Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Gospel Reminder

Here is a document I put together so we could each daily remind ourselves of the great truth that Christ died in our place so we would not have to experience the Father's wrath:

Gospel Reminder

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Since the gospel is “of first importance” we must meditate upon it daily, better yet we ought to ponder it every minute of our lives. The gospel is what transforms us from rebels of God into children of God. But the gospel does not end there because as Christians it continues to transform us more and more into the image of Christ. As we see daily the work of Christ’s substitutionary atonement on the cross we are humbled that he bore the Father’s wrath that we deserved. The sinless died in place of the sinful. We must all recognize with John Newton “that I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior.”

“The plain truth is that a right knowledge of sin lies at the root of all saving Christianity…The first thing, therefore, that God does when He makes anyone a new creature in Christ, is to send light into his heart and show him that he is a guilty sinner. The material creation in Genesis began with ‘light’, and so does the spiritual creation.” (J.C. Ryle, Holiness)

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)

“A divine rescure is necessary. We need a Savior! And in order to be our savior, in order to pay our debt, this individual must be like us – not just God in a form that merely appears to be human, but someone fully and truly human. Yet he must be unlike us as well, because he must be sinless, since only a perfect sacrifice is acceptable…No one else could do it. Only Jesus Christ, truly God and fully man, could be our substitute and make this sacrifice.” (C.J. Mahaney, Christ our Mediator)

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6a)

“In saving, God also did justify me
Accounting me righteous by His own decree,
Declaring me guiltless of all of my sin,
And bringing His wrath against me to an end.
This wrath Christ appeased in full brunt on the Tree,
When, bearing my sin, He endured it for me.”

(Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer)

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14)

“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Mark 15:34)

Because of the cross we “are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:24-26).

“Amazing it is, when I stop to regard,
That God would consent to an anguish so hard,
Surrend’ring His Son unto mayhem and death,
To torturous writhing ‘til His final breath.
‘Why does God forsake Me?’ alone Jesus cried;
Yet God left Him hanging until He had died.”

(Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer)

The cup of God’s wrath is no longer ours to bear because of Christ’s accomplished work on the cross. Instead of the cup of wrath we rightfully deserve we are given the cup of salvation (Psalm 116:13). We have now “received the spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15b).

As his children we find our joy in bringing him the glory alone, “so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

From sinner to saint. From enemy to child. It is true that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, should die for me?
(Charles Wesley, And Can it be?)

Questions:
“Do you feel more loved because God makes much of you, or because, at the cost of his Son, he enables you to enjoy making much of him forever?
Does your happiness hang on seeing the cross of Christ as a witness to your worth, or as a way to enjoy God’s worth forever?
Is God’s glory in Christ the foundation of your gladness?”
(John Piper, God is the Gospel)

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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