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Posts Tagged ‘Romans 10:4’

The scriptures provide knowledge of God that will distinguish him from all false deities

October 9, 2013 1 comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015First, By oracles and visions, and the ministry of the Patriarchs. Secondly, By the promulgation of the Law, and the preaching of the Prophets. Why the doctrines of religion are committed to writing.

2. Whether God revealed himself to the fathers by oracles and visions, or, by the instrumentality and ministry of men, suggested what they were to hand down to posterity, there cannot be a doubt that the certainty of what he taught them was firmly engraven on their hearts, so that they felt assured and knew that the things which they learnt came forth from God, who invariably accompanied his word with a sure testimony, infinitely superior to mere opinion. At length, in order that, while doctrine was continually enlarged, its truth might subsist in the world during all ages, it was his pleasure that the same oracles which he had deposited with the fathers should be consigned, as it were, to public records. With this view the law was promulgated, and prophets were afterwards added to be its interpreters. For though the uses of the law were manifold, (Book 2 c. 7 and 8,) and the special office assigned to Moses and all the prophets was to teach the method of reconciliation between God and man, (whence Paul calls Christ “the end of the law,” Romans 10:4;) still I repeat that, in addition to the proper doctrine of faith and repentance in which Christ is set forth as a Mediator, the Scriptures employ certain marks and tokens to distinguish the only wise and true God, considered as the Creator and Governor of the world, and thereby guard against his being confounded with the herd of false deities. Therefore, while it becomes man seriously to employ his eyes in considering the works of God, since a place has been assigned him in this most glorious theater that he may be a spectator of them, his special duty is to give ear to the Word, that he may the better profit. Hence it is not strange that those who are born in darkness become more and more hardened in their stupidity; because the vast majority instead of confining themselves within due bounds by listening with docility to the Word, exult in their own vanity. If true religion is to beam upon us, our principle must be, that it is necessary to begin with heavenly teaching, and that it is impossible for any man to obtain even the minutest portion of right and sound doctrine without being a disciple of Scripture. Hence, the first step in true knowledge is taken, when we reverently embrace the testimony which God has been pleased therein to give of himself. For not only does faith, full and perfect faith, but all correct knowledge of God, originate in obedience. And surely in this respect God has with singular Providence provided for mankind in all ages.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 6-Henry Beveridge Translation 

The Saviour, not a Helper

September 25, 2013 4 comments

The Wednesday Word: The Saviour, not a Helper

Though He was above the law, Christ took His place under the law to save us (Galatians 4: 4). He lived a sinless life, then, on the cross, endured the awful penalties of the law. Not only did He redeem us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13), He also fulfilled the law, for righteousness, to every one that believes (Romans 10:4). He took our beating so that we would have His blessings without barter.

We must always remember that Christ, when it comes to salvation, is not a helper, He is the Saviour! By this, I mean that He did not come to help us to save ourselves by keeping a more relaxed and toned down law. No! The gospel truth is that faith in Christ is not a means of setting aside the inflexible standard of the law. To the contrary, faith in Christ is, in reality, the only method of successfully meeting the law’s demands. Faith in Christ Jesus is an acknowledgement that we are guilty before the law and incapable of mustering, within ourselves, a sufficient obedience to meet its requirements. At the same time, faith in Christ, also acknowledges that the Lord Jesus has kept the unadulterated law in our place. Faith recognises that the Lord Christ came to fulfil the Law on our behalf! He is the Saviour, not a helper!

The cross was the satisfaction rendered for all the unfulfilled and violated demands of the divine majesty. That which God’s law righteously required, God graciously provided in the doing and dying of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ’s substitutionary life and death satisfied the just demands of the violated law. This is good news! All who believe and rely on the Christ of God have, by righteous grace, been credited with the entirety of His accomplishments. As a result, all believers are now seen as perfect law keepers in the eyes of the Father.

Consider how the Father dealt with Jesus on the cross. Christ was the eternal Word made flesh. He was the righteousness of God, yet He was, “numbered with the transgressors”(Isaiah 53:12). Justice dealt with Him, not according to what He was in Himself, but treated Him as though He were us.

 

At the cross, our sins were imputed (legally reckoned) to Him.

At the cross, His righteousness was imputed (legally reckoned) to us.

 

In Romans 4, the marvellous little word logizomai (impute, reckon, count) appears eleven times. Paul illustrated this powerful word when he wrote to his friend about Onesimus, the runaway slave. He says in verse 18 of the letter to Philemon that if Onesimus owes anything, or if he’s wronged you in any way, put that to my account. This is imputation. Our debts are put into Christ’s account, and Christ’s righteousness is put into ours.

There was a man who was once preaching the gospel to some English fishermen. His subject was justification by free grace and he was trying to make Christ’s work on the cross both clear and plain. He finally asked the men the question, “Now will one of you tell me in your own words what the Lord Jesus Christ did on the cross?” One old fisherman who had been deeply moved by the message, with some tears in his eyes looked up at the preacher and answered, “He swapped with me.” What a great answer! This man had grasped the truth of the penal, substitutionary sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our salvation is only in him. He is the Saviour, not a helper.

And that’s the Gospel Truth

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