Tuesday, September 19, 2017

“The Guilty and the Innocent"

    "The Guilty and the Innocent

     The indictment against humanity is universal, save one.

    "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Romans 3:19).
    "Christ… through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God" (Hebrews 9:14).

    The Lord Jesus Christ could die for our sins because He had none of His own.  He experienced temptation to a degree beyond all others - "in all points tempted like as we are" - but never once did He succumb to His enemies' attempts to mar the necessary perfection of His character and way - "yet without sin" (Hebrews 9:14).  Conversely, those born of Adam's race experience temptation to a far lesser measure and degree.  We nevertheless have disbelieved and distrusted our Heavenly Father in more ways than any of us can remember or want to acknowledge.  Left to ourselves, we are all "guilty before God," whose standard of pristine perfection condemns us to His rejection and wrath against the sin that would destroy His creation if allowed to continue.  Thankfully, God does not leave us to ourselves.  He rather sent the Lord Jesus to bear His judgment for us, again, the One who could justly die for our sins because He had none of His own.  He suffered as "the Just for the unjust" declared the Apostle Peter, whose declaration resounds with the most fundamental truth of the Gospel, the wonder of which we will never fully comprehend (I Peter 3:18). 

    It is a good idea to frequently return to the altar where we remember the Lord's innocence and our guilt.  Upon this acknowledgement, we then affirm that He bore our guilt so that now we bear His innocence.  Indeed, on the cross of Calvary, God gave to His Son all that we deserve so that He might give to us all that the Lord Jesus deserves.  The "Lamb without blemish and without spot" became our sin-bearer, and even more, was "made to be sin for us" (I Peter 3:19; II Corinthians 5:21).  Thereby God made a way to freely impute His righteousness to believers as a free gift.  He absolves our guilt on the basis of having applied our guilt to His innocent Son.  Again, no more fundamental truth of God's way with humanity exists.  And no more fundamental truth must be remembered and reaffirmed with grateful praise.  Certainly in eternity we will gaze upon the nail prints on our Savior's glorified hands and feet to over and over again consider the price of our pardon, the sacrifice that secured our salvation, and the Lamb's innocence that became our innocence because He made our guilt His own.

"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation."
(Revelation 5:9)
"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)

Weekly Memory Verse 
   Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
(II Peter 3:13)

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