The Gospel of Christ: The Performance

Randy Amos


Chronicle number one of God?s gospel dealt with the great
problem man has before God. It showed the doctrine of condemnation
because of sin. Chronicle number two dealt with God?s Savior.
The Savior is not a philosophy or a religious program but a unique
Person: the son of God and the son of man, Jesus the Lord.


This third chronicle looks at the performance required for
one?s sin that is satisfactory to God the Father. The ethics,
teachings, miracles, moral values, example and popularity of
the Lord Jesus are powerless apart from His performance for sin.
His Person apart from His right performance for sin saves no
one.


For example, take Abraham Lincoln. His presidential performance
of signing the Emancipation Proclamation is what freed the slaves.
While the moral person he was provided the character for him
to do a successful performance, it required his official performance
to actually free the slaves.



The performance of the Lord Jesus Christ was His lifeblood?s
sacrifice on the cross.


His death was not a martyr?s death where one dies to
uphold a belief. It was not cause-suicide where one might kill
himself to gain national press to bring a social issue to public
awareness. The Lord wasn?t saying, ?I believe so much
in the morality of the 10 commandments that for you to be aware
of how important they are, I will die.? It also wasn?t
just a love statement where a lover might do something where
he gets hurt to let the girl know how much he really cares. Christ
wasn?t saying by dying on the cross, ?You?re worth
so much to me, I?m willing to die so you will know your
value and the depth of my love for someone so nice.?


Rather, the death of Christ Jesus was a payment unto God on
our behalf to satisfy our debt to our Creator.


The full payment of a debt, such as for a delinquent
mortgage, accomplishes several things:



a. satisfies the lender?s claim against you

b. stops the lender from prosecuting

c. brings peace of mind

d. relieves the responsibility of future payments

e. gives you full possession of the product

f. ?takes away the power of the mortgage holder to ever
repossess


In considering the Lord?s death, we want to see the payment?s
sacrifice, satisfaction, scope and strength.



REDEMPTION

Sacrifice of the Payment

Being justified freely
by his grace through the

redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:24).


What performance does God require to satisfy our sin-debt
owed Him? There are thousands of religious answers to that vital
question. However, the performance that God requires is already
performed?and by someone else. It was the death of Christ
Jesus which God viewed as redemptive: a sacrificial payment.


To ?redeem? carries the meaning that by paying the
right price, one has freed, regained, or rescued something from
the power or control of another.



At a simple level, to redeem something might involve redeeming
a coupon so the product will be released to you at the discount
price. At a higher level it might involve a ransom payment to
rescue someone held captive by another. Both involve the payment
of a price. Expressions like ?the price of his redemption?
and ?redemption money? explain the concept in the Scriptures.


Redemption implies captivity and slavery in sin, and is a
deliverance out of it. Redemption is a contemporary need because
sinners are under sin?s dominion. They cannot be legally
released unto God from Satan?s domain without the legal
price being paid. And that price is death. From Adam onward,
God has demonstrated in sacrificing animals that death ?
not penance, bad luck, or religious rituals ? is the price
to be paid for sin. ?For the wages of sin is death,?
says Rom. 6:23.


God is a God of justice. The right price must be paid to release
one from their sins. Sweeping sin under the rug and ?letting
bygones be bygones? would show mercy but not justice. A
judge who releases a guilty criminal might have mercy but he
did not show legal justice to the victim, the victim?s family?or
the law.


How can a God of love show mercy to the sinner and yet uphold
justice? The answer is ?the redemption that is in Christ
Jesus.? Because God?s only Son was sinless, His sacrificial
death on the cross (via shedding of blood which is the life)
counts as the full and legal payment that sin requires in God?s
court.


Now that full payment has been made, the sinner
who trusts God in Christ, can say with certainty:

a. God is satisfied with Christ?s performance for my
sins (Rom. 3:25).

b. I am saved from God?s wrath (Rom. 5:9).

c. I have peace with God (Rom. 5:1).

d. Christ?s one payment is all-sufficient: no future works
are necessary (Heb. 9:14, 10:12).

e. I now possess forgiveness of sins by redemption through His
blood (Eph. 1:7).

f. Sin, Satan or even God Himself can never take salvation from
me (Rom. 8:31-39).


The good news of redemption
in

Christ Jesus is that it is history.

Therefore, it is final and secure.


One characteristic of something historical is that it is unchangeable.
It is completely untouchable by the present. For example, nothing
done in the present can change the history of the deaths of World
War II. We can learn from history but we cannot change it.


Redemption, the payment for sins, is something done yesterday
I trust in, not what I do today to cause it.



PROPITIATION

Satisfaction of the Payment

Whom [Jesus Christ] God
hath set forth to be a

propitiation through faith in his blood…

(Rom 3:25a).


Paying a price is one thing, but paying the price that satisfies
is another. One might try to buy a new car for twenty dollars,
but the car will never be released ? for twenty dollars
is not the satisfactory payment.


Propitiation means to render favorable; to satisfy; to appease.

For example, suppose someone vandalizes your new Cadillac.
He smashes the windows, spray paints it pink, shreds the leather
seats and pours water in the engine. Are you angry? Do you have
the right to prosecute? What will it take to propitiate (satisfy)
you? Will candy do it? How about a pizza? Will a simple, ?I?m
sorry and I won?t do it again? be enough? Or will it
take full restitution by putting it back into mint condition?

Our sin has offended God and damaged His Name, glory and creatures.
He is ?angry with the wicked? (Psalm 7:11). Whatever
is offered to God for our sin must satisfy Him. He must accept
it for it is His wrath that must be abated. It doesn?t matter
if ?Christianity? is satisfied with the sacrifice of
Christ. It only matters if God accepts it as a real and valid
payment first.

Propitiation tells us God is satisfied.

The Person of Propitiation. ?Whom God has set
forth to be a propitiation.? It is not what God has set
forth but whom. God has not set forth rules, rituals, or religious
penances to satisfy Him, but the Person of His Son, the Lord
Jesus Christ. Isaiah 53:11 says, ?He shall see the travail
of his soul, and shall be satisfied.?


As 1 John 4:10 says, ?Herein is love, not that we loved
God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the
propitiation for our sins.?


The Place of Propitiation. ?Whom God has set forth
to be a propitiation through faith in [by] his blood.? The
blood takes us not to the manger nor to the sermon on the mount,
but to the cross. It was here He made the necessary payment to
satisfy God the Father.


Old Testament Picture






Propitiation is also translated as mercy seat (Heb. 9:5).
The mercy seat is the exact place in the OT temple where sacrificial
blood was sprinkled on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) to satisfy
God?s claim against Israel?s sins for another year.

Israel was to do no work on that holy day. It would
be the high priest that would do the work for their forgiveness
of sins. And his work was not good deeds but ?he shall take
of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger
upon the mercy seat [place of propitiation] eastward; and before
the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger
seven times? (Lev. 16:14).

The results were ?that ye may be clean from all your
sins before the Lord? (Lev. 16:30).


Yes, it was Jesus? work on the cross which is the payment
that satisfied God. And as the high priest of old approached
the mercy seat with blood, so the risen Lord Jesus as High Priest
ascended once into the holy place of heaven ?by His
own blood.? He obtained, not yearly redemption as in the
old way, but ?eternal redemption? (Heb. 9:12). Praise
Him! In Christ we have a mercy seat!


The Proof of Propitiation. ?Whom God has set forth
to be a propitiation.? When a price is paid, what assures
you that it has been accepted so that you now own the product?
A receipt is your proof that the seller is truly satisfied. God
has graphically demonstrated that He has fully accepted His Son?s
sacrifice. He raised Him from the dead to His own right hand.
And that is our assurance that the payment of Christ is enough.
?… He hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath
raised him from the dead? (Acts 17:31). If God is satisfied
with Christ?s payment ? are you?


The Lord Jesus cried out from the cross as He died, ?It
is finished.? God surely believed the payment was full for
?Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more? (Rom.
6:9). It?s a satisfactory sacrifice.



Resurrection not only
says that

God has accepted Christ in His

death-payment ? but also that

there is nothing more required

for He now lives to die no more.


As Hebrews 10:12 reveals: ?But this man, after he had
offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down
on the right hand of God.? And He ?ever liveth?
there.


To repeat something that?s finished is an insult. If
somebody re-sweeps the rug after you have just finished, it means
that he did not believe your work was good enough.


Now that God has raised Christ from the dead, for one to add
things to propitiate God for his sins implies the following about
Christ?s sacrifice:

a. It wasn?t good enough

b. The Lord needs my help to get it finished

c. I?m not completely satisfied with Him

d. I believe my way over what God has declared


OT & NT BELIEVERS

Scope of the Payment

“… His blood, to
declare his righteousness for the

remission of sins THAT ARE PAST, [afore time]

through the forbearance of God” (Rom 3:25b).


Old Testament Picture





?David committed adultery
and murder?both meriting death under the law. Yet he was
told upon confession that God hath ?put away thy sin: thou
shalt not die.? (2Sam. 12:13). On what basis did God transcend
His law and show righteous mercy to David? It was the coming
sacrifice of Christ that would indeed meet the demanded penalty
of death for him. No wonder David said, ?Blessed is the
man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.?


OT believers as well as the NT believers are forgiven only
by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of God?s
foreknowledge and forbearance, He applied Christ?s propitiatory
sacrifice to OT believers in advance. In the NT age He applies
the payment that Christ already made (Eph. 1:7). In both cases
it?s the same payment: Christ?s blood. He?s the
Savior of all the ages.


For example, we use both credit cards and debit cards to purchase
a product.

Credit Card Way – It releases the product because the
money is to be deposited in the future. David was forgiven by
credit.


Debit Card Way – It releases the product because the
money was already deposited. A believer today is forgiven by
debit.


The difference is in the mind. The credit way leaves the worry
of having the product repossessed if the expected payment is
never made. However, the debit way gives joyful assurance for
the payment is already made.



AMNESTY

Strength of the Payment

“… God was in Christ,
reconciling the world

unto himself, NOT IMPUTING their trespasses

unto them …” (2 Cor 5:19).


Redemption in the Lord Jesus is not just a sentimental act
of love, but it is efficacious: it has the power to take away
all of one?s sins from God?s record book ? forgiveness,
cleansing and remission.


In 2nd Corinthians we are told that this is ?the day
of salvation.? In contrast to the coming ?day of the
Lord,? also known as the ?day of judgment,? we
are in a time period where God has declared a spiritual amnesty.



Amnesty. For example, during the Vietnam War many young
men burned their draft cards and fled to Canada. The government
eventually declared an amnesty for a certain period of time.
During amnesty, a young man could come back and be reconciled
to his government and none of his crimes would be left on his
record book. All was gone, if he came back during that
time.



Because the sinless Christ was made to be sin for us on the
cross, God is not counting (imputing) the sinner?s sin against
him. If the sinner will come back to God and be reconciled to
Him through the person and performance of Christ, God will forgive
rather than punish the sinner (2Cor. 5:18-21). This is amnesty
? and love.


The believer is promised that ?the blood of Jesus Christ
his Son, cleanseth us from all sin? (1John 1:7). There is
power in the blood.


The church?s ministry is not redemptive for Christ has
already died. Its ministry is not propitiatory for God is already
satisfied. It?s not to grant forgiveness for the power of
Christ?s blood is what forgives. The church is told that
we have ?the ministry of reconciliation? (2Cor. 5:18).
We can confidently invite sinners to be reconciled to God knowing
that during amnesty, God will not hold their sin against them
because of Christ.



God is not looking
for peace

makers but peace takers.


God?s righteous wrath is fully propitiated by the redemptive
sacrifice of His beloved Son. He does not ask that we do religious
penance to make peace with Him. He does ask that we trust Him
and take the peace that Jesus Christ the Lord has already made:
?And, having made peace through the blood of his cross,
by him to reconcile all things unto himself… .? (Col.
1:20).




The solution for the problem of the sinner?s guilt and
God?s wrath is not just the Person of Jesus Christ but the
cross-performance of the Lord Jesus.


To believe in Jesus

and yet not trust in

His redemption for sin,

is to not believe God?s gospel.

Originally posted on Sheep Food

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