Posts from the ‘the humiliation of the cross’ Category

Shout out their Conviction from the Roof!

Mat 10
26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Have you ever heard that story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, it took a kid to tell the emperor he was parading naked! The people of this world vehemently despise those who are morally straight, it’s almost as though the righteousness of God which is revealed through the Spirit of Christ working in the believer, convicts the unbeliever of his sin and in that moment the unbeliever’s heart is either hardened (Rom 9:18) or his unbelieving heart is pierced with the weight of godly sorrow that brings him to repentance (2Cor 7:10-11). Today, Christianity for many namesake Christians is just a story but for those who really believe in the Lord Jesus, this religion is an original filled with substance. Take a look at Stephen (Acts 6:8 – 7:60), the first Christian martyr, when he was brought before the council, he spoke boldly of his faith in Jesus Christ before the pharisees and the apostate Jews, to the extent that their hearts were hardened and they took his life because God did not grant those poor fools the capacity to repent and be saved from their sins. Look at the average Christian witness today, does his life testify of the righteousness of Christ working in him, does it convict the unbeliever as Stephen did. No! To a great extent, unbelievers see namesake Christians living the same lives they are living but only believing in a different story and there is really no conviction in that. So, what is the point am driving? I am certainly not implying that the true Christian must be on a suicide mission. This is not Islam, where you can excuse yourself from the hardship of life by blowing yourself up in the midst of non-Muslims and fool yourself into thinking this is your straight ticket to heaven because that’s more like going from the frying pan into the fire.

Mark 1
14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

“Until Sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet.” Thomas Watson

If we are living by what is right in God’s sight then we are walking by faith and not by sight, knowing that the righteousness of Christ we are called to exercise in this world, will be met by hostility, but our lives and theirs, is in God’s hand and they shall be able to nothing to us, until and unless God decrees that we suffer martyrdom for His namesake. After all, if Christ could suffer and die at the hand of sinners what right do we have to consider ourselves as more privileged to lead a Godly life without paying a dear price, which even if it be we lose our lives, it is nothing compared to what Jesus endured. Think about this, God’s wrath was not satisfied when He destroyed all of mankind in the days of Noah but His wrath was satisfied when He poured out the wages of all sin upon His Son Jesus Christ, who suffered the humiliation of this world leading up to death on the cross and then 3 days in hell. Look at us, we have a rough week at work and an anxiety filled weekend and we start grumbling against God. What we are going through for the sake of Christ is nothing compared to what Jesus went through, He was born in the stable because there was no room in the inn, Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt because Herod wanted to kill Him when He was a child, in the wilderness in His weak state (from His 40 days of fasting) he was tempted by Satan, during his ministry the pharisees in their inability to deal with their own guilt claimed He performed miracles by the power of the leader of demons, the foxes have their holes and birds have their nest but my Lord Jesus had no place to lie down, then His own disciple Judas betrayed Him and He was slandered, whipped, scourged and put to death on the cross among two thieves and then after He died He went to hell for three days. So, if the Captain of our Salvation could go through all this why should we surprised when affliction visits us as the means of perfecting our faith in Jesus Christ and proving our religion as genuine.

John 16 (Jesus Speaking About the Holy Spirit)
8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

The world garnishes their sinfulness with hypocrisy, it’s like the unbeliever sins against his neighbour in the full view and knowledge of his neighbour, so as to subdue & assert his godless authority over his neighbour, which is in keeping with the ungodly leadership this world resorts to, in controlling their environment through tyrannical/unholy fear (Mat 20:25). However, if you have the courage to confront them with what is clearly evident, they will be taken aback because somehow it seems they have no problem with sinning against God and their neighbour but tell them about it, and God will either harden their hearts to hate you or God will take away their hearts of stone and give them a heart of flesh to obey His Law (Ezek 11:19). So what God reveals to you in your quite reflection of scripture, it is good to hide in your heart & keep your peace (Ps 119:11), till you confront your neighbour in the light of that knowledge at an opportune time as guided by the Holy Spirit (1Cor 6:2). Remember, the world’s people are neither your standard nor your audience, whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord (Col 3:23-24). When God is your audience and standard, your hands and tongues will not be tied to speak out against the sinfulness that plagues the whole world, instead you will be shouting out their judgement from every rooftop for the Glory of God alone.

Yes, this is all possible when you are in Christ (Mark 3:27).

Repentance and the Gospel!

I see the world as having essentially two types of people, those who attribute their success and their lives to God and those who love to wallow in their own glory, even if it is by the means of crediting their success or their lives to something else besides God, which appeals as eye-candy to the people around.

Mat 5:45b
… for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Imagine people who perform but in their ignorance of God, fail to see their every effort/talent as being cushioned by the hand of God. So when these are asked as to what is the secret of their success they just arrogantly blurt their ignorant feelings available to them in that moment, not realizing to whom that credit is due. Still, God is not insecure like fallen men who desire payback for every emotion they invest in their neighbour.

Psalm 115:1
Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.

What is Repentance, it is turning away from that fallen desire of taking all the credit and giving glory to God, who matters more than all creation put together. If you find this hard to accept, it reflects only your miniscule perspective on God. Ironically, you will notice that though you haven’t figured the extent to which creation exists, you have no trouble in meditating on your own fallen desires with little care for those around you, leave aside all creation. That glory rightfully belongs to God (who is good and without sin) in all creation (Ps148), not to you or me or any other person for that matter.

Psalm 113:7
He raises the poor from the dust
And lifts the needy from the ash heap,

Mat 5
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

The wearing of sackcloth in the Old Testament was synonymous with coarseness of mourning, where looking to God was the only comfort which would satisfy the soul. This repentance too is from God given to His elect (Act11:18) that they may know the truth about God and themselves and be brought to that spiritual prostration, which is every believer’s privilege in knowing God Almighty.

Mark 2:17 (In the context of John 1:10-13 & Rom 3:23-26)
17 And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

It has always been so, that those who feel they don’t need Jesus are only those who are completely at home with their sin. For every other religion, the code of religiosity is an outward code but in Christianity the code is purely moral and so a person’s faith is not measured by the colour of his beard or by the length of their trousers or by the food he eats. By this I do not mean a person should dress immodestly but just that Christian principles are based on moral values and not an outward showcasing of religiosity from the individual. So it is that, what Biblical Law focuses on concerning the individual is: morality (Is1:11-17). For people from their fallen nature are prone to remaining in their immoral and godless state even while performing the Ceremonial aspects of the Law, only because such is the love for sin in every man from the fall of Adam.

Isaiah 1
11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

In repentance, God grants the individual the overwhelming capacity to put to death their nature to sin, a death to the individual’s sinful-self, unto a new life in God (Jn12:24-26), symbolized by sitting in ashes and dust (Job42:6) and being washed in the waters of baptism (Rom6:4). This realization of a person’s spiritual plight before God, is the beginning of the work of God the Holy Spirit in putting sin/immorality to death in the individual (Phil1:6).

Col 3
5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.

Such is the importance of repentance, which is the highlight of Baptism. Without repentance it is impossible to believe in the Gospel because one needs to begin emptying themselves of their love for sin/immorality to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. This capacity is granted the individual in Christ, who presents the believer a living spirit, which right from its infancy (Jn3:3,16), desires and exercises the righteousness of God (2Cor5:17).

Isaiah 58:5
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?

Mk 1:14-15
14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

So to conclude, just as Christmas marks the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ and Resurrection Sunday marks the redemptive accomplishment of the Lord Jesus Christ for all God’s people. Baptism marks the individual made ready through repentance to believe in the saving Gospel. The Bible puts this across through some beautiful euphemism, where the Church, which is the body of believers, is being prepared by the Holy Spirit to receive her groom: the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rev 22
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

For as creation is given to glorify God, we see that just as a man is given to pour out his strength and labour for the woman he loves, who in turn is given to draw forth righteousness from him by her beauty, so too the Salvation of God’s Church is by the absolute merit of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev5:9), who paid Salvation’s ransom for His Church in His blood (1Tim2:6) and sent the Holy Spirit (John15:26) to sanctify and beautify His Church as a bride into the image of God, which was lost in Adam’s fall (Rom5:17). That just as Salvation is by grace through faith, so too is the beauty of Jesus’ Church that her faith is a gift from God to draw forth the righteousness of her beloved groom to save her from her sins (Lk5:20).

God exalted & man humbled: The Canaanite woman’s story!

Just the other day, I heard a humanist preacher expressing his dissatisfaction over having to preach about the Canaanite woman, who admitted of her lowly spiritual state before the Lord, mentioned in Matthew 15.

Matthew 15
22 And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.”
23 But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.”
24 But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
26 And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
27 But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.

For those who try to preach the Bible with themselves rather than God at the center of what was recorded, we then happen to encounter statements like: the woman didn’t care what Jesus had to say, she had her eyes set on what she wanted! This from a Biblical point of view is appalling but such is all preaching which chooses to be ‘man centered’ as opposed to being ‘God centered’.

Isaiah 64
6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

There is truth in saying: ‘A person does not know the nature of trash he/she is living in unless he/she is brought out of it’. The trash I am talking about is our nature to sin, which we received from Adam who in falling received unto himself, his own standard of righteousness that was separate from God. This, Adam passed on to all his posterity through Original Sin, a nature absent of the righteousness of God… a sinful nature! This sinful nature is seen as something so dastardly that it is referred to something as soiled as filthy garments in Isaiah 64:6. This, we neither see nor realize because this is our very nature of life, with each their own standard of righteous.

If we were to consider truth for the sake of truth, we ought to understand that man’s blessed estate is in man’s humility… why? Because, man’s purpose was that he be subject to the will of God espoused in His grace and mercy. But the truth concerning God is that He is the perfect standard, He is good in all that He does and He does as He pleases because He is the lone true standard of righteousness, which we men in our fallen nature fail to see. This implies that just as humility is the right state for man, exaltation is the right state for God. So as it is appropriate for man to humble himself and exalt God, this follows after it being proper for God to exalt Himself and humble man. This precisely is the great faith story of the Canaanite woman recorded in Matthew 15:26-28.

Psalm 116 (God humbles man)
6 The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.

Jeremiah 9 (man called to humble himself and exalt only God)
23 Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;
24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.

In looking upon the Second Person of the Trinity, we ought to know the duality of Jesus’ nature. When the Son of God came to earth, He took upon Himself the complete nature of man but without sin. His virgin birth indicated that unlike us all, Christ is not affected by Original Sin. Nowhere in the Bible (KJV, NASB, ESV) will you find a term concerning Jesus as ‘became man’ but theologically He ADDED unto Himself the nature of man as over replacing or emptying himself of this Deity.

Phil 2 (ESV)
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

The Bible teaches that Jesus bears two natures absolutely i.e. the complete nature of man and the complete nature of God. His human nature is what substituted His Church in paying the wages of sin i.e. death, while His nature of God is how He stands in perfection before ‘God the Father’ advocating the case of every elect, just as ‘God the Father’ has willed. The nature of Moses in Ex 32:11-14 in pleading the case of the Israelites before God was a shadow Him (Christ Jesus) who was to come as mediator between God and men (1Timothy 2:5).

Deut 18 (Moses points the Israelites to the human nature of Jesus)
15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—

Hence we see in the human nature of Jesus (Phil 2:7), the very person we are called to be as ‘people of God’ in our standing before God. The humility of Christ is seen right from Him taking upon Himself total human form (Phil 2:8), being questioned on His righteousness concerning His own Law (Mat 12:1-14), remaining sinless but still subject to every human temptation (Heb 4:15) and to die a humiliating death on the cross (Gal 3:13) and then suffer in hell 3 days with damned souls (Acts 2:31); in all this his human nature made himself nothing before God.

Hebrews 2 (speaking about Jesus’ human nature)
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

1 John 2 (speaking about Jesus)
6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Col 1 (speaking about Jesus)
18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

Such a nature of subjection, God gives His Church through Christ (1Cor 8:5-6) who is head over the Church (Eph 5:23-24). This precisely is the nature we see in the Canaanite woman as faith is neither the work nor efforts of men but a gift of God (Eph 2:8) unto His salvation. Salvation, where:
• ‘God the Father’ chooses a people unto Himself from eternity past according to His purposes i.e. by His Sovereign ordination (Eph 1:11)
• ‘God the Son’ accomplishes Salvation by his righteous obedience and sin-atoning death for these people His Father has given Him (Gal 1:3-4).
• ‘God the Holy Spirit’ applies what the Father ordained and the Son accomplished in all God’s elect (Jn 15:26) counting even the Canaanite woman.

What we ought to know about Good Friday!

To start; from the time Adam disobeyed God and ate from the tree of knowledge of right and wrong, Adam received his own standard of righteousness, which was separate from God. This broke the communion between man and his Creator and there was a separation between man and God leading to death in the Spirit of man. This Spirit was what God breathed into Adam when he was formed out of mud, to be made in the image of God, but when man fell short of the glory of God that image was broken and since man was given stewardship over the earth and all that is in it, the earth bore the repercussion of Adam’s fall. It is from Adam that every man has a self-righteousness different from the other and this has brought the world its many ever increasing religions. God’s moral standard for His people has always been to first love God and second to love neighbor as self. In this man is called to love the Lord beyond himself and love His neighbor just as He loves himself but such is not the case with fallen man. Fallen man loves praise which almost equals worship, in his religion too (outside Christ), what he worships is nothing but metaphors of his own rebellious lust, which feeds his sinful desires against God and his neighbor. Eventually what fallen man worships is nothing but himself.

Gen 3
4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!
5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

The remedy for this fall was either an eternal death sentence for the Law breaker or that the one who put the Covenant (Law) in place to die (Heb 9:16). Now before the Son of God came as man, He was referred to as the Angel of the Lord i.e. the Arc Angel who was given the names… Michael and Gabriel. From instances such as Jacob wrestling the Angel of the Lord and Peniel and The Angel of Lord appearing in the burning bush to Moses on Mt. Sinai, we see these so termed ‘Christophany’ in Gen 22 as well. Because it has always been as John 1:18 puts it: “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”

Gen 22
15 Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven,
16 and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,
17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.

Now coming to the Jesus you and I know, who was born 2000 years ago, He took upon Himself additionally with losing His deity, He took upon Himself every aspect of the nature of man but without sin i.e. He was not subject to Original Sin that came through the posterity of Adam but was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:34-35).

This Almighty God, the Second Person of Holy Trinity bore the humiliation of infirmities of fallen men yet without sin (Heb 4:15). Jesus thereby substituted the eternal death of every man, whom God the Father willed to save. It is important to understand, concerning Jesus’ death that so far as He is God, His communion with God remained at the bosom of His Father even on the cross but in the state of His sinless humanity, who bore the sins of His people in His body (1Pe 2:24), He was despicable in the sight of God and God poured out His full wrath without any mitigating factor. Theologically speaking, God did not die for us but it was the sinless state of Christ as man who died for us because God cannot die. God is immutable (unchanging) and the Man nature of Christ was a foreordained addition eternity past rather than an amendment in God the Son.

So Christ endured the full humiliation in the state of man, right from being conceived, where the world and apostate Judaism denied Him His absolute and rightful homage; humiliation going right up to the cross. It was Christ in the state of sinless man who endured this, the worst of which was when God turned His face from Him in disgust for the sin Christ as man carried in His body… but so far as Jesus is God …the Son of God… His communion with God was never broken because the nature of Sin can never stand before the presence of a Holy God, so it was in His humanity that He carried the sins of His people and not in His Deity as the Son of God. As theologian Joseph Morecraft puts it: the statement ‘God died for His people’ is a heretical statement and when Jesus said to the thief that ‘this day you will be with me in paradise’ it refers to the omniscience (Knowing All) and omnipresence (Present Everywhere) of God the Son when the thief entered the kingdom of heaven. Further it must be stated that Christ rested from His redemptive works only when He sat down at the right hand of God the Father (John 20:17), so when He said on the cross… ‘it is finished’, He was speaking only in anticipation of His redemptive work.

Act 2
27 Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

We thereby understand that as much as Christ was human, He was required to deal with the complete wages of sin and that included His soul descending to hell and his body lying dead in the tomb, making Him still subject to humiliation because it says so in Isaiah that God was pleased to crush Him. Yet because he carried sin in His flesh though He was without sin, He was subject to undergo every aspect of divine wrath including hell. However as the Old Testament scripture prophesizes, that God will not let His body be left to decay and He has seen the travail of His soul and be satisfied, and so He was raised to life having overcome sin and death for His Church.

Acts 2
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption

When Jesus resurrected on the third day, He rose accomplishing redemption: the mightiest work of God known to His people since creation because through the redemptive work of the cross He reconciled all things to Himself. It is this reason that the Redemptive Sabbath, the day God rested from His Redemptive works is celebrated over the Creation Sabbath, the day God rested from His Creation works. When the Lord Jesus Christ met the disciples after His Resurrection (John 20:19-23), He breathed on them said “Receive the Holy Spirit”, which was indicative that the Spiritual life Adam lost for every man was restored for the elect in Christ.

Gen 2 (Creation Account)
7 then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

John 20 (Redemptive Account)
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

This Living Spirit is made available to all whom God the Father brings into Salvation in His Son. Today God the Holy Spirit teaches concerning Jesus’ redemptive works through God breathed Scripture, to sustain this restored living spirit and image of God.

2Timothy 3
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Matthew 4
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

To conclude, I’d like to state that this Good Friday message is therefore as 1John4:10 puts it, that it is not that we loved God first but He loved His people out of no merit of their own and sent his Son to be the propitiation for their sins.

The Finished Work of Christ Atonement!

Looking at Christianity, it seems that it is just the Reformed denomination that has a holistic view of ‘The Finished Work of Christ Atonement’. Though others Christian denominations claim to believe this too, it becomes known through discussion that this has not been revealed to them in its entirety. I was just listening to Joe Morecraft who was teaching on this same subject and he said some of the most profound things, which I would like to share with you all.

In most cases people believe that the atoning work of Jesus Christ has meaning only when you obediently follow God. This is how they put it when they want to say that we need to add to the atoning work of Jesus Christ to make it complete for us. However scripture teaches that the death of the Lord Jesus Christ purchased for His Church salvation and also everything else required with it that included obedience, which is made possible by the Holy Spirit working in the believer.

The Redemptive work of Jesus Christ encompasses the following in the life of believer
1. Propitiation
2. Reconciliation
3. Justification & Regeneration
4. Faith and Repentance
5. Adoption
6. Sanctification
7. Eternal Redemption
8. Eternal Perfection

1. Propitiation

Romans 3
21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

‘Propitiation’ means the act overcoming the distrust and hostility of a person or peoples. You see, had predestination and election not existed as Biblical truth, the word ‘propitiation’ would not exist in the Bible. Yet we know that ‘the propitiation in His blood through faith’ is what is secured for the believer as the outcome of the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

2. Reconciliation

Romans 5
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Col 1
21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—

Jeremiah 9
23 Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.

As Romans 5:12 says that sin entered the world through one man through which death came to all men because all sinned through this one man Adam. But through the obedience of Christ many (not all) have been reconciled and made righteous. The believer is thereby given a Spirit where he no longer boasts in himself but boast/exults (Romans 5:11, Jeremiah 9:23-24) in his reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ, which as part of the believers reconciliation has been purchased though Christ redemptive work for His Church. Just as thankfulness is an expression of faith (Luke 17:15-19), which is gift of God (Eph 2:8) so also is this.

3. Justification & Regeneration

Romans 5:8-9
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

1 Cor 6
11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Titus 3
5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

Justification is a reason, fact, circumstance, or explanation that justifies a person while Regeneration is the act of effecting a complete moral reform in that person. For a God who is just, we see that a person can never be justified by faith without being regenerated. So we see that from Romans 5:8-9 that the believer’s justification and regeneration is what has been acquired by Christ through the work of the cross.

We therefore see that God declared the believer not guilty on the basis of Christ’ finished work on the cross and adopts him into His family. The Perfection of Christ atonement is in this, that not a single person for whom Christ died will go to hell. This is the uniqueness of the Reformed doctrine, as Christ death on the cross secured the presence and the work of the Holy Spirit (washing and regeneration) for those whom Christ died. Justification imputes righteousness by faith while regeneration imparts righteous as a gift of the Holy Spirit.

1 John 3
9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Note: We are all sinners (Romans 3:23), however 1 John 3:9 speaks not of committing sin but practicing sin. Just like a person may know his medication without practising medicine. In the same way a Christian is subject to sin before the grave but he is never a practicer of sin because he is born of God.

4. Faith & Repentance

Gal 3
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”–14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.20 Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one.21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Acts 20
21 solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 2
25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,

Heb 12:17
17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

There is a lot to learn from the four scriptures mentioned above, we know that Christ was fully God and fully man. As Gal 3 puts it, He was not for one party only i.e. in Him was met the full justice of God and the full redemption of His Church. Many Non-Reformed Christian denominations read Gal 3:13 out of its context and term the Law of God as a curse; however such interpretations come through when the Bible is not used to interpret the Bible. We see from Gal 3:21-22 that the Law is in keeping with the promise of righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ because the Law measured man and counted him as deserving of nothing more than the full justice of God, which was met in Jesus Christ. The Law by itself imparts no righteous to the person who practices for it deems him a sinner already and so it was that the Law’s weakness was in the person (Rom 8:3). However The Father offered His Son Jesus with the purpose to also purchase for the Christian that righteousness that was required and measured by the Law (Rom 8:4) that the believer would walk not in the flesh but in the Spirit.

Romans 8:3-4
3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

From Gal 3:14 we see that Christ’ sacrifice was to secure for the believer the promise of the Holy Spirit through faith. Eph 2:8 says that Salvation is by grace through faith, which is NOT OF OURSELVES but a gift of God. So faith therefore is not an exercise of man as the Arminians put it. From Act 20:21 we see that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ can never be preached without first preaching repentance unto God. It is for this reason that the person John the Baptist was to make straight the way of the Lord by preaching repentance to the people (Mat 3:1-3) so that they may then receive faith (2Pe 1:1) in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:29-34). We see from 2 Timothy 2:25 that repentance too is what God gives the believer, as a matter of fact even if a person seeks after repentance with tears (Heb 12:17), it will still not be given to him unless God Himself grants it.

Mark 1:14-15
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

John 3
36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

If all God did was to offer salvation to anyone who believes in Jesus Christ but does not enable them to believe in Christ, no one would ever believe in Christ and be saved. However scripture indicates that in this Covenant of Grace, God’s plan of Salvation not only freely offers the sinner, life and salvation in Jesus Christ but He also offers the faith He requires of the believer in Him for salvation. If this were not to happen, nobody would come; nobody would ever want to come. After all how many steps can a man dead in spirit take towards God? Not one! Faith is a gift and a person cannot believe anytime he wants to, unless it is granted to him by God. The reason God brings the Elect to repentance is because of the perfect atonement of Christ’ death on the cross, which purchased perfectly what God required of His elect.

Acts 11:18
18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”

Hence everybody for whom Christ died will sooner or later believe and repent of their sins.

5. Adoption

Gal 4:4-5
4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Westminster Confession of Faith (Chapter XII – Of Adoption)
All those that are justified, God vouchsafes, in and for His only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption,[Eph 1:5, Gal 4:4-5] by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God,[Rom 8:17, John 1:12] have His name put upon them, [Jer 14:9, 2Co 6:18, Rev 3:12]” receive the spirit of adoption,[Rom 3:5] have access to the throne of grace with boldness,[Eph 3:12, Rom 5:2] are enabled to cry, Abba, Father,[Gal 4:6] are pitied,[Ps 103:13] protected,[Pro 14:26] provided for,[Mat 6:30,32, 1Pe 5:7] and chastened by Him as by a Father:[Heb 12:6] yet never cast off,[Lam 3:31] but sealed to the day of redemption;[Eph 4:30] and inherit the promises,[Heb 6:12] as heirs of everlasting salvation.[1Pe 1:3-4, Heb 1:4]

We can hence deduce from sound reasoning that everyone for whom Christ died will be adopted as sons and daughters into His family

6. Sanctification

Sanctify means to make holy, set apart as sacred, consecrate and purify from sin and this precisely is what Christ achieved for His Church on the cross.

Isaiah 53
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

A believer may go through enormous trials in his life that burn the dross in his personage, yet it is not the man but the Lord who sanctifies (Ex 31:13). Sanctification gives the Christian a matchless moral superiority (Titus 2:11-14) that is uncommon among the sons of Adam. This too Christ acquired for His bride His Church, which is beautifully metamorphosed in the Songs of Solomon.

Titus 2
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Exodus 31
13 “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.

7. Eternal Redemption

Heb 9
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh,14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

When it says that he entered the tabernacle, not made with hands, it could mean that He entered the body i.e. the Church of His elect (1Cor 3:16), after all the believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 6:19), right?! A Church He entered having obtained Eternal Redemption for her through His own blood. Just as the Good Shepherd, who is also the owner of the sheep, He enters through door into the sheep fold, having laid down His life for His sheep (John 10:1-18).

8. Eternal Perfection

Heb 10:10-14
10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God,13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

We can deduce from the above scripture that everyone for whom Christ died shall attain sinless perfection in the presence of God, which speaks of the perfect atonement acquired by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ death accomplished what God predestined for it to accomplish that the good pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in Christ Hand because God is satisfied having seen the travail of Christ over attaining Eternal Perfection for the Christian. Christ shall see the result without fail of the anguish and agony of the cross.

Heb 12:2
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The JOY in Heb 12:2 was that of Christ knowing that His agony and death was then and there saving His dearly beloved bride, His Church from Her sins. With Love He experienced JOY in the midst of horror and shame on the cross because he was then and there rescuing from hell His own sheep i.e. those whose names were on His heart.

So having said all this, the question often comes to, well then why evangelize? The answer however is because just as all of the above is spoken of in scripture so is evangelism, God commands it in The Great Commission of Mat 28:16-20. Salvation accomplished in the life of a believer is nothing more that Christ’ finished redemptive work.

Rev 22
16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

So we are to offer anyone who would believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and repent of their sins knowing as we preach, teach and bear witness to the Gospel that God is going to cause for whom Christ shed His blood to respond to it and believe (Acts 16:31) in Jesus.

humiliation is the real test of HUMILITY!

In finding fruitless reason to deny Christ, many question, how can Almighty God be put through such humiliation as that of the cross. The Bible teaches that there is but one mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), and so in substance this mediator Jesus Christ was both, fully God and fully man. As God, He becomes Salvation (Ex 15:2) and as a man whom God is pleased with (Romans 8:8) He became subject (Romans 8:7) to God’s perfect Law (Psalms 19:7). It is said in the Bible that Moses was the humblest man of his time (Numbers 12:3) and Moses’ statement has been recorded saying that the One who was to come as Messiah would be like Moses (Deut 8:15). In the Atonement worked out on the cross, the whole deity of Christ is seen for only God is without blemish (Heb 2:10), which is a prime requirement for the regulated sacrificial sin offering; at the same time seeing Jesus who condescended to become man in flesh in the womb of a virgin and taking on the humiliation of the cross, that pointed not only to His humility as a Man of God (Phil 2:8) but also implied that He was the Messiah to come that was spoken off in Moses’ likeness.

The example Jesus has set for a believer, is that one’s obedience to God is prioritized even more than the believer’s sustenance or life; for better is one day to live in obedience to God than to live a thousand days in disobedience (elsewhere) with the wicked.

Psalms 84:10
10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

So if you are asking what there is to obey then it is this:

Matthew 22
35 One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him,
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37 And He said to him, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 “This is the great and foremost commandment.
39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

To concluded, I must say however that obedience to the commandments of God is only possible for those who are born of His Spirit (Romans 8:7).

1 Pet 5:6
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

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