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|The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 2:35am On May 11, 2018
Chapter 1: Sin
by James Paterson Jnr., Scotland.
ENTRANCE OF SIN
EFFECT OF SIN
Essentially, the Biblical concept of sin is a wrong relationship with God resulting from an offence against Him. Anything in thought, word, or action, which disturbs man’s relationship with God, is sin.
This broken relationship with God may be the result of wilful transgression, or a failure to appreciate God in accepting His salvation.
This is emphasised in the basic meaning of the term for sin; to fall short, or to miss the mark as the word is translated some 200 times. Sin is anything that disrupts one’s relationship with God through our failure to attain the Divine standard. Sin is also expressed as man turning aside or deviating from the correct path. Isa.53.6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way …”. The correct path is that which is centred on God, and leads man to Him. Man in his natural state as a sinner cannot adhere to this way and turns aside to his own way and so suffers the consequences. Prov.16.25, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” We will see that in Lucifer and also in the temptation of Eve, there is the idea of competing with God, Lucifer with regard to place for himself, Isa.14.13, and Eve in the temptation, to have knowledge like God. Gen.3.5, “and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
The essence of sin is seen in the Word of God as the whole mind, heart, and will of man set in active rebellion against God; Jer.17.9 states, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately [incurably] wicked,” showing the deep seated, corrupting, concentration of sin. The Lord Jesus said “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” Matt.15.19.
This is evidenced in man through the Scriptures as:
Walking contrary to God, Lev.26.21;?
Despisers of God, Num.11.20;
Refuting the existence of God, Ps.14.1;
Rebelling against God, Isa.1.2;
Striving against God, Isa.45.9;
Rising as the enemy of God, Mic.2.8;
Resisting God, Acts 7.51;
Blaspheming God, Jms. 2.7.
Dr C.Ryrie quoted by Lehman Strauss in “The Doctrine of Sin” has given a helpful list of Hebrew and Greek words that describe sin.
“In the Hebrew of the Old Testament there are at least eight basic words:
"In the Hebrew of the Old Testament there are at least eight basic words:
ra, bad Gen.38.7;
rasha, wickedness Ex.2.13;
chata, sin Ex.20.20;
avon, iniquity 1Sam.3.13;
pasha, rebel 1Kgs.8.50;
taah, wander away Ezek.48.11;
shagag, to err Isa.28.7;
asham, guilt Hos.4.15.
The Greek of the New Testament uses 13 basic words to describe sin. These are:
enochos, guilt Matt.5.21;
poneros, evil Matt.5.45;
agnoein, to be ignorant Rom.1.13;
asebes, godless; Rom.1.18;
parabates, transgression Rom.5.14;
hamartia, missing the mark Rom.3.23;
kakos, bad Rom.13.3;
planan, go astray 1Cor.6.18;
adikia, unrighteousness 1 Cor.6.9;
paraptomai, fall away Gal.6.1;
anomos, lawlessness 1Tim.2.9;
hypocrites, hypocrite 1Tim.4.2."
Sin in man evolves and develops, blighting the life, destroying the body, causing the unbeliever to perish, until “sin when it is finished bringeth forth death” Jms.1.15.
However did this awful contagion manifest itself and bring about a condition that would separate man from his Creator? Was not man created in innocence? While sin would make its dramatic entrance into the world, “by one man” Rom.5.12, where was its dreadful presence first displayed?
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 9:41am On May 11, 2018
THE ENTRANCE OF SIN
The Expression of Sin in the Universe - “I will”
Were we to look back into heaven, and see the hosts of God, created angelic beings, one angel would stand out from the others. According to Ezekiel chapter 28, Lucifer (as he is called only in Isaiah chapter14) is the highest of God’s created beings. This chapter is one of the few passages in Scripture that gives us the origin of the Devil and of evil, portrayed through the illustration of the King of Tyre. What a picture of created perfection and beauty, “every precious stone was thy covering” Ezek.28.13. The dazzling display in this creature must have been a majestic evidence of the creatorial power of God. His name means “brilliant star” and he is referred to as “Lucifer, son of the morning!” Isa.14.12. Not only a visual display, but audible as well! Ezekiel writes of the perfection of his tabrets and pipes, in fact it seems from this description that Lucifer was not only musical, but also music personified!? He was the anointed cherub that covereth, [protected] the throne of God, perfect in his ways from the day of his creation, Ezek.28.14,15.
All this glory, position, power and presence, and yet the Lord Jesus describes an event that He witnessed when sin reared its head. Lk.10.18, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven”.? Cast out of heaven in the past, (R.V.), “I beheld Satan fallen”, (as having fallen); however this may have a prophetic application in the day of Rev.12.9.? Whatever caused such an irrevocable action to take place? Ezekiel records the change, 28.15,16, “til iniquity was found in thee … thou hast sinned”. What was the sin of this creature created higher than any other?
In Isa. 14.13,14 we have the five records of “I will” spoken by Lucifer. He set his will over against the will of God. “I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the most High.” The evidence points to Lucifer as having had a free will - he could choose, as he desired. He desired to be like God. Like as man would eventually follow, Isa.53.6, he “turned to his own way”. The overwhelming sin of Lucifer was pride. He wilfully went against God’s will. He was created as an angel of light: he was the “son of the morning”, but the darkness of sin permeated the realm of heaven, and he fell.? He was lifted up to such an extent that his real desire was not only to be like God, but really, to be God. In putting his own will above and beyond the will of God, he desired to put himself in the place of God, and therefore under the judgment of God.? Added to the sin of pride could be that of covetousness - inordinate grasping after that which was not his, and lying - claiming to be what he was not.
For the one who would seek to ascend higher than his allotted state, God has only one judgment, “thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” Isa.14.15. The one whose desire was to dwell in the recesses of heaven, (sides of the North), will dwell in the recesses of the pit. From the “son of the morning” before the creation of man, to the role of the great dragon, the old serpent, Satan, that is, the adversary of all that is of God, the Devil, being the accuser, the deceiver of the whole world, Rev.12.9. Cast out but still to bear the title of “Prince of the power of the air,” Eph.2.2. Cast out of the presence of God. Cast down to “go to and fro in the earth, and walk up and down in it” Job 1.7, to be bound for one thousand years, Rev. 20.2, loosed for a little season, but ultimately cast into the lake of fire to be tormented for ever and ever, Rev.20.10. “The prince of this world is judged” Jn.16.11. Destruction resulting from that rampant desire. That desire developing and becoming his decided ambition, “I will”.
In Ezekiel chapter 28 there seems to be an answer from God to the self will of Lucifer. Six times God records His will in judgment against Satan, finally leaving him in ashes upon the earth.
“I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness” Ezek.28.7.
“I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God” v.16.
“I will destroy thee, O covering cherub” v.16.
“I will cast thee to the ground” v.17.
“I will lay thee before kings” v.17.
“I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth” v.18.
In addition to the mighty Lucifer, there was clearly a group of angelic beings that followed his example or engaged in sin, which caused God to act. “God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment” 2 Pet.2.4. To this Jude adds, “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” Jude 6.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 9:52am On May 11, 2018
The Entrance of Sin into the World -
“by one man” :-From Satan’s own admission, his movements as described in Job 1.7, depict an almost patrol-like character to his actions in the earth.? The use of the preposition ‘in’ rather than ‘on’ the earth is interesting, giving the idea of involvement in the affairs of men. It is in the earth, in the garden, where he is first mentioned in Scripture.
Again the scene is idyllic, perfection this time on earth. Six days of creation resulting in a profusion of plant life, an abundance of every beast of the field, the potential of the human race in the man and the woman, God’s commendation of it all, and His day of rest.? The perfection would be blighted, the rest shattered, the earth cursed, man ruined, relationship destroyed, death passed upon all.? Why such a catastrophic change to a perfect condition?? The answer is found again in the one cast down, who rears his head in the Garden of Eden, and who in his subtlety begins a work of temptation that will bring man down, ruined through his sin of disobedience, Rom.5.12,19. Sin appears in the earth in its hydra-headed display.
It is of value to note that the fall of man refutes the evolution theories of men. While, for example, Darwinism theorises that man began in a low form and has evolved upwards, Scripture shows, in Genesis chapters 1–3, that man started in perfection directly from the hand of God, and has fallen downward. These early chapters of the history of man also show that it is not the social environment of man that causes his straying, but rather it is his sin that causes the deterioration in his social environment. The Scriptural record of the fall is the only possible explanation for the condition of the human race. What other reason could be given for the universality of sin, when regardless of background, education, and guidance, we are reminded every day that “there is none that doeth good” Ps.14.1. “For there is no man that sinneth not” 1 Kgs.8.46. “There is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” Eccl.7.20. “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” Rom.3.12.
This entrance of sin into the world is directly linked to Satan. He approached the woman, denied the Word of God, diluted the Commandment of God, and in effect doubted the Authority of God. While the word sin is not mentioned in the account given in Genesis chapter 3, the fact of sin certainly is, thus Rom.5.12.
The result is a process that has appeared down through time since the initial action of Eve:
She “saw that the tree was good for food” Gen.3.6. It is interesting to note that it was only after her conversation with Satan that it is recorded “she saw”. The subtlety and beguiling effect of Satan, seems to have stirred something in her innocent mind to question what she knew, and to germinate the seed of doubt. Was there the hint of the same ambition of Satan planted into the mind of the woman when she heard his words, v.5, “and ye shall be as gods”? There was nothing inherently evil in the tree or the fruit, but God had said, “thou shall not eat of it” 2.17. While she knew the Word of God and could have repeated it to Satan, there seems to be an alteration made from what she had heard, whether with her husband, directly from God, or passed on to her from her husband. This is seen in the five-fold alteration of God’s word in Genesis chapter 2.
She alters the Capability of the provision by omitting ‘every’ 3.2.
She reduces the Capacity of the provision by omitting ‘freely’ 3.2.
She relocates the Centre of the garden - The tree of Life was in the midst 2.9.
She adds to the Communication by including “neither shall ye touch it” 3.3.
She relaxes the Commandment in omitting God’s Word “thou shalt surely die” 2.17.
While she knew what God had said, she was not prepared to adhere to it, and her look developed to desire, “and a tree to be desired” 3.6. Her desire develops into action, “she took … and did eat, and gave also unto her husband (first mention of husband) with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew …” 3.6,7. Although it is the woman who is tempted, Adam willingly shares with her the forbidden fruit. There is a strange passive quality to his behaviour in v.6 and again in v.12.
The sin of covetousness is evidenced, which always starts with a look, then desire, then appropriation, and ultimately death. This principle is seen through Scripture with regard to covetousness. For examples the reader should consider Lot, Achan and David.
Adam ate of the fruit in total disobedience to the instruction of God, and as a result began to die. How tragic! This is the one who had received the very breath of God as an inanimate object and, “became a living soul” Gen.2.7. However, the entrance of sin into man and therefore into the world, caused that relationship to be broken and the process of death to ensue. Adam became the possessor of a fallen nature. Not only was he a sinner, but also each of his descendants inherited the same. Rom.5.12 is clear, “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”.
However, some might ask the question, “How could there be sin when the law has yet to be given?” Strictly speaking, there could be no individual sin until there was a law to be broken, even though there is the evidence of conscience in Adam, and he knew that there was an effect from his actions. Before the institution of the law, it is obvious that death prevailed, which is the proof and the consequence of the presence of sin. So Adam’s sin, as one man, brought death upon all mankind. 1 Cor.15.22, “For as in Adam all die …”. The sin that then prevailed, with such far reaching and disastrous effect, was Adam’s.
Therefore we understand Rom.5.12, “for that all have sinned” is really, not the act of the individual sinner, but the implication of all in Adam’s sin. Paul, in Rom.5.15-19, states that the universality of sin and death is due to the single sin of one man. As the representative head of the race, the contagion within him is distributed through all who follow, “so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (in Adam). We see the confirmation of this in the fact that innocent babies, who have never consciously sinned, die. This is a result of Adam’s sin being imputed to his progeny. The effect of this is further graphically described in Scripture, “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies” Ps.58.3. Again, “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” Eph.2.1-3. What a definitive description of unregenerate man! Man cannot change this condition and so the Lord Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” Jn.3.6. Job understood the progressive problem of sin. “What is man, that he should be clean? And he which is born of a woman that he should be righteous?” Job 15.14.
The good news developing from this subject is that while the single act of one brought sin and death upon all; the single act of the one Redeemer brought life and grace upon all who believe. Again, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one many shall many be made righteous” Rom.5.19. The Redeemer would come, in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, “who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity …” Tit.2.14.
Sin in the world not only affects the world of men, but also is seen in the physical world, i.e. the earth on which we stand. Perfection has gone; the earth is under a curse, “cursed is the ground for thy sake” Gen.3.17; the heavens are unclean in God’s sight, “Yea the heavens are not clean in His sight” Job 15.15; the best of humanity is vanity, “verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity” Ps.39.5; the whole creation groans, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” Rom.8.22. All of these conditions being the direct effects of sin in the world.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 10:05am On May 11, 2018
THE EFFECT OF SIN
The Effect of Sin on the Sovereign
Sin in essence is wickedness. It is contrary to the holiness of God, for God is holy, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” 1 Jn.1.5. His holiness means that He Himself cannot sin, nor is He the cause of sin in any other. He does not command sin to be committed, for to do so would be contrary to His nature. He does not approve of any man’s sin when it is committed; in fact He hates it with a holy hatred. “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on iniquity” Hab.1.13. Sin therefore is against the very character of God and His holiness. He hates it, so He must punish it, therefore He must put it out of His sight for ever. Apart from the sacrificial work of Christ, God cannot deal with sinful man except to cast him out of His presence eternally into the Lake of Fire.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 10:11am On May 11, 2018
Sin Causes God to Suffer in the sense of grief to His holy character.
God shows His hatred of sin by threatening severe punishment against it. God said to Adam, “thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” Gen.2.17. The sin of disobedience was so severe in the sight of God that He issued a most severe threat, which was implemented immediately on the sin of man. At this time man separated himself from God and was banished from the Garden. How grieving to God the Creator to look upon His creature now blighted by sin and exiled from His presence. At the time of the flood it was the wickedness of man that so grieved God that He repented that He had ever made mankind, “And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart” Gen.6.6. There are four words that seem to emphasise the condition of man to cause such feeling in the heart of God. “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” Gen.6.5. Such was the depravity of mankind because of sin, and the grief of God is seen in the deluge that followed. We must never forget in this context the long-suffering of God, even in a world of such sin. As long as Enoch’s son, Methuselah lived, the world would be safe and God would stay His hand. Nine hundred and sixty nine years, what a demonstration of God’s mercy!
Sin Causes God to Seek Sinners
Seeking the sinner is the position of God. It cannot be otherwise. “There is none that seeketh after God” Rom.3.11. It was not Adam that sought God, but God that sought Adam, “where art thou?” Gen.3.9. It was God that sought and called Abram while he was still an idolater, Gen.12.1. He called Moses while in Midian from the midst of the bush, Ex.3.4. Christ sought out the disciples from their various locations, and sought us all, until we came to Him. “For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” Lk.19.10. So He can say “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you” Jn.15.16. While God seeks, man is still responsible to respond to the overtures of God.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 10:23am On May 11, 2018
Sin Caused God to Provide A Saviour
More will be written about this Blessed One, the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, but we cannot but mention the One Who is God, yet came from God “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law” Gal.4.4 (R.V.). The purpose of that coming, as we shall see in greater detail, was, “to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” Heb.9.26. Paul again thrills at the purpose of the One provided, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” 1 Tim.1.15.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 10:28am On May 11, 2018
The Effect of Sin on the?Sinner
The Presence of Sin
After Adam sinned the eyes of both the man and the woman were opened and they saw themselves as their disobedience had made them to be, naked and ashamed. They had succumbed to the temptation of Satan and the notion of them being “like gods” which will rather propel them into the depths of destruction. What a realisation of shame they must have felt. Their immediate thought was to cover their unclothedness with the apron of fig leaves. However this attempt to restore purity was a useless substitute for that state in which they were created.? Not only did they feel shame, but they understood for the first time that they were guilty of disobeying God. Genuine guilt springs from the known violation of God’s laws.
The sin that plunged mankind into sin was that of disobedience. It shows that man was not capable of determining what was good and evil, but that he must trust God in the matter.
God as Creator has the right to establish laws, both spiritual and material. To break or uphold these laws is the choice of man, given his free will. In this first instance man chose to disobey the Law of God. He must therefore take the consequences.
Immediately on sinning the effect of sin is evidenced, first in their knowledge, then in their separation from God, Gen.3.8-10. When God came in the cool of the day, as was His practice, man hid. The effect of sin is not that God removed His presence from man, but rather that man removed himself from God. “I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself” Gen.3.10. It is clear that man cannot divorce himself from the Creator. The sinner coming into contact with God face to face is left with no defence. Isa.6.5, “Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 10:36am On May 11, 2018
The Problem of Sin
The Results of Sin
The results of sin in the world are seen early in the history of man. Gen.3.10, the first mention of fear; self-justification, 3.12,13; sorrow multiplied to the woman even in the bringing forth of children, 3.16; her subjection to her husband decreed by God; sorrow too for man as he toils on the earth, 3.17-19; man is driven out by God from that pristine garden, 3.24, and the resultant separation which will last not only for all time, but for eternity, unless reconciliation is made.
The Release of Sin
This is seen in the display of the mind, the mouth and the moral intent of the heart, “but those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies” Matt.15.18,19. Indeed the physical faculties of man are engaged in the practice of sin. Man curses with his voice, deceives with his actions, looks with lust, has pride in his heart, closes his ears to the Word of God, does wicked deeds with his hands, walks into evil paths with his feet. The description given in Rom.3.10-18 is conclusive; “There is none righteous, no not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.” When Paul writes of Antinomianism in Phil.3.19, he records, “Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.”
The Repulsion Caused by Sin
This is all around us in the world. We would hardly need to go into detail to describe the obnoxious nature of sin in the world, practiced and enjoyed by man. The lack of moral standards in the world is an evidence of rampant sin and man’s complacency in such a condition. The attitude of the age causes concern to the true believer, but how much more is God repulsed by this blatant sin. Rom.2.21-32 is sufficiently descriptive to stand alone as a description of the reprobate character of man rising to a climax in v.32, “… not only to do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them”. Nothing can exceed the enormity of this concluding statement of the preceding list. Men enjoy sin simply because it is evil, and they delight to see others in the same state of condemnation as themselves. “Who delight to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked” Prov.2.14. “For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth” Ps.10.3.
In the Gospels the picture of the leper is used to show the repulsive nature of sin. A condition that required the cleansing power of the Lord Jesus, and which under the law had to be seen to have been effected, pointing to the work of sanctification which He Himself would effect. The importance of cleansing will be developed later in the book; however, in our day, it is worth asking if a life of unclean practice could ever have experienced initial sanctification?
The Remote Position of the Sinner
This was first seen, as referred to above, in the Garden when Adam hid from God, Gen.3.10. Paul refers to those who were “made nigh” or reconciled, but they were those who had been “sometime far off” Eph.2.13. The cause of this distance between God and man being the condition of the sinner, “dead in trespasses and sins” Eph.2.1. The distance from God is not only due to man’s sin, but God’s anger against sin. “God is angry with the wicked every day” Ps.7.11. The effect of sin then is that sinners are cut off from close contact with God. There can be reconciliation through repentance of sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but outside of Christ, sinfulness cuts a man off from relationship with God.
The Reward to the Sinner
Sin’s reward is the sad portion of death. We have already seen that sin brings death. This death is spiritual as well as physical. When man sinned he died spiritually, being cut off from the source of life, which is God. In time sin works its course and all men eventually die. “For the wages of sin is death ...” Rom.6.23. Following death is the judgment of God, “as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment” Heb.9.27. This judgment, under the righteous gaze of the One Who sits upon the throne, Rev.20.11, is followed by the “second death” Rev.20.14, which is eternal loss, separation from God and all that is good, and suffering in the lake of fire. However there is a sense that man’s continual practice of sinful actions and resultant addictions, brings a recompense into their lives. Sin’s repulsiveness is seen in the lives of so many who have rejected God’s mercy and rather wallowed in the sins of the flesh which has resulted in their physical destruction.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 10:38am On May 11, 2018
The Effect of Sin on the Saviour
We must carefully emphasise the fundamental truth that our Lord Jesus Christ, did not have the capacity to sin. It is critically weak to state that He did not sin, without adding the fact of His impeccability. Scripture is clear, “who knew no sin;” 2 Cor.5.21, “in Him is no sin” 1 Jn. 3.5, “He did no sin” 1 Pet.2.22.
We follow His pathway through the Gospel accounts of His life and see Him come into contact with, death, disease, demons, and those in the depth of sin. These were circumstances, which under the law would have constituted a man unclean, but our blessed Lord drew no contamination from His surroundings because of His holy, sinless character.
If reconciliation has to be effected and righteousness imputed, then it will have to be by His work accomplished on the cross. Constantly before the Lord in His pathway on earth, was Jerusalem and “the death of the cross” Phil.2.8. “He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” Lk.9.51. The awful thought that sin would have to be dealt with and the fact that He would be made sin was His, every step of the pathway. After the work of Calvary was completed Paul wrote, “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” 2 Cor.5.21. So the One Who “knew no sin”, “became sin”. The sufferings of Christ had long been foretold in types and by the prophets, and the event would take place when the hour was come. Although He was made sin, the Saviour maintained in Himself the intrinsic perfection that He always had as God.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 10:45am On May 11, 2018
He Became Sin - 2 Cor.5.21
There is great depth to this statement that He became (was made) sin.
He became sin – this was for God’s satisfaction.
He became sin for us – this was for complete substitution.
The Lord Jesus is presented in Scripture as One Whom God contemplated as being free from sin. The assertion made in this verse is the fact that He was without sin. This is an indispensable condition of His being made sin for us. The only sense that He became sin is that He bore the guilt of sin. The great contrast in the verse is between sin and righteousness. He became sin, whereas we are made righteous. He was condemned that we might be justified. The only sense, in which we are made the righteousness of God, is that we are constituted righteous in Christ, therefore the sense in which Christ became sin is that He was looked on and treated as sin. The sufferings of Christ had been foretold long before, by type and prophetic word, but these came to fulfilment as “the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” Isa.53.6.
Through this work, believers are now made righteous, and become the righteousness of God in Him. The righteousness of God, here and in Rom.3.21,22 is not only the righteousness which He gives, and that which He requires, but also that which belongs to Him as His essential character. We, as believers in Jesus Christ are made sharers in this righteousness supplied by God.
Emphasised in 2 Cor.5.21 is the truth of the work of Christ as Substitute, “for us” i.e. on behalf of / instead of. The truth of substitution is, that which is done by one in the place of another and avails as though that other had done it himself. He was condemned that we might be justified. He was forsaken that we should be forgiven. The blessed truth is that the purpose of God in the sin bearing death of Christ was not only that men should escape judgment, but that they should become righteous.
Oh, hear that piercing cry! What can its meaning be?
My God! My God! Oh! Why hast Thou in wrath forsaken Me?
It was because our sins on Him by God were laid;
He Who Himself could never sin, for sinners, sin was made.
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He Suffered for Sins - 1 Pet.3.18
“Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” 1 Pet.3.18. His suffering on the cross for sins was once, that is, one time only. Christ suffered to deal with the separation and alienation caused by sin, and so to bring us to God. This is made more explicit when Peter adds “the Just for the unjust”, or more literally, the Just One for the unjust ones. Being righteous, Christ had no guilt of His own to pay for, therefore He could be the substitute Who died in our place, bearing the punishment that we deserved.
His suffering for sins is an essential subject of our preaching, as Paul states, “Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ” Acts 17.3. The position of His suffering was outside the gate, that is separate from the political world, and outside the camp, that is away from the religious world, the totality of both spheres that had rejected Him. “Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate” Heb.13.12.
The beneficial effect of His suffering is echoed in 1 Pet.2.24, “by whose stripes [weal] we are healed”. The word “stripes” used here and in Isa.53.5 is in the singular, emphasising that God administered judgment for sin, during the awful period of darkness from the sixth until the ninth hour. This judgment is prophesied in the Old Testament. “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him” Isa. 53.10. Peter draws this thought of the healing effect of the stripe from Isa.53.5, and applies the word morally: by Christ’s stripe we have been made whole from sin. Here again is the idea of the punishment of a substitute. Christ took upon Himself the punishment due to us, and thus made us spiritually and morally whole.
Jehovah bade His sword awake;
O Christ it woke ‘gainst thee!
Thy blood the flaming blade must slake,
Thy heart its sheath must be;
All for my sake my peace to make,
Now sleeps that sword for me.
(A. R. Cousin)
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The Effect of Sin on the Saint
While as believers in Christ we have our sins forgiven, have been justified by faith, reconciled to God, sanctified, constituted righteous, and redeemed by His precious blood, we still have to contend with the problem of sin. As far as sin is concerned we have come into the benefit of Christ’s judicial work, and because of His sacrificial work, will never be condemned, “he that believeth on Him is not condemned” Jn.3.18. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” Rom.8.1. However, as Scripture reminds us, sin is still a force to be reckoned with in our daily lives. Paul sums it up thus, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me” Rom.7.18-20.
Confessed sins are forgiven sins, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 Jn.1.9. Sin in the life of the believer warrants the chastening hand of God, as detailed in Heb.12.1-11. The lack of discernment in the Lord’s Supper is sin, the judgment of which in Corinth was; “many are weak and sickly among you and many sleep” 1 Cor.11.30.
Sin in the life of the believer must also be dealt with as we gather locally. Examples are given. Moral sin, 1 Cor.5.1-8: Doctrinal sin, Heb.3.12,13: Sin on a personal basis, Matt.18.15-20.
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Sin then is a problematic force in the universe, in the world, and in the souls of men. It has been present in the world of men since Adam sinned, and has wreaked havoc from generation to generation leaving a permanent consequence in man and in the universe. God will expose sin in the lives of men, and will judge the unrepentant sinner in His own time. How then can the problem of sin be alleviated? How can man escape from the power of sin, avoid the penalty for sin that is death and judgment, and ultimately be free from the presence of sin?
The answer can only be found in the Saviour of sinners, God’s blessed Son. Through Him God can be just in the justification of sinners. A full, complete, meritorious work for sin has been accomplished, and now not only is the believer pardoned, but justified, which gives us, “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Rom.5.1.
Because the Sinless Saviour died,
My guilty soul is counted free,
And God, the Just, is satisfied,
To look on Christ and pardon me.
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To be continued.....
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Chapter 2: Repentance
by Walter A. Boyd, N. Ireland.
WHAT IS REPENTANCE?
THE PRIORITY OF REPENTANCE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
SOME OBSERVATIONS ON REPENTANCE
EVIDENCES OF REPENTANCE
HOW IS REPENTANCE AFFECTED?
A PARABLE ON REPENTANCE
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The Lord Jesus laid great stress upon the subject of repentance when He declared, “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish” Lk.13.3. With similar emphasis Paul, preaching on Mars’ Hill, said “God … now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” Acts 17.30. In fact, in the book of the Acts repentance is prominent in the preaching of all the Lord’s servants. Because of the biblical emphasis on the subject, it is important that we understand correctly what the Bible means by its use of the word repent in its various forms. There are conflicting views as to what repentance is, which adds to the confusion in the mind of an interested seeker of the truth.
The biblical doctrine of repentance forms the vital bridge between sin and forgiveness. There is no way to obtain forgiveness for sins other than by repentance. Sin is a very popular subject: none other is more discussed, dearly loved or practised by the human race. It transcends every barrier known to mankind: racial, geographical, social, or religious. Sadly, many commit sins without any regard for a holy God Who places demands upon His creatures: they feel no accountability towards Him. Others, who do feel their accountability to God, try to exercise some moral restraint in their lives. Those who read or know the Bible are aware to some degree of what God calls sin. The only accurate source of information about sin and its consequences is the Word of God. If people did not commit sins, there would be no need for repentance. But sins are all around us every day, and without repentance there can be no deliverance from their deadly effects. Every sin, of whatever magnitude, is a serious affront to God. Yet God, Who is so grievously offended by our sins, has devised a means by which sins can be forgiven. This is where repentance fits into the scheme of Divine blessing. Repentance is essential to forgiveness, so we must accept God’s demand for it and the Bible’s definition of it.
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WHAT IS REPENTANCE?
Repentance appears in both the Old and New Testaments, mainly in the following words:
Nachan (Ex.13.17) to sigh / breathe deeply. Signifies to lament or grieve.
Shuwb (1Kgs.8.47) to retreat / turn back.
Metanoia (Matt.3.8 ) to change the mind.
Metanoeo (Matt.3.2) to think differently afterwards.
Whether in noun or verb, the predominant idea of repentance in the Bible is to think afterwards or reconsider. It is worth noting that this reconsideration is not always with regards to sin but is sometimes a change of mind in relation to a course of action, Gen.6.6; Ex.13.17. However, over the centuries an amalgamation of ideas and confusion over translation led to the subjective idea of regret or feeling sorry for sins committed. The Latin Fathers translated Metanoia as Paenitentia, which came to mean penitence, or acts of penance. Thus the biblical doctrine of repentance became clouded and confused to such an extent that it was brought into outright error, and sinners were told to feel sorry and perform acts of penance to gain forgiveness for their sins. In true repentance, there is an element of remorse for sins that leads to a definite change of attitude and action. But the activity associated with repentance is not a religious duty to make reparation for sins. Rather, it is a change of mind about sinful deeds that brings them to an immediate end. The fundamental New Testament concept of repentance is a change of mind with regard to sins. That change of mind will result in a manner of life in harmony with the attitude to sin in Matt.3.8, “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance”. However, turning away from sin is not enough for salvation; there must also be a turning to Christ in faith, as declared by Paul in Acts 20.21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ”.
THE PRIORITY OF REPENTANCE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
A careful reader of the New Testament could not miss the priority given to the subject of repentance.
John The Baptist
Matt.3.1,2 records John’s message and gives repentance prime position by putting it first in the sentence. “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” John’s preaching of repentance was the fulfilment of the angel’s promise given to Zacharias his father before he was born. “But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God” Lk.1.13,16. His ministry of turning many to the Lord was seen in their repentance, they had second thoughts about their sin and God’s demands upon their lives.
The Lord Jesus Christ
Mk.1.14, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” The close similarity between the preaching of John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus should be noted. Repentance is linked to the kingdom by both, but the Lord Jesus now introduces the additional concept of faith in the words “repent ye and believe the gospel”. Presently there are two kingdoms: the kingdom of God, and the kingdom of Satan. One is characterised by righteousness, light, and Christ; the other is characterised by evil, darkness, and Satan. Citizenship in a kingdom is procured by being born into it. We have been born into the kingdom of this world, and by nature our character is evil and unrighteous. Those who are saved have been born into the kingdom of God, and now have a nature that manifests light and righteousness. New birth is by the Holy Spirit, Jn.3.3, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” and is the result of faith alone, Jn.3.15, “That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life”.
We must be clear that repentance is not the means of entry into the kingdom of God; it is the sinner’s renunciation of the kingdom in which sin reigns. As a citizen of that evil kingdom we are not fit to be subjects of the kingdom of righteousness; we must renounce our sins. Repentance of sins and faith in Christ as Saviour are simultaneous. Faith and repentance are two sides of the same coin, or the two feet of the one step of conversion. As well as being the first theme in the preaching of the Lord Jesus, repentance was also the final theme in His preaching. After His resurrection, He was speaking to His disciples and “then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” Lk.24.45-47.
In Mk.6.12 we have the record of the twelve being sent out to preach, “And they went out, and preached that men should repent”. The priority of their preaching was exactly the same as the Lord Jesus, Who had superseded the preaching of repentance by His forerunner, John the Baptist. They followed all God-sent preachers with their clear message of repentance, which also was linked to an announcement of the kingdom, “And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand” Matt.10.7.
The Apostle Peter
On the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, Peter preached the first message of this present dispensation of grace. His message was plain, pointed, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to the extent that his hearers were pierced to the heart, and they asked “What shall we do?” Acts 2.37. Peter’s reply was prefaced with the all-important word, repent. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” Acts 2.38. Later, as Peter and John went to the Temple to pray, they healed a lame man, and there was quite a stir among the onlookers. Their curiosity and amazement gave an opportunity for Peter to preach the gospel, and as he did so he said, “repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” Acts 3.19. Towards the close of Peter’s ministry in the New Testament we get his last mention of the same theme, in 2 Pet.3.9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. Throughout his life of useful service as a preacher of the gospel, Peter’s message did not change. Likewise, it will remain the same right until the end of the age.
The Apostle Paul
While preaching on Mars’ Hill, Paul demonstrates the ignorance of unregenerate man’s heart, and says, “the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” Acts 17.30. The response in the hearts of some to his message was that of faith, “Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them” Acts 17.34. Later, when Paul gathers the elders from Ephesus to Miletus, he recounts his life and ministry in Asia. He tells them how he “kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” Acts 20.20,21. In Rom.2.3,4, Paul writes, “and thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” The goodness and kindness of God ought to cause the sinner to re-think his attitude to God, and his sin against God.
The Apostle John
John does not mention repentance in either his gospel or his epistles, but he does relay the message of repentance from the Risen Christ to five of the seven local assemblies in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. For them, repentance is not to gain admission into the kingdom by way of salvation, but it is for forgiveness from sins nonetheless. Forgiveness for either a saint or a sinner demands repentance, and a turning away from sin
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THE LINK BETWEEN REPENTANCE AND FAITH
In what way are repentance and faith linked? Which of the two is more important? Does one lead to the other? Questions like these have occupied the minds of teachers and commentators for centuries. Some have made the emphasis on one being more important than the other; and thereby controversy and confusion have reigned where there should have been clarity and conviction. To pit one truth against the other, or prioritise one above the other, is to miss the thrust of Scripture. Both truths are inseparably brought together in the experience of conversion. True repentance is closely linked to true faith – neither stands alone. The sinner cannot turn from sin to nothing; otherwise it is not true repentance. Nor can the sinner turn to God in true faith without changing his mind about sin; otherwise it is not true faith. It is necessary to turn from in order to turn to. When a sinner repents, he turns from self and sin; and when he trusts Christ, he relies fully upon Him as Saviour. Turning from sin without trusting Christ is only reformation; and turning to Christ without repentance is nothing more than religious emotionalism.
There are some individual verses that mention only repentance, or only faith in Christ. Does that mean that a sinner can get saved only by repentance, without faith in Christ? Or do some verses mean that a sinner gets saved only by faith in Christ, without repentance? If we adopt that reasoning, then the Bible presents two ways of salvation – one by faith alone, and the other by repentance alone! But this is not the case, and we must pay attention to the whole tenor of the Scriptures in their teaching on salvation. The Saviour’s words, “repent ye, and believe the gospel” Mk.1.15, and the Apostle Paul’s classic statement, “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” Acts 20.21, draw both concepts together, because both are essential for salvation. As mentioned earlier, they are the two feet necessary for the one step of conversion, which brings a sinner out of darkness into light. Where only faith is mentioned, the context will reveal why its twin truth of repentance is omitted, and vice versa. For instance, in Acts 16.30,31, the Jailer trembled and asked “What must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”. Why no mention of repentance? The Apostle could see that the Jailer had obviously been affected by his sin, and was deeply convicted about it, so there was no need to give him instructions about turning from his sin – the Holy Spirit had already shown him the depravity of his heart. Hence the cry, “What must I do to be saved?” He wanted to be saved from the awful plague and punishment of his sin.
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SOME OBSERVATIONS ON REPENTANCE
Since true repentance and true faith are both required for salvation, it is no surprise that Satan tries to subvert the genuine seeker. He is the master of counterfeit and has managed to delude many into accepting common errors on the subject of repentance. The ultimate personal tragedy is to stake one’s eternal salvation on an error propagated by Satan, so we will briefly identify some of the common mistakes made in relation to repentance.
Reformation of Life is Not Repentance
A sense of moral responsibility leads many, irrespective of any, or no religious beliefs, to want to live a better life. Many who deny the Bible have an innate desire to be a better person. Consequently, they drop some of their undesirable habits and, to some extent, manage to improve their behaviour. Anyone can ‘turn over a new leaf’ and to drop a few sins here and there along the journey of life does not require the help of God, but it still does not make the sinner a better person. No matter how much people try to reform their character, it is not repentance.
Regret is Not Repentance
One of the earliest lessons that the author can recall from his school days is being taught that repentance means being sorry for your sins. Whilst it is true that there is very definite sorrow for sins in every case of repentance, it is possible to be filled with sorrow and yet not repent of the sin at all. Sometimes the sorrow is for the consequences and not the sins. Often the sorrow is because a particular sin has been exposed, and the person concerned is deeply embarrassed. In 2 Cor.7.10, Paul shows us the role of sorrow in repentance: “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” Sorrow brings about repentance but it is not a substitute for it.
Penance is Not Repentance
For many, sorrow for sins creates a deep longing to do something to make amends, and to afflict oneself for that sin. By the Fifteenth Century, the Church of Rome had introduced the sacrament of penance as formal doctrine and practice. This horrible error plays on the heart of those who feel the need to do something about their sins. It teaches that by contrition, confession and castigation of self, one is a fit candidate to be granted absolution by the priest. Even the Scribes in the Lord’s day, who were the inveterate enemies of the Saviour, knew better when they asked, “Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?” Mk.2.7. The Douay-Rheims translation of the Scriptures by the Roman Catholic Church replaces the word ‘penance’ for ‘repentance.’ This endorses their gross error that has been responsible for leading millions into a life of good works to try to obtain forgiveness and heaven. Penance is like regret, it fails to address the standing of a sinner before God – guilty and depraved. Regret elevates the sinner to think that, by sufficient sorrow, he can atone for his sins. Penance elevates the Church and its priests to think that they can provide forgiveness. Both are fundamental errors that deny the very core of the gospel message of forgiveness by the grace of God alone. There is no Scriptural foundation for the notion of penance. The Bible states plainly that salvation is by the grace of God alone, on the basis of faith alone, in Christ alone. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” Eph.2.8,9. “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” Titus 3.4,5 Forgiveness cannot be bought with good deeds, indulgences, or money.
Repentance is Both a Single Action and a Continual Attitude
When a person is convicted of a particular sin, there is a demand for the immediate turning away from that sin. But, in addition to that act of repentance for an act of sin, there is also the need for an attitude of repentance in relation to his or her attitude towards sin. At conversion, an initial act of repentance and faith in Christ leads into a continual attitude of faith and repentance. With some there appears to be a repeated pattern of repenting, yet never being truly repentant – they keep returning to their old ways. True repentance demands a permanent turn around, a complete change of direction that manifests itself in a changed lifestyle.
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Repentance Involves Turning From What I am and What I Have Done
After Nathan the Prophet confronted David about his sin and he gained forgiveness through repentance, David, in Psalm 51, wrote these words: “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me … Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me”. David was smitten with a sense of what he was, v.5, and a sense of what he had done, v.3. Hence his cry for mercy regarding what he did: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” v.7. His sins required cleansing and forgiveness, which could be granted by God alone. His conviction of sin also led to his declaration of what he was: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” v.10. The fact that he was a sinner also needed to be rectified by God: his inner man [‘heart’ and ‘spirit’] must be dealt with also. David acknowledged that every sin is the expression of a sinful nature. True repentance must go beyond an admission of what I have done: it must also include an acknowledgement of what I am – a sinner by birth and in nature. Repentance is having second thoughts about the root of sin as well as the fruit of sin. I no longer cherish and love my sins; but I also loathe what I am as a sinful person. Lying deep below sins are the roots of pride, self, and unbelief. These pernicious roots bear a variety of poisonous fruits, and until the roots are dealt with in repentance before God they will bear fruit profusely. This aspect of repentance challenges the very heart of post-modern thinking about man. Unregenerate man is lauded as the epitome of all that is good and worthy, and is expected to think high thoughts of self. Most life-improvement advice will include copious self-praise and various ways of improving self-esteem, but all this is foreign to the Holy Scripture’s concept of fallen man in need of forgiveness.
EVIDENCES OF REPENTANCE
In 2 Corinthians chapter 7 the Apostle Paul gives an analytical account of true repentance in the assembly at Corinth. In his first epistle he had written to them identifying their various sins, and declaring how they should deal with them. He says in 2 Cor.7.8,9 that his earlier letter had made them sorry and that he was glad about that: “For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.” He was not taking pleasure in the misery they felt when they had been brought under conviction by his first epistle; but he was glad that their sorrow had brought about their repentance. He also points out that there is a type of sorrow caused by sin that is experienced by the world; but which is not the result of conviction of sin. It is simply sorrow that is the consequence of sin and not by sin. There is a great difference! Whether it is the salvation of a sinner or the restoration of an erring Christian, there must be repentance, and both will carry the same hallmark. There are fundamental principles seen in every case of repentance: these are listed in 2 Cor.7.11, “For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” These seven principles, which are evidences of true repentance, are: Carefulness; clearing of yourselves; indignation; fear; vehement desire; zeal and revenge.
Carefulness [‘diligence’ J.N.D.]. The Corinthians were earnest in their repentance, they gave diligent attention to repentance of the sins they had committed. The sorrow of heart created by the Holy Spirit produced a determination to diligently and carefully put things right. Repentance cannot be light-hearted or slip shod.
Clearing of Yourselves [‘excusing yourselves’ J.N.D.]. Every trace of guilt must be removed – they wanted to be righteous. This was not self-defence, but putting things right so that no charge of their former sins could be sustained.
Indignation Godly sorrow had produced a deep-seated anger at their sins. Indignation speaks of being filled with wrath to the point of inconsolable grief. They became so aware of their own sinful actions that they hated their sin.
Fear When the seriousness of their sins gripped their souls, it produced a holy fear of the Lord and a revulsion of those sins. That fear would act as a preservative against further or repeated sin.
Vehement Desire [‘ardent desire’ J.N.D.]. As these foregoing features took hold in their hearts, they developed an ardent desire to correct the things that were wrong. They were in a hurry to repent and make changes. True repentance is not careless or lazy – it wants to rectify what is wrong as quickly as possible.
Zeal Zeal is putting that “ardent desire” into action. When they started to repent they got on with it and saw it through to the end; they did not stop half-way through. They searched out every sin and sought forgiveness thoroughly and completely.
Revenge [‘vengeance’ J.N.D.]. Their zeal led to revenge against themselves in the sense of putting everything in order, including meeting any demands for restitution that their sin may have caused.
Repentance at Corinth manifested itself in this sevenfold way, and resulted in them making changes to their behaviour so that no further charges could be laid against them.
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HOW IS REPENTANCE AFFECTED?
Since repentance is so vital to forgiveness and blessing, how can it be produced? The Bible presents four vital principles for us to consider.
There Must be Conviction
If a person does not know that he is a sinner, there will be no feeling of need to do anything about it. If he is not convinced that he has committed sin, he will not see the necessity to repent. Conviction is that sense of personal need, created by an awareness of sin. In Romans chapter 1, Paul demonstrates that the heathen Gentiles are sinners because they are guilty of sin against God as He is revealed in creation and in their own consciences. In Romans chapter 2, he shows that the Jews who have the revelation of God as written in the Scriptures, have sinned against that. He then goes on, in 3.9, to ask, “What then? Are we [Jews] better than they [Gentiles]?” He supplies the answer, “No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.” To corroborate his declaration of universal guilt in v.9, he proceeds in vv.10-18 to call on the Old Testament Scriptures as witness to the charges.
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable;
there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit;
the poison of asps is under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Destruction and misery are in their ways:
And the way of peace have they not known:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
What a list of charges! They are presented that “every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” Rom.3.19. When the Holy Spirit applies these truths to the unregenerate heart the result is conviction of sin, without which there could be no repentance.
There Must be Contrition
When a person is deeply convicted about sin and the need for forgiveness, there is genuine contrition of heart before God. David speaks of this in Ps.51.17, “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” Contrition is a sense of crushing or brokenness in the sight of God. It denotes the absence of pride and self-esteem. In Matt.5.3 the Saviour speaks of contrition as means of blessing, “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God”. True repentance will never be seen in a person who has a feeling of self-pride when confronted with his sins.
There Must be a Humble Spirit
Conviction of sin produces contrition and the end result is humility: “a man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit” Prov.29.23. There is no evidence of repentance in a proud sinner who refuses to bow low and approach God in a spirit of humility; “Though the Lord be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly: but the proud He knoweth afar off” Ps.138.6. “Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer” Ps.101.5. Pride is likely the greatest barrier to blessing and forgiveness in either the salvation of sinners or the restoration of saints. We cannot receive mercy if we will not humble ourselves before God. Humility is mandatory for repentance and forgiveness.
There Must be Confession
Throughout the Old and New Testaments, there is a constant demand for confession of sins to affect forgiveness. When sin entered the Garden of Eden, God’s questions to Adam and Eve were intended to bring about confession: “Where art thou? Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” Gen.3.9-11. Did God not know the answers to these questions? Of course He did! He was graciously confronting them with their sins and giving them an opportunity to confess them. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” Prov.28.13. The demand for confession applies to a sinning believer as well as to a sinner. Committing private sin requires personal confession to God, whereupon forgiveness and cleansing are granted: “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 Jn.1.9. Public sin must be confessed, first to God and then to those who have been affected by it, as in Jms.5.16, “confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed …”. In both personal and public sin retribution must be made where demanded, as part of the act of repentance. This is seen in the experience of Zacchaeus when he said, “behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold” Lk.19.8. Confession must be done carefully and thoughtfully, lest others are made to stumble, and it must be thorough and complete.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 4:20pm On May 11, 2018
A PARABLE ON REPENTANCE
The three-fold parable in Luke chapter 15 is probably the best known of all the Lord’s parables. It is also the longest, and gives more detailed teaching than any other. It is essential that we include it here, for repentance is its main theme. The murmuring of the Scribes and Pharisees prompted the parable: “Then drew near unto Him all the publicans and sinners for to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, this Man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” They complained about the Saviour’s association with sinners. By the use of a parable, the Lord explained that He was pleased to be in the company of those whom the religious leaders despised. There are three instances recorded in Luke’s gospel of the Scribes and Pharisees ‘murmuring.’ The Lord’s reaction on these three occasions provides us with His teaching on repentance.
In 5.30 they “murmured against His disciples, saying, why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?” Jesus answered their complaint by saying that “they that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” In 15.2 the murmuring is directly against the Lord Jesus Himself, when they said “this Man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them”. The Lord takes up their grievance, and explains again that His acceptance of sinners is on the basis of their repentance. In chapter 19, when Zacchaeus repented, yet again there is murmuring; but it is by “all” that “saw”, v.7. The murmuring of the leaders had spread like leaven to all the people.
In each of the three chapters there is a complaint against the Saviour and His disciples:
5.30 “Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?”
15.2 “This Man receiveth sinners and eateth with them.”
19.7 “They all murmured saying that He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.”
In His reply to each instance of complaint, there is a plain statement by the Saviour to explain the action of Divine love and mercy in response to repentance.
5.31 “I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
15.7 “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth …”
19.10 “For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
The Lord Jesus lays a different emphasis in each reply, but all relate to our subject of repentance. In chapter 5 He emphasises the need of the sinner; in chapter 15 it is the joy of the sinner and the Father; and in chapter 19 it is the blessing of the sinner.
There is no parable so full of detailed gospel truth as the three-fold parable of Luke chapter 15. It would be beyond the scope of this article to expound it all, but we will pick out the salient principles relating to repentance. There can be no doubt that the parable is to be interpreted as the salvation of a sinner, and not the restoration of a saint. Although there are similarities in the repentance of both, the context and content of the parable show the teaching to be repentance to salvation. The audience to whom the Lord spoke consisted of “publicans and sinners” 15.1. The son’s sin took him to the far country, where he is described as being “lost and dead” 15.32. His repentance brought him to a place of delight and blessing where he is “found and alive” 15.32. These descriptions are appropriate to salvation, not to restoration.
When dealing with the lost sheep and lost silver, the Lord makes no mention of any action on the part of the lost: all the activity is by the owners as they seek for what is rightfully theirs. The shepherd goes after the lost sheep, otherwise it would die. The woman seeks diligently until she finds the lost silver, otherwise it must remain in the darkness. The teaching is clear: if God does not move in mercy towards the lost sinner there will be no salvation. A sinner will never repent, nor even have a desire to do so, unless God begins to work in the heart by the Holy Spirit. However, to give the full picture, the emphasis changes in the story of the lost son. Not only must God work in conviction on the heart, but the sinner must respond to that conviction. If the sinner has no will to repent, there will be no blessing. The boy was responsible for his sins, and he was responsible also for his own repentance.
The Prodigal’s problems began with his covetousness, when he said “give me” 15.12. The problems for the human race began when a similar covetousness arose in Adam’s heart that led him to eat of a tree forbidden by God. For both Adam and the Prodigal, the problem quickly plummeted into darkness and despair. For the Prodigal there could be no blessing until he began to long for a change. In the Saviour’s description of his thoughts about himself, his sin, and his father, we get an explanation of repentance. Repentance by the sinner is just that – a change of mind about himself, his sin, and God. The boy’s mind began to work – “he came to himself” v.17: he changed his mind about his past choices and where they had led him. His memory began to work and he thought of his father’s house, v.17: he changed his mind about the vast provision available in his father’s house. His misery began to work on him – “I perish with hunger” v.17: he changed his mind about his present condition. This shows us where true repentance commences – in the mind. It involves a change of mind. But without acting upon his change of mind he would have died in the field: there must also be a change of heart towards his father. He resolved to arise and return to his father and confess his sin, v.18. What a moment when the change of mind and heart was manifested in a change of direction – “he arose and came to his father” v.20. At the start of the story “he took his journey into a far country” v.13, but now he is on his way back. He has decided that he will be honest with his father about:
His Works, “I have sinned …” v.13.
His Worth, “And am no more worthy to be called thy son” v.19.
His Wish, “Make me as one of thy hired servants” v.19.
However, when his father ran to meet him, and the boy expressed his confession about his works and worth, v.21, it ended there. He got no opportunity to state his wish to be as a hired servant. He was enveloped in his father’s embrace of love and expression of grace. There is a blessed interruption by his father in v.22, “But the father said to his servants …”. This is the great principle of grace in forgiveness. The father will not be dictated to: blessing cannot be bartered or exchanged for penitence. Similarly, blessing is entirely on God’s terms: it is not for the repentant sinner to tell God what he or she is prepared to do in order to be accepted. Repentance brings the sinner out of “the far country” to confession at the Father’s feet, where remission is granted without retribution, grace is extended ungrudgingly by God, and the repentant sinner is placed in the sphere of blessing without any probation. Blessing is always according to “the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” Eph.2.7. The Father is delighted to receive the sinner back “safe and sound” Lk.15.27.
This parable gives us the full-orbed picture of repentance. It was not just when he changed his mind about self and sin, that he was blessed. Repentance demands a change of heart about God the Father and a change of direction towards Him. All these features were necessary to complete his repentance. Finally, the Saviour teaches that, when a sinner does repent, it brings joy in heaven, v.7, to the angels, v.10, to the Father and to the repentant sinner, vv.23, 24. Repentance is having second thoughts about sin and God that result in conviction, contrition, humility, and confession.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 4:22pm On May 11, 2018
To be continued...
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 9:54pm On May 29, 2018
Chapter 3: Salvation
by James B. Currie, Japan.
DETERMINING THE SOURCE
DEFINING THE PURPOSE
DESCRIBING THE WORK OF SALVATION
DETAILING THE OUTCOME
Had sin never blighted God’s perfect universe and, apparently, it did so on two occasions, salvation would never have become necessary. The first occurrence of sin was in the angelic rebellion recorded in Isaiah chapter 14 when Lucifer illegally sought for himself what the Divine throne represented. It is in the context of this momentous event that Revelation chapter 12 should be assessed. The metaphorical language of the chapter describes how Satan, called “the dragon”, drew with “his tail” a third of these heavenly beings for his own nefarious purposes. God’s response to this insurgency was an immediate casting down of the participants to a state where they are held for future judgment in “chains of darkness” without any hope of salvation whatsoever.
In contrast to the immutable decision with regard to “Satan and his angels” in their wickedness, is the revelation of God’s boundless mercy towards man when, by his disobedience, sin was caused to invade his domain. In spite of the fact that Adam and Eve, in their wilfulness chose a path of revolt, God, at the very time of its happening, gave clear evidence of His purpose for the restoration of His sinning creatures. This process, first hinted at in Eden’s garden and which pervades the whole of the Scriptures, is, of course, called ‘Salvation.’ While angelic transgressors are reserved for everlasting fire prepared for them, Matt.25.41, God’s overflowing benevolence, Titus 3.3-5, has decreed a way for man to be reconciled to his Creator and rescued from the dire consequences of sin. Immediately we are made aware of the fact that ‘salvation’ in its many aspects has to do with sin and deliverance from its results.
The word ‘salvation’ appears in the A.V. 163 times (118 times in the O.T. and 45 times in the N.T.). This one fact alone shows how all-pervasive the subject is in God’s Word. In both the Old and New Testaments the term essentially carries the same meaning of rescue, deliverance, safety and perseverance. It is, undoubtedly, the most comprehensive doctrine in the Scriptures of Truth. It gathers together all the main themes of the Bible giving an extensive revelation of God’s saving work on behalf of His sinful and lost creation. The first and last usages of the word in Scripture are significant. Jacob, in Gen.49.18, says “I have waited for Thy salvation.” His statement is made in the context of Dan’s serpent-like behaviour. Looking back to the serpentine form assumed by the Evil One and contemplating the Satan inspired behaviour of Dan, especially as emphasised in the book of Judges, Jacob is fully confident of salvation’s final consummation. The last time the word is used is in Rev.19.1. Jacob’s trust is not misplaced. Sin having been dealt with, the final throes of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God are about to be enacted when “salvation” with its resulting “glory, and honour, and power” are ascribed “unto the Lord our God”. The vast subject of salvation may then be termed the cornerstone of all Bible teaching.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 10:04pm On May 29, 2018
So that the subject under consideration, in its broadest significance, may be handled in a systematic way the following outline will be followed.
DETERMINING THE SOURCE
The Limited Possibilities
The Unique Importance
The Uncompromising Doctrine
DEFINING THE PURPOSE
The Remarkable Meaning
The Righteous Basis
The Divine Motivation
DESCRIBING THE WORK
The Gracious Means
The Universal Scope
The Unconditional Terms
DETAILING THE OUTCOME
The Amazing Provision
The Stringent Demands
The Glorious Consummation
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 10:09pm On May 29, 2018
DETERMINING THE SOURCE
The Limited Possibilities
The first consideration must be that of salvation’s source. Since the Devil and the evil spirits linked to him, in view of their pernicious character, are bent on the destruction of all that is good and holy they are instantly ruled out as to the origin of this great work. As it is also evident that man’s deliverance from the results of sin cannot be a matter of accident the options remaining are clear. Either man himself or God or a combination of both must be responsible for such a happy condition if it is to be enjoyed. Contrary to the misguided belief of so many, it runs in the face of both history and personal experience to claim that man could save himself. The witness of Scripture on that point is also unequivocal. Paul, speaking of the choice God has made calls it “the election of grace” and proceeds to say, “if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” Rom.11.5,6. In his letter to Titus he further asserts that it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” 2.5. With this the writers in the Old Testament agree. Note for example Isa.64.6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Not one verse of Scripture in context can be adduced to show that man’s deliverance could be brought about by any effort of his own. Nor can the work of salvation be looked upon as a co-operative effort wrought partly by God and partly by men. In the sight of a holy God man’s plight is so desperate that Divine power alone suffices to bring about his salvation. As the words from Romans chapter 11 (quoted above) show, man’s spiritual well being must be all of grace or all of works. It cannot be a combination of both. From the belly of the great fish the prophet Jonah cried, “Salvation is of the LORD” 2.9. Those who follow in the prophet’s footsteps can say with J. M. Gray,
Boasting excluded, pride I abase.
I’m only a sinner saved by grace.
No thought can ever be entertained of anyone other than God being the origin, the spring and the final consummator of salvation and all its consequences.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 10:34pm On May 29, 2018
The Unique Importance
The author of the Hebrew letter writes of “so great salvation” 2.3. Such is the magnitude of this Divine work that the intrinsic participation of all three Persons of the Godhead is specifically noted in the Word of God. The same Hebrew epistle, in 9.14, links the individually unique part played by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in bringing about this amazing work. The offering of Himself by the Lord Jesus was done to God and wrought in all the power of the “the eternal Spirit”, a reference to the Holy Spirit. The offering up of the Lord Jesus to satisfy the righteous demands of God’s throne was purposed in eternal ages past and in that design and accomplishment the Holy Spirit was involved in all His mighty power. The salvation of which we speak was purposed by the Father, procured by the Son and is perfected in the power of the Holy Spirit. What the Lord Jesus accomplished when “He offered Himself without spot to God” was the vindication of God’s holiness. At the same time He laid the basis whereby God could, in keeping with His Own righteous character, proclaim “Deliver him [mankind] from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom” Job 33.24.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 10:40pm On May 29, 2018
The Uncompromising Doctrine
In Acts chapter 4, when the high priest and many of his kindred were gathered together in Jerusalem to interrogate Peter and the other apostles in regard to the healing of the impotent man, Peter, in no uncertain terms, testified to the fact that the man had been made whole “by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead” v.10. With regard to that Name he also declared “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” v.12. With this inflexible witness all the other writers of the New Testament concur and they do so in different ways. In a completely different context Paul, stressing the fact that God, as to His essential Being, is One writes “… God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all” 1 Tim.2.3-6. But we need go no further to find confirmation for this point than to the claims of the Lord Jesus Himself. He said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” Jn.14.6. Only a man suffering from a false sense of grandeur could make such a claim, unless it was true. What the almost 40 authors of the various books of the Bible do, is to substantiate this claim, one way or another, and do so without a dissenting voice.
F[b][/b]rom what the Bible teaches we are brought face to face with these facts.
Salvation is exclusively the work of God on behalf of sinful men.
Such is the enormity of the task involved that the Triune God must be concerned in its every aspect.
God’s sole means for providing such salvation is in the gift of His Son who was foreordained “to give His life a ransom for many” Matt.20.28.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 10:49pm On May 29, 2018
DEFINING THE PURPOSE
The Remarkable Meaning
To say that ‘salvation’ was planned by the Father, procured by the Lord Jesus and perfected by the Holy Spirit is, perhaps, to put too fine an interpretation on the respective activities engaged in by the Persons of the Godhead in order to bring it about. It is, though, of unquestionable certainty that all three Persons of the Trinity are fully participant in its inception and culmination. With such participation a reality to inquire into the basic meaning of salvation is not only important but also imperative for all who would be fully cognisant of God’s mind regarding it.
In Old Testament times the word itself had an interesting backdrop. It came from a root meaning ‘wide or roomy’ in contrast to that which is ‘narrow or circumscribed’. Immediately thoughts of freedom, emancipation and protection come to mind. It is used in this sense in both spiritual and physical ways. When Zechariah, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke of “the horn of salvation which (the God of Israel) raised up for us” he was manifestly speaking of physical deliverance from Israel’s enemies, see Lk.1.69-71. When Peter cried out “Lord save me” Matt.14.30, it was from the danger of drowning he desired to be rescued. However, by far the more numerous occasions when the word is used refer to the salvation of the soul from eternal perdition culminating in the eternal preservation and well-being of all who are brought into the good of the blessings it bestows. The spiritual meaning indicates the Divine process whereby sinful men are delivered from sin’s awful consequences and fitted to become children of God and heirs of His kingdom.
Such a process is assuredly manward taking place on earth with eternal issues fundamentally involved. But the words used in conjunction with the term ‘salvation’ or those closely related to it show how much wider is the range of meaning involved. To begin with, the work of salvation, as far as the individual is concerned, does indeed bring deliverance from sin’s penalty but this is initiated by the electing grace of God. When Paul wrote of enduring “all things for the elect’s sake, that they may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” 2 Tim.2.10, he was referring to those individuals who would be saved through his ministry because they were the chosen of God. The apostle further writes in full support of this view, “He hath chosen us in (Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” Eph.1.4. Nor is Peter in disagreement with his fellow apostle since he writes of the strangers who were, at the time, scattered in various parts of Asia Minor as being “elect (chosen) according to the foreknowledge (infallible omniscience) of God” 1 Pet.1.2. The “elect” are those who are chosen by God unto salvation. The reception of this salvation is effective by the call in the gospel to which the individual concerned is freely responsive. No doubt the first step in this response to the gospel call is that of the conviction of sin which, according to the words of the Lord Jesus, is uniquely, the work of the Holy Spirit. “When He (the Holy Spirit) is come, He will reprove (convict or convince) the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” Jn.16.8. For this prodigious work of salvation to be wrought in any soul this convincing or convicting of sin is absolutely essential. To accept the fact that God is true, even if every man is a liar, and recognize that I, as an individual, stand a convicted felon in God’s courtroom is a conviction not to be reneged of or, at a later time, cast aside. In a somewhat different context Paul also wrote “Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of” 2 Cor.7.10. The convicting power of the Holy Spirit leads to true repentance just as surely as does the goodness of God, Rom.2.4.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 7:26am On May 30, 2018
The Righteous Basis
To speak of salvation as working deliverance is to bring to the fore the concept of redemption and the paying of a ransom which has already been briefly mentioned. Scripture shows that man is a slave in the thraldom of sin and universal experience fully agrees with that. For such a deliverance as we are now contemplating, a ransom must be paid. Sin has brought man to the extremity of moral bankruptcy with, as it were, an incalculable debt to his Maker and God. For this vast encumbrance to be removed and the sinner himself to be released from its onerous accountability all the claims of God’s righteousness must find satisfaction. This aspect of salvation, that of ‘redeeming’, ‘ransoming’, ‘paying the price’ or ‘buying back’, is found in three words used in the N.T. to express such thoughts. In Eph.1.7 it is written, “in whom (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” In the words of the Lord Jesus, Mk.10.45, the same truth is emphasised “the Son of Man came … to give His life a ransom for many” and, once again, Paul adds to the clarity of meaning when he wrote, “ye are bought with a price” 1 Cor.7.23. These verses, among many, declare the ransom to be unmistakably essential and beyond anything of man’s accomplishment, see also Ps.49.7,8. It is God’s sole prerogative to redeem. The words spoken by Hanameel to his nephew Jeremiah, “the right of redemption is thine” Jer.32.7, in the matter of man’s sin, must be applied to God alone. The insurmountable vastness of man’s debt and to Whom it is owed is illustrated in the parable of the debtors spoken by the Lord in Matthew chapter 18. The creditor of the parable is called “the Lord of the servant” who, “moved with compassion, and loosed him (the first debtor), and forgave him the debt” v.27. Such words could never be employed of anyone but God. This, the Lord Jesus proceeds to do when He says, “so likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you” v.35. The God to Whom man’s debt is due is the One of Whom it is declared “who will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth”. In this very context it is also stated concerning the “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” that “He gave Himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time,” 1 Tim.2.5,6. Obviously, then, salvation, in its specifics, includes the idea of a ransom being paid for the release of sin’s captives. It shows the doors of the ‘debtor’s prison’ flung wide open so that all who accept by faith the Divinely offered terms are allowed to go free, see Isa.61.1 and Lk.4.18.
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 7:33am On May 30, 2018
The Divine Motivation
Sin also constitutes man as an “enemy of God”. In the Colossian epistle, decrying the baleful influence of “worldly philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men” 2.8, Paul reminds the believers that “they were sometime (onetime) alienated and enemies in (your) mind by wicked works” 1.21. The natural enmity of men towards God is brought about by the evil nature that has been inherited from our first forebear. This is also further exacerbated by “the law of commandments” Eph.2.15. This statement, in its context, has to do with ordinances once separating Jew and Gentile but now abolished by Christ in His death, yet ample witness is given elsewhere to the effect that men “hate the light” and fear the revealing qualities of God’s Word, Jn.3.20. To enjoy a right and happy relationship, enemies need to be reconciled unconditionally. In the gift of His Son to the death of the cross God has, in love unfathomable, provided the means whereby “His banished be not expelled from Him” 2 Sam.14.14
It should be noted here that the cause of the enmity is to be found in mankind and that God’s attitude to all men is summed up in the message of reconciliation. That word, extended to peoples of every age, clime, language and station is “be ye reconciled to God” 2 Cor.5.20. This is the plea being made constantly by the heralds of the gospel and prompted by a love which knows no limits. Because of the reconciling work accomplished by the Lord Jesus all men are included in the invitation and are ‘savable’. Sadly, because of stubborn unbelief, all will not be saved. Once again it may be stressed that the words involved ‘salvation’ and ‘reconciliation’ are found juxtaposed one with the other in Rom.5.9,10. As believing sinners we have been ‘justified’ by the blood of Christ; “we shall be saved from (future) wrath through Him” and when “we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son”. This gracious state of affairs is wholly contingent upon the love of God. “God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” v.8, and “in love” He has “predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” Eph.1.4,5
|Re: The Glory Of His Grace ( sin, repentance and salvation ) by Nobody: 7:38am On May 30, 2018
3. DESCRIBING THE WORK OF SALVATION
The Gracious Means
Depraved and corrupt, man’s sinfulness stands in stark contrast to the absolute holiness of God. That man is capable of doing good to his fellows, and at times, with no ulterior motive, is evident enough but it is also manifestly clear that he can do nothing whatsoever to merit God’s favour and obtain His salvation. When asked by people in Capernaum, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” the Lord Jesus answered, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent” Jn.6.28,29. Scripture uniformly affirms that salvation is bestowed on the grounds of faith alone. “Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness” Rom.4.3; “For by grace are ye saved through faith” Eph.2.8 and, bringing the subject to its ultimate conclusion Peter adds, “Receiving the end (outcome) of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” 1 Pet.1.9. Neither repentance, nor prayers, nor human desire can bring it about. Faith alone saves and the object of saving faith is “He Whom God hath sent” Jn.3.34. “The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” 1 Jn.4.14. The means God chose to provide salvation was pictured and prophesied throughout the ages prior to the coming of the Lord Jesus, signifying that this was by no means an afterthought with God or something He was compelled to do. The cumulative indications that a death would be accomplished to satisfy all the holy requirements of God’s character and, at the same time, give expression to His wondrous love are brought to reality in God’s gift of His Son. “God sent … His Son into the world … that the world through Him might be saved” Jn.3.17. The true meaning of the pictures and prophecies is that the death accomplished for salvation would be the death of God’s own Son. He is designated as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” Rev.13.8. The death of the Lord Jesus on behalf of all is God’s awesome means of securing salvation for the many who believe.
No angel could my place have taken, highest of the high, though he.
There on the cross, despised, forsaken, was One of the Godhead Three.
(J. M. Gray)
And again we sing in Isaac Watt’s words,
Love so amazing, so divine, demands my heart, my life, my all.
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