“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace”
Guilt is nothing else but the force and power that is in sin, to oblige the sinner to undergo the penalty due to sin; therefore sinners are said to be guilty of hell-fire. atth 5:22. Guilty of eternal judgement, Mark 3:29. To be under the judgement of God, Rom. 3:19. Remission takes away both guilt and punishment together; it takes away all guilt, Acts 13:38, 39. and all punishment.
Now that this remission of sin is the privilege of believers, is most apparent, for all the causes of remission are in conjunction to procure it for them; the love of God, which is the impulsive cause of pardon; the blood of Christ, which is the meritorious cause of pardon; and saving faith, which is the instrumental cause of pardon, do all co-operate for their remission, as is plain in the text.
the pardon of believers is the purchase of the blood of Christ: nothing but the blood of Christ is a price equivalent to the remission of sin, for this blood was innocent and untainted blood, 1 Pet. 1: 19. the blood of a Lamb without spot; this blood was precious blood, blood of infinite worth and value, the blood of God, Acts 20: 28. It was prepared blood for this very purpose, Heb. 10:5. Prepared by God's eternal appointment; prepared by Christ's miraculous and extraordinary production by the operation of the Spirit; prepared by his voluntary sequestration, or sanctification of himself to this very use and purpose.
The blood of Jesus is not only innocent, precious, and prepared blood, but it is also blood actually shed and sacrificed to the justice of God, for the expiation of guilt, and procurement of our discharge, Isa. 53:5. O. To conclude, the severe justice of God could put in no exception against the blood of Christ, it is unexceptionable blood, being, (as before was noted,) untainted by sin, and dignified above all estimation by the person whose blood it was. Justice required no less, and could demand no more; and this is the price at which our pardons are purchased, and without which no sin could be pardoned; for "without shedding of blood, (such blood as this) there is no remission," Heb. 9:22.
— John Flavel
The word πλοῦτος riches in such connections is a favorite one with the apostle, who speaks of the riches of glory, the riches of wisdom, and the exceeding riches of grace It is the overflowing abundance of unmerited love. inexhaustible in God and freely accessible through Christ. There is, therefore, nothing incompatible between redemption, i. e. deliverance on the ground of a ransom (or a complete satisfaction to justice), and grace. The grace consists —1. In providing this satisfaction and in accepting it in behalf of sinners. 2. In accepting those who are entirely destitute of merit. 3. In bestowing this redemption and all its benefits without regard to the comparative goodness of men. It is not because one is wiser, better, or more noble than others, that he is made a partaker of this grace; but God chooses the foolish, the ignorant, and those who are of no account, that they who glory may glory only in the Lord.
— Charles Hodge
What saith the Scripture about “that blood”? Let me try to put my readers in remembrance. Do we want to be clean and guiltless now in the sight of God? It is written that “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin;”—that “it justifies;” that “it makes us nigh to God;” that “through it there is redemption, even the forgiveness of sin;” that it “purges the conscience;” that “it makes peace between God and man;”—that it gives “boldness to enter into the holiest.” Yes! it is expressly written of the saints in glory, that “they had washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,” and that they had “overcome their souls' enemies by the blood of the Lamb” (1 John 1:7; Col. 1:20; Heb. 10:19; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:14; Eph. 2:13; Rom. 5:9; Rev. 7:14). Why, in the name of common sense, if the Bible is our guide to heaven, why are we to refuse the teaching of the Bible about Christ's blood, and turn to other remedies for the great common soul-disease of mankind? If, besides this, the sacrifices of the Old Testament did not point to the sacrifice of Christ's death on the cross, they were useless, unmeaning forms, and the outer courts of tabernacle and temple were little better than shambles. But if, as I firmly believe, they were meant to lead the minds of Jews to the better sacrifice of the true Lamb of God, they afford unanswerable confirmation of the position which I maintain this day. That position is, that the one “blood of Christ” is the spiritual medicine for all who have the “one blood of Adam” in their veins.
— J. C. Ryle, Upper Room
Special promises are made first to Christ, and then by proportion to us; and they are these,—(1.) God promiseth to grace his Son above his fellows, that he may die and suffer, and merit to us grace answerable to this,—“A new heart, and a new spirit,” (Jer. 32:39; Ezek. 36:26, 27.) “For out of his fullness we receive, and grace for grace,” (John 1:16.) (2.) Justification is promised to Christ, not personal, as if he needed a pardon for sin, but of his cause. There is a cautionary, or surety-righteousness, due to the surety, when he hath paid the debts of the broken man, and cometh out of prison free by law: so he came out of the grave for our righteousness, but having first the righteousness of his cause, in his own person. “He is near that justifieth me,” saith Christ; “who shall contend with me?” (Isa. 50:8.) “Justified in the Spirit.” (1 Tim. 3:16.) So have we justification of our persons, and remission in his blood, (Eph. 1:7;) and that by covenant, (Jer. 31:32, 33). (3.) Victory and dominion are promised to Christ, (Psalm 110:1, 2; Psalm 89:21, etc.). He must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet; (1 Cor. 15:25,) and victory over all our enemies is promised to us, (John 16:33, and 14:30; Rom. 6:14, 15; Gal. 3:13; Col. 2:14, 15.) (4.) The kingdom and glory is sought by Christ, (John 17:5,) from his Father; then he had a word of promise from his Father for it, (Phil. 2:9, 10,) and we have that also. (Luke 12:32; John 17:24; John 14:1-3.) (5.) Christ had a word of promise, when he went down to the grave, as some favourite by law goeth to prison, but hath in his bosom from his prince, a bill of grace, that within three days he shall come out, to enjoy all his wonted honours and court, (Psalm 16:10, 11:) so have we the like, (John 11:26, and 6:38,39.)
— Samuel Rutherford, An Exposition of the History of Christ's Dispossessing of the Daughter of the Woman of Canaan
Rom. iii. 25, God is said “to set forth Christ to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness in the remission of sins;” his righteousness is also manifested in the business of forgiveness of sins: and therefore it is everywhere said to be wholly in Christ, Eph. i. 7. So that this gospel grace and pardoning mercy is alone purchased by him, and revealed in him. And this was the main end of all typical institutions, — to manifest that remission and forgiveness is wholly wrapped up in the Lord Christ, and that out of him there is not the least conjecture to be made of it, nor the least morsel to be tasted. Had not God set forth the Lord Christ, all the angels in heaven and men on earth could not have apprehended that there had been any such thing in the nature of God as this grace of pardoning mercy. The apostle asserts the full manifestation as well as the exercise of this mercy to be in Christ only, Tit. iii. 4, 5, “After that the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appeared,” — namely, in the sending of Christ, and the declaration of him in the gospel. Then was this pardoning mercy and salvation not by works discovered.
— John Owen, Of Communion with God the Father, Son and Holy GhostRead More
How I came to have saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a story of generations. A single day brought with it new life in me for eternity. Yet, details of how that came to be started many years earlier.
As teens, my maternal grandmother’s parents came from the “old country,” Finland in the case of my great-grandma Vendla and in the case of my great grandfather, Gustov, Sweden. They grew to become farmers, and I have memories of visiting their farmland in Stillman Valley, Illinois for a family reunion. There was some clear country and clean rooflines on homes with pristine white trim, and everything else farmhouses should be. I went home that day desiring one day to live on a farm for the view and the sense of simplicity that lingered.
Gustov and Vendla met in America after becoming naturalized citizens. When they came to America they were already Christians. They married while young and started their family. Their eighth child, Rich, was killed in a car accident when he was sixteen. I can remember my grandmother telling me that story when I was a child, probably while making a pie or bread together in the kitchen or while playing a game, like Monopoly, together at the gathering table in their northern Wisconsin home. I thought about him, gone seemingly “too soon,” who would be among the ranks of family members. He went from seen and known to only spoken of. Gustov and Vendla are with him now; they were Christians until the days they died.
My grandmother, Gertrude, became a Christian on the farm. She watched the example of her parents whose faith passed to her while listening to a Christian children’s radio program at the age of seven or eight. The host asked how many listening children wanted to become Christians. She did and prayed with them. One simply sows and sows while another reaps.
My maternal grandfather also became a Christian through his parents. His parents became Christians not as children, but as adults when a protégé of Paul Rader—a 20th century evangelist and the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago—planted a church in Wisconsin. This man, Pastor Sproule, invited my great-grandparents, Selma and Roy, to a church gathering when the church was still meeting in homes. The church, called Gospel Tabernacle, was in Baraboo, Wisconsin on the north side of town by the river, right next to the Ringling Bros. Circus home.
The year was 1932, during the time of the Great Depression. The future of the circus was pending, as one of the Ringling brothers could no longer make payment on his debts. But Gospel Tabernacle grew. In the home, Selma took the lead spiritually. Because of both parents, but especially Selma, my grandfather, David, became a Christian in 1932 at age eight. He and his mother prayed together every night, and the night he became a Christian was one of them. His debts of sin were paid in full.
My grandparents married in 1944 and in 1952 gave birth to their only daughter, Sheryl, my mother. When she was ten or eleven, the family returned from the mission field in Japan. My grandfather spoke at a camp that summer. A children’s camp paralleled it. There, during one of the camp talks, my mom became a Christian. Although, she would say that she took her faith more seriously when she was fourteen in 1963, the year President Kennedy was assassinated. As a fourteen-year-old, the grave news made her sense that life is fleeting and, in the end, there is no one to whom a person can turn but the Lord.
Years later in 1977, she and my dad, Martin, met on Sunday morning at what is now called Village Church of Lincolnshire near Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where my dad was pursuing his Master of Divinity. My dad, the initial person in his family to become a Christian, was first introduced to true Christianity the summer after his sophomore year in high school. My dad had been confirmed at a Methodist church years earlier, but learned through the confirmation classes virtually nothing about the Lord or Scripture—only about doing good works, like feeding the poor. One of his best friends, a fellow football player named Ron, invitation him to a Youth for Christ camp. Ron asked him to come, enjoy, and added, “You could use a little religion.” From the camp speaker, an invitation was made on the last day to come forward and receive Christ. My dad prayed to received the Lord with Jay Kesler, a leader who went on to become the President of Youth for Christ. His life was changed, as were the lives of family members around him who noted the differences.
Mine is an inherited faith, as with all who believe. God sovereignly wove a history of people and circumstances together to call my great-grandparents to His name, my grandparents to His name, and my parents to His name. Now I now bear His name as a Christian. Think of it—God has powerfully woven a history of people and circumstances together to call many to faith in Him. Praise be to God!
Being raised in a Christian home and in the church as a child, I had been given consistent context about the truths of the Person of Jesus Christ, heaven, hell, sin, and the gift of salvation from my parents and Sunday School teachers. My parents, people faithful to the Lord in word and conduct, were sincere in their expressions of belief and were clear about right and wrong. I knew when I was wrong, I knew what sin meant, and I knew that to trust Jesus was to leave sin, death, and eternity without Him behind in order to gain Him forever. That was what I dearly wanted—to have Jesus Christ forever.
My dad prayed with me every night as a child. One of those nights in particular, at around the age of five, I prayed and felt I had to tell someone what had happened to me; I felt alive. I went out into the hall as my dad was leaving and told him that I prayed to know the Lord Jesus. I felt like a completely new person; I knew that I understood all of life differently that day. I do not have many memories from this age, as one could guess. But I have this one. I had been born again into a living hope, a hope that providentially passes through the cumulative testimony of generations to give more and more people who are called to His name knowledge of this great salvation. “To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever” (Eph. 3:21).Read More