Monday, April 21, 2008

THE EVIL OF SIN
..makes men wretched insidious malefactors; invokes the wrath of God upon them; and is conquered only through Christ Jesus the Lord

"but God shows his love for us in that
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood,
much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God
by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled,
shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice
in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation."
-Romans 5:8-11-


by John Flavel

If the death of Christ was that which satisfied God for our sins, there is infinite evil in sin, since it would not be expiated but by an infinite satisfaction. Fools make a mock at sin, and there are few in the world who are fully sensible of its evil- but certainly, if God should exact of thee the full penalty, thy eternal sufferings could not satisfy for the evil there is in one vain thought. You may think it severe, that God should subject his creatures to everlasting sufferings for sin, and never be satisfied with them any more. But when you have well considered, that the Being against whom you sin is the infinitely blessed God, and how God dealt with the angels that fell, you will change your mind. Oh the depth of the evil of sin! If ever you wish to see how great and horrid an evil sin is, measure it in your thoughts, either by the infinite holiness and excellency of God, who is wronged by it; or by the infinite sufferings of Christ, who died to satisfy for it; and then you will have deeper apprehensions of its enormity.

If the death of Christ satisfied God, and thereby redeemed us from the curse; then the redemption of souls is costly; souls are precious and of great value with God. "Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition; but with the precious blood of the Son of God, as of a lamb without spot." (I Peter 1: 18,19). Only the blood of God is an equivalent for the redemption of souls. Gold and silver may redeem from human, but not from hellish bondage. The whole creation is not a value for the redemption of one soul. Souls are very dear; he that paid for them found them so: yet how cheaply do sinners sell their souls.

If Christ's death satisfied God for our sins, how unparalleled is the love of God to poor sinners! If Christ, by dying, has made full satisfaction, then God can consistently pardon the greatest of sinners that believe in Jesus.

19 comments:

theoldadam said...

What else is left to say, other than thanks be to God!?

And now we are free!
Thank you, Lord Jesus.

And thank you for a wonderful, life giving Word of a post.

The Spokesman said...

If the death of Christ was that which satisfied God for our sins, there is infinite evil in sin, since it would not be expiated but by an infinite satisfaction.

In the Gospel the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness; the absolute inability of man to save himself; the justice of God in that He justifies no man apart from Jesus Christ; and the love of God in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!

It is against the dark backdrop of the infinite evil of sin that the infinite glory of God is revealed in the infinite love of God!

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called the children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him (1 John 3:1).

donsands said...

"Only the blood of God is an equivalent for the redemption of souls."

"What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

"Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe,
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow."

Excellent quote. Thanks.

theoldadam said...

Just to radicalize this whole business even further... all this He does for us in our baptism!(Romans 6)

Awesome isn't it! Without our having to decide, or choose, or show that we are serious (because we are not).

wheat and chaff said...

Steve
This is a great post on how the depth of our redemption through the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for including it here.

theoldadam
Did I misunderstand you, or are you really saying that our water baptism has accomplished this for us?

William

theoldadam said...

William,

Close.

I'm saying what the Bible says, that God kills off the old sinner in our water baptism (along with His Word) and gives us the forgiveness of sins, and the Holy Spirt. (Romans 6 & Acts 2:38)

Since God does this for us (it surely is not our own doing) this is what leads us(many of us) to the practice of baptising infants.

There(in water baptism), grace is put ahead of faith. God acts on our behalf before we can do anything for ourselves.

Pretty radical, Christ centered stuff...that's why I love it!

- Steve

Carla said...

theoldadam said...
Just to radicalize this whole business even further... all this He does for us in our baptism!(Romans 6)

I just read Romans 6 this morning. I have nothing to add but amen.

SJ Camp said...

theoldadam
Thank you for your comment here and welcome to COT.

Baptism is not the means of grace by which salvation is granted to His own. That would make baptism essential in our salvation. It is not.

It is however, the means by which we publicly proclaim our witness for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a sign of our redemption, but it is not the process of our redemption.

BTW, Romans 6 is a dry chapter. Paul is not speaking there of water baptism; but being baptized "into Christ." How does this occur? Through the Holy Spirit. We are baptized by the Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit into His body.

Water is not present in Romans 6.

But let me be absolutely clear here: salvation is by grace, through faith, in Christ alone. Baptism is what follows; as is communion.

Consider Matthew 3:11; 1 Peter 3:20-22; Romans 8:1-11; Eph. 4:4-13.

Peace,
Steve

theoldadam said...

SJ Camp,

Thanks for your warm welcome to COT! I appreciate it it very much.

With regard to baptism in Romans 6 I'd say your opinion is just that, an opinion.

When you think of baptism in the New Testament, you should be thinking 'water'. The baptisms that John performed, including Jesus' baptism. The baptisms that the disciples were doing, were water baptisms.

When Jesus in Matthew 28 commanded us to "go to all nations baptising and teaching...", he wasn't commanding us to give the Holy Spirit, but rather baptise with water. Jesus never commanded us to do anything where he wouldn't be present.

I'va always found it a bit odd that Christians can say, without hesitation, that Jesus can actually be present in their hearts, but that He can't be present in a bowl of water accompanied by His Word.

With these things in mind I believe that if a passage in the N.T. refers to baptism we ought think water before we think spirit, unless spirit is mentioned specifically.

In Romans 6, therefore, I believe the proper assumption would be 'water baptism'.

You have another opinion, and that is your right. But I'll stand with my opinion that Paul is talking about our water baptism and that God works FOR US in this means of His grace.

The vast majority of Christians in the world are with me on this one.

Thanks SJ Camp!

- Steve

Carla said...

Just to make it clear that I do not hold to water baptism being a means of grace unto salvation, I was saying amen to the text of Romans 6, and what the text tells us there about being baptized into Christ, and what that means - not that we're saved by water baptism.

I agree completely with the way Steve (Camp) has explained it here.

theoldadam said...

The Anabaptist belief that baptism is something that we do, relegates water baptism to relative meaninglessness.

I doubt very much Jesus would have commanded us to do something that has a heavy emphasis on US.

SJ, Carla, I respect your right to have such views. I, however, will stick to my view that God acts through water baptism, as He acts for us in holy communion, as He acts for us in the proclamation of His law and His gospel and the reading of His Word.

These things have been unsettled in the Church for a long time and I doubt very much that we will settle them now.

I do appreciate your forum, however, that views such as mine might be given a chance to be heard. I am a Lutheran, and believe you me, this Lutheran theology with respect to baptism has never been popular in this (self-reliant) country. That's one of the reasons that I believe it to be right!

Thanks again! See you later on the next topic.

- Steve

Alice said...

Oh, I thought we were going to get into infant baptism here (vis a vis) theoldadam/Steve's comments. But I guess not. Maybe next time... :-)

theoldadam said...

Alice,

I love talking about infant baptism. And I'd be happy to discuss it anytime with you. I didn't know if SJ Camp wanted us to go there on this post or not. (we did already, a bit, of course)

If S.J. prefers we do it elsewhere, we can do it at your site, or mine. Or ???

Thanks Alice.

- Steve

donsands said...

"But let me be absolutely clear here: salvation is by grace, through faith, in Christ alone. Baptism is what follows; as is communion."

Amen.

"For by grace are you saved, through faith, and that is not of yourself, it is a gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Eph. 2:8-9

"What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, has found?
For if Abraham were justified by works, he has to glory; but not before God.
...Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. ... Even as David ...unto whom God imputed righteousness without works,
Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquites are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
... faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness." Rom 4:1-9

God saved us through Christ's blood. He forgave our sins, "not the part but the whole were nailed to the Cross, and I bear them no more". Because he loved me first, and brought me to faith and repentance. Repentance is granted, and I turned from my idols to the Lord, and faith was birthed in my heart and mind, and I believed the Gospel and was born again.

"If Christ's death satisfied God for our sins, how unparalleled is the love of God to poor sinners!"

Amen again.

theoldadam said...

donsands,

I appreciate most of what you have quoted in your last comment. But I do have a question, who was it that gave us your first paragrah?...

"But let me be absolutely clear here: salvation is by grace, through faith, in Christ alone. Baptism is what follows; as is communion."

Thanks donsands!

- Steve

Alice said...

Steve (theoldadam, not to be confused w/ Steve Camp), I wrote about infant baptism at my blog (today). I'd love it if you want to stop by and comment! (I enjoy discussing it too...)

donsands said...

Theoladam,

Sorry, I copied that from Steve Camp's comment. I should have put his name there.

theoldadam said...

donsands,

Thanks for clearing that up.

I knew it wasn't from scripture, but I was curious as to who said it.

Mystery solved.

- Steve

parsonsipe said...

As a recent convert (last 10 years) to the glories of Reformed theology, it is my understanding that regeneration precedes profession. So I cannot see how baptismal regeneration can be gleaned from scripture in any fashion. If the application of water is necessary, then it is NOT Sola Christus, Sola Fide, and Sola Gratia. Had to jump in...back to my own blog, which is no where near as challenging as Brother Steve's.