||2016-07-08 13:02:28, 조회 : 653, 추천 : 142
| The Truth of the Cross|
R. C. Sproul
Chapter 6 - Made Like His Brothers
Hello to another beautiful day that has been given to us by God! Today, we continue our book, The Truth of the Cross, by the author R. C. Sproul. And we look at chapter 6, Made Like His Brethren.
If we were asked about what Jesus has done for us, the common answer would be, "Jesus died for my sins." This answer is certainly true, however with its great meaning, it also lacks as a whole. From previous chapters we learned and due to God's justice and our sinfulness that the atonement was necessary. Which we forwarded by learning that Jesus Christ is the one who satisfied our debt, our enmity with God, and our criminal violation of God's laws. We also learned that the cross was the work of the grace of God, by which the Father sent the Son in order to make satisfactions for us so we can be saved with no sacrifice of God's justice. And we discovered that the Bible presents Jesus as the Redeemer who frees us from our captivity by paying a ransom for us.
And while many of us believe this to be true and good, sometimes we must wonder why it had to be Jesus Christ? As we have spoken of previously, we bring up the question asked by Anselm, Cur Deus Homo?, or in English, "Why the God-Man?" Anselm's question came about because he was curious as to why the Son of God had to take on humanity, be born, and live in this world for thirty-three years in order to make His atonement for His people on the cross. And in order to answer Anselm's, and hopefully our question, we must look at the necessity for the atonement and consider the requirements that had to be met in order for the atonement to be fulfilled.
To begin, we are all to be in agreement that, we, the human population, have been tainted by sin. This is why the atonement from Christ was necessary. It also was related to the character of God, which we spoke of His justice and righteousness. And when we look objectivity, God is holy and just, while we are totally unjust, corrupt, and sinful. There is no way that we would be able to relate.
This realization comes with the doctrine of total depravity. This is not to be confused with utter depravity. Utter depravity states that man is as evil as can be. However, we know this not to be true. We could have committed a greater number of sins and could have done a lot worse, and yet we do not. But not because of our own "good will," but by God's common grace. However, what the doctrine of total depravity states is that sin, the affects of its power and its influence, affect us totally. Our bodies are fallen, our hearts are fallen, and our minds are fallen, and simply there's no part of us that escapes the our sinful human nature. This is reiterated by Apostle Paul in Romans 3:10-12, "There is none righteous; no, not one;... There is none who does good; no, not one."
Now some of you may believe that what Apostle Paul is calling for is utter depravity rather than what we stated as total depravity. This will need some clarification.
The reason why Apostle Paul is rightful in his claim that no one is righteous and that no one does good is because of how goodness or badness is portrayed in Scripture. The Scripture solves this problem by showing us two distinct perspectives. First, there is the law which measures the performance of human beings. For example, if God says you are not allowed to steal, and you go your whole life without stealing, from an evaluation we can say that you have a good record and that you've kept the law externally.
However, God doesn't look only externally but also very much internally. God considers the heart when external "good" deeds are done, the motivation for our behavior. We're told in the Scripture that, while man judges on outward appearance, God looks at also the heart. And from a biblical perspective, to do a good deed in the fullest sense requires not only that the deed is fulfilled in the standard of God's Law, but also that it is proceeded with a heart that loves Him and wishes to honor Him. We are to always remember the very first commandment given to us, in Matthew 22:37, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind."
And when we read that verse, the very first thing that should trigger in our minds is the fact that we haven't fulfilled that first commandment. We are often guilty of hating God, rather than loving God. And when we feel to love God, it's always half-hearted, never with all our heart, and even more so never with all our soul and mind. Many times, even during worship, when we are to feel the closest to God, our physical bodies are there, and yet our minds are elsewhere!
And when we consider this, we can see why Apostle Paul says no one does good, which means no one in mankind has ever fulfilled the full sense of doing good. Even our finest works have a taint of sin mixed into it. We have always failed to wholeheartedly to do good with a heart, a soul, and a mind that loved God completely. This is why we can externally see many good works being done among both believers and unbelievers. And what this explanation should bring forth to us is the fact that we're in serious trouble. Not even our good is good, and on top of that, we have more than enough sins to counter any supposed "good" works we have done.
Which brings upon us the very dilemma and the question that we are to ask ourselves, "how can an unjust and evil person as I stand in the presence of God?" It would be appropriate to remind ourselves that God is holy, unblemished, and perfect. And ever since Adam, and ever since we have accounted for our own sins, it would be impossible for us to be perfect like him.
However, the question we just asked does have an answer. How can an unjust and evil person as us stand in the presence of God? The only solution, the perfect answer, is Jesus Christ. If we were to be made just, to be able to stand in the presence of God, we needed someone to satisfy God's justice. Someone must pay for the infinite penalty for man's sin. And, obviously, it must be a member of the offending part, the human race, but that person must also have never fallen to the imperfection of sin. He was to be the lamb without blemish, and as Scripture tells us, the only man for God's justice to be satisfied is founded in Jesus Christ.
Jesus was different from us in at least one very significant way. While He has lived as a man on earth for decades, as well as being subject to the Law of God and the temptations known to man, he had no blemishes. In the Old Testament, the Passover lambs were to be lambs without blemish, as physically perfect as possible. But the ultimate lamb, the Lamb of God Who would take away the sins of His people, was to be perfect in every way. When John affirmed Jesus as the Lamb of God, He was telling us that Jesus is untouched by sin.
And so the Lamb of God, was sacrificed on the cross, and became our Mediator. And in His holiness, he has imputed his righteousness within us so that when the supreme Judge of heaven judges us, He will say, "You are just." That righteousness was achieved due to the Jesus having lived under the Law for thirty-three years without once committing sin. Without His life of sinless obedience, Jesus' atonement would have had no value at all. Not only was that the case, due to Jesus bearing our sins, he had to also face the punishment, which was the suffering he felt on the cross. So not only did Jesus Christ die for us, but he also lived for us. This is why we call Jesus Christ our Mediator, Substitute, and Redeemer.
This is the glory of the Protestant doctrine of justification. The person who is in Christ is at the very same instant a sinner and just. If we could only be justified by actually becoming just and having no sin in us, we would never see the kingdom of God! The point of the gospel is that as soon as a person sincerely embraces Christ, all that Christ has done is applied to that person. All that He is becomes ours, including His righteousness. It's Christ's righteousness that makes us just and it is His death that has taken care of the punishment we deserve.
In total, we speak of this as the justification by faith alone, for the only means that we can be righteous and for the merit of Christ to come into our accounts is by having faith in His saving work. We can't earn it, and we definitely do not deserve it. All we can do is trust in it and hold on to it.
This concludes chapter 6, Made Like His Brethren, in which I hope you were able to understand the key points that were contained in this chapter. I also hope you were able to understand that the only thing that can ever bring us through the gates of heaven is faith in Jesus Christ.