Thursday, October 11, 2012

"He made reconciliation with God a POSSIBILITY"?

"He made reconciliation with God a possibility." Where is this taught in the 66 books of the Bible? That is a denial of the work of Jesus Christ in the Gospel. The Lord Jesus did not simply make salvation a possibility for every single person. He actually saves His people (those graciously unconditionally chosen in love) from their sins by His Spirit bringing us to faith in His propitious sacrifice and to repentance from sin.
"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins." - Matthew 1:21.
"He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities." - Isaiah 53:11. 
There is not even a hint in Holy Scripture that Christ just makes it possible for us to save ourselves. He is the Saviour, not us. His is the glory, not ours. Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself as the Head of His elect church (which is His body - Ephesians 5). He suffered the punishment dues to us for our sins, that is what it means that He died FOR us, as a substitute. He propitiated the wrath of God therefore, satisfied God's holy justice and righteousness. We know through faith in Christ that we will not be cast into hell, only because Christ has suffered all the just punishment of God already.

God, in His justice cannot send anyone for whom Christ sacrificed Himself to hell, otherwise Christ's sacrifice was not an atoning sacrifice. Can God deny what Christ has done on the cross because many do not believe? Absolutely not. As Christ said in John 17: "I pray not for the world, but for those whom you have given me." As our High Priest, offering Himself as a fully sufficient sacrifice, He prayed not for every single person, but only for those God has given Him. No-one can come to Him unless the Father draws him, as the Lord teaches in John 6. So it is that only those for whom Christ died, are given the gift of the Spirit who creates true faith in us.

 To reduce Christ's work to making salvation a mere possibly for everyone, rather than a reality accomplished for many, but not all, is a denial of Scripture's teaching about the nature, perfection, efficacy, power, and sufficiency of His sacrifice. On the cross Christ purchased the gifts of faith and repentance for His people, so that He does not leave it up to us to make His sacrifice effective - of ourselves we cannot do any good, being dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2), because apart from the Spirit, the carnal mind is enmity against God and cannot be subject to His law (Romans 8). And those who have the Spirit belong to Christ, are known by Him, and saved. These are the sheep for whom He laid down His life, who are brought graciously to believe in Him - not the goats as He teaches in John 10. God alone determines who is saved and who is not. We are not masters of our own destiny - God alone is the King over the universe who determines all things, especially the salvation or damnation of sinful men.

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