Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bittersweet Refinements: Chapter XXII

The following is a rewritten chapter from Bittersweet Refinements.  If you would like to read the entire book, from start to finish and in the proper order, please go [here].

Chapter XXII
The Price
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 6:23 NAS]
It is a principle that should not be foreign to any of us.  For when someone breaks a law, it is said that they owe a debt to society.
Be assured that it is the same with our Heavenly Father’s Law.  For when it is broken, a debt is owed to Him [Ezekiel 18:4].
In fact, it is for this reason that the laws of this world were established.  For they were given to prepare us for judgment [Romans 13:1-7].
Some judgment—huh?  For even the slightest indiscretion carries with it the penalty of spiritual death [James 2:10].
By the way, do you really understand what a slight indiscretion is in our Heavenly Father’s sight?  For it is written: “You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” [Matthew 5:27-28 NIV]
Yes, it was established in our Heavenly Father’s Law that a sacrificial offering for the atonement of sins could be made, but even during those days, it was understood that it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to wash away sins [Hebrews 10:4].  For it is written: Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; {Then} my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.  O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise.  For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. [Psalms 51:14-17 AMP]
Therefore, any pretense of saving ourselves is pure folly [Psalms 49:7-9].  For if the price to be paid is spiritual death, then only spiritual death can pay the debt [Ezekiel 18:4].
Therefore, are we not all in need of a Savior [Romans 3:23], and do we not have One in our Heavenly Father’s only begotten Son [1 John 5:9-12]?  For it is written: For the Law, since it has {only} a shadow of the good things to come {and} not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.  Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?  But in those {sacrifices} there is a reminder of sins year by year.  For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.  Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME; IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND {sacrifices} FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE.  "THEN I SAID, 'BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.'"  After saying above, "SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND {sacrifices} FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE {in them}" (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, "BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL." He takes away the first in order to establish the second.  By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.  For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.  And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, "THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM," {He then says,} "AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE."  Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer {any} offering for sin. [Hebrews 10:1-18 AMP]
In other words, our Heavenly Father’s only begotten Son, who truly is the Lord Jesus Christ [Matthew 3:13-17], paid the price in full that was required under His Law by offering Himself up to be crucified [Hebrews 9:11-15] upon that cruel, cruel [Isaiah 52:13-53:12] Roman cross at Calvary [John 19:16-30], and all who will place their hope in Him shall never be put to shame [Isaiah 45:17].  For nothing has ever been truer than what is written: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” [John 3:16-18 NAS]
Yes, our Heavenly Father could have just issued a general pardon of sorts, but in doing so, He would have been (in effect) declaring that His Law was meaningless and not worth upholding.  For in the case of a pardon, the penalty for the crime is set aside.
No, that was not something that our Heavenly Father was willing to do.  For His Law is most certainly not meaningless [1 Timothy 1:8-11], and it is most certainly worth upholding [Matthew 5:17-18].
Nonetheless, let us not get caught-up in legalities [Matthew 5:19-20].  For it was in order to prove just how much our Heavenly Father truly loves us that His Law was fulfilled instead of merely being set aside: For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath {of God} through Him.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. [Romans 5:6-11 NAS]
Yes, it would be different if it was all for show, but it was not— be assured.  For in order for the Lord Jesus Christ to truly pay the price that was required, He had to actually spiritually die, and for those few moments when He was truly separated from the love of our Heavenly Father and His Holy Spirit, They [1 John 5:8] were all in more agony than we can even start to naturally comprehend [Matthew 27:45-54].