"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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  • « Do This and Live by John Hendryx | Main | Tim Keller Written Up in the NYT »

    The Cross of Christ by C. H. Spurgeon

    "Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." 1 Peter 3:18

    The Substitute was of complex nature. He was truly man, and yet He was truly God. Christ Jesus who "suffered" in the room, place, and stead of God's chosen people, was man, man of the substance of His mother, most surely man. He partook of all the weakness of humanity, and was in all respects, sin only excepted, tempted as we are; yea, He became "bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh." He was the perfect man, the only man in whom there never dwelt sin. There was no sin in His nature. No taint of original depravity ran in His veins. In His human nature He was "without spot or blemish." Conceived in a miraculous manner, He partook not, in any degree, of that transgression which is transmitted to us; for we are born in sin, and shapen in iniquity.

    Christ did not receive any of that imputed sin which has fallen upon the race from Adam. Christ never fell in Adam. He was "the seed of the woman", but He never lay in the loins of Adam. As a private person, Christ never fell; by nature, He was not in any sense a participator or partaker in Adam's sin. Though, on the part of His people, Jesus took upon himself Adam's transgression, and bore it right away, He himself was, in His original, without the shadow of a spot, the immaculate, the perfect Lamb of God's passover.

    The life of the man Christ Jesus was in every respect blameless. From His eye no fire of unhallowed anger ever flashed. On His lips the word of deceit never rested. His pure mind never knew an imagination of sin. Satan's sparks fell on Christ's soul like fire dropping into the ocean, and were quenched for ever. Hell's quiver of temptations was emptied upon Him, but no single arrow ever stuck in His flesh and blood. He stood invincible and invulnerable. He could not be wounded by temptation. "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me," was His own triumphant declaration. "He knew no sin." He had no acquaintance with sin, He was a stranger to sin, sin had no commerce with Him, He had no dealings with sin personally. His head turned not dizzy when upon the pinnacle of the temple. When down in the depths of humiliation, no grief found expression void of completest resignation. He was ever pure, perfect, spotless, holy, acceptable unto God.

    The sufferings of Jesus have power to bless others, seeing they were not necessary for Himself. He had no need to suffer as the result of sin, nor yet that, by the discipline of suffering, He might be purged from its evil. There was no reason in Himself why He should ever know pain, or heave a sigh. His sufferings all had reference to His people. His object in suffering, bleeding, dying, was to secure the salvation of His chosen. Our souls may now trust Jesus, the perfect man, with the utmost confidence.

    ...At one tremendous draught of love, the Lord hath drained destruction dry for all His people. He has "suffered" all that they ought to have suffered. He hath given to the justice of God a full recompense for all their sins. He has on their behalf presented a complete atonement, — "And, to the utmost farthing paid whate'er His people owed."

    What joy it is, believer, to think that thou has such a perfect atonement to rest upon! If there were one sin Christ did not suffer for on the cross, or one evil thought of one of His people that He did not bear, we could not be saved. But He has "finished" the whole of His people's transgression, He has made an end of all their sins, He has obeyed all the jots and the tittles, as well as the great and weighty things, of the law of God, He has magnified it, and made it honourable. He has gone to "the end of the law for righteousness" — not half-way, but all the way; not near to its boundary, but even to its very end. He has not merely sipped from the cup of wrath, not merely tasted a portion of its bitter draught, but He has drained it to the very dregs. Ere He died, He turned the cup of wrath bottom upwards, for He had taken all it contained; and when He saw that there was not a single black drop trembling on its brim, He exclaimed, with the loud voice of triumph, "It is finished!" He had drunk the whole. Glory in this, ye living people of the living Christ!."

    - C. H. Spurgeon, excerpt from his sermon, Our Suffering Substitute, 1859

    Posted by John Samson on March 3, 2006 07:45 AM

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