Tag Archives: A Theology of the Obedient Life of Jesus in the Gospel

“Christ did not die to make men savable, but to save them” by Charles Spurgeon

“I understand by the expression, ‘The blood of the Lamb,’ (Revelation 12:11) that our Lord’s death was effective for the taking away of sin.

When John the Baptist first pointed to Jesus, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ Our Lord Jesus has actually taken away sin by His death.

Beloved, we are sure that He had offered an acceptable and effectual propitiation when He said, ‘It is finished.’ Either He did put away sin, or He did not. If He did not, how will it ever be put away?

If He did, then are believers clear. Altogether apart from anything that we do or are, our glorious Substitute took away our sin, as in the type the scapegoat carried the sin of Israel into the wilderness.

In the case of all those for whom our Lord offered Himself as a substitutionary sacrifice, the justice of God finds no hindrance to its fullest flow: it is consistent with justice that God should bless the redeemed.

Near nineteen hundred years ago Jesus paid the dreadful debt of all His elect, and made a full atonement for the whole mass of the iniquities of them that shall believe in Him, thereby removing the whole tremendous load, and casting it by one lift of His pierced hand into the depths of the sea.

When Jesus died, an atonement was offered by Him and accepted by the Lord God, so that before the high court of heaven there was a distinct removal of sin from the whole body of which Christ is the head.

In the fulness of time each redeemed one individually accepts for himself the great atonement by an act of personal faith, but the atonement itself was made long before.

I believe this to be one of the edges of the conquering weapon. We are to preach that the Son of God has come in the flesh and died for human sin, and that in dying he did not only make it possible for God to forgive, but he secured forgiveness for all who are in Him.

He did not die to make men savable, but to save them.

He came not that sin might be put aside at some future time, but to put it away there and then by the sacrifice of Himself; for by His death He ‘finished transgressions, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness.’

Believers may know that when Jesus died they were delivered from the claims of law, and when He rose again their justification was secured. The blood of the Lamb is a real price, which did effectually ransom.

The blood of the Lamb is a real cleansing, which did really purge away sin. This we believe and declare. And by this sign we conquer.

Christ crucified, Christ the sacrifice for sin, Christ the effectual redeemer of men, we will proclaim everywhere, and thus put to rout the powers of darkness.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Blood of the Lamb, the Conquering Weapon,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Volume 34 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1888), 34: 508–509.

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“Jesus Himself establishes and opens the gates of the kingdom through His perfect obedience” by Brandon Crowe

“As we conclude, I submit that we do indeed find much good news in the Gospels by focusing on the life of Jesus unto salvation. As the last Adam, Jesus vicariously realizes the obedience necessary for eternal life, overcoming the problem of sin and death.

One would need many, many volumes to discuss the grace that is manifested to us through Jesus Christ; indeed, I suppose that the whole world would not be able to contain the books that could be written. I finish, then, with a few brief reflections on the wonders of the grace of Jesus Christ that is revealed in the Gospels.

In the Gospels we see that Jesus accomplishes the righteousness that characterizes the kingdom of God, and this righteousness is a gift. The kingdom demands a better righteousness than that of the scribes and Pharisees for those who would enter it (Matt. 5:20), yet it is also the Father’s good pleasure to grant the kingdom (Luke 12:32).

The stringency in entering the kingdom is ultimately answered by the full obedience of Jesus Himself, who establishes and opens the gates of the kingdom through His perfect obedience—both active and passive. Jesus shows us the unity of obedience and love that the covenantal law of God always required.

Jesus’s people, then, must be united to Him by faith, and so receive the blessings of salvation through the work of the last Adam. By following in the righteous steps of the Messiah, we learn how to truly love God and love our neighbor.

Jesus is definitively and representatively obedient as the last Adam and Son of God, and His people are obedient in a derivative sense, through faith in Him. Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant, which is sealed in His blood.

The full measure of the law has been met, and the penalty of sin has been overcome through Jesus’s death and resurrection. Our faith and hope must therefore be in Jesus Christ, who has proven obedient on our behalf.

I conclude with the confidence expressed by New Testament scholar J. Gresham Machen. As he lay dying in a North Dakota hospital, Machen’s last recorded words came via telegram: ‘I’m so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it.’

Machen’s hope is gloriously narrated for us in the Fourfold Gospel, where we read of salvation accomplished by the fully obedient last Adam. As Jesus delighted to do His Father’s will, may we delight to trust in and follow a gracious Savior.”

–Brandon Crowe, The Last Adam: A Theology of the Obedient Life of Jesus in the Gospel (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2017), 214-215.

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