Imperfect Faith and Perfect Sacrifice

In the Old Testament the sinner transferred his guilt to his substitute by laying his hands on the animal he was to sacrifice (see Lev 4). This pointed towards how we are called to, as it were, lay our hand of faith upon on the Lord Jesus. When a man came and laid his hand on the head of the sin offering he was acknowledging that he was a sinner. Since, the sin offering was exclusively for sinners it, therefore, goes without saying that a man who felt he was sinless had no business being there. —So with us, if we say we have no sin we are unqualified for Christ’s saving power and grace (1 John 1:8). Christ died for sinners and no others.

Continue reading

Sin on Him or in Him?

In this day and age when the gospel is under attack from all sides we must be aware of certain gospel foundations. For example, we must be clear about what Christ being ‘made sin’ means. Was He made sin by imputation or by impartation? In other words, was Christ counted a sinner at the cross or was He physically made into one? The only answer which does justice to the Biblical evidence is that Christ was made sin by imputation and not by impartation. Here’s the problem, if Christ became wretchedly sinful in Himself then it follows that, because of the cross, we become perfectly righteousness in ourselves. Notice the following parallel, “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).” He was made sin we are made righteous. In other words, at the cross, Christ was legally treated as if He was actually sinful in Himself although, in Himself, He remained righteous, pure and untainted. Conversely, because of His finished work we are now legally treated as though we are perfectly righteous in ourselves— though, in actuality, we are not.

Continue reading

Sin on Him or in Him?

In this day and age when the gospel is under attack from all sides we must be aware of certain gospel foundations. For example, we must be clear about what Christ being ‘made sin’ means. Was He made sin by imputation or by impartation? In other words, was Christ counted a sinner at the cross or was He physically made into one? The only answer which does justice to the Biblical evidence is that Christ was made sin by imputation and not by impartation. Here’s the problem, if Christ became wretchedly sinful in Himself then it follows that, because of the cross, we become perfectly righteousness in ourselves. Notice the following parallel, “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).” He was made sin we are made righteous. In other words, at the cross, Christ was legally treated as if He was actually sinful in Himself although, in Himself, He remained righteous, pure and untainted. Conversely, because of His finished work we are now legally treated as though we are perfectly righteous in ourselves— though, in actuality, we are not.

Continue reading

Words to Live By: Part 2

Many folks, blessed folks, sincere and god-fearing folk, have read and quoted C.S. Lewis; but is he really the Christian that we think him to be? I, like many, read The Chronicles of Narnia to my children, and enjoyed speaking in different voices for the different characters, watching my children giggle and smile at the stories; nevertheless, when I read Mere Christianity, I was bit disturbed by some of the things that Mr. Lewis suggested. After some research here and there over the years, there are some books and essays that Lewis wrote that left me thinking that, not only could it be possible that he was not the born-again Christian that many believed him to be, but he may also be little more than a humanist using recognizable Christian terms. If this is so, some of his writings may be peppered with enough landmines to catch the Christian unawares in an unsuspecting walk. Charisse Graves has a concern that the latter may be exactly what is happening.

Continue reading

Righteous Grace 2

It’s one thing to feel good about the Gospel, but it is quite another to really grasp its ramifications. I’ve met many professed Christians, for example, who are ‘martyrs’ to a bad conscience. They know the words “saved by grace,” but suspect that grace means God’s lackadaisical kindness. Not having understood that the grace which saves is righteous grace, they have no foundation and no peace. The gospel they know does not minister calm to their minds or conscience (Jeremiah 6:14).

Continue reading

Righteous Grace 2

It’s one thing to feel good about the Gospel, but it is quite another to really grasp its ramifications. I’ve met many professed Christians, for example, who are ‘martyrs’ to a bad conscience. They know the words “saved by grace,” but suspect that grace means God’s lackadaisical kindness. Not having understood that the grace which saves is righteous grace, they have no foundation and no peace. The gospel they know does not minister calm to their minds or conscience (Jeremiah 6:14).

Continue reading

True and Unimagined Peace

True and unimagined peace comes only as we understand God’s character. If we erroneously envision that God is always angry and frowning then we will never know perfect peace. If we falsely picture that we have to perform to gain His approval, then we will be in a continual uproar. If we mistakenly imagine that God, having purchased us by blood, will someday wither in His faithfulness and desert us then we will be tossed to and fro by every circumstance. However, to enjoy true peace reigning in our hearts we need to be fastened firmly to the rock of the gospel and the revelation it gives us of God.

Continue reading

The Stupidity of Unbelief – 1

Let’s look for a moment at the real meaning of unbelief.

In relation to the gospel unbelief has two main ingredients, (1) a high opinion of self, and (2) a low opinion of God. It’s that simple! So long as these two things exist, it is impossible for us to rest in the good news. Our high opinion of ourselves makes us think that it is within the realm of possibility to win God’s favor by our religious performances. On the other hand, our low opinion of God makes us unwilling and even afraid to put ourselves entirely into His hands. Until our unbelief is removed we cannot grasp the free and generous character of the unearned grace of God.

Continue reading

The Stupidity of Unbelief – 1

Let’s look for a moment at the real meaning of unbelief.

In relation to the gospel unbelief has two main ingredients, (1) a high opinion of self, and (2) a low opinion of God. It’s that simple! So long as these two things exist, it is impossible for us to rest in the good news. Our high opinion of ourselves makes us think that it is within the realm of possibility to win God’s favor by our religious performances. On the other hand, our low opinion of God makes us unwilling and even afraid to put ourselves entirely into His hands. Until our unbelief is removed we cannot grasp the free and generous character of the unearned grace of God.

Continue reading