The Cross – The Work of Jesus Christ
The Atonement – Applied to Our Daily Life
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly,
righteously and godly in the present age NASB
Dear Friends consider the magnificent things that Christ has done! We have in fact been redeemed from our sins and reconciled to God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We can therefore walk in the assurance, confidence and freedom in our relationship with God, based on the power of Christ’s saving work for us. We can now rest in His work and appreciate the great things he has done. This appreciation and worship of Christ, should therefore drive us to apply what He has done in our daily living so that we live the free and powerful life that God has intended for us by His Spirit. These doctrinal truths should have a very practical affect upon our thinking and living. Let us consider a few ways how we should view these truths in our daily life and practice.
· Substitutionary – in the place of, “Christ died in our place.”
Because Jesus died in my place, I should consider that it should have been ME that had to die and not HIM. Instead He was willing to be the atoning victim and bear the very penalty which is reserved for ME. He is the sacrificial lamb which died, in my place, for my sin! What amazing love is this?
1 John 2:2 – 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. NASB
Consider then, how this should motivate us with thankfulness in our hearts toward God. More than this, how it should create in us a hatred for the sin which caused God’s wrath to fall upon Him, instead of me. Motivated now by gratitude for what He has done, I should despise my sin for it was the reason that Jesus died for me! Oh Blessed Mercy!
· Vicarious – in our place, for us, substitution implied personally, “Christ died for us.”
As the hymn writer sings…..
“And can it be that I should gain, An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain, For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be, That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me? “
As we consider in amazement that Jesus died for us personally, we should consider His goal and purpose in this matter as Paul states in Titus…
Titus 2:11-14 – 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. NASB
Oh believer, think about this. Did Jesus die for nothing? No indeed, He died for your sin and for mine! Therefore we should be eager to “deny ungodliness and worldly desire and to live sensible, righteously and godly in this present age!” Our Lord has sought to “purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds,” therefore we should be exactly that, zealous for good deeds. Christ’s death for us personally should motivate us to put away sin and to walk in Christ’s love and in His godly character. This is brought to pass in us as we trust in and rely upon the power of the indwelling Spirit to produce in us His godly character.
· Propitiatory – appeasement or satisfaction of God’s wrath toward sin, “Christ satisfied God’s divine justice and paid the actual debt of our sin.”
Jesus death on the cross satisfies the wrath of God toward each one of us sinners who has trusted in Him. This is the ultimate display of God’s love toward those who trust in Christ! In fact this satisfaction is so complete, it is said to “justify us by His blood,” and to “save us from the wrath of God!” More than this, it completely “reconciles” us back to God, and the perfect life of Jesus now “saves us” from sin and death!
Romans 5:8-10 – 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. NASB
Because this is true, consider that how we should rejoice that the furious wrath of the Holy God has been spent on Him and none remains for us, who are infinitely deserving of it! Even more how this should motivate us with a holy fear to keep our life pure from sin! Further, it should create in us a gratitude that strengthens us to honor Him for what He has done, with lives of purity rather than dishonor Him by continued sin, which brings disgrace to His name.
· Expiatory – the remove of guilt, “Christ cancelled out or released us from the debt of sin.”
Free at last! We have been set free from the guilt of our sins! No longer do my past sins rule over me with guilt and condemnation, rather I am free to love and enjoy God freely!
Romans 8:1-3 – 1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, NASB
Because Christ has cancelled the debt of our sin and guilt, we should look forward to our days in how we may glorify God with our lives, rather then be depressed with hopeless despair wondering if God can really forgive us. There is “no condemnation now for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Therefore, since we have been “set free from the law of sin and death,” we can live to the glory of God with hearts of thanksgiving and gratitude!
· Justification – a legal declaration of righteousness, “Christ justified us before God’s court on the basis of His own merit.”
Though the devil may accuse us, we have an advocate with the Father who has dealt with our sins completely.
1 John 2:1 – 1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; NASB
Because God has justified us in Christ Jesus our Lord, we should appreciate and glorify God for this great thing that He has done. This is because we could have in no way brought about this justification on our own, but it is in fact come to us by GRACE alone, through FAITH alone, in CHRIST alone! We have been justified on the basis of Christ’s work, and this should cause us to worship and thank God for His amazing grace!
· Sacrifice – the personal cost to Christ was death in our place, “Christ was the actual victim of divine justice, he was the sacrifice that died for us.”
Consider that God so loved us that He sent Jesus to die for you and for me!
1 John 4:10 – 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. NASB
This love of God should then motivate us to want to be like Him. This is practically played out in our lives as we live a life of sacrifice to love others in many practical ways. If we truly glorify God for His love, we should show it by making sacrifices of our time, talent and money to display His love now through our very lives! These sacrifices glorify God and are part of our priestly ministry to Him.
1 Peter 2:4-10 – 4 and coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ……9 but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; NASB
· Reconciliation – the restoration of relationship of mankind to God, “Christ reconciled us to God and repaired the alienation we once had with Him.”
Now through our Lord Jesus we have had our relationship with God restored! Not only this but we stand in God’s favor because of Him. We now stand in Christ’s perfect righteousness, holy blameless and beyond any reproach!
Colossians 1:22 -22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach NASB
Consider then, that since God has loved us with such an amazing love, how we should embrace His love and return it to Him! Since God has reached out to us and embraced us, shall we not embrace Him back? Indeed we should! Let us consider how profound God’s grace is in forgiving and reconciling us to Himself and cherish His love with a devoted life or worship and thanksgiving!
See the Outline here….. http://www.abqhcf.com/lessons/2007/handouts/dz/The_Savior_The_Cross_and_The_Gospel_Brochure.pdf
This teaching can be heard on audio here:
|04/27/08 – Lesson 32
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