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Epistle of James

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God’s Problem

The greatest message God has ever delivered to sinful man is found in the cross of Jesus Christ. It is the declaration of the righteousness of God, and a demonstration that God is both “just and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

The proof of the steadfast righteousness of God was made in the cross of Jesus Christ. God had declared that He is righteous and holy (Isa. 6:3). He cannot and will not tolerate sin in His presence (Ezek. 18:4, 17-18, 20, 30, 32).

The greatest divine problem is how can God be just and at the same time love a sinner and allow him into His holy presence? The cross reveals God’s holiness, righteousness and hatred of sin. It also demonstrates the depth of His love and integrity.

Sin must always be treated as sin, and the wages of sin is always death (Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 3:23; 6:23). It cannot be treated otherwise. So how can God save the sinner and remain righteous? God cannot change His eternal attribute of righteousness.

God taught His people in the Old Testament to anticipate a perfect and sufficient sacrifice for sin. The blood of bulls and goats symbolized the blood that would one day be shed by the perfect “Lamb of God” who would lift up and take away our sins and the sins of the whole world. The blood of animals could never take away sin, but only point to the greater “Lamb of God.”

These animal sacrifices were a part of the covenant of the LORD God that He would “in the fullness of time” provide the perfect substitutionary sacrifice that would deal with man’s sin problem (Gal. 4:4-5). Romans 3:25 tells us the proof of the righteousness of God was made in the death of Christ on the cross concerning all sins committed before Christ died. “Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed.”

The death of Christ was the true and all sufficient sacrifice that stood as proof that God had fully accomplished His righteousness in all generations down through history.

Moreover, the all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins was fully accomplished on the cross in the substitutionary death of Christ. The cross is also a full demonstration of God’s righteousness to everyone who had lived since Christ died on the cross. Now the cure for our sin problem is not in the symbolic sacrifices in the Old Testament, but in the actual substitutionary death of Jesus Christ for our sins on the cross. The sacrifice of Christ is for “him who believes in Jesus.” The sacrifice of Christ is made effective to all who appropriate it by faith in Him. The sacrifice is effective “at this time” for everyone who believes on Christ (v. 26). It is the full proof of the righteousness of God so that He can be “just and the justifier” of all who believe in the all-sufficient atonement of Christ for sins.

The cross is God’s answer to the problem of His righteousness. He cannot change the demands of His righteousness and keep His integrity. The solution He provides in His omniscient wisdom is the sacrifice of His own Son. God remained just and at the same time saved the believing sinner. As the righteous Sovereign Judge He pronounced the full punishment of the wrath of God against all sin. As the divine Savior of all sinners who believe on Christ He took upon Himself the very punishment He imposed on the guilty sinner and paid the penalty in full. Because of the cross of Jesus, the divine righteousness of God can never be called into question even when He pardons the vilest offender of His righteousness. The Judge Himself has provided the perfect righteousness for the sinner who accepts God’s estimate of his sin and God’s all sufficient solution in Christ.

“God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself” (2 Cor. 5:19). God satisfied His own righteous requirements at the cross. The death of Jesus was all-sufficient to meet God’s righteous requirements for the sinner.

The Judge paid the full redemption price for the helpless sinner.

God provided the solution for His own problem before any person had sinned, and in the fullness of time, He acted on it. Since judgments have already been perfectly met by the death of Christ, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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Sermons & Bible Studies

Abide in Christ

Christ in Old Testament

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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