Mill Creek, Washington
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 71 | Kudos: +14
Christ Died for God
In the following thread, I would like to enlist the help of John MacArther of Grace to You out of Southern Calif. His sermons have meant much to me over the years, and has a very unique way of presenting the Gospel of Grace in a candid understandable way. Here is a title that should get your attention: CHRIST DIED FOR GOD
The text is Romans chapter 3 and verse 25--26
This is speaking of Christ Jesus and His redemption as indicated in verse 24, ?Christ Jesus whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation (a conciliatory act to win God?s favor) in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed for the demonstration, I say, for His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law
Now in the mind of the Apostle Paul, there is a rather compelling issue that he faces in unfolding the doctrine of the cross, the doctrine of salvation and the work of Christ. He has to explain something. He has to explain something that is massive in its significance and has been an issue throughout all of redemptive history. And it is this, how is it that in the past God has forgiven sin? How is it that in the past God has overlooked sin?
Notice the issue here is, at the end of the verse in ?How is it that if He has done that He is righteous? The forbearance of God, in the tolerance of God, in the patience of God, He passed over the sins previously committed.? How can He do that and still be righteous?
The pagans had their gods. The pagans had their deities. They were capricious, they were utterly inconsistent on the one hand, demanding compliance with their rules and ceremonies and laws. And on the other hand, doing what was seemingly unrighteous in their own realms. Clearly in the Greek and Roman world, God's reviewed as a mixture of good and evil. And so it was easy to throw the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and even the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, at least at first anyway in to the same box with the rest of the deities, seemingly very inconsistent, laying demands on people by virtue of their divine laws, expecting righteous behavior and yet for themselves being inconsistent and capricious.
Now why would such an accusation be thrown at the God of Scripture? Because God had tolerated sin all through man's history. And many unrighteous people seemed to prosper. And many unrighteous people were actually blessed by God, they entered into a relationship with God, they enjoyed the salvation of God and the promise of being a part of His eternal Kingdom. And the only way that that could happen would be if God overlooked their sin.
Now the Old Testament says God is merciful and that God is gracious and He demonstrates loving kindness, as we read, Old Testament word hesed which means loving kindness which is a synonym for grace and mercy. And that is the meaning of the phrase at the end of verse 25, the forbearance of God by which He passed over sins previously committed meaning before Christ, before the cross, God subjected Himself in all of that redemptive history before Christ to certain accusations...accusations that had to do with His righteousness. They're all of man's sinful history since the Fall, wherever people believed on the true God, He passed over their sin. He even did it in Egypt and that's where the word Passover comes from. He withheld judgment in tolerant patience.
Similar language is given in the seventeenth chapter of Acts and verse 30 where it says, ?In time past, God overlooked sin.? It means He did not actively interfere by special judgment as should have been required. Judgment, divine judgment as such, defined as such, revealed as such was only occasional. And so there is an absence throughout redemptive history of a one-to-one act of divine judgment on sinners and for those who believe, there is a passing over their sin seemingly all together. The question is then , how can God so long overlook sin? How can God so long let it go unpunished? How can He actually forgive it and bring blessing and the promise of salvation and heaven and still be just? That is the question.
The Jews of Malachi's day actually accused God of injustice. They cried, ?Everyone that does evil is good in Your sight and the Lord delights in them. Where is the God of justice? they cried. Where is the God of justice??
In the seventy-eighth Psalm and verse 38, we read this, ?But He being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them and often He restrained His anger and did not arouse all His wrath.? And so at this point, someone asks, ?How can God simply pass over sin and still be righteous, and still be just, and still be holy?? Someone else will hasten to answer the question with this answer, ?Well, the sacrifices of the Old Covenant, the animal sacrifices which were ubiquitous in the Old Covenant, they took the judgment of God.? The animals bore the judgment of God. The animals died in the place of sinners. That has all too frequently been suggested, however, that's really a bad answer. Animals could not take the judgment of God for men since Hebrews 10:14 says it in terms that are unmistakable, it says regarding Jesus, ?By one offering, He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.?
That in contrast of Hebrews verse 4, ?It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin.? There never was a sacrifice that could take away sin. There never was a sacrifice, an animal sacrifice that could satisfy the judgment of God.
So if you look at the Old Testament and think that the Old Testament sacrificial system actually took the judgment for sin on the part of all who believe, then you misunderstand that system. All it did was picture the sacrifice, that is of Christ as I read in 10:14 of Hebrews, that would be the one offering that will take away all sin for all who believe for all time.
Now when you go back to Romans 3 and verse 25, it says, ?God displayed Christ Jesus publicly as a propitiation.? That is a satisfaction. He is the only satisfactory sacrifice,He is the one who placates God, that's what the verb propitiate means, to satisfy, to placate. He is the one who satisfies God in His blood. In that sense, Christ died for God. Most people think of salvation as Christ dying for us, and there is, of course, a sense in which that is absolutely true and completely true and not at all untrue, but it is not the full picture. The only way that Christ could die for us would be to die satisfactorily for God. Christ then died, first of all, to satisfy God and once God was satisfied, then His death could be applied to us.
So God displayed Christ publicly as a sacrifice, a satisfaction for Himself because He had to demonstrate His heretofore undemonstrated righteousness. There isn't really anything in the Old Testament that demonstrates the righteousness of God the way the cross does.
God says, ?Now it's time to put My justice and My righteousness on display.? And so it's repeated in verse 26. Christ is displayed publicly as a satisfaction to God in His blood, in His death to demonstrate, His righteousness. And again He says it in verse 26, ?For the demonstration I say of His righteousness at the present time, as over against the past time when there was no such demonstration.
He shows that He is very different from the capricious gods of the pagan world...very different. He has overlooked sin in the past. He has forgiven sin through all of redemptive history. He has set people on a course to heaven and invited them to come, and they are there. This heaven is occupied before Christ even comes. God is just and the justifier of sinners. How can He be both? Because Christ becomes a satisfactory substitute.
Now we've said this many times through the years...a judge is unjust if he allows a criminal to be pronounced righteous just because he wants to without justice being served by a proper penalty and the proper penalty is the only thing that is the satisfaction. And then that sacrifice of Christ becomes that satisfaction.
?For thousands of years, the spectacle presented by mankind to the whole moral universe was, so to speak, a continual scandal. Divine righteousness seemed to sleep. One might even have asked if it existed, men sinned here below and yet they lived. They sinned on and yet reached in safety an old age. Where were the wages of sin? It was this relative impunity which rendered a solemn manifestation of righteousness necessary. Jesus died for men but in a much more striking way, He died for God.? Well the death of Christ solves the problem. Look at Galatians chapter 3 and verse 13, ?Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us.? He became a curse for us. That is, He bore the curse in our place. Or in the language of 1 Peter 1:18, ?You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your empty way of life, inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, the blood of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.?
And how did John the Baptist introduce Jesus in John 1:29? ?Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.? That's why the writer of Hebrews says, 10:14 as I read earlier, ?By one offering He perfected forever them that are sanctified. And after the sacrifice of Christ, the priesthood came to an end. All sacrifices came to an end because there was nothing left to point toward because the final sacrifice had been made. The veil of the temple ripped from top to bottom and God was satisfied.
Old Goat aka
Old Rugged Crosser. Wheelen a Old Rugged Crossen 72 CJ-5