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The Twin Aspects of Christ's Work for Us

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
January 17, 2024 12:00 am

The Twin Aspects of Christ's Work for Us

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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January 17, 2024 12:00 am

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It is not Christ plus your Bible reading. It is not Christ plus your church attendance. It is not Christ plus your good deeds. Christ plus your prayers.

Christ plus your love to others. It is Christ plus nothing. The Apostle Paul lamented that nothing good dwells in me. The wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. And that's the condition all Christians find ourselves in. We can't practice perfect obedience to God's Word.

Fortunately, what we cannot accomplish, Christ already has. And today on the Truth Pulpit, Pastor Don Green explains the twin aspects of Christ's work for us. Hi, I'm Bill Wright, and Don's here now to get us ready for today's message.

Don? Well, my friend, this was a brief meditation that I did at a communion service at Truth Community Church. Communion is a time when we remember Christ and how he died for our salvation. In today's broadcast, we're going to particularly remember how his life of obedience and his death on the cross secured our eternal salvation. It's an especially reverent topic today on the Truth Pulpit, and I'm glad you're with us to hear.

Thanks, Don. And friend, let's join our teacher now, teaching God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit. Matthew 5 17 through 20, Jesus is clarifying the purpose for which he came, and he's saying, I did not come to abolish the law. And so he's helping people to understand the purpose of his mission where they were most subject to misunderstanding. Jesus was rebuking the Pharisees, but he was not here to overturn the law. Quite to the contrary, he says, I am here to fulfill it, not to abolish, verse 17, but to fulfill, not to set aside, but to bring it to pass, you might say.

In general, the term fulfill has the idea of carrying it out. Jesus was here to carry out the law, to fulfill its requirements. He was here to execute the plan which God had set in motion in the revelation given to Moses. Jesus came to accomplish all that the Old Testament had in mind.

Now, let's peel back the onion just another bit here. Jesus could not possibly have come to abolish the law. He says in verse 18, if you'll look at it with me, there in verse 18, as you're looking at your text, Jesus says, for truly I say to you, here's the explanation why I could not possibly be coming to abolish the law.

Here's why. It's because until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or strokes shall pass from the law until all is accomplished. There was a binding, abiding authority to the Old Testament that could not be abolished. And Jesus says, that's why I couldn't possibly be here to abolish it. I'm here to fulfill it because there is a permanent abiding authority to the Old Testament and therefore I'm not setting it aside.

I am here to do it. And it's a grand sweeping statement that he is making, recognizing the authority of the Old Testament will abide until its purpose has been completely fulfilled. What I want to show you from, as we let scripture interpret scripture on that statement, is for you to understand and appreciate the fact that Jesus's fulfillment of the law is essential to the salvation of your soul. That Jesus was here to accomplish a dual purpose as he was fulfilling the law. There were two ways that Jesus's fulfillment of the law, there were two aspects, twin aspects to his fulfillment that was designed for your benefit. It was designed to secure your eternal blessedness. It was designed to provide for your access to heaven. It was to provide for your justification, your perfect standing with God.

That's why Jesus came. That is part of what he was doing in the multifaceted splendor of his fulfillment of the law. What I want to do with this is to just walk you through these two aspects of his work so that you would have a greater sense of certainty and confidence in your salvation. That you would feel the sense, the joy of knowing that Christ fulfilled the law for you.

That you would be free from a sense of abiding uncertainty. Have I done enough to please God? Listen, the one and the only one who could please God was the Lord Jesus Christ. Otherwise we all fall short of the glory of God even as Christians. And so as we understand the work of Christ we see where we are supposed to put our trust. Where it is that we rest our confidence and it teaches us to abandon all confidence in our own righteousness and to trust in Christ alone. And when we see these things with clarity we see the wonder of the work of Christ on our behalf fulfilling a law that we could never meet on our own.

And so what are these two ways? Well first of all Jesus fulfilled the law with his obedience to the law. He fulfilled the law with his obedience to the law. Scripture teaches us that Jesus was born as a Jew who had the responsibility to obey the law in his own life.

If you would turn with me to the book of Galatians for a moment. Galatians chapter 4 in verse 4 it says that when the fullness of the time came God sent forth his son born of a woman born under the law. He was under the law in the sense that he was under the authority of the law. He was responsible to fulfill it, to obey it. And throughout his life the point is repeatedly made that Jesus obeyed the law with utter perfection.

Without one slip, without one mark against his name. In John chapter 8 verse 46 when he was being challenged he asked his enemies, which one of you convicts me of sin? And there was dead silence in response because there was no crime of which he could be convicted. His own enemies who had every motivation to point something out could point to nothing that Jesus had failed in with regard to the responsibilities of the law.

They had no answer. Hebrews chapter 4 verse 15 says that Jesus was tempted in all things as we are yet without sin. And so scripture is abundant in its testimony that Christ fulfilled the law. He obeyed it to perfection and there was no defect in his obedience to the law.

Now why does that matter to you and me? It matters profoundly to you and me because you and I without exception have not kept his law. We have not obeyed perfectly. In fact we have violated it with every manner of sin and in our in our flesh in our desires and with our minds. We are a shattered pottery vessel with no way of putting it back together and God holds us accountable for our disobedience. There will be a reckoning for sin to every man on earth. Scripture makes this clear. Turn back to Romans chapter 3. I want you to see this in relationship to Scripture's teaching on the law as we will pull all of this together in a moment. In Romans chapter 3 verse 9, the Apostle Paul says, what then?

Are we better than they? And he says not at all for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin as it is written there is none righteous not even one there is none who understands there is none who seeks for God. Skip down to verse 19 and he's there in verses 10 through 18 he's just making extensive quotations from the Old Testament. And after making those extensive quotations he says in verse 19 now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God because by the works of the law no flesh will be justified in his sight for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. You must have a record of perfect obedience to the law if you are going to satisfy the standard of God. It is only on the record of perfect obedience without fail that the doors of heaven can be opened to anyone otherwise we are all shut up under sin and will be held accountable for our lack. You've broken the law I have to and there is an account to be made for that and an eternal God who gave an eternal law requires an eternal punishment for the violation of that law.

And so how do we solve that dilemma? How can we have a peace of conscience, a security of soul knowing that it is well with us and with God? Well turn back to Galatians chapter 4 verse 5. Galatians 4 verse 5. Christ as we saw earlier in verse 4 was born under the law.

Why? It wasn't because he needed to achieve obedience for his own sake. He was already perfectly righteous in the righteousness of God. So why was he born under the law? Verse 5 explains, so that he might redeem those who were under the law that we might receive the adoption as sons. Christ brought himself under the authority of the law in his incarnation. He obeyed it perfectly so that he might be able to accomplish our redemption. The obedience of Christ is what is necessary to fulfill the demands of the law. Theologians sometimes refer to this as Christ's active obedience.

His life was a living obedience to the law and he fulfilled its demands to perfection without defect, without fail, without omission, without commission of a violation. You know, just mentioning that reminds me we think so superficially of sin. We think that if we haven't done X, Y or Z that we're okay and we forget that God's Word requires obedience in A, B and C. And so it's not just that we avoid certain things. The Word of God requires us to do certain things as well as avoid certain things and the weight of that on our souls is immense because we fall short of the glory of God. Well, Jesus Christ in his earthly life, in his obedience to the law, met the demands of the law and Scripture says that he did that for us. When you put your faith in Christ, God looks at you and says, I receive you based on the perfect obedience of my son. The fulfillment of the law of Christ is put on your account and the significance of that is very far-reaching.

There is nothing that you have to do. There is nothing that you can do to add to that obedience and increase your perfect standing with God. Christ has already met the demands of the law and when we put our faith in him, his righteousness, his obedience is credited to our account and God treats us as though we had lived the perfect life of Christ.

That is the basis on which he accepts us. It is not Christ plus your Bible reading. It is not Christ plus your church attendance. It is not Christ plus your good deeds.

Christ plus your prayers. Christ plus your love to others. It is Christ plus nothing. It is Christ in his perfection. Anything that we would add to that would only diminish it and degrade it because there is no obedience like Christ.

There is no son like him and in Christ everything has already been done on our behalf. And so when you put your faith in Christ for salvation, God credits the perfect righteousness of Christ to your account. He imputes that righteousness to you.

That is the basis of your justification. That is the basis upon which God can look at you and say the demands of the law are satisfied. Look at 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 21. He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

We receive a righteousness in Christ that we could never have attained on our own. Look also at the book of Philippians chapter 3. Paul was explaining earlier in chapter 3 at the early part of it that if ever there was a human Jew who had done it all it was him. He says in verse 4, I myself might have confidence even in the flesh.

If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, that is for their righteousness before God, he says I far more. I was the perfect Jew. Verse 5, I was circumcised on the eighth day. I was of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, as to law a Pharisee, as to zeal a persecutor of the church, as to the righteousness which is in the law found blameless. But then he goes on in verse 7. He says elsewhere that that the law eventually revealed that coveting was sin and all of his seeming righteousness was undone under the way that the law applied even to the desires of his heart. And so in verse 7 he says whatever things were gained to me those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. He says I discount, I disregard, I put away all of that righteousness of my Jewish heritage. I don't count that.

I don't rely on that. That was simply that which actually separated me from Christ because it was all in my own self-confidence. And he goes on in verse 8 and says more than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. To know Christ was far better, exceedingly infinitely better than being the perfect Jew. He says it's for Christ that I have suffered the loss of all things and I count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.

What I used to boast in I now regard as unspeakable dung. And look at what he says in verse 9. He says I count it that way so that I may gain Christ and may be found in him not having a righteousness of my own derived from the law but that which is through faith in Christ the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.

Look what he's saying there. He is completely discounting any righteousness of his own and says I rely solely on the righteousness of Christ and I receive that by faith not by an accomplishment in my flesh not by the deeds of my hands. He says it's not my righteousness which gives me standing before God it is the righteousness of Christ on which I rely. And so God in light of his eternal law in light of our sin sent his son to be under the law to fulfill it so that our lack of righteousness could be fulfilled. And now God looks on us in his grace through the perfect merit of Christ and looks on us as if we had obeyed the law like Christ did. Wow. Say but I didn't do that.

I haven't done that. That's the whole point is that we have received a righteousness that is outside us sometimes called an alien righteousness because it's not our own. We receive a righteousness attributed to our account that is from someone else and that someone else is Christ. Beloved it is not your obedience that God accepts it is the obedience of your Savior on your behalf. We're humbled under that recognition that there was nothing that I did that motivated God to accept me except for his grace and except for the merit of Christ not the merit of me.

And so it humbles us but we gladly accept that humiliation because out of that humiliation rises the glory of Christ and he becomes ever so sweet to the redeemed soul. Yet there's more as we contemplate this fulfillment of the law by Christ. He fulfilled the law with his life with his obedience but Jesus also fulfilled the law in his death for us. See the law requires more than obedience in one sense.

There is more to the law than its positive and negative demands on us. The law curses disobedience. Look at Deuteronomy 28 verse 15 in Deuteronomy 28 verse 15 Moses is preaching to the people of Israel and he says but it shall come about if you do not obey the Lord your God to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes with which I charge you today that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you. And then if you've never read the rest of Deuteronomy 28 I invite you to do that at your leisure the curses are profound they are frightening they are severe and the ultimate fulfillment of the curse of disobedience is eternal hell on those who reject Christ and never come to faith in him. Curses the law requires curses on disobedience and here you and I are declared and judged by scripture as those who are guilty and accountable under the laws we've read earlier under Romans 3.

You just step back from it and realize the desperate condition in which we found ourselves in which we existed apart from Christ. No obedience to offer no no way to improve our standing and the curse of God aligning upon our head Jesus said those who do not obey the wrath of God abides upon them John 3 36. The gospel is serious beloved the gospel matters the gospel declares things that are found nowhere else and so how did Jesus fulfill that part of the law regarding the curses? Scripture teaches us that Jesus took the curse in his own body when he was crucified at the cross of Calvary. He received that curse himself theologians sometimes call this his passive obedience as he submitted himself to the punishment of God and received it at Calvary. Look at Galatians chapter 3 now. Galatians chapter 3 in verse 10 where it says for as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse for it is written cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law to perform them. We're at Galatians 3 verse 10 verse 11 now that no one is justified by the law before God is evident for the righteous man shall live by faith however the law is not of faith on the contrary he who practices them shall live by them if you are relying on your own obedience that is the standard by which you will be judged and you don't meet it the law shuts everyone out from its fulfillment except Christ and so what did Christ do how did he fulfill this aspect of the law look at verse 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law he bought us out from under that curse how did he do that having become a curse for us on our behalf for it is written cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree that's Deuteronomy 21 23 that's being quoted there he redeemed us from the curse of the law having become a curse for us for it is written cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles that's almost all of us not many Jews in here if any in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith and so Christ went to the cross in order to be the substitute of the curse that was upon you it's as if he said here I am put his curse put her curse on me so that they may go free from the demands of the law and he fulfilled the law by taking the curse it pronounced on sinners the curse that was on you the damnation that was assigned to your account God took that and applied it to Christ and punished him on the cross poured out his wrath in in fullest measure upon Christ so that the wrath would have been spent and would not have to be expended on you your hand would not have to pay and so God forgives us based on his suffering he accepts us in a manner of speaking he accepts us on the basis of Christ's obedience he forgives us on the basis of Christ's suffering and this is the crux of the eternal blessedness of everyone who believes in Christ and so we realize that Jesus gives us his righteousness in exchange for our sin and then he paid the price for that sin so we wouldn't have to indeed greater love has no man ever had well pastor Don Green brings you more from God's incomparable word next time on the truth pulpit and we hope you'll join us then but right now here again is done with some closing thoughts well my Christian friend I'd like to talk to you simply as a pastor right now the work of Jesus Christ means that he has done everything that is necessary for you to be saved he has fully satisfied the demands of God's law he has paid the penalty for your sin and everyone who believes in him finds a perfect and complete Savior what that means for you is this you can go to God with confidence because he accepts the work of Christ on your behalf Jesus satisfied the Father completely and now in Christ you have a completely free access to a holy God look to Christ in Christ alone and all will be well with your soul thanks Don and friend remember to visit us at the truth pulpit calm to learn more about this ministry and great study resources that's the truth pulpit calm now for Don Green I'm Bill Wright and we'll see you again next time as Don teaches God's people God's Word from the truth pulpit
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-17 04:52:31 / 2024-01-17 05:00:55 / 8

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