Thursday, April 1, 2010

Paul's daring word about propitiation

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Christ as the Substitute for Sinners

The true Christian realizes ... God's way of salvation in Christ. This is the great good news. 'This is the thing I am preaching,' says Paul, in effect, to the Romans, 'this righteousness that is of God, that is in Jesus Christ, His righteousness.' What is he talking about? It can be put in the form of a question if you like. What is your view of Christ? Why did He come into the world? What has God done in Christ? Is He merely a teacher, an example, and so on? ... No, this is something positive, this righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. Salvation is all in Christ, and unless you feel yourself shut up to Christ with everything else having failed, you are not a Christian, and it is not surprising that you are not happy. 'The righteousness of God in Jesus Christ' means that God sent Him into the world in order that He might honour the Law and so men might be forgiven. Here is One who gave perfect obedience to God.

Here is One, God in the flesh, who has taken human nature unto Himself, and, as man, has rendered perfect homage to God, perfect allegiance, perfect obedience. God's law He kept fully and absolutely without a failure. But not only that ...

Before man can be reconciled to God ... this sin of his must be removed. God has said that He will punish sin, and that the punishment of sin is death and banishment from the face of God ... God has set Him forth as a propitiation . . . [this] means that God has made Him responsible for our sins. They have been placed upon Him and God has dealt with them and punished them there, and therefore ... He can justly forgive us.... It is a daring thing for the Apostle to say, but it has to be said ... God, because He is righteous and holy and eternal, could not forgive the sin of man without punishing it. He said He would punish it, so He must punish it, and, blessed be His Name, He has punished it.

He is just, therefore, and the justifier of them that believe in Jesus.
Spiritual Depression, pp. 32-3

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