Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Godwardness of It All

"From different points of view, look at Christ's work for us: He perfectly obeyed the Law of God. He satisfied the justice of God. He exhausted the wrath of God. He removed our sins from the presence of God. He redeemed us from the curse of God. He reconciled us to God.

One thing is readily apparent: Every work of Christ is directed toward God. It's God's Law that was obeyed, His justice that was satisfied, His wrath that was propitiated, His holy presence from which our sins were removed, His curse from which we were redeemed, and alienation from His divine presence that has been reconciled.

This Godward focus tells us that the integrity of God's moral government and the upholding of His honor and glory are the primary issues in our salvation. It's true that God's love for sinful people such as you and me is the wellspring of our salvation, but this love could be shown only in such a way that the glory of His holiness and the honor of His Law would be magnified. Jesus in His sinless life and sin-bearing death did just that. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

As we contemplate the glory of the cross, we see that not only is our deepest need of salvation met, but it was met in the way that brings the most glory to God Himself. At the cross both God's Law and God's grace are most brilliantly displayed, and His justice and mercy both glorified. It's also at the cross where we're most humbled, where we admit to God and ourselves that absolutely nothing we do can earn or merit our salvation. As someone has well said, 'We bring nothing to our salvation except our sin that made it necessary.'"

Jerry Bridges in The Gospel for Real Life, cited in The Primary Issue, Holiness, Day by Day (Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 2008), ed. Thomas Womack, 157 (italics original).

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