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The Drama of Redemption

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
December 28, 2021 12:01 am

The Drama of Redemption

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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December 28, 2021 12:01 am

When it comes to our sin, we all have a debt before God that is beyond our ability to pay. Today, R.C. Sproul describes how Jesus frees His people from this infinite debt through His work of atonement.

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This one's going to be in debt up to be on some kind of debt retirement program whereby we were paying off our debt a little bit at a time, but the indebtedness that we have here with respect to obedience to God is impossible to pay back any installment claim. Everyone is guilty of breaking the law is why we are in the Bible says the wages of sin is death. Is there a solution to this problem.

The answer is yes, but it's costly. Dr. RC scroll from the series the cross of Christ in our first session we looked briefly at the dimensions of man's sin against God. In terms of why atonement is necessary and if you recall, I put three things on the board that make it necessary for atonement to take place and I wasn't trying to be cute with the three point sermon or anything like that but was trying to focus attention on this threefold need that we have so that we can develop it in some kind of symmetrical powder that's all going to put a chart on the board. Now when we consider the three actors in the drama of redemption man, God the father and God the son, and his incarnate work as Messiah and Redeemer, so will save man God and Christ and if you recall now the three elements of need with respect to sin was that sin is first of all I debt. Second of all, an act of enmity, and third, what the recall, it a crime like no when we say that man incurs a debt by virtue of committing sin, we have to go back to understand the role of God as creator and as sovereign over the universe. Whenever we speak of God's sovereignty. We are discussing his authority and you notice that the word authority has what other word in it build in author as the author of all things. He has authority over all that he creates a kind of sovereignty and what that means, basically, is that God intrinsically and absolutely has the right to impose obligations of any I'm spelling out the obvious in our labor the point too long, but I noticed that in our culture. There's much confusion over the nature of authority when we talk about duly constituted authority were talking about that person or office that has the right to impose obligations.

If I'm under someone's authority and they issue a command to me that is a morally sound command. Of course that then they have the right to impose obligation and I am responsible to carry out that obligation.

And if I fail to carry out that obligation. Then I must face punitive sanctions. So that's were talking about we talk about authority. And so God has the authority to impose obligations to his creatures and he does that in terms of the demands that he makes in terms of our obedience. You shall be holy, for I am holy God does not rule by referendum.

He does not rule by plebiscite. He does not simply give 10 suggestions or 10 recommendations to Israel. He gives commandments how shout or thou shalt not what we call apodictic law flowing from a sense of absolute authority and sovereignty.

Now, if God imposes obligations upon us that we fail to perform. We incur debt and God now is the creditor, no what you suppose is the role of Christ when the Bible speaks of indebtedness and that we are debtors. Incidentally, a Jesus speaks on this theme and describes our situation as being debtors who cannot pay their debts. It's one thing to be in debt and to be on some kind of debt retirement program whereby we are paying off our debt a little bit at a time, but the indebtedness that we have here with respect to obedience to God is impossible for us to pay back any installment claim. Why, what is the obligation ethically.

The God imposes upon his creatures. How righteous, how moral are we called to be by divine mandate sin less perfect okay member, Lady Macbeth after she committed the murder. She's trying to wipe out that spot. But the spot is indelible. She can't get rid of it.

The problem with our obligation.

At this point is that if I am called and responsible to be perfect and I sin once. Now what must I do to be perfect. How much interest payment can I make an addition to the principal in order to make up for the blemish will I have to do to become perfect after I have once been imperfect. I can't. It is impossible a week we get around in our culture by saying what everybody gets a second chance right, everybody deserves a second chance will. Let's look at that for second who says anybody deserves a second chance this justice require everybody get a second, a second chances, grace a second chance is mercy and mercy and grace are things that are never deserved.

So it's nonsense to talk about. Everyone deserves a second chance.

But even if that nonsensical hypothetical condition. Contrary to fact principal were true. What good would it do us how long ago did we use up second shift against such that the problem like that we are almost impeccable moral creatures with this one tiny little blemish of marring a perfect record, rather the Scriptures describe us as being woefully inadequate in terms of our performance of obedience to God. Not that's we're just attainted here and there with the peccadillo now and then so that we incur a debt that is impossible for us to pay and there's no way we can pet. So what does Christ. What is the role that he functions here in terms of his work as our redeemer. The New Testament has a word for it, but Christ is our surety, Christ is our surety not an economic term as debt is an economic term.

Christ is our surety means the one who cosines the note he is the one who stands there backing up our indebtedness taking upon himself the requirement of what must be paid no in the level of enmity we don't disobey God because we love him so well. We disobey God because we have an inborn hostility toward. The Bible says that we are by nature enemies of God we have a natural antipathy in our fallenness. Towards the reign of God over us so with respect, enmity, God is the injured party for the offended, the offended party. It's not that God has manifested enmity towards us but we have been the ones who have violated him. God has never broken a promise.

He's never violated a covenant. He is never sworn of all to us that he failed to pay. He has never treated a human being in this whole world unjustly is never violated me as a creature. He's never violated you so he has kept his side of the relationship perfectly, but we have violated him. He is the injured party not weep not with that we go over the summer sublet simple. We learned that in Sunday school. I want to say oh yeah I find people every day who are angry, deeply angry against God because deep down in their bonds they feel that somehow God has not given them a fair deal. How can God allow this to happen to me is the complaint. Could God let this up because that the unspoken statement there. How could God allow this to happen is what if God were really good.

If God were really just he would recognize my merit and treat me accordingly. He would give me more than I have God's not fair. That's the complaint it's deeply lodged in our bones but we have to understand from a biblical perspective that it is God who is the injured party not us, but when I was there when I that's crazy.

God doesn't suffer really want to suffer. God doesn't have to go through the veil of sorrows that were called to go through in this world. God has perfect felicity. He's eternally happy we're periodically happy but for the most part miserable so hard we talk about God's being the injured part because God is the one who is violated and he is perfect.

He does not deserve any of this violation that we heap upon him. Can I ever say to God, a God I suffer in this world unjustly. I may suffer at your hands unjustly.

Know that there's injustice abounds in this world between people among people where one rips off another one, or lies to know or teach another harms another and so on a horizontal level. There's all kinds of injustice in the world and the Christian community is called to work for the promotion of justice among people, but how much injustice goes vertically from God to man, even if 10 violates me and makes me a victim of his unjust activity I can say to God, God avenge me of this vindicate me were stormy redeem me from this man's unjust activity toward me, but can I say God the fact that you allow him to commit an injustice to me is unjust on your part.

In terms of our vertical relationship is possible is that legitimate. There's nothing he could ever happen to me in this world that could give me a just reason to assault the integrity of God in terms of our leisure.

God is the injured party not us of the role the Christ place in our redemption is called the mediator I want is a mediator do what is the mediator staying in the metal variety stands in the middle minutes is not a very popular place to be because in human elements of estrangement, the mediator usually catches flak from which side bus six is likely lumbar a referee between two combatants. Now when we talk about mediation. We are talking about two concepts that are crucial to biblical Christianity. First of all is the scene of reconciliation. The purpose of mediation. The purpose of getting a mediator involved.

For example, in an industrial contract dispute between labor and management for the two sides are unable to come together and you hire a mediator to come in, what you want that mediator to accomplish is reconciliation. If there is no need for reconciliation. There's no need for a mediator. Now what does reconciliation presuppose what is the absolute prerequisite for reconciliation to be necessary prior relationship okay and what has to happen to that prior relationship before we meet to talk about reconciliation. It has to be ruptured has to be broken.

There has to be estrangement of sorts. And so that the Scriptures speak of a ruptured personal relationship, a relationship that has been broken between two parties between two persons, God and man, though there is estrangement there. And reconciliation is necessary and Christ comes as the mediator know this creates quite at a difficulty right off the top. For this reason, the relationship is broken whose mad at home here whose mad in his relationship whose estranged are we estranged from God or biblical programmatic God. Yes okay we exercise and manifest our enmity by our continual disobedience is, is it really proper to talk about God's being estranged from us that God is angry with us, is it proper to talk like we should let me ask it again, is it appropriate to talk about God's being angry with man. What we do with the fact that the Bible speaks frequently of the wrath of God. Yes, there's a sense in which that is using human language to describe God, but the point is God is sorely displeased with this offense.

And God the father being the injured party is angry with our sin. But why do we have a problem with that. One of the great distortions of the biblical concept of the term is this some people look at it this way will there's God the father whose mad as a hornet adman but God the son identifies so closely with our fallenness and with our need and that his love and patience and long-suffering seems to be so much more compassionate and enduring than that of the father that the son sort of signs with us in our need and taxes are mediator to calm down.

The father whose angry and so we see attention or split within the Godhead itself, as if the father has one agenda and the son persuades him to change his mind. The father is angry and he summer to punish everybody and send him the hell, and the son says please don't do that punish me instead. Let me stand in their place. Let me not only mediate the discussion. But let me absorbed the anger power on me not on them but maybe the lightning rod and you can bounce your wrasse off the you I think that's a ridiculous scenario, but that's a serious objection raised by sophisticated theologians that a very technical level, but knowing that it's a very widespread prevalence picture among Christians. I wondered frequently why it is that evangelical Christians tend to be Unitarians of the second person of the Trinity why there's so much warm passion, love, affection for Jesus, but the father is almost totally ignored in Christian study and Christian devotion and Christian liturgy. How can that be. Maybe there still this sense that okay ceases. We can relate to.

But the father you know, we still have to look out for the father because he's the angry one right but whose idea was it for us to have a mediator who sends the mediator God so loved the world that he gave me that sent those of the two words that you find the two verbs biblically again and again and again. The father sends the son. The father dear's the son for our redemption. I let's look at this final point, the crime dimension here. God functions as the governor and the judge. God is ultimately the judge of all matters of justice he is the ultimate standard of righteousness in his own characters. The ultimate standard of justice, but he functions personally.

As the judge of heaven and earth. Christ in the drama of the atonement functions not as the judge, he is given elevated to the role of judge in his ascension and is very significant. But in his dissension to this world. He comes under judgment and his role here is as priest victim. He comes to be judged by our God, the death penalty because I sinned against him and Jesus just walked on the strings that I will die for and lay down his life and died for me. Would God be under any obligation whatsoever to accept that payment. None whatsoever. Their first must be judgment by the governor of the universe that he will in fact accept a substitutionary payment for my debt and crime to be covered as a what you have here is a prior decision of the father that is sheer grace because a Taino debt has been acquired by us and the only way my penal indebtedness can be paid off by somebody else as if the law Supreme Court first decides to accept a substitute for me is excellent what God does hear is that he says justice will be done, the price will be paid the debt will be paid in full, both from pecuniary sense and a penal sense. I will judge the crime.

The crime will be punished.

The debt will be paid so that God is not negotiated all his justice. But at the same time. The fact that my debt is paid and my crime is punished by a substitute shows that in the cross we see perfect justice, with numbers, take away the substitution you take away the grace of God, the way the very heart of what the Christian is all. Perhaps you heard someone say that it's unfair that God doesn't just forgive everyone after all they say is a God, full of love and kindness. Dr. RC Sproul answer that question today you seek sin must be punished. Debt must be paid by someone attempting to pay it with our own obedience is a foolish enterprise. Indeed, or we can accept the perfect payment the Christ made on our behalf, were glad you joined us for Renewing Your Mind on this Tuesday this week wearing doctors ProSeries the cross of Christ. He highlights our great need for salvation and shows us how the cross fulfills that. I hope you'll contact us today with a donation of any amount so that we can send you the digital download of the series will be able to stream the messages right away.

Plus will send you a hardbound copy of RC's book on the same topic.

It's titled the truth of the cross. You can make a request to give your gift or if you prefer to call us. Our number is 800-435-4343 like to take just a moment to express my thanks to you, our listeners who keep Renewing Your Mind on the year. This is just one of many outreaches here at regular ministries and with your help reaching people like Brian in New Jersey. I began listening.

RC actually right after his death. Believe it or not, started seeing videos popping up on Facebook and other social media outlets, and I began listening to them and became absolutely obsessed with all his teaching series and videos on there was shortly after that somebody recommended the applicant that you guys are released and literally all of my winter break in college, I spent listening to all of RC's different teaching series and lectures and now at this point I I listen to Renewing Your Mind every morning at the perfect time. It's 20 minutes 25 minutes to school commute and that's exactly how long Renewing Your Mind is and so I listen every morning. I don't miss a day, so I would like to thank you guys, and also RCN and invest as well for the profound impact that you all had on my life, and many others. So thank you thank you Brian. What a privilege it is to talk about God's goodness every day, year of the program. If you value what we do each day. I hope you'll keep this in mind as you plan your urine giving were in the final days of 20, 21, and if you'd like to mail your donation.

It will need to be postmarked by this coming Friday the 31st. Or you can give your urine and, in advance, thank you for your generosity in first Timothy Paul says that Jesus gave himself as a ransom for all who receive them. Ransom, I hope you'll join us tomorrow as we continue the series, the cross of Christ

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