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Blessing or Curse?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
December 31, 2021 12:01 am

Blessing or Curse?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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December 31, 2021 12:01 am

In order to grant His people the blessing of salvation, Jesus bore the curse of God in their place. Today, R.C. Sproul speaks on the sobering cost of our redemption.

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What did Christ accomplished on the cross their friends on the cross she uses is in hell right there totally bereft of the grace and the presence of God utterly separated from all blessedness of the fall. He becomes a curse for you sobering thought is our focus for the year on Renewing Your Mind as we continued our groceries groceries the cross of Christ will learn that Jesus was utterly forsaken and cursed by God on the cross. At the same time Jesus gave to us the blessings of his relationship with the father is Dr. Spruill when we consider the cross of Christ. We see an event in history stands out with so much importance and somewhat significance is easy to overlook the fact that the cross was not an isolated event in history that sort of sprung up spontaneously in a particular moment in time sort of thing born full-grown like Athena from the head of Zeus. But the atonement of Christ is the culmination the climax of centuries of redemptive history where God had set certain things in motion. Ages and ages. Before that, then reached its Acme with the death of Christ else to get a glimpse of one element of the atonement I want to direct your attention for moment way back in the Old Testament to the book of Deuteronomy, where part of the terms of the covenant that God makes with the people of Israel are spelled out. If we do a study of the elements of a covenant in the ancient world. We see that though the content of covenants may differ from culture to culture.

There were certain elements and aspects of the covenant that were virtually universal. Whenever a legal agreement like this was entered into the sovereign one in the covenant would identify himself and give a historical prologue where he would rehearse the history of his relationship to the subordinates in the covenant. This would be true among the seminarians and the Acadians and other peoples of antiquity, as it was with the Jews so when God when entering the covenant he would identify himself, he said I am Yahweh. I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt did this and did that he would give this historical prologue and then the terms of the covenant would be set forth in with the terms of the covenant. We call those stipulations. Any covenant has stipulations when you get married you enter into a covenant, then you say. I promise to do certain things a lot longer, obey, and so on. Or when you sign an industrial contract with an employer, you may say, I promise to work eight hours a day, and he promises to give you so much money and so many benefits so much vacation but those of the stipulations, but in the ancient world.

Every covenant had sanctions and we speak of dual sanctions a twofold sanction that these would be the rewards and the penalties rewards for keeping the terms in the stipulations of the agreement penalties if you violated the terms of the agreement now in the Old Testament the reward for keeping the covenant was called a blessing and the penalty for violating the contract was called a curse just to direct your attention for second to chapter 28 of the book of Deuteronomy, or God is speaking and he says if you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands that I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth and all these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God will listen to this litany, you will be blessed in the city, and blessed in the country the fruit of your womb will be blessed the crops of your land. The young of your livestock, the calves of your heard the lambs of your flock your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed you will be blessed when you come in, and blessed when you will go out and so you see the let me insist like it if you will keep these terms. If you obey the commandments that God is giving as part of the stipulations of this agreement. If you buy a bless you. When you stand up I'll bless you when you sit down. I bless you.

When you rollover a blusher when you're silent or blessed when you speak a blessing in the city of Lejeune in the country between the highway, but you on the seas everywhere you go. Will you do to get blessed and return page where we get to that scary part that says. However, verse 15.

However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I'm giving you today.

All of these curses will come upon you and overtake you, you will be cursed in the city, and cursed in the country. Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed. The fruit of your womb will be cursed in the crops of your lands. The calves of your herds. The lands of your flock shall be cursed when you come in, and cursed when you go out to see the parallel air and antithetical parallelism.

If you obey your blessed if you disobey when you stand up to precursory Saddam to be cursed regarding city because the country recurs to see you because you know you children be character. She will be cursed or docile because your Calvin cursed your baker will be cursed curse everywhere right the concept of blessedness is understood in terms of the nearness, the proximity the presence of God.

Conversely, the curse of the coven is to be cut off from the presence of God to never see the light of his countenance to be cast into the outer darkness.

That's how the Jew understood the curse now when the Jew would describe the situation of the Gentile. In the Old Testament, he would say that the Gentile is a stranger to the coven. He is a pilgrim he's a sojourner he's foreign to the household of Israel.

When the day of atonement took place in the Old Testament ceremony. We know that the lamb was sacrificed on the altar is the blood offering. But what happened to the scapegoat the sins of the nation were ceremonially transferred to the back of the goat and the significant thing is what happens to the goat wise. The goat killed that symbolism is taken care of with the land, but the goat is sent outside the camp. He's driven into the wilderness into the place of darkness into the place that is removed from the light of God's countenance into the outer darkness now that because of the constraints of time is the tip of the iceberg you hope you understand of the dynamic that's going on in the Old Testament symbolism of blessing and curse. But let's turn now quickly to the New Testament to one of the most extraordinary statements that we read from the apostle Paul, with respect to the cross of Christ that we find in Paul's letter to the Galatians in the third chapter. He reminds us of the covenant that God made with Abraham and how that when God called Abraham he called Abraham and blessed Abraham and said Abraham you are blessed for what to be a blessing so that through you all of the nations of the world will be blessed. That is the one I do with you, Abraham, and what comes out of this. I'm going to spread out this blessedness from the center and I went to let it pour out and over all the nations of the world now all nations will be blessed through you. So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith who rely on observing the law that is trying to achieve a relationship with God by trusting in their own good works in their own performance are under a curse, for it is written curse. It is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the book of the law policymaking back in Deuteronomy. He's remembering the terms of the covenant. If you don't keep everyone of these laws. You are under the curse, and then he says clearly, no one is justified before God by the law for the just shall live by faith. The law is not based on faith. On the contrary, the man who does these things will live by them. So here comes Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us as it is written curse. It is everyone who is hung upon the tree what Paul now says is that in the cross of Christ becomes a curse for us all of the sanctions of the penalties of the law are born by Jesus and he cites this strange statement curse and is everyone who hangs upon the tree and if you go back in the Old Testament there were certain negative sanctions that were imposed for certain kinds of situations that were considered sacrilegious or desecration or person was becoming unclean. The Gentile was unclean. He was outside the king of if you look at the intricacy of the drama of the events of the crucifixion of Jesus. There are some amazing things that take place so the Old Testament prophetic utterances are fulfilled to the minutest detail in the first instance. The Bible says that the Messiah will be delivered to the Gentiles for judgment. It just so happened in the course of history that Jesus is put on trial during a time of Roman occupation where the Romans, though they allowed a certain amount of home rule to their conquered vassals did not permit the death penalty to be imposed by the local rule and so the Jews did not have the authority to put Christ to death. The only thing I could do would be to meet in Council and deliver Jesus to Pilate and get Pilate to do it.

And so Jesus is delivered from his own people to the Gentiles who are where outside the camp is delivered into the hands of the pagan outside of where the face of God shines outside of where the light of his countenance, false, and is delivered into their hands for judgment.

Jews didn't kill or execute by crucifixion. They did it by stoning the Romans do it by crucifixion and so the method of Jesus death is by what hanging upon a tree. The Bible doesn't say curse should be everyone who is stoned curse.

It is everyone who hangs upon the tree. Then where is the site of the actual execution out side of Jerusalem, so that Jesus is first of all delivered to the Gentiles for judgment and once he is judged and condemned to be executed, then he is physically led all of the fortress onto the Via Dolorosa out side of the walls of the city.

Unlike the scapegoat is driven out side the camp outside of Zion outside of the holy city where the presence of God is concentrated, he is sent into the outer darkness and think again of the imagery of the cross itself. When Jesus is put on the cross. We have an astronomical perturbation that takes place in the middle of the afternoon. It becomes dark literally physically dark darkness descends upon the lane and in the midst of the intensity of this darkness, which involves some kind of blotting out of securing or perhaps even an eclipse of the sun in the midst of that physical literal darkness.

Jesus cries what does occur, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken one of the most pregnant utterances that ever came from the lips of Jesus while he's on the cursor but all kinds of interpretation that Albert Schweitzer look at that and said here's proof positive that Jesus died in disillusionment. He had all kinds of expectations that God was going to deliver him and God let him down in the final moments and so the Jesus dies as a disillusioned tragic Shakespearean hero or others notice that the words of course are found verbatim in Psalm 22 and they say will. Here Jesus is identifying himself with the suffering servant of Psalm 22 and is reciting poetry on his desperate. I don't doubt that the origin for the actual words comes from the Psalm and Jesus was aware that some should read it many many times others is not my favorite him my ordination him was his midnight and all is brown a lot at him in spite of the fact that there is a statement in there of heresy when it talks about Jesus.

It says was not forsaken by his God and he see file disabled geniuses in his humanity felt forsaken on the cross but wasn't really for sake. I say this if Jesus was not really forsaken on the cross.

You are still in your sins, you have no redemption. You have no salvation because the whole point of the cross is that if Jesus is going to bare our sins and bear the sanctions all the covenant. Let me ask you this. What was the sign of the old covenant circumcision. Talk about primitive and obscene signs. Why did the Jew cut off the foreskin of his flesh.

It had to significance is a positive and a negative for the two sanctions the symbolic gesture of the cutting of the foreskin was that God is cutting out this group of people from the rest, separating them, setting them apart to be a holy nation to be a blessing. The negative is that the Jew was saying this all God. If I fail to keep everyone of the terms of this covenant, may I be caught off from you, from your presence, cut off from the light of your countenance. Cut off from your blessedness, just as I have now ritually got off the foreskin of my flesh. You understand that the cross is the supreme circumcision because when Jesus takes the curse upon himself so identified with our sin that he becomes a curse God to and justly so, because at the moment that Christ takes upon himself the sin of the world that figure that is on the cross is the most grotesque, most obscene mass of sin concentrated in the history of the world and God is too holy to even look at iniquity and when Christ is hanging on the cross, the father, as it were, turns his back.

He removes his face he turns out the light. He cuts off his son and so here is geniuses bearing this in it touching his human nature, who has been in perfect blessed relationship with God throughout his ministry. Now God for six I heard a million sermons about the nails and the thorns and granted the physical agony of crucifixion is a ghastly thing but there's been thousands of people who have died on the cross but only one has received the full measure of the curse of God while on the cross. I doubt if Jesus was even aware of the nails in the speaker. He was so overwhelmed by the outer darkness their friends on the cross, Jesus is in hell right there totally bereft of the grace and the presence of God utterly separated from all blessedness of the fall. He becomes a curse for you so that you Sunday will be able to see the face of God, so that the light of his countenance, will follow you, God turned his back on his no wonder he screamed.

He screamed from the depths of his so, how long they have to endure it a second of it is of infinite value.

It's enough. Finally he says it's finished. It's finished. It's over. What is life. The pain of the nails, the lights compact, and he says in to the I commend my spirit look for as you read the Scriptures. Look for the imagery of the curse in the blessing because again, this is the tip of the every time I read it in this in all of what happened when an incredible thought occurs intended for us fully placed on Christ or series this week on Renewing Your Mind is Dr. RC scrolls the cross of Christ.

We've learned this week about the need for atonement.

The ransom, the Christ paid to the father and justification by faith alone. This is a valuable study for every believer, young and old, so I hope you'll contact us today with a donation of any amount so that we can add this full series digitally to your learning library along with the study guide for the series will be able to stream the messages right away and help you study further will also send you the hardbound copy of RC's book on the same topic is titled the truth of the cross so contact us today with your gift when you go online to Renewing Your if you prefer you can call us. Our phone number is 800-435-4343 or to believe is an addicted 2022 is just around the corner. We don't know what lies ahead for our country or for the world, but we do know one thing people need to understand the gospel we're in later ministries have some ambitious plans for the coming year were excited about those plans and it's stories like this that motivators all the more true. Several years ago. Go to the chair to the lecturers.

I really fell in love with our Facebook page and ultimately some of the other speakers in pitching as well. I felt like I really got a very good here the Reformation as a result of the period of church history by Dr. Godfrey. I have a friend in Oregon who also is a Christian wanting to grow in his understanding of the word and I recommended the in your app to give as well. He has been going through it and enjoying it tremendously.

So the doctors will yeah clean, very big hole in my spiritual growth is my understanding that Reformation doctrine. The catechism is how it all fits together. I continue to refurbish and also blessed to others as well as the Lord gives me opportunity. Thank you so much. There may God continue to bless this ministry.

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