By Rev. Justin Hoke Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church
We live in a time in world history where the truth of the Bible about how men can be reconciled with God has been so distorted, that while most have heard some presentation of the facts, they have not heard the true gospel. It is not enough to know that Jesus came to earth, was born of a virgin, lived 33 years, died on the cross for sins, and rose again. Yes these are important facts, but unless you understand why Jesus came and what he actually accomplished through his life and death on the cross, these bare facts can be useless to you.
To begin, it is important to understand that God, before the foundation of the world, chose to save from the mass of fallen humanity an elect people for Himself. In time, they would hear the gospel, see and repent of their sins, and trust in the work which Jesus alone accomplished on their behalf. These chosen people are given to His Son as an inheritance, adopted into the family of God, and made co-heirs with Christ of the Kingdom.
So, what is the gospel? The gospel is the work which Jesus accomplished to redeem His people from their sins. He did this by becoming fully man and remaining fully God. This is called the incarnation. In the incarnation, God the Son took on a human nature and became Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Mary. The Bible says that He became for His people a second Adam. This means that he succeeded for His people where Adam, the first created man, failed for the entire human race.
Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience [Adam] many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience [Jesus] many will be made righteous.
When Adam sinned against God, he died spiritually and that spiritual death spread to all of his children after him. So, all people born into this world are called children of wrath, as a result of Adam's sin.
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked … and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
Jesus, however, was born of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary. In this way, God the Son took on a Human nature without also inheriting Adams spiritual death. Jesus was born spiritually alive to God, He lived a perfect sinless life, and He earned a righteousness from the law which is impossible for sinners to earn. Why is it impossible for us to earn it? The Bible says:
James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
We are all guilty of breaking God’s law, and thus we are rightly judged by God’s law as guilty. The punishment for rebellion or sin against the law of God is death. As creatures created in the image of God with souls which can never die, we are rightly condemned by the law of God to everlasting conscious torment in hell.
Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night…
Jesus, however, took the sin of His people upon Himself on the cross. He paid their debt in full, having the Father pour out on Him the full measure of wrath due their sins.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
At the hearing of this good news, God the Holy Spirit makes it for the hearer either the wisdom of God unto life or the sound of foolishness unto death. The Bible explains it like this:
2 Corinthians 2:15-16 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.
Since God has granted you to now hear the message of Christ's work, do not harden your heart it is important that you do not assume that He will at a later time grant you repentance and faith in the work of the Son. Rather, you must strive to enter into the narrow way.
Hebrews 3:15 “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
If you are granted by the Holy Spirit to hear and believe the gospel, and hope in Jesus and His work for you, then you’ve been granted to wear His perfect righteousness like a robe and receive the full blessing of the Father due to Jesus.
The object of our faith must be the righteousness of Jesus imputed us. We have been granted to put on His righteousness in the same way as He put on our wretchedness. When we stand before God on the day of Judgment, it will not be anything we’ve done, not even our faith, but the righteousness of Christ alone credited to us that will save us from our sins.
If you are granted to hope in the righteousness of Jesus alone, you can have assurance that if He began the good work in you, He will complete it.
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
The words you have just read are spirit and they are life. I hope that God will make them to you the aroma of life unto life.