Salvation, part 2Posted: Fri. Aug, 19 2016
Catching up on what we learned last week
Last week we began looking at the vital subject of salvation.
We shared the story of a king and his subjects, and we left off at the point where the king declared you a criminal. And the price on your head was the death of a prince.
He also declared you and your entire family to be at war with him. As things stood, the good king, who was just and gracious, needed justice to be satisfied.
And you couldn’t pay your debt even if you wanted to - because you are not a prince.
We saw the entire human race found itself in a similar predicament to the rebellious subject in our story.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they became subject to condemnation, sin, and death. And they brought the whole human race with them.
The situation cried out for a Savior.
And God in His love for us provided that Savior: His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose from the dead three days later.
And Christ’s death on the cross wiped out all the dreadful problems that sin created for the human race. It took care of the penalty of sin. It removed the guilt of sin; it satisfied the justice of God, and it provided the means for the state of war the human race was in to be replaced by permanent peace with God.
So that’s where we pick things up today.
God the Father gave His Son Jesus Christ to everybody
Now, it turns out that God loves the whole world. That’s what verses like John 3:16 tell us:
JOH 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
JOH 3:17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
This is important to understand, because we are going to see that when God gave His Son Jesus Christ, He gave Him to the entire world.
JOH 4:41 Many more believed because of His word;
JOH 4:42 and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world."
1TI 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.
1JO 4:14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
All the work of Christ on the cross that involves getting rid of negative things was done on behalf of all people in the world.
All of the work that involves giving positive things is done only for believers.
The Grace of God
If you don’t fall in love with the grace of God after studying this, you simply were not paying attention!!
Grace is unmerited favor from God.
Grace is all that the loving God is free to do for undeserving sinners because His justice is completely satisfied with the work of His Son on the cross.
Grace is free, limitless, and unmerited blessing to helpless, undeserving sinners from the loving God whose justice is completely satisfied by the Person and Work of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
ROM 5:20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
ROM 5:21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
An important distinction
When examining the work of God for sinners, it is important to distinguish between the finished work of Christ for all, which is completed to infinite perfection, …
and the saving work of God [primarily the Holy Spirit but also the Father] that is performed for and in the individual at the moment he believes in Christ.
“It is finished” is the last recorded word of Christ before His death (John 19:30). He was referring to the finished work of salvation that He had just completed on the cross. This was a work for the whole world.
HEB 2:9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
The blood of Christ
The blood of Christ, which refers to His death on the cross, provided redemption, expiation, propitiation, and reconciliation for every man.
The blood of Christ provided redemption for all:
1TI 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.
The blood of Christ provided propitiation for all:
1JO 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
The blood of Christ provided reconciliation for all:
2CO 5:19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them,
The blood of God’s well-beloved Son was the most precious thing, and yet it was paid to ransom the sinner. The offense of sin had separated the sinner from God, yet God provided His own Lamb to bear away the sin forever.
The fact that this is already finished is the message that the sinner is asked to believe as testimony from God.
This great issue between God and man was dealt with at the cross in a matter that satisfied even the infinite righteousness and justice of God.
The only question that remains is whether a man is satisfied with the sacrifice that completely satisfies God.
Acts 16:31 Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved,
What are these great things that the blood of Christ has accomplished?
The rest of the story
Let’s head back to the story of your rebellion and one offended king.
You committed a hideous crime against your powerful and gracious king.
In his wrath, he declared you a criminal and put the price on your head. The price would be the death of a prince; this would be your ransom as it were - the wages of your rebellion.
Next, he declared you and your entire family to be at war with him.
His justice must be satisfied.
You cannot pay the debt even if you wanted to, because you are not a prince. You are now in a deep pit, and there is no way you can get out on your own.
You cannot pay the price for your crime.
However, the king has a son. This son happens to love you and your family very much. Very much indeed. Just like the king does.
So much that he decides to do something unprecedented. It is a plan that the father and the son both come up with together, and both decide to do it.
As the son of the king, he, unlike you, is a prince.
So one day he presents himself at the court of the king, his father, to offer his life as a ransom for many.
In particular, for you and all your family. He decides it is a far better thing for one man to die than to stand by and see so many perish.
The execution is performed.
The court of the king assembles.
You have been ransomed by the prince. You and your whole family.
Though deeply hurt by what has befallen his son, the king is a just ruler. And the fact is that the price has been paid. His terms have been met.
The king asks for the certificate that decreed the death of a prince as payment for your crime. He cancels the debt. He tears up the papers.
As judge over the land, he considers the facts and realizes that his justice is now satisfied. He requires nothing else from or on behalf of you or your family. Every demand has been met.
As sovereign, he finds that a state of war no longer exists with your family. He orders a peace treaty to be drawn up. There is peace in the land once more.
However, there is the remaining matter of all your family members who are still out there, considering themselves rebels in the land.
The king sends his ambassadors out, offering full amnesty to anyone who would appear in court claiming the blood of his son.
One by one, members of your family do appear in court. They cite the case of the dying prince. Each time, the king publicly declares them to be full citizens again, right with the kingdom, and restored to full honor and dignity.
Now he is free to bestow titles, homes, lands and riches to all of these restored subjects of his.
And he does! When he considers the great price with which they were purchased, each and every restored person has great value to him now.
Unfortunately, some of your family members decide for whatever reason that they would rather remain rebels.
They choose to reject the gracious offer of the king. They in effect trample on the blood of his son.
It was a reckless, thoughtless, arrogant thing to do. And one day they will catch the full wrath of the king for rejecting the sacrifice made by that king’s precious son.
From the story to the Savior
So now it is time to relate this story to the great truths associated with our so-great salvation.
The ransom paid by the dying prince, when applied to the blood of Christ, is what the Bible calls REDEMPTION.
Redemption = the ransom or the PRICE paid by our Lord Jesus Christ for our sins, namely his sacrificial death on the cross. It is the SINWARD side of the cross.
The blood of Christ is effective for healing all sides of the sin problem. The work of Christ on the cross is the antidote to all of the sickness of sin in all directions.
The king tearing up the decrees is called EXPIATION.
Expiation = CANCELLING the DEBT. To put an end to or extinguish the guilt. To remove the problem by satisfying some demand. It is the PENALTY side of the cross.
The king realizing that his son’s sacrifice had completely SATISFIED the demands from his justice is what the Bible calls PROPITIATION.
Propitiation: means ‘satisfaction”. Since Christ has died, God is propitious. The justice of God is completely SATISFIED with the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the GODWARD side of the cross. It is what the blood of Christ accomplished with respect to the character and nature of God.
The peace treaty is what the Bible calls RECONCILIATION.
Reconciliation: the removal of the barrier between God and man, replacing enmity with peace. It is the MANWARD side of the cross. It points to the effect that the cross has had on mankind.
It is the PEACE TREATY between God and man. Man is restored to peace with God.
The king declaring that those rebels who accepted the invitation to trust in his son were now loyal subjects? That is what the Bible calls JUSTIFICATION.
Justification: is the declaration that a believer is no longer under condemnation. It means VINDICATION.
It is the legal act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous because He has imputed to the believer His perfect righteousness.
Now we end our story.
But of course with the real thing, with Jesus Christ, the prince comes back to life, and all the restored subjects are adopted by his Father, and become His brothers and sisters.
But that is for another series. I can't wait until we get to see what that's all about as well.
Preview of next week
Next week we will examine these five aspects of the blood of Christ, of our salvation, in more detail.
But now let’s look at these five major aspects of the blood of Christ, of soteriology, once again.
Redemption, Expiation, Propitiation, Reconciliation, and Justification.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
Until the next time, we’re all ….
In His grip,
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