ. It’s your union with Christ that makes them your own. [I Tim. 4:15; I Peter 3:15; Ps. 119:11; Phil. 4:7]. Once you really grasp what God has given you and understand all that salvation contains no one will be able to talk you out of your security in Jesus Christ. [II Cor. 9:15]
C. Primary Reason God Has Given Man the Bible
Furthermore the primary reason God has given man the Bible was so he could learn doctrine [II Tim. 3:16].
A. Definition – regeneration means to be given or imparted life; concerning the Christian it refers to the life and nature he receives when he is born again and made a new creature in Christ.
B. Where Found In The Bible – the word regeneration is found only twice in the Bible the first time [Matt. 19:28]. Here it is not speaking of the new birth of the Christian but of the restoration of the earth at the Second Coming of Christ. In [Titus 3:5], here it means the actual renewing and rebirth of the believer.
C. The Need For Regeneration – since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, every person, except Jesus Christ has been born spiritually dead in trespasses and sins [Rom. 5:12-21; I Cor. 15:21-22; II Cor. 5:14-15; Eph. 2:1-7; John 3:5-6] therefore every person needs to be born again spiritually unto righteousness and life in Jesus Christ.
Every individual on earth had inherited the evil nature that Adam acquired at the fall therefore each person needs another nature that is not evil but righteous and holy before he can have proper fellowship with a righteous God. [Gen. 8:21; Jer. 13:23; 17:9; Matt. 13:38-42; Luke 11:13; John 3:36; Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:15] We need the new birth because of the evil nature we inherited from Adam and the sins that result from it are totally contrary to the nature of God. As a result it brings God’s wrath on the individual [John 3:18, 36; Gal. 3:10]. We are under a curse because of our sins and our evil nature. [Gal. 4:8] our evil nature does not want to serve God but false gods. [Eph. 2:12; 4:18] this is the condition of every man before he is regenerated. Those who refuse God’s gift of regeneration will permanently feel His wrath in the lake of fire.
D. The Method Of Regeneration – a person becomes regenerated when he hears the gospel, repents and by faith receives Jesus Christ as his personal Savior [John 1:12-13; Titus 3:5; Eph. 1:13; I Peter 1:23]. Regeneration is a literal birth into God’s family where the believer actually becomes God’s child [Rom. 8:14-16]. In regeneration God becomes our father and we can cry out to Him just as we cry out to our earthly father and He will hear us and answer us. [I John 3:1-2; I Peter 1:3] the medium of the new birth is the resurrection. When a person receives Christ his spirit, which was dead in Adam is instantly reborn by the Holy Spirit [John 3:6]. After a person is reborn that person is no longer in Adam but in Christ [Rom. 8:1-11]. As a result of being in Christ we now can walk after the Holy Spirit and not after the flesh]. This birth enables the believer to call upon God as his father and upon the Lord Jesus as his elder brother [Rom. 8:15, 17; Gal. 4:6; Heb. 2:10-12]. Regeneration also makes the believer a new creature [II Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15] a nature that is right in the eyes of God. A nature that is Christ’s own nature that is righteous before God and that is why things in an individual’s life should change. We should see old things pass away that weren’t pleasing to God.
The new nature we now have is Christ’s very own nature and as a result it carries with it all of Christ moral attributes [Rom. 6:8 – we will live with Him because we have His very own nature; Rom. 8:9 – we now have the Spirit of Christ in us; I Cor. 1:30 – we now have the fullness, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption in Christ; Gal. 2:20] all of these verses are bringing out that the new nature we receive is the very own nature of Christ. [Eph. 2:10] we are God the Father’s workmanship and we’re created in Christ Jesus and the purpose for that is good works. We get saved and then we go to work. Good works don’t save us but because now we have the nature of Christ we do those good works, which glorify our Father in heaven. [Eph. 4:24] because we have this new nature we have a new life because we are in Christ. [Col. 2:13] we have been resurrected with Christ in newness of life and as a result all our trespasses have been forgiven us. [II Peter 1:4] we now have a divine nature as a result of regeneration. Since the new nature is Christ’s nature it is in every way contrary to the believer’s fallen Adamic nature, which he still has. And that explains the struggle as believers that we have everyday. Because a part of us the sin nature wants to please the flesh and that is contrary to God. And then there is the new nature that wants to please God and the two are contrary one to another. In Romans 6 we have the ideal what Christians should be now that we have Christ’s own nature we should be servants to righteousness and not to sin. Then in Romans 7 we have the reality, in other words what most of us are in practice and Paul talks about his struggle in the flesh. He wants to do right but his flesh doesn’t, his spirit does. Then Romans 8 we have the hope in spite of his weakness and many failures the believer is not condemned because he is in Christ Jesus. Then in Galatians 5:16-26 Paul describes what the flesh manifests and what the Holy Spirit in the believer manifests if we allow Him. The fruit of the Spirit can only be produced by the Spirit the flesh cannot produce acceptable fruit. [Col. 3:9-10] these verses encourage us to be Christ like. Because every Christian is to grow and mature in His new nature and make no provision for the old, see, we have the power to overcome the flesh because we have been regenerated. We have the power not to be a servant to sin any more but a servant to righteousness and we have the Spirit of God in us that can give us the victory over the flesh [Rom. 13:14]. We are commanded to put on Christ and follow Christ. People should be able to see us and now that we have been with Jesus and that is who, we are following [II Cor. 5:15; 7:1; I Peter 2:2; II Peter 3:18].
E. The Permanence Of Regeneration
How long does regeneration last? There are those who teach that we can become un-regenerated. Once you are born again you can’t become unborn again. Since the life the Christian receives is Christ own life it is therefore eternal life. We can’t lose it [John 3:15-16; 5:24; 6:40, 48; 10:28-30] and these verses spell out the permanence of our salvation. [Rom. 6:22; I John 2:25; 5:11-13] these verses are given that we may know, not hope so, that we have eternal life. The Father and the child relationship between God and the regenerated believer cannot be broken. Regardless of what may happen in a Christian’s life he will always be God’s child. In other words because we still have that old Adamic nature we’re still going to sin and sin of course breaks our fellowship with our Father but regardless of that we will always be God’s child. He will not disown us or cast us out. And we still have that great promise [I John 1:9] that we can restore our fellowship immediately if we will just own up to our sin. Regardless of how the Christian gets backslidden and out of fellowship with God once they have been regenerated and the believer has Christ’s own nature in him, that relationship between God and the regenerated believer can never be broken [Rom. 8:34-39]. The incorruptible seed is the Word of God and as a result of being born again by the incorruptible Word of God thus the believer lives and abides forever because that incorruptible seed lives and abides forever.
A. Definition – adoption refers to God placing a believer as an adult son or heir into His family giving him access to all the privileges that go with it.
B. The Biblical Use Of The Word – there is some confusion among Christians about this doctrine because of the modern use of the word adoption. The modern meaning to take a child born of one family and place him into another does not consider the fact that a believer becomes a member of God’s family by regeneration. A Christian is literally born into God’s family not just placed in it still having only the nature of another. In the scriptures adoption is not so much a word of relationship but of position. It speaks not of how the believer became a member of the family but of the fact he already is a member because of regeneration. God has placed him in a position of an adult son and he has all the rights and privileges that go with it. [I John 3:2] We are the sons of God through the new birth and we will become like Him because we are His sons.
C. How Adoption Became Available – God’s justice required Christ’s death on the cross to deal with sin before He could place any person in His family. His death and shed blood fully redeemed the believing sinner and made regeneration and adoption available [Rom. 8:15-16]. In Romans 8:15 this is telling us that those living under the law are like minor children bossed around as if they were servants and shadowed by the fear of punishment. But when a person is born again he is not born into a position of servitude he is not brought into God’s household as a slave, no, rather he receives a spirit of adoption, which by the way is the Holy Spirit, which places the believer in God’s family as a mature son. By the Holy Spirit the believer can now look heavenward and cry Abba Father. Abba is an Aramaic word and it expresses an intimate relationship between God and the believer. It means papa or daddy and while we may hesitate to address God in such familiar terms as papa or daddy the truth remains that He that is infinitely high is also intimately nigh. Adoption is used three different ways in Romans here it refers to the consciousness of son-ship which the Holy Spirit produces in the life of the believer. In Romans 8:23 it looks forward to that time when the believer’s body will be redeemed or glorified. In Romans 9:4 it looks back to that time when God designated Israel for His son. In Galatians 4:5 the word means son placing that is the act of placing all believers as mature adult sons with all the privileges and responsibility of son-ship. Every believer is a child of God in that he is born into a family with God as the Father. But every believer is also a son a special relationship carrying the privileges of one who has reached the maturity of manhood. In the NT adoption never means what it means in our society to take a child of other parents as one’s own. Romans 8:16, tells us that there is a spiritual instinct in the newborn believer that he is, a son, of God. The Holy Spirit tells him that it is so and He does it primarily through the Word of God. As a Christian reads the Bible the Spirit confirms the truth that because he has trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior he is now a child of God. [Gal. 4:4-6] Before God could bring us into the wonderful position of son-ship the price for sin had to be paid. So the Lord Jesus coming into the world as a member of the human race and the Jewish nation paid it. Because He is God His death was infinite in value that is it was sufficient to pay for any number of sinners. Because He was man He could die as a substitute for man. As long as men were slaves they could not be sons. Christ delivered them from the bondage of the law in order that they might be sons. Notice here the distinction between becoming a child of God and a son, of God. The believer is born into the family of God as a child. The emphasis here is on the fact of divine birth not on the privileges and responsibilities of son-ship. The believer is adopted into the family as a son. Every Christian is a son immediately and is brought into the inheritance of which he is an heir. Thus the instructions to Christians in the NT assume no infancy among the saints all are treated as mature sons. Adoption in Roman culture differed from that in modern life. We think of adoption as taking someone else’s child to be one’s own but in the NT adoption means putting believers into the position of mature sons with all the privileges and responsibilities of that position. In verse 6, in order that those who are the sons of God might realize the dignity of their position God sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to indwell them. The Spirit creates an awareness of son-ship calling the saint to address God as Father. No slave could address the head of a family in this fashion it was reserved for members of the family and expresses love and confidence.
D. The Privileges Of Adoption – first of all, the believer now has a Father that loves him [I John 4:9-10]. Secondly the believer has a Father that cares for him [I Peter 5:7]. Over against all our own anxious care is our Savior’s, never failing affectionate care. Third He protects us [Rom. 8:31]. When we consider these unbreakable links in the golden chain of redemption the conclusion is inevitable if God is for us then no one can be successful against you or me. Four, as a Father God corrects us [Heb. 12:5-11]. What we have here is the Christian view of suffering is now presented. Why do persecution, testing, trials, sickness, pain and sorrow come into the life of the believer? Are they a sign of God’s anger or displeasure? Do they happen by chance? How should we react to them? What these verses teach is that these things are part of God’s education program for His children. Although they do not come from God He permits them then overrules them for His glory our good and the blessing of others. Nothing happens by chance to the believer. Tragedies are blessings in disguise and disappointments are His appointments. God harnesses the adverse circumstances of life to conform us to the image of Christ [Prov. 3:11-12]. This principle was found in the OT and still applies in the NT. If we rebel or give up we lose the benefit of His dealing with us and fail to learn His lessons. When we read the word chastening or chastisement we tend to think of a whipping but here the word would mean child training or education. And sometimes it feels like a whipping because we’re stubborn and pig-headed and don’t want God to deal with us. It includes instruction, discipline, correction and warning all are designed to cultivate Christian virtues and drive out evil in our lives. In this passage the chastening was not punishment for wrong doing but training through persecution. The passage in Proverbs distinctly states that God’s discipline is a proof of His love and no son of His escapes chastisement. If you are a true son, of God and He sends something into your life to try to maybe correct you. Show son-ship by remaining submissive to the chastening of God by this we permit His discipline to mold us into His image. If we try to short circuit His dealings with us He may have to teach us over a longer period of time using more instructive and consequently more difficult methods. Promotions come only when we have learned our lessons. God loves us to, much to let us develop naturally. In the spiritual realm those who do not experience God’s discipline are illegitimate not true sons. God’s discipline is always perfect His wisdom is infallible. His chastening, are never the result of whim but always for our profit. His objective is that we may be partakers of His holiness and godliness can never be produced outside God’s school. While discipline seems painful yet it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Fifth, we have the Father’s promise to never leave us [Heb. 13:5-6] we find this also in [Psalm 118:6] and these words are the confident confession of one who has Christ. The fact is in Christ we have perfect security, perfect protection and perfect peace.
As a result of adoption the believer now is a fellow citizen with the saints in the household of God [Eph. 2:19-22]. In these four verses Paul lists some of the overwhelming new privileges of believing Gentiles. They are no longer strangers and foreigners. Never again will they be aliens, dogs, (that is what they were called by the Jews) uncircumcised, outsiders, as a result of adoption now they are fellow citizens with all the saints of the NT period. Believers of Jewish ancestry have no advantage over them. All Christians are first class citizens of heaven and members of the household of God. Not only have they been super naturalized into the Divine Kingdom they have been adopted into the divine family. Another privilege of adoption is that the believer is and heir of God and a joint heir of Christ [Rom. 8:17]. An heir is someone who eventually inherits his father’s estate and this is what is meant here all that the Father has is ours. The Holy Spirit will raze up the believer’s body at the Second Coming of Christ [Rom. 8:11]. This verse tells reminds us that though the body is still subject to death it need cause no alarm or despair the fact that the Holy Spirit indwells our bodies as believers is our guarantee that just as he raised Christ from the dead so He will also give life to our mortal bodies this will be the final act of redemption when our bodies are glorified like the Savior’s body. [I Cor. 15:51-52], Paul talks about a mystery. A mystery is a truth previously unknown but now revealed by God to the apostles and made known through them to us. The truth of the resurrection is not a mystery since it appears in the OT but the fact that not all will die and the change of living saints is something that had never been known before. The last trump here does not mean the end of the world or even the last trump mentioned in Revelation rather it refers to the trump of God, which will sound when Christ comes in the air for His saints [I Thess. 4:13-18]. [Phil. 3:21], when the Lord Jesus comes from heaven He will change these bodies of ours. There is nothing vile or evil about the human body in itself. The evil lies, in the wrong uses to which it is put but it is a lowly body a body of humiliation. It is subject to wrinkles, scars, age, sickness and death. It limits and cramps us however the Lord will transform it into a body of glory. The full extent of the meaning of this we do not know it will no longer be subject to decay or death, to limitations of time or natural barriers. It will be a real body yet perfectly suited to conditions in heaven. It will be like the resurrection body of the Lord Jesus Christ. This does not mean that we will all have the same physical appearance Jesus was distinctly recognizable after His resurrection and doubtless each individual will have his or her own physical identity in eternity. This does not teach that we shall be like Christ as far as the attributes of God are concerned. We shall never have all knowledge or all power neither shall we be in all places at one and the same time. But we shall be morally like the Lord Jesus and forever free from sin. [I Thess. 4:13-18], Paul says here that we should not be like unbelievers when someone dies they don’t know what to do or where the person has gone. We shouldn’t sorry as those who have no hope. We have the blessing that the Lord is going to come for us. Another privilege that we want to see is that God has predestined the believer to be conformed in the image of Jesus Christ and has promised to openly reveal Him as His Son [Rom. 8:29]. [Eph. 1:5]
E. The Final Adoption
Even though a believer is now fully God’s child God has not yet fully revealed him as such [I John 3:1-3]. However the first fruits of the Spirit is a guarantee that He will this is the main emphasis of adoption. The day when Christ returns and redeems the saint’s body in that day God will openly show all creation those who are His regenerated and adopted children [Rom. 8:23]. In one sense we have already been adopted into His family but in another sense our adoption will be complete when we receive our glorified bodies. Our spirits and souls have already been redeemed and our bodies will be redeemed at the time of the Rapture. [I Cor. 15:35-58], the question was asked how are the dead raised? Being philosophers the Greeks, reasoned, that the resurrection of the human body, was an impossibility. After all when the body turned to dust it became soil from which other bodies’ derived nourishment. In short the food that we eat is part of the elements of the bodies of generations long ago. When the body of the founder of Rhode Island was disinterred it was discovered that the roots of a nearby apple tree had gone through the coffin. To some degree the people who ate of the apples partook of his body. At the resurrection then who will claim the various elements? Paul replies to this kind of reasoning. You fool he said. Then he made the important point that the resurrection is not reconstruction no where does the Bible teach that at the resurrection God will put together the pieces and return us to our former bodies. There is continuity it is our body but there is not identity it is not the same body. Paul knew that such, miracles, cannot be explained so he used three analogies to make the doctrine clear. First seeds, when you sow seed you do not expect the same seed to come up at the harvest. The seed dies but from that death there comes life [John 12:23-28]. Furthermore what comes up at the harvest is usually more beautiful than what was planted. If at the resurrection all God did was to put us back together again there would be no improvement furthermore flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom. The only way we can enjoy the glory of heaven is to have a body suited to that environment. The body is sown in corruption but it is raised in such a nature that it cannot decay. There is no decay or death in heaven. It is buried in humility in spite of the cosmetic skills and ability of the mortician but is raised in glory. In burial the body is weak but in resurrection the body has power we shall be like Jesus. Today we have a natural body that is a body suited to a natural environment. We receive this body from Adam but the resurrection body is suited to a spiritual environment. In His resurrected body Jesus was able to move quickly from to place and even walked through locked doors yet, He was also able to eat food and His disciples were able to touch Him. The point Paul is making is that the resurrection body completes the work of redemption. Gives to us the image of the Savior. We are made in the image of God as far as personality is concerned. But in the image of Adam as far as the body is concerned. One day we shall bear the image of the Savior when we share in His glory. [I Cor. 15:46] states an important biblical principle first the natural, earthly then the spiritual, heavenly. The first birth gives us that which is natural but the second birth gives us that which is spiritual. God rejects the first birth and says you must be born again. If we depend on our first birth we shall be condemned forever but if we experience the new birth we shall be blessed forever. In [v 39] Paul anticipated here the discovery of science that the cell structure of different kinds of animals is different therefore you cannot breed various kinds of species indiscriminately. The human body has a nature of one kind while animals, birds and fish have another kind of flesh. The conclusion is this if God is able to make different kinds of bodies for men, animals, birds and fish why can He not make a different kind of body for us at the resurrection? Then he talks about heavenly bodies. Not, only, are there earthly bodies, but there are, also heavenly bodies and they differ one from another. In fact the heavenly bodies differ from each other in glory as far as the human eye is concerned as he talks about the sun, moon and stars. Paul is suggesting here that believers may differ from believers in glory even though all Christians will have glorified bodies. Every cup in heaven will be filled but some cups will be bigger than others because of the fullness and sacrifice of those saints when they were on earth. These illustrations may not answer every question that we have about the resurrection body but they do give us the assurance that we need. God will give to us a glorified body suited to new life in heaven. It will be unlike our present body in quality as the glory of the sun is unlike a mushroom in the cellar. We will use this new body to serve and glorify God for all eternity. We must remember that this discussion was not written by Paul merely to satisfy the curiosity of believers. He had some practical points to get across and he made them very clear. In [I Cor. 15:29-34] if we really believe in the resurrection of the body then we will use our bodies today to the glory of the Lord. Finally the lost will be given bodies suited to their environment in hell. They will suffer for forever in darkness and pain. It behooves us to seek to rescue them from judgment. [II Cor. 5:1-4], we have a future hope a building of God is not the believers heavenly home promised in [John 14:1-6], it is his glorified body.
A. Definition – justification means to be pronounced righteous it is the legal and judicial act where God declares the believer righteous in Jesus Christ. It is not only the taking away of the believer’s guilt but also the imputation of Christ’s righteousness in its place. The believer is not righteous in himself but only in Christ.
B. The Two Aspects Of Justification
There are two distinct aspects of justification. First we have the forgiveness, remission and taking away of the believer’s sins. Second what we have is the imputation of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Man usually thinks of salvation in terms of forgiveness or pardon, God however knew that man needed much more than just his sins forgiven. If salvation only meant forgiveness the believer would still be bound to his nature and unable to quit sinning. He would be forgiven for his sins but still hold the position of a sinner in God’s sight. God did not want such a weak and practically useless salvation for believers, He devised one that not only takes away sin but also puts righteousness in their place. Both imputed and imparted righteousness. When He looks on a believer He does not see someone who is still a sinner and only forgiven or someone who is just innocent of the guilt. He sees that saint completely justified with the righteousness of His Son Jesus Christ [Rom. 3:22-26]. What is being said in this passage is that faith is only as good as its object. All men trust something if only themselves, but the Christian trust Christ. Law righteousness is a reward for works gospel righteousness is a gift through faith. Many people will say I trust in God but this is not what saves us it is personal individual faith in Jesus Christ that saves and justifies the lost sinner. God has two kinds of attributes absolute, which He is in Himself and relative how He relates to the world and men. One of His absolute attributes is love [I John 4:8] when God relates that love to us it becomes grace and mercy. God in His mercy does not give us what we deserve and God in His grace gives us what we do not deserve. At a great cost to God we see that salvation is free but it is not cheap. Three words express the price God paid for our salvation. Propitiation, redemption and blood, in human terms propitiation means appeasing someone who is anger usually by a gift but this is not what it means in the Bible, propitiation means the satisfying of God’s holy law and the meeting of its just demands so that God can really forgive those who come to Christ. The word blood tells us what the price was Jesus had to die on the cross to justify lost sinners. The best illustration of this is the scapegoat [see Exodus; Psalm 103:12].
Dr. G. Campbell Morgan was trying to explain free salvation to a coal miner but the man was unable to understand it. I have to pay for it he kept arguing. With a flash of divine insight Dr. Morgan asked how did you get down into the mine this morning. Why it was easy the man replied I just got on the elevator and went down. Then Morgan asked wasn’t that too easy didn’t it cost you something? The man laughed no it didn’t cost me anything but it must have cost the company plenty to install that elevator. Then the man saw the truth it doesn’t cost me anything to be saved but it cost God the life of His Son.
God must be perfectly consistent with Himself. He cannot break His own law or violate His own nature. God is love and God is light. A God of love wants to forgive sinners but a God of holiness must punish sin and uphold His righteous law. How can God be both just and justifier? The answer is in Jesus Christ. When Jesus suffered the wrath of God on the cross for the sins of the world He fully met the demands of God’s law and also fully expressed the love of God’s heart. The animal sacrifices never took away sin but when Jesus died He reached all the way back to Adam and took care of those sins. No one including Satan could accuse God of being unjust or unfair because of His seeming passing over of sins in the OT. [Rom. 10:3-4], Paul is talking about the Jews who were ignorant of God’s righteousness because they went around trying to establish their own righteousness. The problem with Israel was Israel was ignorant of God’s righteousness not because they had never been told but because they refused to learn. There is an ignorance that comes from lack of opportunity but Israel had many opportunities to be saved. In their case it was an ignorance that stemmed from willful stubborn resistance to the truth. They would not submit to God. They were proud of their own good works and religious self-righteousness and would not admit their sins and trust the Savior. Paul had made the same mistake before he met the Lord [Phil. 3:1-11]. The Jews misunderstood their own law. Everything about the Jewish religion pointed to the coming Messiah. Their sacrifices, priesthood, temple services, religious festivals and covenants, their law told them they were sinners in need of a Savior but instead of letting the law bring them to Christ they worshiped their law and rejected their Savior. You see the law was a signpost pointing the way but it could never take them to their destination. The law could not give righteousness it only leads a sinner to the Savior who can give righteousness. Christ is the end of the law for those who believe. [II Cor. 5:21], what was the purpose of God the Father making God the Son to be sin for us? That we might be made the righteousness of God in Him so that we could have the righteousness of God imputed to us through Jesus Christ. Justification we are talking about, by faith, by imputation. [Col. 1:22-23], here we see we are presented to God holy, unblameable and unreproveable. Now the word holy is closely related to the word saint and both of these words express the idea of being set apart, dedicated and devoted to God. In the NT saints are not dead people who during their lives performed miracles and never sinned. No, NT saints were living people who had trusted Jesus Christ and Paul wrote this letter to living saints [Col. 1:12]. Unblameable means without blemish the word was applied to the temple sacrifices, which had to be without blemish. It s amazing that God looks at His children and sees no blemish on them God chose us to be without blame. Unreproveable means to be free from accusation. Once we have been reconciled to God no charges can be brought against us. The most important thing in our Christian lives is not how we look in our own sight or in the sight of others but how we look in God’s sight. In verse 23 we see the hope is the coming of Christ because they have been reconciled to God and now have this hope of glory. Paul’s statement here that “If ye continue in the faith” would seem to cast a shadow on our future glory is it possible that a believer could lose his salvation? No, the, if clause does suggests doubt or lay down a condition by which we keep our salvation. Paul used an architectural image in this verse a house firmly set on a foundation. The town of Colossae was located in a region known for earthquakes and the words “moved away” can mean earthquake stricken. Paul is saying if you are truly saved and built on the solid foundation [Jesus Christ] then you will continue in the faith and nothing will move you. We are not saved, by continuing in the faith but we continue in the faith and thus prove that we are saved. It behooves each professing Christian to test his own faith and examine his own heart to be sure he is a child of God.
The term justification in itself only speaks of God imputing righteousness to the believer’s account. However the Christian not only has righteousness reckoned to him he also has it in him. It is one of the characteristics of the divine nature he received the moment he believed. [II Peter 1:4] our faith involves God’s promises and He has given us His Word to help us develop this life of godliness. These promises are great because they come from a great God and they lead to a great life. They are precious because there value is beyond calculation. When a sinner believes on Christ the Spirit uses the Word of God to impart the life and nature of God within. If we feed our new nature the nourishment of the Word then we will have little interest in the garbage of the world [II Peter 2:22]. But if we make provisions for the flesh our sinful nature will lusts after the old sins and we will disobey God. Godly living is the result of cultivating that divine nature within of which we are partakers now because of justification.
C. The Method Of Justification
Justification is apart from any work of the law but is only obtained by faith in the finished work and shed blood of Jesus Christ. [Acts 13:38-39], Paul tells them here that through faith in Christ they could have two blessings that the law could never provide the forgiveness of their sins and justification before the throne of God. The Jews were taught that God justified the righteous, but punished the wicked. But God justifies the ungodly that have put their faith in, Jesus Christ. The law cannot justify the sinner it can only condemn the sinner. God not only forgives our sins but He also gives us the very righteousness of Christ and puts it on our account.
[Rom. 1:16-17] in these verses Paul affirms his confidence. Why would Paul even be tempted to be ashamed of the gospel as he contemplated his trip to Rome? For one thing the gospel was identified with a poor Jewish carpenter who was crucified. The Romans had no appreciation for the Jews and crucifixion was the lowest form of execution given a criminal. Why put your faith in a Jew who was crucified? And Rome was a proud city and the gospel came from Jerusalem, the capital city of one of the little nations that Rome had conquered. The Christians in that day were not of the elite of society they were common people and even slaves. To think of a little Jewish tentmaker going to Rome to preach is almost humorous. But Paul was not ashamed of the gospel and he gave us several reasons that explain why he was not ashamed. The origin of the gospel is Christ. Any message that was handed down from Caesar would get the immediate attention of the Romans. But the message of the gospel is from and about the very Son of God. How could Paul be ashamed of the gospel message when it came from God and was centered in His Son, Jesus Christ? We see too, also, in verse 16, the operation of the gospel it is the power of God why be ashamed of power? Power was the thing Rome boasted about the most. The fear of Rome hovered over the entire empire like a cloud. But with all her military power Rome was still a weak nation. The philosopher Seneca called the city of Rome a cesspool of iniquity. No wonder Paul was not ashamed he was taking to Rome the one message that had the power to change lives. He had seen the gospel work in other wicked cities such as Corinth and Ephesus and he was confidant that it would work in Rome. It had transformed his own life and he knew it could transform others. A third reason Paul was not ashamed of the gospel the outcome of the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. This word carried great significance in Paul’s day it was applied to personal and national deliverance. The emperor was looked upon as a savior as was the physician who healed you. The gospel delivered sinners from the penalty and power of sin. Salvation in fact is a major theme in this letter to the Romans. Salvation is the great need of the human race. If men and women are to be saved it must be through faith in Christ as proclaimed in the gospel. And the gospel is for every one who believe and therefore it for all men because all men need to be saved. Eternal life is one gift of God that is suitable for all people no matter their station in life. In verse 17, Paul states the theme for the letter the righteousness of God. The word righteousness is used in, one way or another over 60 times in this letter. He revealed His righteousness by making salvation available to the believing sinner. The problem how can a holy God ever forgive sinners and still be holy is answered in the gospel. Through the death and resurrection of Christ God is seen to be both just and justifier. The gospel reveals a righteousness that is by faith. In the OT righteousness was by works and sinners soon discovered that they could not obey God’s law and meet His righteous demands.
[Rom. 3:21-30] here we see all men obtain justification by faith in Jesus Christ. The only way for a man to be justified in this age of grace is through faith in Jesus Christ.
[Rom. 4:5] this verse makes it very clear that our works are not counted for righteousness but our faith is counted for righteousness. This verse makes a startling statement in that God justifies the ungodly. What the law said was I will not justify the wicked. The OT judge was commanded to justify the righteous and condemn the wicked. When Solomon dedicated the temple he asked God to condemn the wicked and to justify the righteous [I Kings 8:31-32]. God justifies the ungodly because there are no godly for Him to justify. [Rom. 5:1-9] in these verses we see the blessing of justification. In listing these blessings of justification Paul accomplished two purposes. First he told how wonderful it was to be a Christian. Our justification is not simply a guarantee of heaven but it is also the source of tremendous blessings that we enjoy here and now. His second purpose was to assure his readers that justification was a lasting thing. The Jews would ask can, this justification last if it does not require obedience to the law? What the trials and sufferings of life? What about the coming judgment? When God declared us righteous in Jesus Christ He gave to us seven spiritual blessings that assure us that we cannot be lost. We see in v. 1 we have peace with God. The unsaved person does not have this [Is. 48:22; 32:17]. Condemnation means that God declares us sinners, which is a declaration of war. Justification means that God declares us righteous which is a declaration of peace made possible by Christ death on the cross. Second, we have access to God. The Jew was kept from God’s presence by the veil in the temple and the Gentile, was kept out by a wall in the temple with a warning on it that any Gentile who went beyond would be killed. But when Jesus died He tore the veil and broke down the wall. In Christ believing Jews and Gentiles have access to God. We have peace with God, which takes care of the past, we have access to God, which takes care of the present and we have hope, which takes care of the future as one day we will share in His glory. When we were sinners there was nothing to rejoice about because we came short of the glory of God. But in Christ we can rejoice in His righteousness and glory and Paul amplifies this in [Rom. 8:18-30]. Third, in verses 3-4 we have the Christian’s character. Justification is no escape from the trials of life [John 16:33] but for the believer trials work for him and not against him no amount of suffering can separate us from the Lord. Instead trials bring us closer to the Lord and make us more like the Lord since suffering builds Christian character. The word experience in [Rom. 5:4] means character that has been proved. The sequence is tribulation, patience, proven character, and hope. Our English word tribulation comes from the Latin word tribuluum. In Paul’s day a tribulum was a heavy piece of lumber with spikes in it used for threshing the grain. The tribulum was drawn over the grain separating the wheat from the chaff as we go through tribulations and depend on God’s grace the trials only purify us and help us to get rid of the chaff. Fourth, in [Rom. 5:5-8] we see God’s love within. Hope deferred makes the heart, sick [Prov. 13:12]. But as we wait for this hope to be fulfilled the love of God is poured out in our hearts. Know how the first three of the fruit of the Spirit are experienced love, joy and peace. Before we were saved God proved His love by sending Christ to die for us now that we are His children surely He will love us more. It is the inner experience of this love that sustains us as we go through tribulation. Faith, hope and love all combine to give the believer patience as we go through the trials of life. And patience makes it possible for the believer to grow in character and become a mature child of God. Five in verse nine we have salvation from future wrath. Paul argued from the lesser to the greater. If God saved us when we were enemies surely He will keep on saving us now that we are His children. There is a wrath to come but no true believer will experience it. Because He lives we are eternally saved.
[Rom. 10:4] we are no longer under the law because righteousness only comes through Jesus. [I Cor. 6:11] we are justified through Jesus. [Gal. 2:16] this verse is very clear justification is by faith in Jesus Christ and not by works in the law. This is a good verse to use with a lost person who thinks that works can save them. Justification is an act and not a process. No Christian can be more justified than another Christian. Having therefore been once and for all justified by faith we have peace with God since we were justified by faith it is an instant and immediate transaction between the believing sinner and God. If we were justified, by works then it would have to be a gradual process. Furthermore justification is an act of God it is not the result of man’s character or works. It is God that justifies. It is not by doing the works of the law that a sinner gets a right standing before God it comes by faith in Jesus Christ. [Gal. 3:8] we see the word heathen here simply means Gentiles. Paul’s quotation of Moses proves that from the very beginning of Abraham’s relationship with God the blessing of salvation was promised to all nations of the world. The logic here is that if God saved the Gentiles by faith then the Judaizer’s are wrong for wanting to take them back under the law. The true children of Abraham are not those by physical descent but Jews and Gentiles who have believed on Jesus Christ by faith. [Gal. 3:22]
Tape 4/Side 2
If one could be justified by keeping the law or good works then Christ died for nothing [Gal. 2:21]. At the time Paul is writing this we see that the Judaizer’s wanted to mix law and grace. To go back to the law means to set aside the grace of God. Peter had experienced God’s grace in his own salvation and he had proclaimed God’s grace in his own ministry. But when he withdrew from the Gentile Christian fellowship he openly denied the grace of God. Grace says there is no difference, all are sinners and all can be saved through faith in Christ. But Peter’s actions had said there is a difference the grace of God is not sufficient we also need the law. Returning to the law nullifies the cross. If righteousness came, by the law then Christ is dead in vain. You see the law says to do and grace says done it is finished. We have no record of Peter’s reply to Paul’s rebuke but scripture would indicate that he admitted his sin and was restored to the fellowship once again. Certainly, when we read, I, and II, Peter there is no deviation, from the gospel of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. [Gal. 3:24] by using the illustration that he uses here Paul is saying that the Jews were not born through the law but rather were brought up by the law. The slave was not the child’s father he was the child’s guardian and disciplinarian so the law did not give life to Israel it regulated life. The Judaizer’s taught that the law was necessary for life and righteousness and Paul’s argument shows their error. But the second thing Paul says is even more important the work of the guardian was preparation for the child’s maturity. Once the child came of age he no longer needed the guardian. So the law was a preparation for the nation of Israel until the coming of the Promised Seed Jesus Christ. The ultimate goal in God’s program was His coming but before this faith came the nation was imprisoned by the law. The law separated Israel from the Gentile nations. It governed every aspect of their lives. During the centuries of Jewish history the law was preparing for the coming of Christ. The demands of the law reminded the people they needed a Savior. The type and symbols in the law were pictures of the coming Messiah. The law has performed its purpose the Savior has come and the guardian is no longer needed. It is tragic that the nation of Israel did not recognize their Messiah when He appeared. God finally had to destroy the temple and scatter the nation so that today it is impossible for a devoted Jew to practice the faith of his fathers. He has no altar, no sacrifice, no priesthood, no temple and no king. All of these have been fulfilled in Christ so that any man Jew or Gentile can come to faith in Christ. The law cannot change the promise and the law is not greater than the promise or contrary to the promise they work together to bring sinners to the Savior. The reason God gave man the law was to show him that he is a sinner and unable to live up to God’s righteous standards. After the sinner realized this, its purpose was to lead them to Christ for salvation [Rom. 3:20].
D. The Extent Of Justification
Many believe that salvation only puts the believer in the same condition Adam was before the fall that is in an innocent state. Again this is only forgiveness. Innocence and forgiveness in themselves, do not speak, of righteousness, in any way. As Adam proved it only takes one act of disobedience for a person to lose their innocence. On the contrary the justified believer gains much more in Christ than he lost in Adam [Rom. 5:12-21]. What Paul is talking about here is the basis for our justification. How is it possible for God to save sinners in the person of Jesus Christ? How is such a substitution possible? Paul answered the question in this section and these verses are the very heart of the letter. To understand these verses a few general truths need to be understood. First note the repetition of the little word one it is used eleven times. The key idea is our identification with Adam and with Christ. Second note the repetition of the word reign, which is used five times. Paul saw two men Adam and Christ each of them reigning over a kingdom. Finally, note that the phrase “much more” is repeated five times. This means that in Jesus Christ we have gained much more than we have ever lost in Adam. This section is a contrast of Adam and Christ. Adam was given dominion over a kingdom he sinned and he lost it. Because of Adam’s sin all mankind is under condemnation and death and Christ came as a king over a new creation. By his obedience on the cross He brought in righteousness and justification. Christ not only undid all the damage that Adam’s sin affected but he accomplished much more by making us the very sons of God. We see in verse 15 that Adam’s offence is contrasted with Christ’s free gift. Because of Adam’s trespass many died. Because of Christ obedience grace abounds to many bringing life. The grace of Christ brings not only physical life, but, spiritual life and abundant life. In verse 16 we see the affect of Adam’s sin contrasted with the affect of Christ’s obedience. Adam’s sin brought judgment and condemnation but Christ work on the cross brings justification. When Adam sinned he was declared unrighteous and condemned. When a sinner trusts Christ he is justified and declared righteous in Christ. In verse 17 we have the two reigns contrasted. Because of Adam’s disobedience death reigned [Gen. 5] but in Jesus Christ we enter a new kingdom [Rom. 14:17] therefore being justified by faith we are declared righteous and have peace with God. In verses 18-19 the two one acts are contrasted. Adam did not have to commit a series of sins in one act God tested Adam and he failed. It is termed an offence and an act of disobedience. The word offence means trespass crossing over the line. God told Adam how far he could go and Adam decided to go beyond the appointed limit [Gen. 2:16-17]. In contrast to the trespass of one is the righteousness of one. Meaning the righteous work of Christ on the cross and Paul calls it the obedience of one. Christ sacrifice on the cross not only made possible justification but also justification of life. Justification is not merely a legal term that describes our position before God (as if we had never sinned) but it results in a certain kind of life. Our justification is the result of a living union with Christ and this union ought to result in a new kind of life a righteous life in obedience to God. Our union with Adam made us sinners, our union with Christ enables us to reign with Christ, in life. In verses 20-21 law and grace are contrasted. Grace was not an addition to God’s plan in fact grace reigned from the very beginning. In fact He dealt with Adam and Eve in grace. He dealt with the patriarchs in grace. He dealt with the nation of Israel in grace and He gave the Law of Moses not to replace His grace but to reveal man’s need for grace. The law was temporary but grace is eternal. As the law made man’s sins increase God’s grace abounded even more. His grace is more adequate to deal with sin and death. As mentioned before justification includes forgiveness and the remission of sins [Acts 10:43; Col. 2:12-13]. It does not stop here but brings with it the righteousness of God. This the believer cannot lose it is a gift that God has given with no conditions and we see it in [Rom. 5:17-21; 6:20-23]. Verse 20 tells us that the unsaved person is free from righteousness but his bondage to sin only leads him deeper into slavery so it becomes harder and harder to do what it right. The prodigal son is an example of this. When he was at home he decided he wanted his freedom so he left home to find himself and enjoy himself. But his rebellion only led him deeper into slavery. He was a slave of wrong desires, then the slave of wrong deeds and finally he became literally a slave when he took care of the pigs. He wanted to find himself but he lost himself. What he thought was freedom turned out to be the worst kind of slavery it was only when he returned home and yielded to his father that he found true freedom.
When a sinner receives Christ he receives a death he did not die satisfying the curse of the law against him [Gal. 3:13-14]. So Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law. These two verses summarize what Paul is saying in this section. The blessings of Abraham come through Christ. The Jews did not crucify criminals they stoned them to death but in cases of shameful violation of the law the body was hung on a tree and exposed for all to see. This was a great humiliation because the Jewish people were very careful in their treatment of a dead body. After the body had been exposed for a time it was taken down and buried and this is a reference to the cross. The word redeemed in [Gal. 3:13] means to purchase a slave for the purpose of setting him free. It is possible to purchase a slave and keep him as a slave but this is not what Christ did. He purchased us in order to set us free. Salvation is not exchanging one form of bondage for another salvation is being set free from the bondage of sin into the liberty of God through Christ. Thus every Christian is a partaker of Christ’s death and resurrection his position before God is the same as the Savior’s dead unto sin and alive unto righteousness [Gal. 2:20]. Paul is saying here that the believer is identified with Christ in His death not only was he crucified on Calvary we were there with Him. This means the end of us as sinners in God’s sight. This means the end of us as a person seeking to merit salvation by our own merits. Although the believer is legally dead to sin in God’s sight he is not yet dead to it physically. This leaves him still able to sin. The ability to sin however does not affect the saint’s standing or position before the Lord. To God the old sinful nature is forever dead and a dead man cannot sin. God wants every Christian to reckon or account himself that way so that he won’t sin. [Rom. 5:17-18; 6:1-14] the repetition of the word “know” in verses 3, 6, and 9 indicates that Paul wanted us to understand a basic doctrine. Christian living depends on Christian learning duty is always founded on doctrine. If Satan can keep a Christian ignorant he can keep him impotent. The basic truth Paul was teaching was the believer’s basic identification with Christ in death, burial and resurrection. Because of his living union with Christ the believer is dead to sin. Lazarus was raised from the dead to walk in newness of life and was sat at the right hand of Jesus in John 12:2, all of these facts illustrate the spiritual truths of our identification with Christ as given in Ephesians 2:1-10. Too many Christians are what we call betweeners they live between Egypt and Canaan saved but never satisfied. It is clear then that the believer cannot live in sin because of his identification with Christ. The Christian should not want to go back to sin just as Lazarus would not want to put on the grave clothes again. Paul introduces a second fact and that is the Christian should not serve sin. The body is not sinful it is neutral it can be controlled either by sin or by God. But man’s fallen nature, which is not changed at conversion gives sin a beachhead from which it can attack and then control [Rom. 7:18]. The old man was crucified with Christ so that the body no longer needs to be controlled by sin. Sin and death have no dominion over Christ and we are in Christ therefore sin and death no longer has dominion over us. Through Christ we reign in life so that sin no longer controls our life [Rom. 5:17]. How do we make this work in daily experience? Paul says [Rom. 6:11] to reckon, ourselves to, be, dead unto sin but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. The longer we walk with Christ the deeper the fellowship must be. But it begins with the first step of yielding once and for all to the Lord and to be sure we daily surrender to the Lord. Our body is His temple to be used for His glory.
[Rom. 8:10] and what Paul is saying here is because of the ministry of the Spirit Christ is in the believer and it is amazing that the Lord of life and glory dwelling in our bodies especially when we remember that these bodies are subject to death because of sin. [Col. 3:3] because we have died with Christ we have the spiritual power to slay the earthly fleshly desires that want to control us. [I Peter 2:24] this verse tells us that Christ died as the sinners substitute he bare our sins on the cross [Is. 53:4-5, 11].
E. The Permanence Of Justification
The justification that God gives the believer will extend throughout eternity the reason is the saint is in the eternal savior [Rev. 22:13]. Not only that who purchased with an eternal redemption [Heb. 9:12]. [Heb. 5:9] He became the author of eternal salvation by means of His earthly suffering. [John 10:28]
A. Definition – means to put something on a person’s account or charge; to attribute or reckon something to an individual.
B. Of Adam’s Sin To All Mankind
When Adam disobeyed God by eating from the tree of knowledge he not only brought death upon himself but upon all of his descendants. Adam represents the whole of human race and [Rom. 5:12] states that men die not because of their own sin but because of Adam’s one sin in Eden. Since Adam is the father of all mankind God attributes his sin to all of his offspring. This makes every person a sinner. God does this because all of humanity was in Adam when he sinned. So in effect when Adam sinned we sinned. [Rom. 5:13-14] indicates that men died because of the sin of their father Adam. [Rom. 4:15] Paul is saying that the law brings about God’s wrath not His blessing. It condemns those who fail to keep its commandments permanently and continuously and since none can do that all who are under the law are condemned to death. It is impossible to be under the law without being under the curse. The Jews thought they had inherited a blessing by having the law but all they inherited was transgression. God gave the law so that sin might be seen as transgression. He never intended it to be the way of salvation for sinful transgressors. [I Cor. 15:22] we see here that Adam and Christ are presented as federal heads this means that they acted for other people and all who are related to them are affected by their actions. All who ascended from Adam die so in Christ all shall be made alive. God is showing us in [Rom. 5:17-19] that all born of Adam are sinners and die but also that all born of Christ are righteous and alive. Since all are condemned by the actions of one man all can be saved by the actions of another.
C. Of The World’s Sins To Jesus Christ
The primary reason Jesus Christ came into the world was to die for its sins and take them away [John 1:29; Gal. 1:4]. From the very beginning the gospel was centered in Jesus Christ the Son of God. The Person paid a price He gave Himself to die upon the cross. Christ paid the price that He might achieve a purpose delivering sinners from the bondage to sin. [I Tim. 1:15] Paul makes it clear that this salvation is not for him only but for all who will trust Jesus Christ. [Heb. 1:3] we see that the express image and it carries the idea of exact imprint literally Jesus Christ is the exact representation of the very substance of God. Only Jesus could honestly say he who has seen me has seen the Father. [Heb. 9:28] in short the work of Christ is a completed work final and eternal. On the basis of His completed work He is ministering now in heaven on our behalf. The word appear, appears three times in [vv 24-28]. He has appeared to put away sin by dying on the cross. He is appearing now in heaven for us, and one day He shall appear to take believer’s home. The three tenses of salvation are all based on His finished work. [Heb. 10:4-14] – animal sacrifices could never completely deal with human guilt. God did not promise forgiveness to believing worshipers but this was a judicial forgiveness and not the removal of guilt from people’s hearts. People lacked the inward witness of full and final forgiveness. They could not claim I have no more consciousness of sin. If those worshipers had been once purged from the guilt of sin they would never again have had to offer another sacrifice. So the annual day, of atonement did not accomplish remission of sin but only reminder of sin. The annual ritual of atonement only served as a reminder that the previous sacrifices had not done the job. True the nation’s sins were covered but they were not cleansed nor did the people have God’s inward witness of forgiveness and acceptance. There was a desperate need for a better sacrifice because the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins, it could cover sins and postpone judgment but it could never effect a once and for redemption. Only the better sacrifice of the Son of God could do that. In [vv 5-9] we see the provision of a better sacrifice. It was God who provided and not man. The quotation from [Ps. 40:6-8] and is applied to Jesus Christ in His incarnation. This makes it clear that Christ is the fulfillment of the OT sacrifices. This does not suggest that the old sacrifices were wrong or that sincere worshipers received no benefit from obeying God’s law. It only means that God had no delight in sacrifices as such apart from the obedient heart of the worshipers. No amount of sacrifices could substitute from obedience [I Sam. 15:22; Ps. 51:16-17; Is. 1:11, 19; Jer. 6:19-20; Hos. 6:6; Amos 5:20-21]. In [v 10] we see the effectiveness of the better sacrifice believers have set apart and sanctified through Christ body once for all. No OT sacrifice could do that. An old covenant worshiper had to be purified from ceremonial defilement repeatedly but a new covenant saint is set apart finally and completely. Thus the sacrifice of Christ never has to be repeated. [I John 2:2].
Jesus Christ did not have to give His life for the sins of the world He could have sent the whole world to hell and been justified in doing so thus His giving of His life was a voluntary act of love on our behalf. [John 3:16; 10:18; Rom. 5:8]. Though personally Christ Himself was sinless the Father laid on Him all the sins of the world and treated Him as the worst sinner. This is why Jesus prayed that if possible the Father’s cup could pass from Him. He was talking about the full wrath of God the Father being poured out on sin and that is what happened when the earth was darkened for three hours. God the Father could not look upon the sin of the world that was placed on Jesus Christ.
[II Cor. 5:19-21]. These verses leave no doubt that God made Christ to be sin for us thus reconciling the world to Himself. Every person’s sins were imputed/placed on Jesus and all those who will come to Jesus by faith believing on Him, will have imputed unto them the righteousness of God through His Son Jesus Christ. The Just suffered for the unjust so that He could save all who receive Him. Those who refuse Him must suffer for their sins themselves. [John 3:18, 36; II Thess. 1:5-12] – what Paul is telling us here in this passage [II Thess. 1:5-12] is that God would recompense affliction to the lost but rest to the saved. To recompense means to repay and certainly the wicked, who persecute the godly do not always receive their just payment in this life in fact the apparent prosperity of the wicked and the difficulty of the godly has posed many a problem for God’s people. As Christians we must live for eternity and not just for the present. In fact living with eternity in view is what makes our Christian life meaningful today. We walk by faith and not by sight. The Christ rejecting world will receive from God exactly what it gave to God’s people. When God recompenses He pays in kind for there is a law of compensation that operates in human history. Pharaoh tried to drown all the babies born to the Jews and his own army was drowned in the Red Sea. Haman plotted to wipe out the Jews and he and his own sons were wiped out. The advisors of King Darius forced him to arrest Daniel and throw him into a lion’s den but were later thrown themselves into the lion’s den and killed. The unbelieving Jewish leaders who sacrificed Christ in order to save the nation in a few years saw their city destroyed and the nation scattered. It is a righteous thing for God to judge sin and condemn sinners. A Holy God cannot leave sin un-judged. People who say that they cannot believe that a loving God would judge sinners and send people to hell understand neither the holiness of God nor the awfulness of sin. God cannot love righteousness without hating sin and judging it. The word vengeance must not be confused with revenge. The purpose of vengeance is to satisfy God’s holy law. The purpose of revenge is to pacify a personal grudge. God does not hold a grudge against lost sinners. Quite the contrary He sent His Son to die for them but if sinners prefer to know not God and obey the gospel there is nothing left for God to do but judge them. Some cultists have tried to dilute the meaning of everlasting destruction saying it means either temporary suffering or total annihilation. But both ideas are false the phrase means eternal judgment no matter how many men try to twist it or avoid it.
D. Of The “Righteousness of God” To the Believer – this imputation was covered under the study of justification where the believer is justified by the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. Comparing this imputation with the last one shows us how real a doctrine imputation is. Since every Christian believes that Jesus died for his sins because God imputed them to Him should also believe that he has been justified with Christ imputed righteousness. If imputation is real enough to cause a sinless man’s death the imputation of righteousness must be just as real. God treated Christ as a sinner so He could treat the sinner as righteousness. [I Peter 2:24] – The reason that Christ bore our sins in His own body on Calvary was that we being dead to sin should live unto righteousness.
A. Definition – sanctification means to be set apart unto God for God’s use; to be set apart from sin unto holiness. It is an act of God where He consecrates the believer unto Himself. The topic of sanctification is found over 1000 times in the scriptures. It is a doctrine the Holy Spirit wants the believers to especially understand.
B. Positional Sanctification
This is the instantaneous sanctification the believer receives the moment he trusts Christ. At that time Christ sets His soul apart from sin and imparts unto him His own holiness and righteousness. God’s law a reflection of His nature demands that man be perfect and holy. This however is impossible for the natural man because he is by nature sinful and unholy. [Rom. 8:8] – the unsaved person lives to please himself and rarely if ever thinks about pleasing God. The root of sin is selfishness I will and not thy will. To be unsaved and not have the Spirit is the lowest level of life but a person need not stay on that level by faith in Christ a person can move to highest level. [Ephesians 2:1-4] – The dead are those who are unable to understand and appreciate spiritual things. They possess no spiritual life and they can do nothing of themselves to please God. Just as a person physically dead does not respond to physical stimuli so a person spiritually dead is unable to respond to spiritual things. The cause of spiritual death is trespasses and sin. In the Bible death is basically separation not only physically as the spirit separated from the body but also spiritually as the spirit is separated from God. The unbeliever is not sick he is dead he does not need resuscitation he needs resurrection. There are three areas that contribute to the disobedient state of man, the world, Satan and the flesh. Christ was no of this world and neither are His people. The unsaved person is controlled either consciously or unconsciously by the values and attitudes of this world. The devil is the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. This does not mean that he is at work in the life of each unbeliever since Satan as a created being is limited in space. Unlike God who is omnipresent Satan cannot be in all places at one time. But because of his demonic associates and his power over the world’s system he influences the lives of all unbelievers and also seeks to influence believers. He wants to make people children of disobedience. The flesh also encourages the believer to disobey God. Paul is not referring to the body because the body in itself is not sinful the flesh refers to the fallen nature that we were born with that wants to control the body and the mind and make us disobey God. No person can change his own nature or of himself overcome the world and the devil he needs outside help and that help can come only from God. When a person receives Christ he gets all of Christ moral virtues with him he meets all the laws requirements in Him. [Rom. 10:1-4] – Paul is saying here is that the Jews were ignorant of God’s righteousness they went around trying to come up with their own righteousness and establish their own rules to be right with God. But a person can only be with God through Jesus Christ. When God looks at the position of a Christian He sees the separated sanctified righteous and perfect life of His Son Jesus Christ. The saint need never fear losing his standing with God because it is his union with Christ that brought it about. This union can never be broken [Rom. 15:16] – the emphasis here is on a priestly sacrifice.
[I Cor. 1:2] – sanctified here means set apart to God from the world and describes the position of all who belong to Christ. As to their practical condition they should set themselves apart day, by day in holy living. Some people contend that sanctification is a distinct work of grace whereby a person obtains the eradication of the sin nature. Such a teaching is contradicted in this verse. The Corinthian Christians were far from what they should have been in practical holiness but the fact remains they were positionally sanctified by God.
[I Cor. 1:30] – this verse emphasizes even further all that we are and have comes from Him not from philosophy and therefore there is no room for human glory. When we have Him there is a positional wisdom that guarantees our full salvation. Secondly He is our righteousness through faith in Him, we are reckoned righteous by a Holy God. Thirdly He is our sanctification in ourselves we have nothing in the way of personal holiness. But in Him we are positionally sanctified and by His power we are transformed from degree of sanctification to another. Finally He is our redemption and this doubtless speaks of redemption in its final aspect when the Lord will come and take us home to be with Himself and we shall be redeemed spirit, soul and body.
[I Cor. 6:11] – Paul is not implying that these sins were practiced by the Corinthian believers but he is warning them that such things characterized them before they were saved. But they had been washed, justified and sanctified. They had been washed from their sin and impurity through the precious blood of Christ and they were continually being washed from defilement through the Word of God. They were sanctified by the operation of the Spirit of God being set apart to God from the world. They had been justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by, the Spirit of God that is they had been reckoned righteous on the basis of the work of the Lord Jesus on the cross for them.
[Gal. 2:20] – Paul is saying here that the believer is identified with Christ in His death this means the end of us as people in God’s sight and as a child of Adam under condemnation of the law. This is true of our standing before God and it should be true of our behavior. The believer does not cease to live as a personality or individual but he one who is seen by God, as having died is not the same one who lives. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The Savior did not die for me in order that I might be able to go on living as I choose. He died for me so that from now on He might be able to live His life in me. The, life, which I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God. Faith means reliance or dependence and the Christian lives by continual dependence on Christ by yielding to Him.
[Eph. 1:3-4] – Paul talks about the source of our blessings for God the Father has made us rich in Christ. Through Christ we share in the riches of God’s grace, glory, mercy and the un-searchable riches of Christ. The scope of our blessings includes all the blessings and today He promises to supple our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus. But He does not promise to shield us from either poverty or pain. The Father has given us every blessing of the Spirit everything we need for a successful satisfying Christian life. The spiritual is far more important than the material. Not to know and depend on the Spirit is to live a life of spiritual poverty. No wonder Paul began his Ephesian ministry by asking some professed Christians if they really knew the Holy Spirit. We might ask professed Christians today did you receive the Holy Spirit when you first believed? If the answer is no then they are not saved. [Rom. 8:9] – unless you have the witness of the Spirit you cannot draw on the wealth of the Spirit. Then we see the sphere of our blessings they are in heavenly places in Christ. The unsaved person is interested primarily in earthly things because this is where he lives [Luke 16:8]. The Christian’s life is centered in heaven as is his citizenship for his name is written in heaven. Salvation begins with God and not with man all Christians agree. God in His love seeks the sinner. God chose us even before He created the universe so that our salvation is wholly of grace and not on the basis of anything we ourselves have done. He chose us in Christ not in ourselves to be holy and without blame. The mystery of divine sovereignty and human responsibility will never be solved in this life. Both are taught in the Bible. Both are true and both are essential. And you will note that all three persons in the Godhead are involved in our salvation. As far as God the Father is concerned you were saved when He chose you in Christ in eternity past but that alone did not save you. As far as the Son is concerned you were saved when He died for you on the cross and as far as God the Spirit is concerned you were saved when you yielded to His conviction and received Christ as your Savior. What began in eternity past was fulfilled in time present and will continue for all eternity.
[Heb. 2:11 – Christ is the One who sanctifies and He is the One who sets people apart from the world.
[Heb. 10:10] – we were set apart once and for all by the offering of Christ’s body [Heb. 10:14] – here we see the surpassing value of His offering and all who have been set apart for God from the world have been perfected in a two-fold sense. First they have a perfect standing before God. Second they have a perfect conscience as far as the guilt and penalty of sin are concerned they know that the price has been paid in full and that God will not demand payment a second time. [Heb. 13:12] –the animals in the OT burned outside the camp or the gate were a type the Lord Jesus was an anti-type He was crucified outside the city walls of Jerusalem. It was outside the camp of organized Judaism that He sanctified the people with His own blood. [Heb. 13:21] – God works in us what is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ. God equips us with every good and He does it through Jesus Christ then we do His will, in other words He places His desire in us and gives us the power to do it and He rewards us.
[I Peter 1: 2] – This verse tells us we have been chosen by the Father, purchased by the Son and set apart by the Spirit.
[Col. 2:10-15] – the moment a person believes in Christ there is a circumcision that goes on as our soul is cut away from our bodies of sin and this is done by the Word of God. Thus we are buried with Him baptism by the Holy Spirit of God and our water baptism is a picture of this. Therefore the law has no ordinance against us as the law was nailed to the cross and He has gotten the victory over Satan and all his demons by His resurrection.
[Rom. 6:11-22] – we have the power and ability to give ourselves completely to God because we have been born again and sanctified by the Spirit of God thus sin no longer has dominion over us. We are no longer under the yoke of the law but under God’s grace. [v 22] shows us the result of our sanctification and position in God through the union we now have with Christ.
[Col. 3:1-4] – as a result of sanctification our affection shall no longer lie on the things of this earth but on the things above. Thus we, are no longer a slave to our Adamic nature but we can still yield to it. We are set free to serve our new righteous nature, which is Christ. The saint is now capable of living a holy life that is pleasing to God.
C. Progressive Sanctification
This refers to the believer’s present life. This tense speaks of how the Christians present life is to become holier and more Christ-like day, by day. Since the believer’s soul is sanctified in Christ God expects this holiness to affect his behavior and be manifested in his daily walk. He wants him to follow his Savior and lean a clean separated life. [Rom. 12:1-4] – we are to give God our bodies. Before we trusted Christ we used our bodies for sinful pleasures and purposes but now that we belong to Him we want to use our body for His glory [I Cor. 6:19-20; Rom. 8:9]. It is our privilege to glorify and magnify Christ in our body. There are two living sacrifices in the scriptures. The first is Isaac and the second is Jesus. Isaac willingly put himself on the altar and would have died in obedience had that been the Lord’s will but God sent a ram to take his place. Isaac died just the same because he died to self and he willingly yielded himself to the will of God. When he got off the altar Isaac was a living sacrifice to the glory of God. Christ is the perfect illustration of a living sacrifice because He actually died as a sacrifice in obedience to His Father’s will and He arose again as a living sacrifice and as our High Priest and advocate before the throne of God. We are to commit ourselves to God because it is the right response for all that God has done for us and this commitment is our reasonable service or our spiritual worship. This means that every day is a worship experience when we are yielded to the Lord. In [v 2] we are to give Him our mind the world wants to control our mind but God wants us to transform our mind. It describes a change from within the world wants to control your mind so it exerts pressures from without but the Holy Spirit changes your mind from within. If the world controls your thinking you are a conformer if God controls your thinking, you are a transformer. God transforms our minds and makes us spiritually minded by using His Word. Then we are to give Him our will. Your mind controls your body your will controls your mind. Many people think they can control their will by will power but usually they fail. This was Paul’s experience [Rom. 7:15-21], it is only when we yield to God that we can receive the will power and won’t power we need to be victorious Christians.
[II Cor. 7:1] – God becomes our Father when Christ becomes our Savior but He cannot be to us a father unless we obey Him and fellowship with Him. He longs to receive us in love and treat us as precious sons and daughters. Salvation means we share the Father’s life but separation means we enter fully into the Father’s love [John 14:21-23]. Because of God’s precious promises we have some spiritual responsibilities we must cleanse ourselves once and for all of anything that defiles us. It is not enough to ask God to cleanse us we must cleanse our own lives and get rid of those things that makes it easy for us to sin. We need to deal with the cause of sin not the symptoms. Cleansing ourselves is only half the responsibility we must also be perfecting holiness in the fear of God and this is a constant process as we grow in faith in knowledge.
[Gal. 5:22-25] – what we see in this passage is that the Holy Spirit enables the believer to produce fruit. It is one thing to overcome the flesh and not do evil things but quite something else to do good things. The legalist might be able to boast that he is not guilty of adultery or murder but can anyone see the beautiful graces of the Spirit in his life. Negative goodness is not enough in the life there must be positive qualities as well. The contrast between fruit and works is important. A machine in a factory works and turns out a product but it could never manufacture fruit. Fruit must grow out of life and in the case of the believer it is the life of the Spirit. When you think of works you think of effort, labor, strain and toil. When you think of fruit you think of beauty, quietness, the unfolding life. The flesh produces dead works but the Spirit produces living fruit and it has within it the seed for more fruit. Jesus is concerned that we produce fruit, more fruit and much fruit according to [John 15:2, 5]. Because this is the way we glorify Him. The NT speaks of several different kinds of fruit. People won to Christ [Rom. 1:13], holy living [Rom. 6:22], gifts brought to God [Rom. 15:26-28], good works [Col. 1:10] and praise [Heb. 13:15]. The fruit of the Spirit here has to do with character. It is important that we distinguish the gift of the Spirit, which is, salvation and the gifts of the Spirit, which have to do with service from the graces of the Spirit, which relate to Christian character. It is unfortunate that an overemphasis on gifts has led some Christians to neglect the graces of the Spirit. Building Christian character must take precedence over displaying special abilities. The characteristics that God wants in lives are seen in the nine fold fruit of the Spirit.
[I Thess. 2:11-12] – a father must not only support the family by working and teach the family by being a good example he must also take time to speak to the family members. Paul knew the importance of teaching these new believers the truths that would help them grow in the Lord. Paul dealt with each of the believers personally. We must never be too busy to speak to individuals even though we preach to multitudes. To be sure this is difficult and demanding work but it is rewarding work that glorifies God. We need to encourage people to go on with the Lord. We must not only make people feel better but encourage them to do better. Christian encouragement must not become an anesthesia to put us to sleep it must be a stimulant that awakens us to do better. Paul charged them out of his own experience with the Lord in order to help them walk worthy.
[I Thess. 4:1-7] – Paul is telling the believers at Thessalonica to walk in holiness and the moral climate in the Roman Empire at the time was not healthy. Immorality was a way of life and thanks to slavery people had the leisure time to indulge in the latest pleasures. The Christian message of holy living was new to that culture and it was not easy for these new believers to fight the temptation around them. Paul gave four reasons why they should live a holy life and abstain from sensual lusts. First, to please God everybody leaves to please somebody therefore we should live to please God. Enoch walked with God and before God took him he had this testimony that he pleased God. Pleasing God means much more than simply doing God’s will. It is possible to obey God and yet not please Him. Jonah is a case in point he obeyed God and did what God asked but his heart was not in it. God blessed his word but He could not bless His servant so Jonah sat outside the city of Nineveh angry with everybody including the Lord. Our obedience should not be with eye service as men pleasers but as servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart. We come to know what pleases God as we listen to Him through the Word and living with Him in fellowship, worship and service. It is through these things that we get to know the heart of God and this opens up to the will of God. Because we are soldiers in the Lord’s army we must obey orders. Because we know God we are obligated to glorify Him in this world.
For a person who does not know Christ it is impossible for him to live a holy life. However after salvation he can he has the power of the Indwelling Holy Spirit to lift him and the Spirit compels him to live not conformed to this world but after Christ [Col. 2:6].
[Rom. 16:19] – what Paul is saying is that he was glad that his readers obedience to the Lord was well known but still he wanted to learn and discern to obey good teaching and be unresponsive to evil. [I Cor. 6:12-13] – Paul was talking about moral laxness between some believers. So he lays down some of the principles for judging between right and wrong. The first principle is a thing may be lawful but not helpful. When Paul says that all things are lawful it would not be lawful for him to commit any of the sins listed previously in [vv 9-10]. He is here speaking about those things that are morally indifferent. For example should a Christian eat pork was a very real issue among believers in Paul’s time. It did not matter to God if a man ate pork so it was a matter of moral indifference. Paul, was simply saying, that there, may be, certain things that are permissible, yet no profitable. The second principle is that some things might be lawful yet they might be enslaving. We are not to be brought under the power of any. Things, such as, a computer, alcohol, and tobacco for example. A third principle is that some things are perfectly lawful for the believer yet their value is temporary. See [v 13], this means that the human stomach has been so constructed that it can receive food and digest them likewise God has wonderfully designed food so that they can be received by the human stomach and yet we should not live for food because the have only temporary value. They should not be given an undue place in the life of the believer. There is something amazing in this verse, which, should not escape notice not only is the body for the Lord but the Lord is for the body. This means that the Lord is interested in our bodies their welfare and proper use. God wants our bodies to be presented to Him a living sacrifice holy and acceptable. [I Cor. 6:19-20] – God the Father created our bodies and God the Son redeemed them and God the Spirit indwells our bodies and makes them the very temple of God. How can we defile God’s temple by using our bodies for immorality? The word your, is plural but the words body and temple are singular so Paul could be describing not only the individual but also a local church. We must bear in mind that the conduct in the life of the individual affects the body of the local church. In both cases the lesson is clear glorify God in your body. [I Cor. 7:23] – every Christian was bought with a price and henceforth belongs to the One who bought him the Lord Jesus. We are to be Christ’s servants and not become servants of men.
[II Cor. 6:14-17] – Paul is talking about the nature of the believer and he is making an appeal for separation from the things of the world and evil associations. It is the nature that determines associations. For example because a pig has a pig’s nature it associates with other pigs in the mud hole. Because a sheep has a sheep’s nature it munches grass with the flock in the pasture. The Christian possess a divine nature [II Peter 1:3-4] and therefore he should want to associate himself with only those who will please the Lord. The concept of unequally yoked comes from [Deut. 22:10] the ox was a clean animal to the Jews but the ass was not. And it would be wrong to yoke them together. Furthermore they have two opposite natures and would not even work well together. It would be cruel to bind them together. In the same way it is wrong for believers to be yoked together with unbelievers. The words fellowship, communion, concord (harmony), part, all speak of something in common. When we walk with the Lord and the world at the same time we break the spiritual friendship and create discord and division. Paul saw believers and unbelievers in stark contrast to each other. Righteousness and un-righteousness, light and darkness, Christ and Satan, belief and infidelity (unbelief), God’s temple and idols how could you possibly bring these opposites together? The very nature of a Christian demands that he be separated from that which is unholy. Separation is not just a negative act of departure it is also a positive act of dedication to God. We must separate from sin and unto God. We must not associate with that which will lead us to compromise our testimony or lead us into disobedience. Like a skillful surgeon we must practice contact without contamination otherwise we isolate ourselves from the people who need our ministry the most.
[Phil. 2:15] – Paul was saying that by refraining from complaints an disputes we may be blameless and harmless in other words sincere and guileless. To be blameless means that no charge can be laid against a person a blameless person my sin but he apologizes, confesses and makes it right whenever possible. To be harmless, here, means to be, sincere and without, deceit.
[Col. 3:5-15] – Paul speaks here about the changes that should be taking place as a result of our salvation. The ability to put off the old things and put on the new things is because of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. As our progressive sanctification moves along we should be putting off these things and growing more and more like Christ.
[I Tim. 6:11-12] – Paul is telling Timothy to flee. There are time when fleeing is an act of cowardice but there are other times when fleeing is a mark of wisdom and means of victory [Gen. 39:12].
[Heb. 12:1-4] – these people in [Heb. 11] are not witnessing what we are doing rather they are bearing a witness to us that God can see us through. God bore witness to them and they are now bearing witness to us. Athletes used to wear training weights to help them prepare for the events. No athlete would actually participate wearing the weights because they slow him down. The weights, that we should remove is everything that would hinder our progress. The winning athlete does not choose between the good and the bad but between the better and the best. We are to look in other words trust in Christ and, describes, an attitude of faith not just a single act. Our Lord endured and therefore we too are to endure for the Lord.
[I Peter 2:11-12] – as Christians we must constantly remind ourselves of who we are. We are God’s children. In ourselves there is nothing that God can love but He loves us because of Jesus Christ. Because of our faith in Christ we are accepted in the beloved. Our love relationship with Jesus ought to be motivation enough for us to live godly lives in this godless world. There is something deeper than love because of duty and that is obedience because of devotion [John 14:23].
How to resist temptation and live above sin? Every Christian knows what it means to be tempted. However being tempted to sin is not a sin in itself. The Lord was tempted in all the areas that we are and yet He was without sin. [Heb. 2:17-18] – what is the writer saying here? The Lord’s humility enables Him to be a sympathetic high priest to His people. Being pure spirits who have never suffered the angels cannot identify with us in our weaknesses and needs but praise the Lord Jesus can. While He was here on the earth Jesus was made like unto His brethren in that He experienced the sinless infirmities of human nature. He knew what it was to be a helpless baby, a growing child, a, maturing adolescent. He knew first hand the experiences of weariness, hunger and thirst [John 4:6-8]. He knew what it was to be despised and rejected. To be lied about and falsely accused. He experienced physical suffering and death and all of this was part of His training for His heavenly ministry as high priest. If you want an example who was not a merciful and faithful high priest then read the account of Eli [I Sam. 2:27-36]. Here was a high priest who did not lead his sons into a faithful walk with the Lord. He even accused Hannah of being drunk [I Sam. 1:9-18]. Jesus Christ is both merciful and faithful. He is merciful toward people and faithful toward God. He can never fail in His priestly ministries. He made the necessary sacrifices for our sins so that we might be reconciled to God. He did not need to make a sacrifice for Himself because He is sinless.
But what happens when we who are saved are tempted to sin? He stands ready to help us. He was tempted when He was on earth but no temptation ever conquered Him. Because He has defeated every enemy He is able to give us the grace to overcome every temptation. The word succor literally means to run to the cry of a child. It means to bring help when it is needed. Angels are able to serve us but they are not able to succor us in our times of temptation only Jesus Christ can do that. He can do it because He became a man and suffered and died.
It might be well at this point to explain the difference between our Lord’s ministry as high priest and His ministry as advocate. As our high priest the Lord is able to give us grace to keep us from sinning when we are tempted. If we do sin then He as our advocate presents us before the throne of God and forgives us when we sincerely present our sins to Him. Both of these ministries are involved in His present ministry of intercession. It is this intercessory ministry that is the guarantee of our eternal salvation. Jesus Christ knows what it is to be tempted and that is why He can relate to us. That is why God can relate to us because Jesus Christ was God manifested in the flesh.
God will allow His people to be tempted for several reasons. Some of them are first of all to try their faith [I Peter 1:7]. Peter is saying here that there is a further comfort for suffering saints in knowing that their sufferings are, neither, purposeless or fruitless. The sufferings of the ungodly are only a foretaste of the pains of hell, which they will endure eternally. This is not true for the Christian one of the many beneficial purposes of affliction in this life for the child of God is to test the genuineness of his faith. Peter contrasts our faith with gold. Of all the substances known to man gold is the one of the most imperishable. It can be subjected to intense heat and might seem to be indestructible but the truth is that gold perishes through use, pressure and fire. True faith is indestructible. The believer may undergo severe tests and trials but instead of destroying his faith they become food for his faith to feed on. Job said, though He slay me yet will I trust in Him. The three men in Daniel were literally tested by fire and the fire proved their faith to be real. The genuineness of faith can be proved only by fire. When prevailing conditions are favorable it might be easy to be a Christian but when public confession of Christ brings persecution and suffering then the casual followers drift away and are lost in the crowd. A religion, which costs nothing, is worth nothing. Faith, which refuses to pay the price is spurious it is the kind of say so faith that James condemns. Genuine faith will result in praise and honor and glory when Christ is revealed. This means that God will reward every instance of faith that stood the test. He will praise those that are joyful though surrounded by trouble. He will award and honor in glory to tried and suffering believers who were able to accept their sufferings as a vote of confidence from Him. This will be apparent when Christ comes to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords and all those whom the world rejected will be shown clearly to be sons of God. A comparison of scripture shows that rewards will be announced in heaven after the rapture. But the public display of these rewards takes place at the Second Advent of Christ.
The second reason God allows us to go through trials is to keep us humble and dependent upon Him. [I Peter 5:6]. Also to cause you and I to know the victory that is in Christ [I Cor. 15:57]. God allows us to go through trials and testing to enable us to win the crown of life [James 1:2-4, 12]. James says in essence here that outlook determines outcome and attitude determines action. God tells us to expect trials. It is not if you fall into various testing but when you fall into various tests. The believer who expects his Christian life to be easy is in for a shock. Jesus warned His disciples in the world ye shall, have temptation. Paul told his converts that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Because we are God’s scattered people and not God’s sheltered people we must experience trials. We cannot always expect everything to go our way. Some trials come because we are simply human; sickness; accidents; disappointments; even seeming tragedies; other trials come simply because we are Christians. Peter emphasized this in [I Peter 4:12]. Satan fights us and the world opposes us and this makes for a life of battle. The phrase fall into does not imply a stupid accident translate it encounter, come across. A Christian should certainly not manufacture trials. The trials of life are not all alike they are like variegated yarn that the weaver uses to make a beautiful rug. God arranges and mixes the colors and experience of life the final product my friend is a beautiful thing for His glory. The word count is a financial term it means to evaluate. When Paul became a Christian he evaluated his life and set new goals and priorities things that were once important to him became dung in light of his experience with Christ. When we face the trials of life we must evaluate them in light of what God is doing for us. This explains why the dedicated Christian can have joy in the midst of trials he lives for the things that matter most. Even our Lord was able to endure the cross because of the things that were set before Him [Heb. 12:3]. Our values determine our evaluations if we value comfort more than character then trials will upset us. If we value the material and physical more than the spiritual we will not be able to count it all joy. If we live only for the present and forget the future then trials will make us bitter not better. Job had the right outlook when he said but He knows the way that I take and when He has tried me I shall come forth as gold [Job 23:10]. We need to look at trials with the eyes of faith because outlook determines outcome. To end with joy begin with joy. How is it possible to rejoice in the midst of trials? What do Christians know that will make it easier to face trials and benefit from them? Faith is always tested we know. When God called Abraham by faith He tested him in order to increase his faith. God always test us to bring out the best and Satan tempts us to bring out the worst. The testing of our faith proves that we are truly born again. Testing works for us not against us. The word trying can be translated approval [I Peter 1:7]. A gold prospector brings his gold into the assayer’s office to be tested. The sample itself may not be worth more than a few dollars but the approval the official statement about the ore is worth millions. It assures the prospector that he has a gold mine. God’s approval of our faith is precious because it insures us that are faith is genuine. Trials work for the believer not against them. Paul said and we know that all things work together for good and for our light affliction, which is but a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Trials help us to mature. What does God want to produce in our lives? Patience, endurance, the ability to keep going when things are tough we glory in tribulation also knowing that tribulation works patience and patience experience and experience hope [Rom. 5:3-4]. In the Bible patience is not a passive acceptance of circumstances it is a courageous perseverance in the face of suffering and difficulty. Immature people are always impatient mature people are always patient and persistent. Impatience and unbelief usually go together just as faith and patience do [Heb. 6:12; 10:36; Is. 28:16]. God wants to make us patient because that is the key to every other blessing. The little child who does not learn patience will not learn much of anything else. When the believer learns to wait on the Lord then God can do great things for him. The only way the Lord can develop patience and character in our lives is through trials. Endurance cannot be obtained through reading a book, listening to a sermon or even praying a prayer we must go through the difficulties of life trust God and obey Him. The results will be patience and character knowing this we can face trials joyfully for we know what trials will do in us and for us. We know that the end result will be glory to God. This fact explains why studying the Bible helps grow in patience. As we read about the saints we realize that God has a purpose in trials. God fulfills His purposes, as we trust Him. There is no substitute for an understanding mind. Satan can defeat the ignorant believer but he cannot overcome the Christian who knows his Bible and understands the purposes of God. Trials definitely have a purpose in our lives and James says we will be rewarded. How? By growth in Christian character this is more important than anything else. He is rewarded also by bringing glory to God and being granted a crown of life when Christ returns. First, the cross then the crown, first the suffering then the glory God does not help us by removing the test but by making the test work for us. Satan wants to use the test to tear us down but God uses them to build us up.
We’re looking at how to resist temptation and live above sin. Now the Bible gives the believer some guidelines to follow concerning temptation. First he is to watch and pray that he enter not into it [Matt. 26:41]. Also the believer is to stay away from any situation that may lead him into it [Rom. 16:19]. The believer is to be transformed from worldly thinking to godly thinking [Rom. 12:1-4]. Nevertheless even after abiding in these guidelines temptation may still come the Christian can defend himself, against temptation by following three scriptural principles. First, follow his Savior’s example and resist the devil by rebuking him with scripture [Matt. 4:1-11]. We are to submit ourselves to God [James 4:4-7]. Second, yield ourselves to God and reckon ourselves dead to sin [Rom. 6:2-11; Gal. 2:19; I Peter 2:24]. Third, earnestly watch for the way of escape taking it immediately once it is discovered [I Cor. 10:13]. This is a verse of great comfort to tested saints of God through the centuries. If the believer will sincerely and prayerfully follow all of these principles when you are tempted you will by the power of God overcome the temptation. Furthermore the experience that you will gain will make you stronger and better able to serve the Lord. However if as a believer you give in and sin it is because you have neglected one or more of the above means of defense. When a Christian sins, he must remember that God will by no means abandon or forsake him. He is still his Father no matter what happens God will instantly forgive any believer when he confesses his disobedience as sin [I John1:8-10]. The believer will reap in the flesh what he has sown but he will not suffer eternal condemnation. Though sin cannot break a saint’s relationship with God it can cause a break in fellowship until he confesses sin and forsakes it. Finally concerning doubts and actions that the believer is not certain about the Holy Spirit is given some more principles to guide Christian. For example can the believer do the action he is thinking about in the name of Jesus? Can he give thanks to God for it? [Col. 3:17] Can the believer do it with the belief that it pleases God? [Rom. 14:23] Would you like the Lord to find you doing this when He returns? [I Thess. 5:1-3] Since we don’t know when the Lord will return we should be living for Him every second of every day and we should not undertake any action that would disgrace Him and shame us at His return.
The means of progressive sanctification, the Lord Jesus prayed to His Father that all believers be sanctified by, the Word of God [John 17:17]. The scriptures can sanctify because they reveal God’s nature and show the saint where he needs correction and instruction [II Tim. 3:16-17]. If a believer is to live a godly life then he must submit himself to the Bible by doing this the Holy Spirit will give him all he needs to live above sin.
D. Final Sanctification – [I Thess. 5:23; 4:13-18] – the believer’s body right now is not sanctified but in that glorious day it will be making him unable to sin. Thank the Lord for that there will be a day when we will be sanctified body, soul, and spirit and unable to sin ever again. [Rom. 6:7] – this event is also called the day of redemption [Eph. 4:30]. When the Lord returns all his saints will have a glorified body like His completely and totally separated from sin. [I Cor. 15:35-38] – Paul is saying here that when you sow a seed you do not expect that same seed to come up at the harvest the seed dies but from that death there comes life [John 12:23-28]. If at the resurrection all God did was to put us back together again there would be no improvement furthermore the Bible tells us that flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom. The only way we can enjoy the glories of heaven is to have a body suited to that environment [I Cor. 15:42-48]. There is no death or decay in heaven therefore our bodies are buried in humility and raised in glory. In burial the body is weak but in the resurrection the body has power we shall be like Jesus. Today we have a natural body suited to an earthly environment. We received this body from Adam but the resurrection body is suited to a spiritual environment. The resurrection body completes to us the work of redemption and gives to us the image of the Savior. We are made in the image of God as far as personality is concerned but in the image of Adam as far as the body is concerned one day we shall bear the image of the Savior when we share in His glory. [Phil. 3:21; Col. 3:4; I John 3:2]
Just as sanctification as three tenses past, present, and future salvation also has three tenses. Past, the believer has been saved from the guilt and the penalty of sin [II Cor. 2:15] – Paul notes that the preaching of the gospel has a two-fold effect it signifies one thing among those who are being saved and something altogether different among those who are perishing. To those who accept it, it is the pledge of a glorious future to others it is an omen of doom but God is glorified in either case for to Him it is the fragrance of grace in the one case and justice in the other. F. B. Meyer states it well when he says when therefore we are told that we may be to God a sweet savor of Christ it must be meant that we may so live as to recall to the mind of God what Jesus was in His mortal career. It is though as God watches us from day to day He should see Jesus in us and be reminded speaking after the manner of men of that blessed life which was offered as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.
[Eph. 2:5-8] – Christ made us alive and He accomplished this spiritual resurrection by the power of the Spirit using the word. In the four gospels it is recorded that Jesus raised three people from the dead. The widow’s son [Luke 7:11-17]; Jarius’s daughter [Luke 8:49-56]; and Lazarus [John 11:41-46] in each case He spoke the word and this gave life [Heb. 4:12]. These three resurrections are pictures of the spiritual resurrection that comes to the sinner when he hears the word and believes. But are spiritual resurrection is much greater because it puts us in union with Christ, God made us alive together with Christ. Not only did He quicken us, but, in [v 6] He exalted us. We are not raised from the dead and left in the graveyard because we are united with Christ we have been exalted with Him and are sharing the throne with Him in the heavenlies. Our physical position may be on earth but are spiritual position is in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Like Lazarus we have been called from the grave to sit with Christ and enjoy His fellowship. Not only has He quickened us and exalted us He keeps us in order that through all eternity the church might glorify God because of His grace. So if God has an eternal purpose for us to fulfill He will keep us for all eternity. Since, we have not been saved, by, our good works, we cannot be lost, by, our bad works. Grace means salvation completely apart from any merits or works on our part. Grace means that God does it all for Jesus sake. It is the gift of God.
[II Tim. 1:9] – God saved us this means that He delivered us from the penalty of sin. He constantly delivers us from the power of sin and in a day yet future He will deliver us from the very presence of sin. Also He has delivered us from the world and from Satan. God has called us with a holy calling. Why did God go to such great lengths to save us? The only answer is according to His purpose and grace. The reason for His action did not lie in us rather it lay in His own great heart of love He loved us because He loved us. His favor was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began this means that in the past eternity God determined upon this wonderful plan of salvation. He determined to save guilty sinners through the substitutionary work of His dear Son. He decided to offer eternal life to as many who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. [Titus 3:5; Heb. 5:9].
Salvation also has a present tense. The believer is being saved from the power of sin in his daily life [Rom. 6:14; Phil. 2:12-13]. Our lives have tremendous potential and God wants to help us fulfill that potential. God must work in us before he can work through us. Each man is unique and is not to be an imitation of somebody else. God is more interested in the workman than He is in the work. If the workman is what he ought to be the work will be what it ought to be. Too many Christians only obey God because of pressure on the outside and not power on the inside. The desire to obey God and please Him is the important thing. The tools that God uses to work in our lives through the power of His Holy Spirit are the Word of God, prayer and suffering. [II Thess. 2:13; I Tim. 4:16]
Our salvation also has a future tense. The believer will be saved at the Second Coming [I Peter 1:5].
A. Definition – means to be brought from enmity to friendship; to bring peace where there was once hatred and strife; God is not reconciled to man but man to God.
B. The Need For Reconciliation – when Adam disobeyed God and ate from the forbidden tree in the garden he became alienated from Him [Gen. 3:23-24]. When Adam was innocent he could have fellowship with God but after he ate a barrier of sin was erected and his fellowship was broken. All of man because of Adam’s fall in the garden needs to be reconciled to God. Now God because of His love desired that man be reconciled back to Him. Since man is unable and unwilling to deal with sin and make matters right God had to initiate the reconciliation. He does this by redeeming the believer from sin and bringing him up to His righteous standard by the intermediary work of Christ.
C. How Reconciliation Was Obtained – before man could be reconciled to God there had to be a mediator to reconcile both parties [Gal. 3:20]. What is Paul talking about here? If there was only one contracting party and he made an unconditional promise requiring nothing from the other party there would be no need of a mediator. The fact that the law requires a mediator implied that man must keep his part of the agreement this was the weakness of the law. It called for obedience from those who did not have the power to give it. When God made His promise to Abraham He was the sole contracting party this was the strength of the promise everything depended on God and not on man. No mediator was involved because none was needed. Job who thought matters were not right, between himself and God yearned for a mediator [Job 9:32-33]. The only person who can represent both God and man is the Man Christ Jesus. He is fully God and fully man [I Tim. 2:5]. A mediator is one who can stand between two and mediate for both. Through Christ Himself man God is able to approach men with forgiveness of sins. Consequently any poor sinner can approach Him and will by no means be rejected. Paul identifies the mediator as Christ Jesus. This does not deny the Deity of the Lord Jesus in order to be the mediator between God and men He must be both God and man. Because there is only one mediator and the verse states it so clearly then we can clearly see that Mary, angles, and saints of old cannot be mediators between God and men. That kind of teaching is false. The truth the church is to bear witness to is Jesus Christ and no other. It took the obedient life, sacrificial death, shed blood and bodily resurrection of Christ to reconcile man back to God. [Rom. 5:10] – going back to what were and what we are now think of it this way it was when we were enemies that we were reconciled through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son. We were hostile to the Lord and felt quite content to have it so. Left to ourselves we felt no need to be reconciled to Him. Think of it!! Enemies of God. God did not share our attitude in the matter thank God for that. He intervened in a display of pure grace the substitutionary death of Christ removed the cause of man’s hostility toward God namely our sins by faith in Christ we have been reconciled to God. If God purchased our reconciliation so dearly will He ever let us go? If we were reconciled through the death of His Son, which is a symbol of utter weakness shall we not be preserved to the end by the present life of Christ at the right hand of God a life of infinite power? If His death had such power to save us how much more shall His life have the power to keep us?
[Rom. 10:15; Is. 52:7; Nahum 1:15] – The Nahum reference had to do with the destruction of the Assyrian Empire the hated enemies of the Jews. Nineveh was their key city, a wicked city to which God had sent Jonah some hundred and fifty years before Nahum wrote. God had patiently dealt with Nineveh but now His judgment was going to fall. It was this good news that the messenger brought to the Jews and this is what made his feet so beautiful. Isaiah used this statement for a future event for the return of Christ and the establishment of His glorious kingdom. The messenger with the beautiful announced that God had defeated Israel’s enemies and that the Messiah was reigning from Jerusalem [Is. 52:7-10]. But Paul used the quotation in a present application the messenger’s of the gospel taking the good news t Israel today. The peace spoken of is the peace we read about in Romans 5:1 and the peace Christ has affected between Jews and Gentiles by forming the one body the church [Eph. 2:13-17]. The remedy for Israel’s rejection is in hearing the gospel and believing on Jesus Christ.
[Col. 1:19-22] – it was not only God’s pleasure that all things should dwell in Christ but that also all things should be reconciled to Himself. There are two, reconciliation’s, mentioned in this chapter. First of all, the reconciliation of things in verse 20 and the reconciliation of persons in verse 21. The first is still future whereas the second is past for all who have believed on Jesus Christ. One of the purposes of the death of Christ was to make possible the reconciliation of persons and things to God. In order to do this He had to remove the cause of enmity and alienation. This He effectively did by settling the sin question to God’s entire satisfaction. The scope of reconciliation is indicated in [Col. 1:21]. All who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are already reconciled to God. Although Christ’s reconciling work is sufficient for all of mankind it is only effective for those who avail themselves of it. Number two eventually all things will be reconciled whether things on earth or things in heaven according to [Col. 1:20]. This refers to the animal creation and to inanimate things that have been defiled by sin. However it does not refer to Satan, fallen angels or unbelieving men there eternal doom is clearly pronounced in the scriptures. [Rom. 8:19-22]. Now reconciliation is not said to extend to things under the earth. There is a difference between reconciliation and subjugation. Subjugation is described in [Phil. 2:10]. The full efficiency of Christ’s reconciliation with regard to His people will be seen in the coming day when we are presented to the Father without sin, stain or any charge against us. And when as worshipers we shall gladly acknowledge Christ as the Worthy One.
Jesus paid the sin debt and tore down the wall of partition and made peace with God for all who will receive Him [Eph. 2:11-22]. Most of the converts in the Ephesian church were Gentiles and they knew that much of God’s program in the OT involved the Jews. For centuries the circumcision of the Jews had looked down on the uncircumcision of the Gentiles with an attitude that God had never intended them to display. The fact that a Jew had received the physical mark of the covenant was no proof that he was a man of faith. Those who have trusted Christ have received a spiritual circumcision made without hands. But since the hour that God called Abraham God made a difference between Jews and Gentiles, He made this difference not that the Jews might boast but that they might be a blessing and a help to the Gentiles. God set them apart that he might use them to be a channel of His revelation and goodness to the heathen nations. Sad to say Israel kept this difference nationally and ritually but not morally. Israel became like the lost nations around her for this reason God often had to discipline the Jews because they would not maintain there spiritual separation and minister to the nations in the Name of the true God.
The one word that best describes the Gentiles is without and they were outside in several respects. Number one they were without Christ. Those who claim that pagan religions are just as acceptable to God as the Christian faith will have a problem here for Paul cites the Ephesians Christ-less state as a definite tragedy. But then keep in mind every unsaved person Jew or Gentile is outside Christ and that means condemnation. Number two they were without citizenship. God called the Jews and built them into a nation and gave them His laws and His blessings. A Gentile could enter the nation as a proselyte but he was not born into that special nation. Israel was God’s nation in a way that was not true of any other nation. Number three the Gentiles were without covenants. While the blessing of the Gentile’s is included in God’s covenant with Abraham [Gen. 12:1-3] God did not make any covenants with the Gentile nations. Number four the Gentiles were without hope. Historians tell us that a great cloud of hopelessness covered the ancient world. Philosophies were empty, traditions were disappearing, religions, were powerless to help men face either life or death. People longed to pierce the veil and get some message of hope from the other side but there was none. Number five the Gentiles were without God. The heathen had gods a plenty has Paul discovered in Athens [Acts 17:16-23]. The pagan no matter how religious or moral did not know the true God. The writer of Psalm 115 contrasted the true God with the idols of the heathen. It is worth noting that the spiritual plight of the Gentiles was caused not by God but by there own willful sin [Rom. 1:18-23]. Religious history is not a record of man starting with many gods (idolatry) and gradually discovering the One True God. Rather it is the sad story of man knowing the truth about God and deliberately turning away from it. It is the story of devolution not evolution. The first eleven chapters of Genesis give the story of the decline of the Gentiles and from Genesis 12 on it is the story of the Jews. God separated the Jews from the Gentiles that He might be able to save the Gentiles also. Salvation is of the Jews [John 4:22]. God called the Jews beginning with Abraham that through them He would reveal Himself as the One True God. With the Jews He deposited His Word and through the Jews He gave the world a Savior [Rom. 9:1-5]. When the church is least like the world it does the most for the world. The differences between the Jews and Gentiles have been abolished by the reconciliation work of Christ on the cross. Now Jews and Gentiles are saved the same way by faith in Jesus now the enmity is gone. The cause of the enmity was the law. All believers regardless of national background belong to the Holy Nation with citizenship in heaven. This wonderful family of God is found in two places in heaven and in earth [Eph. 3:15]. Living believers are on earth, believers who have died are in heaven. None of God’s children are under the earth or in any other place in the universe.
[John 16:33; Acts 10:36; Rom. 5:1; 10:15; Eph. 2:14].
[Heb. 2:18; 4:15; 5:8; 7:25] – the Bible clearly states that Christ was tempted but He did not sin and as a result He is able to help those of us who are tempted because He has already been through it. He was also obedient to suffering and He is able to save us to the uttermost so there is no sin that He cannot save us from.
He is able to represent us before God because He is God the second person of the Trinity [John 1:1-3]. Christ is our advocate before the Father [Rom. 8:34-39]. Satan would like to accuse us but we stand righteous in Jesus Christ. We are God’s elect. Chosen in Christ and accepted in Christ, God will certainly not accuse us since it is He who has justified us. For Him to accuse us would mean that His salvation was a failure and we are still yet in our sins. When God declares the believing sinner righteous that declaration never changes our Christian experience changes from day, to day but justification never changes. Because Christ intercedes for us we have a minister then that assures us we are secure. [Luke 22:31-32; I John 2:1]. When we sin the Lord Jesus immediately comes to us, in order to restore us to fellowship with Himself, notice the verse does not say if any man confess his sin. As our advocate the Lord seeks to bring us to the place where we do confess and forsake our sin. There is something very wonderful in this verse that we should not overlook. It says if any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, it does not say with God but rather with the Father. He is still our Father even if we sin. This reminds us of the blessed truth that though sin breaks fellowship it does not break relationship. When a person is born again he becomes a child of God. God is henceforth his Father and nothing can affect that relationship. A birth is something that cannot be undone. A son may disgrace his father but he is still his son by the fact of birth.
D. The Christian’s Duty Concerning Reconciliation – [II Cor. 5:18-21] – the key idea in this paragraph is reconciliation because of his rebellion man was an enemy of God and out of fellowship with Him. Through the work of the cross Christ has brought man and God back together again. God has been reconciled and has turned His face and love toward the lost world. The basic meaning of the word reconcile is to change thoroughly. It refers to a changed relationship between God and the lost world. God does not have to be reconciled to man. Because that was accomplished, by Christ, on the cross. It is sinful man who must be reconciled to God. Religion is man’s feeble effort to be reconciled to God efforts that are bound to fail. The person who reconciles us to God is Jesus Christ and the place is the cross. Another key idea in this section is imputation. God has put to our account the very righteousness of Christ. Reconciliation is based on imputation. Those who believe by faith in Christ will never have their sins imputed to them. As far as their records are concerned they share the righteousness of Jesus Christ. An illustration of this would the letter of Philemon.
How does this wonderful doctrine of reconciliation motivate us to serve Christ? We are ambassadors with a message. God has committed to us the ministry and the word of reconciliation. In the Roman Empire there were two kinds of provinces senatorial and imperial provinces. The senatorial provinces were made up of people who were peaceful and not at war with Rome. But the imperial provinces were not peaceful they were dangerous because they would rebel against Rome if they could. It was necessary for Rome to send ambassadors to the imperial provinces to make sure that rebellion did not break out. Since Christians in this world are the ambassadors of Christ this means that this world is in rebellion against God. This world is an imperial province. As far as God is concerned He has sent His ambassadors into the world to declare peace not war. Be ye reconciled to God He says. We represent Jesus Christ, if sinners reject us and our message it is Jesus Christ who is actually rejected. What a privilege it is to be heaven’s ambassadors to the rebellious sinners of this world. God has not declared war on the world at the cross He declared peace. But one day He will declare war and then it will be too late for those who rejected the savior.
What is the gospel that you and I are to preach? [I Cor. 15:1-4] – unless it is according to the scriptures it means nothing. There is no other gospel for us to preach.
A. Definition – means to appease or satisfy someone; to make amends for a wrong that has been committed. It speaks of how God is completely satisfied with Jesus Christ’s atonement. The word propitiation is found three times in the scriptures Romans 3:25; I John 2:2; 4:10. The OT equivalent of propitiation was the mercy seat. The mercy seat was the lid of the ark. On the Day of Atonement the high priest sprinkled the mercy seat with the blood of a sacrificial victim. By this means errors of the high priest and the people were covered. When Christ made propitiation for sins he went even further, He not only covered them, but, did away with them completely. In Rom. 3:24 we are told to put our faith in Christ’s blood. From Adam to Christ God saved those by whatever revelation of faith He gave them. How could God save sinners in the OT period? The answer is that although Christ had not yet died Christ knew that he would die and He saved men on the basis of the still future work of Christ. In a very real sense OT saints were saved on credit.
The Scope Of Propitiation
The basis on which God saves the believer is the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ. God through Christ appeased his own wrath against the sinner by paying the penalty His justice demanded Himself. As a result God can justify the believer without compromising His righteousness. He can accept him into His family without accepting his sin. The OT sacrifices were a shadow of Christ’s coming atonement [Heb. 10:5-8]. In contrast to the weakness of the Levitical offerings we come now to the strength of the superlative sacrifice of Christ. By way introduction we are permitted to hear the savior’s soliloquy at the time of His incarnation. Quoting from Psalm 40 He noted God’s dissatisfaction with the old covenant. God had instituted these sacrifices yet they were never His ultimate intention they were never designed to put away sins but, rather, to point forward to the lamb of God, who would bear away the sin of the world. Another reason for God’s dissatisfaction is that people thought they were pleasing Him by going through ceremonies while their inward lives were sinful and corrupt. Many of them went through the dreary round of sacrifices with no repentance or contrition. They thought God would be appeased with their animal sacrifices whereas He was looking for the sacrifices of a broken heart. They did not realize that God is not a ritualist. Dissatisfied with the former sacrifices God prepared a human body for His Son, which was an integral part of His human life and nature. This of course refers to the unfathomable wonder of the incarnation when the eternal word became flesh so that as man He might die for men. The animals were unwilling victims whose blood was powerless to cleanse also they never represented God’s ultimate desire. They were types and shadows looking forward to the sacrifices of Christ. As an end in themselves they were valueless. What did bring pleasure to God was the Messiah’s willingness to do the will of God no matter what the cost might be.
[Rom. 3:20] shows us that all the animal sacrifices could not justify man in other words the law was established to show us that we are sinners. [Gal. 3:24] the law was to bring us to see our need for Jesus Christ. [John 1:18, 29] In [Heb. 9:26; 10:12] we see Christ’s one perfect sacrifice and though Jesus died for the sins of the whole world the whole world will not be saved [Matt. 7:13-14]. Jesus says in these verses that many are going to enter in at the broad way that leads to destruction.
Definition – means to purchase or buy back something that originally belonged to the purchaser; concerning salvation it refers to the death of Jesus Christ where He buys back the sinner His blood being the payment. Redemption is the foundation of salvation. It is the basis of the seven previous doctrines that we’ve discussed. Before God could provide eternal salvation to anyone He had to pay the ransom required to release the sinner from his sins. God could not decree salvation unto man He had to buy it.
A. Why Man Needs Redemption
Another affect of Adam eating from the tree is that he in effect sold himself to sin. He knew that his disobedience would bring death thus he decided he would rather die with Eve than live with God. [I Tim. 2:14] – the sinful nature he got when he ate is passed on to all humanity. Therefore every person on earth is hopelessly bound to sin as well as to its father, Satan [John 8:44]. Thus, unless he is redeemed, by someone who is not bound to it he will die and spend eternity in hell paying for his sins himself. [Titus 2:14] – we were all slaves to sin [Titus 3:3] and could not save ourselves but Jesus gave Himself as a ransom for our sins. By His death He met the just demands of a Holy God so that God in His grace could forgive and free those who believe in Christ.
[Gal. 3:10-13] – Paul shows us here that far from conferring a blessing the Law can only curse. This verse does not say as many as have broken the law, but as many as are of the works of the law. That is all who would seek to obtain favor with God on the basis of obeying the law. They are under the curse that is condemned to death for it is written cursed is every one that does not continue. It is not enough to just keep the commandments all 613 laws must be kept and obeyed. The law does not ask men to believe it does not even ask men to try to keep the commandments. It calls for strict, complete and perfect obedience as was taught in Leviticus. It is a contrary principle to faith. The law says do and live. Faith says believe and live. Paul’s argument then is the just shall live by faith. A person under law does not live by faith therefore he is not just before God. [Rom. 5:8-10] – only Christ can bring redemption [Acts 4:12]
B. The Actual Price Of Redemption
For something to be redeemed a specific price has to be paid. The price to redeem the sinner is blood [Lev. 17:11]. Blood not only represents life it is actually physical life itself. Before God would accept an animal sacrifice in the OT a priest had to apply its blood on an altar in behalf of the offerer. The death of the sacrifice alone could not atone for the offerer’s sins. The priest must apply its blood to complete the redemption. The blood of Christ can redeem sinners for three reasons. Number one it does not have any taint of sin in it. The Lord did not inherit a sinful nature from Adam as everyone else because a person’s nature comes from his father. Since God is Christ’s Father He has His nature [Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:35]. Number two Adam’s sin corrupted his blood and caused his death. The last Adam, Christ knew no sin His blood is incorruptible [I Peter 1:18-19] only the blood of Christ can redeem us. Peter was a witness of Christ’s suffering [I Peter 5:1; 2:21; 3:18; 4:1, 13] and spoke about it often. Peter was reminding his readers of an OT teaching that was important in the early church that ought to be important to us today. It is the doctrine of substitution an innocent victim giving his life for the guilty. The doctrine of sacrifice begins in Genesis 3 when God killed animals that He might clothe Adam and Eve. A ram died for Isaac [Gen. 22:13] and the Passover lamb was slain for each Jewish household in [Ex. 12]. The Messiah was presented as an innocent lamb in [Is. 53]. Isaac asked the question where is the lamb [Gen 22:17]? And John the Baptist answered it when he said Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sins of the world [John 1:29]. Peter made it clear that Christ death was not an accident but that, it was ordained, by God before the foundation of the world. Number three the blood that flowed through His veins was His Father’s and since He is God manifested in the flesh He could be no less. [Acts 20:28] – each believer that makes up the body of Christ the church was purchased with God’s own blood. [I Tim. 3:16]
C. The Application Of The Blood
Since God is a spiritual and eternal being His blood has a spiritual and an eternal application to the believer. There is more to Christ’s blood than the physical components seen at the crucifixion for it still exists and is available to all who will receive Him. You cannot get Christ blood without getting Him they are inseparable. [Rev. 1:5] – this verse is a tribute of praise to the Savior who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. In essence cleansing our soul with His, own blood [I John 1:7]. Christ’s blood provides us with eternal redemption [Rom. 3:24; Heb. 9:12] through Christ’s redemption the saint has been freed from the curse of the law and from his vain life [I Peter 1:18].
The precious blood of Christ did and does the following;
1. It purchased the church [Acts 20:28]
2. It brought justification [Rom. 5:9]
3. It brought reconciliation [Col. 1:20]
4. It brought propitiation [Rom. 3:25]
5. It brought sanctification [Heb. 13:12]
6. It brought redemption [Rom. 3:24]
7. It washes the believer [Rev. 1:5]
8. It cleanses the believer [I John 1:7]
9. It makes the believer nigh [Eph. 2:13]
10. It gives the believer peace [Col. 1:20]
The two ordinances of the church also speak of Christ’s redemptive work. The first baptism shows His death to son and the believer’s identification with Him. The broken bread of the second the Lord’s Supper represents His tortured body and the fruit of the vine His shed blood. [Matt. 26:26-29; Rom. 6:3-8]
D. The Believer’s Responsibility
The believer must remember that since Jesus Christ has bought him he is not his own. He is not to do what he desires with his body but what His owner desires. Every Christian is a steward of his own body and God will judge him according to the works he does in it. It is God’s will that he glorifies His redeemer with a holy and obedient life [I Cor. 3:11-15; 6:19-20]
X. Summary of the Eight Doctrines
A. Regeneration – is a changed nature the believer is no longer a child of wrath but is literally born into God’s family and given Christ’s nature.
B. Adoption – is a changed position the believer is no longer a child of the world but is given the position of an adult son in God’s family.
C. Justification – is a changed standing the believer is no longer a sinner in God’s sight because He imputes to his account the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
D. Imputation – God puts the sins of the world on the account of Jesus Christ and He puts Christ righteousness on the account of the believing sinner.
E. Sanctification – is a changed character the believer is no longer defiled and unclean but is now separated and holy unto Christ Jesus.
F. Reconciliation – is a changed relationship the believer is no longer God’s enemy but now has peace with Him and is His friend.
G. Propitiation – all the wrath of God that was once upon the believer has been appeased or satisfied by the substitutionary death of Christ.
H. Redemption – the death and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ has bought the believer back from sin.
It is the believers union with Christ that makes these virtues his own so all who are in Him are as secure in their salvation as He is alive. Amen!!!