Mercy enough to cover ALL our sin

“…a Christian may be comforted, first of all, in respect of his former justification. His new sin does not cancel his former pardon, though it will interrupt and disturb his present peace and comfort from it. And secondly, he may be comforted in this, that there is mercy enough in God to cover all his sins, grace enough in Christ to cure this fresh sin. And further, in this he is to find comfort, that God does not suffer him to live in sin, but that He has revealed his sin to him, humbled him for it, and brought him back to Christ in whom he may renew his peace and regain his sense of comfort.” Samuel Bolton, The True Bounds of Christian Freedom, p. 154 (HT: John Fonville)

Penal Substitution By Dr. Greg Bahnsen

If you have been following the conversation in the comments section you may be interested to read this article by Greg Bahnsen taken from Monergism. How can a guilty sinner avert the just condemnation and wrath of God? How can he be set free from the penalty he deserves? Paul wrote: “When the fulness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, so that He might redeem them who are under the law” (Gal. 4:4). In order to fulfill all of God’s promises and accomplish His saving design for men, Christ came to do a work of “redemption.” And in Paul’s theologically authoritative conception of this redemption, it carried an unmistakably judicial and substitutionary character: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us” (3:13). Redemption or liberation is a setting free from a dreaded judicial reality: “the curse of the law.” And this act of

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Experiencing The Daily Reality Of Justification

If there was one book I would put in every Christian’s hand it would be this one. This book has the potential to equip us to slay the giants of self-righteousness and guilt in our lives, through the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit. I thoroughly recommend it. My thanks to Jimmy Davis for this quote: “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20 ESV For Paul, justification was not only a past event; it was also a daily, present reality. So every day of his life, by faith in Christ, Paul realized he stood righteous in the sight of God–he was counted righteous and accepted by God as righteous–because of the perfectly obedient life and death Christ provided

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Christ hath so perfectly satisfied

“The doctrine for which we contend is that Christ hath so perfectly satisfied divine justice for all our sins, by one offering of himself, and not only for our guilt but also for both temporal and eternal punishment, that henceforth there are no more propitiatory offerings to be made for sin, and that though, for the promotion of their penitence and sanctification, God often chastises his people, yet no satisfaction is to be made by them either in this or a future state of existence.” Francis Turretin, The Atonement of Christ, page 68. (HT: Ray Ortlund)

Interview with Vaughan Roberts

From Adrian Warnock: Vaughan has been rector at St. Ebbes, Oxford since 1998. We spoke about how a few years ago it would have been surprising to see the heads of the Proclamation Trust and Newfrontiers together. He described meeting Terry Virgo and discovering that they both liked the same books. He spoke about how we all do need to learn from each other since the caricatures we have are not entirely without a grain of truth. We then spoke about the parasitical nature of liberalism. A liberal gospel never converts anyone. People are saved into a context that is serious about what the Bible says, but then they sometimes drift into liberalism. He said he is looking for those who value the authority of the Bible over system and human reason. For some people within the evangelical tradition, the Bible doesn’t drive their ministry. Vaughan said that whilst a new believer might not fully appreciate how the cross saves

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“God himself gave himself to save us from himself.”

“According to the Christian revelation, God’s own great love propitiated his own holy wrath through the gift of his own dear Son, who took our place, bore our sin and died our death. Thus God himself gave himself to save us from himself.” —John Stott, The Message of Romans (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press,  1994), 115 (HT: Of First Importance)

“The living and dying of Christ for us, and this alone is the basis of our acceptance with God.”

“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)

Satan does not mind family values and social justice as long as …

From Tim Chester: Here’s a helpful quote from Russell Moore (via Justin Taylor) reflecting on Satan’s third temptation of Jesus: Satan ultimately has a power that is not found most importantly in moral decay or in cultural chaos. His power is in the authority to accuse. The power of accusation. The power of holding humanity captive through the fear of death and the certainty of judgment … Satan is not fearful of external conformity to rule. Not even to the external conformity of the rule of Christ – provided there is no cross. Satan does not mind family values – as long as what you ultimately value is the family. Satan does not mind social justice – as long as you see justice as most importantly social. Satan does not tremble at a Christian worldview. He will let you have a Christian worldview as long as your ultimate goal is viewing the world … He will let you get what

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The Gospel – John MacArthur

“He [the Father] made him [the Son] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus was guilty of nothing. Yet on the cross, the Father treated Him as if He had committed personally every sin ever committed by every individual who would ever believe. Though He was blameless, He faced the full fury of God’s wrath, enduring the penalty of sin on behalf of those He came to save. In this way, the sinless Son of God became the perfect substitute for the sinful sons of men. As a result of Christ’s sacrifice, the elect become the righteousness of God in Him. In the same way that the Father treated the Son as a sinner, even though the Son was sinless, the Father now treats believers as righteous, even though they were unrighteous. Jesus exchanged His life for sinners in order to fulfill the elective plan

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Sovereign Spirit

This week’s sermon from John Piper: “The Free Will of the Wind” The Wind has a will of his own. We don’t control the Wind of God’s Spirit. He gives the new birth as he pleases. His will is decisive, not ours. For sure, our will moves when we receive the new birth—it moves toward the crucified Christ. But the decisive Mover is the Spirit. He gets the credit for our new birth. The free will of the Wind is threatening to those who would be captain of their own souls. But to those who know they are desperate, dead in sin, and utterly unable to save themselves, this truth can be thrilling. (HT: David Mathis) Here’s an excerpt:

What the gospel is and what it is not!

My thanks to James Grant for this. I recommend you read the whole article by Carson. D. A. Carson’s recent editorial for Themelios is well worth your read. In it, makes a fundamental distinction about the gospel that is being lost in our current theological climate. Carson explains: It is this: one must distinguish between, on the one hand, the gospel as what God has done and what is the message to be announced and, on the other, what is demanded by God or effected by the gospel in assorted human responses. This is fundamental. The gospel is about what God has done and not about what I have done. Growing up, this was confused by saying that gospel is believing on Christ. Now this is confused by saying that the gospel is life. The current situation is a reaction to the former. We (at least in evangelicalism broadly speaking) have moved from describing the gospel as conversion to describing

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For Whom Did Christ Die? – John Owen

The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either: All the sins of all men. All the sins of some men, or Some of the sins of all men. In which case it may be said: That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and so, none are saved. That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth. But if the first be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins? You answer, “Because of unbelief.” I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did

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Redeeming love and retributive justice

“God’s wrath is his righteousness reacting against unrighteousness; it shows itself in retributive justice. But Jesus Christ has shielded us from the nightmare of retributive justice by becoming our representative substitute, in obedience to His Father’s will, and receiving the wages of our sin in our place.” […] “Redeeming love and retributive justice joined hands, so to speak, at Calvary, for there God showed Himself to be ‘just, and the justifer of him who hath faith in Jesus’. Do you understand this? If you do, you are now seeing to the very heart of the Christian gospel. No version of that message goes deeper than that which declares man’s root problem before God to be his sin, which evokes wrath, and God’s basic provision for man to be propitiation, which out of wrath brings peace.” – J.I. Packer, In My Place Condemned He Stood (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2008), 40-41. (HT: Of First Importance)

Getting Substitutionary Atonement Right

“The penal substitution model has been criticized for depicting a kind Son placating a fierce Father in order to make him love man, which he did not do before. The criticism is, however, inept, for penal substitution is a Trinitarian model, for which the motivational unity of Father and Son is axiomatic. The New Testament presents God’s gift of his Son to die as the supreme expression of his love to men. ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son’ (John 3:16). ‘God is love, . . . Herein is love, not that we love God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins’ (I John 4:8-10). ‘God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us’ (Rom. 5:8). Similarly, the New Testament presents the Son’s voluntary acceptance of death as the supreme expression of his love to men. ‘He loved me,

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“Alive to God”

“The atoning death of Christ, and that alone, has presented sinners as righteous in God’s sight; the Lord Jesus has paid the full penalty of their sins, and clothed them with His perfect righteousness before the judgment seat of God. But Christ has done for Christians even far more than that. He has given to them not only a new and right relation to God, but a new life in God’s presence for evermore. He has saved them from the power as well as from the guilt of sin. The New Testament does not end with the death of Christ; it does not end with the triumphant words of Jesus on the Cross, ‘It is finished.’ The death was followed by the resurrection, and the resurrection like the death was for our sakes. Jesus rose from the dead into a new life of glory and power, and into that life He brings those for whom He died. The Christian, on

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Nothing in the Universe is More Relevant

From Missions Mandate: Extended quotation from Michael Horton’s book Christless Christianity*. “Where the gospel is not taken for granted, it is often a means to an end, like personal or social transformation, love and service to our neighbors, and other things that in themselves are marvelous effects of the gospel. However, the Good News concerning Christ is not a stepping-stone to something greater and more relevant. Whether we realize it or not, there is nothing in the universe more relevant to us as guilty image-bearers of God than the news that he has found a way to be ‘just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus’ (Rom. 3:26). It is ‘the power of God for salvation’ (Rom. 1:16), not only for the beginning, but for the middle and end as well – the only thing that creates the kind of new world to which our new obedience corresponds as a reasonable response.” This is a great

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It’s all about Him

My thanks to Darryl Dash for this piece by Tim Keller: “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:27) Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us (1 Corinthians 15). Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out for our acquittal, not our condemnation (Hebrews 12:24). Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void “not knowing wither he went!” to create a new people of God. Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. While God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did

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Easter Explains Everything!

I love this from Marcus Honeysett: Easter explains everything. Because the cross of Jesus Christ is the centre of everything. And I mean everything! Most amazingly it explains creation. Why creation? So that God can display the glory of his grace for his praise. And he does that in clearest and most extreme splendour at the cross. Picture the vast expanse of creation in all its magnificence with a searing white hot focal point to all time and space. A singularity, a coalescence of all the eternal purposes and infinite power of God in one place and instance.  That focus is the cross It explains why the world is the way it is – rebellion that needs atonement; creation subjected to decay and groaning waiting for the glorious liberation of the children of God, supremely accomplished through the cross It explains the depths of distress and degradation in the human heart – the ultimate expression of human evil is the

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Christ’s Glory in Humiliation

From Jonathan Edwards’s sermon, “The Excellency of Christ” (which can also here in audio), where he argues that Christ’s “admirable conjunction of excellencies remarkably appears, in his offering up himself a sacrifice for sinners in his last sufferings.” Then was Christ in the greatest degree of his humiliation, and yet by that, above all other things, his divine glory appears. Christ’s humiliation was great, in being born in such a low condition, of a poor virgin, and in a stable: his humiliation was great, in being subject to Joseph the carpenter, and Mary his mother, and afterwards living in poverty, so as not to have where to lay his head, and in suffering such manifold and bitter reproaches as he suffered, while he went about preaching and working miracles: but his humiliation was never so great, as it was in his last sufferings, beginning with his agony in the Garden, till he expired on the cross. Never was he subject

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