Our salvation makes amends for all His sufferings

“Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied.”(Isaiah 53:11) “The happiness of Christ’s exalted state consists, in a great degree, in the pleasure of seeing the designs of His death accomplished in the conversion and salvation of sinners. How does His benevolent heart rejoice to look over the immense plains of heaven, and see them all peopled with His seed! When He takes a view of this numerous offspring, sprung from His blood, and when He looks down to our world—and sees so many infants in grace, gradually advancing to their adult age; when He sees some, perhaps every hour since He died upon Calvary, entering the gates of heaven, having finished their course of education upon earth; I say, when this prospect appears to Him on every hand—how does He rejoice! If you put the sentiments of His benevolent heart into language, methinks He would say, ‘Since My death has been so fruitful of

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He lived for us

“We must see that the righteousness of Christ that is transferred to us is the righteousness He achieved by living under the Law for thirty-three years without once sinning. Jesus had to live a life of obedience before His death could mean anything. He had to acquire, if you will, merit at the bar of justice. Without His life of sinless obedience, Jesus’ atonement would have had no value at all. We need to see the crucial significance of this truth; we need to see that not only did Jesus die for us, He lived for us.” – R. C. Sproul, The Truth of the Cross (Orlando, Fl.; Reformation Trust Publishing, 2007), 95. (HT: Of First Importance)

Justice & Mercy are Reconciled at the Cross

“How can God have mercy on sinners without destroying justice? What can it mean that God forgives iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means clears the guilty (Ex. 34:7)? How can a righteous and holy God justify the ungodly (Rom. 4:5)? The answer to all these questions is found at the cross of Calvary, in Jesus’ substitutionary death for his people. A righteous and holy God can justify the ungodly because in Jesus’ death, mercy and justice were perfectly reconciled. The curse was rightly executed, and we were mercifully saved.” – Greg Gilbert, What is the Gospel? (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2010), 69. (HT: Of First Importance)

Jesus has done it all

“The gospel is saying that, what man cannot do in order to be accepted with God, this God Himself has done for us in the person of Jesus Christ. To be acceptable to God we must present to God a life of perfect and unceasing obedience to his will. The gospel declares that Jesus has done this for us. For God to be righteous he must deal with our sin. This also he has done for us in Jesus. The holy law of God was lived out perfectly for us by Christ, and its penalty was paid perfectly for us by Christ. The living and dying of Christ for us, and this alone is the basis of our acceptance with God” Graeme Goldsworthy, Gospel and Kingdom, p. 86 (HT: John Fonville)

Why the Cross Matters

By Chris Tomlinson: Is it possible to talk too much about the cross? I ask this question only because some preachers and writers and teachers seem to talk about the cross a lot.  Some do so almost continually.  We can understand why they might carry on in this way because we know the primacy and weight of Calvary.  But there are still times this thought crosses many of our minds:  “Great, so I understand the cross is important.  But can’t we move on to the next topic?” We say this sort of thing when we feel our faith is about more than Jesus.  And in one sense, we can say this is true.  Our faith is about God’s glory, and our joy, and loving others, and meeting the needs of the oppressed, and being made holy, and sojourning through life, and laying up treasures in heaven, and all sorts of other things.  In this way, we are saying the expression

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Better news simply does not exist!

“The gospel, in brief, is the good news about the person and finished work of Jesus Christ. Consider for a moment that the eternal Son of God relinquished the glories of heaven to become a man, a human being like you and me. He lived a perfect and sinless life (unlike you and me), fulfilling every requirement of God’s holy law in a way we could never hope to accomplish. And then in a glorious display of God’s love for sinners like us, he willingly received the full fury of God’s righteous wrath against sin by dying for our sins on a cruel Roman cross. Because God’s absolute and perfect holiness demands an equivalent holiness from all who come before him, in ourselves we are hopelessly lost and condemned. But Jesus, who had no sin of his won to pay for, took our place, paid our penalty, and suffered our punishment. Because his death as our substitute was perfectly sufficient

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Mercy: Who God Is, What He Does, What You Need

From a letter from David Powlison to a 13 year old (C.J. Mahaney’s son): Don’t ever forget: God is merciful to you. Mercy is who he is. “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6). Mercy is what he does. “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but delivered him over for us all, how will he not also with him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32). Mercy is what you need. “Lord, hear my voice. . . . If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared” (Psalm 130:3-4). God’s mercy is not a theory, a bunch of words, or stories from a long time ago. It is the reality upon which your life depends. Mercy is a reality that anchors you into the

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Individual and Cosmic Redemption

Tullian Tchividjian writes in his book Unfashionable: Jesus is the divine curse-remover and creation-renewer. Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross broke the curse of sin and death brought on by Adam’s cosmic rebellion. His bodily resurrection from the dead three days later dealt death its final blow, guaranteeing the eventual renewal of all things “in Christ.” Of course none of this is available for those who remain disconnected from Jesus. Sin’s acidic curse remains on everything that continues to be separated from Christ. We must be united to Christ by placing our trust in his finished work in order to receive and experience all the newness God has promised. For, as John Calvin said, “As long as Christ remains outside of us, and we are separated from him, all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of the human race remains useless and of no value for us.” But for all that is united to Christ, everything false, bad,

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That sons of men could become sons of God

…the work to be performed by the Mediator was of no common description: being to restore us to the divine favour, so as to make us, instead of sons of men, sons of God; instead of heirs of hell, heirs of a heavenly kingdom. Who could do this unless the Son of God should also become the Son of man, and so receive what is ours as to transfer to us what is his, making that which is his by nature to become ours by grace? Relying on this earnest, we trust that we are the sons of God, because the natural Son of God assumed to himself a body of our body, flesh of our flesh, bones of our bones, that he might be one with us; he declined not to take what was peculiar to us, that he might in his turn extend to us what was peculiarly his own, and thus might be in common with us

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No more “. . . or else.”

From Ray Ortlund: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.”  Galatians 3:13 What is the curse of the law?  It is the or-else-ness of the law: “Do this, or else.”  Christ took the or-else-ness of the law onto himself at the cross, so that there is no more or-else for anyone in Christ, as God looks upon us now.  Or-else is gone forever from your relationship with God. “We, being delivered from these everlasting terrors and anguish through Christ, shall enjoy an everlasting and inestimable peace and happiness.” Martin Luther, commentary on Galatians 3:13.

“Christ obtains his elect spouse by conquest”

Christ has done greater things than to create the world, in order to obtain his bride and the joy of his espousals with her: for he became man for this end; which was a greater thing than his creating the world. For the Creator to make the creature was a great thing; but for him to become a creature was a greater thing. And he did a much greater thing still to obtain this joy; in that for this he laid down his life, and suffered even the death of the cross: for this he poured out his soul unto death; and he that is the Lord of the universe, God over all, blessed for evermore, offered up himself a sacrifice, in both body and soul, in the flames of divine wrath. Christ obtains his elect spouse by conquest: for she was captive in the hands of dreadful enemies; and her Redeemer came into the world to conquer these enemies,

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RC Sproul – Defining The Gospel

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the Gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the Gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the Gospel. The Gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own

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A Great Summary of Gospel Ministry

From David Wayne: There is so much right with this quote in so many ways . . . We declare what has been accomplished, not what we would like to be accomplished. It’s on a live blog of the Desiring God National Conference for a talk by Doug Wilson.  Gospel ministry is all about what Christ has accomplished, yet it seems to me that most of what passes for life and ministry in the church is focused on what we would like to be accomplished, hence we miss Christ. Of course I suppose you could argue that it is permissible, even necessary to discuss what could/should be accomplished based on what has been accomplished.  But it would help if we discussed this in reference to what Christ would like to accomplish, and then make sure we limit ourselves in this regard to what is revealed in the Word, to keep our own imaginations out of it. And of course there is

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The Quickening Word of God

I have many in this city who are my people. – Acts 18:10 “This should be a great encouragement in proclaiming the Gospel, since among the people in our communities—the disinterested, the rebellious, the careless—God has an elect people who must be saved. When you take the Word to them, you do so because God has ordained you to be the messenger of life to their souls, and they must receive it, for so the decree of predestination runs. They are as much redeemed by blood as the saints before the eternal throne. They are Christ’s property, and yet perhaps they are lovers of selfish pleasures and haters of holiness; but if Jesus Christ purchased them, He will have them. God is not unfaithful to forget the price that His Son has paid. He will not suffer His substitution to be in any case an ineffectual, dead thing. Tens of thousands of redeemed ones are not regenerated yet, but regenerated they

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All I have is Christ

Devon Kauflin and the Na Band lead over 2500 worshipers in the song “All I Have Is Christ”. Recorded at the Next 2009 conference in Baltimore, Maryland, May 30-June 2, 2009. From the album “Next 2009 Live”, available at sovereigngracemusic.org. I once was lost in darkest night Yet thought I knew the way The sin that promised joy and life Had led me to the grave I had no hope that You would own A rebel to Your will And if You had not loved me first I would refuse You still But as I ran my hell-bound race Indifferent to the cost You looked upon my helpless state And led me to the cross And I beheld God’s love displayed You suffered in my place You bore the wrath reserved for me Now all I know is grace Hallelujah! All I have is Christ Hallelujah! Jesus is my life Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone And live so all

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Comfort and the Victory of the Cross

“True Gospel comfort never plays down to natural weakness: it lifts up to supernatural strength. There is nothing enfeebling or demoralizing about it, no flying to the drug of fantasy. It is essentially virile, bracing, reinforcing. And what gives it this character, preserving it from the risk of sentimentalism, is the Cross at the centre of it. In the last resort, the human heart is too big to find its comfort in any soothing anodyne of consolatory words. There is no comfort short of victory. And it is this, nothing less, that the preacher of the Gospel is empowered to offer to all who turn their faces to the Cross—the comfort of mastering every dark situation, and triumphing in every tribulation, through the grace of Him who conquered there.” —James S. Stewart, Heralds of God (Hodder & Stoughton, 1946), p. 79. (HT: Tony Reinke)