Monday, August 31, 2015

"The Inverse Proportion"

     One definition of the Gospel simply declares that God gave to the Lord Jesus Christ everything we deserve in order that He might give to believers everything that Christ deserves.

    "He hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).
    "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He because poor, that ye though His poverty might be made rich" (II Corinthians 8:9).

    This is the inverse proportion of grace, and the very hope of both today and eternity.  God the Father enrobed His Son with our sins and poured out His wrath upon the innocent Lamb of God.  To the degree that such Divine justice exacted the price of redemption from the Lord Jesus, the free gift of gracious mercy flows to the hearts of all who by faith receive the wonder of Christ's justification.  We awaken to this new day as those adorned by our Savior's righteousness, and thus viewed by God as worthy of His richest blessing.  We may shake our heads in wonder as we ponder the thought (I shake mine as I write the thought!), but this is the Gospel.  Moreover, to the degree we understand this blessed "inverse proportion" will be the degree to which its sanctifying effect transforms our hearts and lives into spiritual and moral image of the Lord Jesus - "Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28).  Love begets love, and the ongoing discovery of the alliterative nature of G.R.A.C.E. - God's Riches At Christ's Expense - enhances our devotion to so wondrous a Lord.  "We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19).

    Little wonder that those who do not know such grace often mock it.  Let us be honest: God's unmerited favor upon the undeserving seems preposterous even to ourselves.  Especially to ourselves!  The Father gives to me the merits of Christ because He gave to Christ my just deserts?!  How can this be?!  Preposterous!  But true, praise the blessed name of the Lord Jesus!  Yes, in this day and forevermore, God will relate in loving acceptance and favor toward His trusting children in Christ because on the cross of Calvary, He related to the Lord Jesus in furious wrath and abandoned forsakenness.  This is the Gospel, and to the degree we embrace and grow in our understanding of its inverse proportion will be the degree to which we fall before the Lamb in worship and wonder, and then arise by Him to walk in His presence and power.  As the chorus sings, "He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay, I needed someone to wash my sins away.  And now I sing a brand new song, Amazing Grace the whole day long, Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay."  Yes, in this day and in this moment, God offers to us all that Christ deserves because at Calvary, Christ willingly received everything we deserve.

"He hath made us accepted in the Beloved, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace."
(Ephesians 1:6-7)

Weekly Memory Verse
   I cried unto Thee, o Lord, I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
(Psalm 142:5)

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