“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The plan of salvation still good

This post is a follow-on to a more in-depth post on what God did. See

On top of all the goings-on from the Gentile world from four successive pagan empires dominating Israel, God’s holy Law, that stops every mouth from boasting of its morality and makes the whole world “guilty before” Him (Rom. 3:19), had been kept in full force for 1500 years. God's Law and Spirit gave them no relief from shame or help in overcoming sin. Conversely, it brought to life their natural born wrath and rebellion toward God (Rom. 4:15;7:8). Yet He kept His stern law in place before His people. Until.

Through the Law, God had kept guilt and shame in place within the Hebrew religion since the expulsion from Eden (Rom. 5:14) as the initial means to give the children of Adam a need for a Savior from sin. Nothing will send us digging and searching for water like the grip of thirst. The heavy burden of guilt forced the sinner to look to heaven; the powerful anxiety due to the separation from God (Jn. 3:36) would be enough to make them get up and go to Him with their sacrificial lamb. God’s love was lost from man’s thinking, and the guilt of sin weighed on the land.

Now the world of sinners was primed and ready for God’s great gesture of grace. So He sent His holy One, His only infinitely beloved Son. They saw that not only did they need God, but that God wanted them. God’s grace for man completed their need for Him that the law had initiated. Now His Law would push and His grace would pull the world back to God through the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary and through His Spirit on earth.

They were reconciled to God by the death of His Son and saved by His Son’s life here in a human body. They became children of God by faith in Jesus (Gal. 3:26). Now their hearts were riveted to God’s dear Son, the perfect example of righteousness. They became the fulfillment of the promise given centuries before, “In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jer. 23:6).

And so long as they remained justified and reconciled to God through Christ they no longer need go to the old law of shame and anxiety because they had a much better provision from heaven—the perfect, law-abiding and loving Son of God as their friend and mentor.

But they were free to leave their justification and reconciliation through the Son; as Jesus said to them through Paul, “The just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him.” (Heb. 10:38). But then the old, abusive law would come back in full force and “the wrath of God” would return (Jn. 3:36). So the law kept bumping them back into Christ. Until they would stay with Him permanently, and be sealed. (Eph. 1:13;Heb. 3:15;10:36).

All of this is for us, as detailed in Romans 7 and 8.

Before we came to Christ, we either suffered from the violent law of survival of the fittest or from the unbending civil laws and laws of health we were breaking constantly, if we were unchurched and undisciplined. Or we suffered from the heavy guilt and shame from God’s moral Law through His prophet, if we were in the church. Either way is ordained by God to reach man where he is. He needs to wrestle us to the ground and bind our soul in a straightjacket until our pride is severely challenged.

If we submit and surrender, then the Holy Spirit begins to quicken our conscience with an increasing knowledge of our sinfulness and its resultant guilt and shame. If we respond by going in search of a solution, but we find that earth’s solutions only make things worse, eventually we will be able to hear the Spirit suggesting that we look for Jesus through the Bible. If we never abandon that search, by a special gift of faith, we will come face to face with Jesus and find His grace to be all sufficient for our bitterness and our horrible past. We give ourselves to Him and accept Him as friend and beloved mentor, and become children of God by relationship with His Son. (Jn. 1:12).


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