Summary: “How is God going to deal with the problem of sin without destroying the sinner?”
[IN GOD’S IMAGE 39 – GREAT EXCHANGE]
This message is part of a series of 90 sermons based on the title, “In God’s Image – God’s Purpose for humanity.” This series of free sermons or the equivalent free book format is designed to take the reader through an amazing process beginning with God in prehistory and finishing with humanity joining God in eternity as His loving sons and daughters. It is at times, a painful yet fascinating story, not only for humanity, but also for God. As the sermons follow a chronological view of the story of salvation, it is highly recommend they be presented in numerical order rather than jumping to the more “interesting” or “controversial” subjects as the material builds on what is presented earlier. We also recommend reading the introduction prior to using the material. The free book version along with any graphics or figures mentioned in this series can be downloaded at www.ingodsimage.site - Gary Regazzoli
So far in this series we have talked about the amazing lengths God has gone to, through the saving work of Jesus Christ, to restore mankind’s relationship with God.
• We started by speaking about how God the Logos, humbled himself by setting aside His heavenly glory and joining humanity as one of us.
• We learned when Jesus became incarnate, He assumed our fallen human nature in order to wrestle it to the ground, defeat it and restore it to God’s original intention.
• We spoke about how Jesus was baptised in order to represent us through all aspects of his life, not just his death.
• In other words, he lived for us, he worshiped for us, He trusted the Father for us, He lived a perfect righteous life for us.
• We saw Jesus confronting the devil and overcoming the evil spiritual forces holding mankind captive in order to institute the kingdom of God.
• He chose twelve disciples for the embryonic formation of the church.
• He announces the arrival of the new age, the age of redemption by healing the sick, calming the elements, casting out demons, raising the dead and forgiving sin.
• He taught the ruling principles of the kingdom of God with his teachings and parables to show salvation was obtained through grace, not through obedience to the law, which is an impossibility for human beings.
• We saw how Jesus was born “under the law” in order to redeem those “under the law.” Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant requirements from both the side of Israel and the side of God.
• At the last supper, Jesus introduces the New Covenant which has real forgiving power as it is based on His sacrificed body and blood, not the body and blood of animals.
• This New Covenant included not just Israel but all of mankind as it also embraced the Abrahamic Covenant. It was through Abraham’s seed (Jesus) that “all nations of the earth would be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).
• With Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we saw how the relationship between God and mankind changed forever.
• Rather than living under the condemnation of the law, mankind now lives under the free gift of grace.
• We saw how Jesus as the “predestined” one or the “elected” one willingly substituted himself in the place of guilty mankind to accept the wrath of God’s just penalty against sin, so as forgiven children we could be adopted into the family of God.
• And finally we saw how Jesus went to that God-forsaken place called hell and died the second death so we wouldn’t have to.
I hope we’re getting an accurate picture of who is responsible for our salvation. So far mankind has contributed nothing to the process. It is all from, and of, God. And here’s another news flash, things aren’t about to change.
• The other important message to take away from what we have covered so far is to realise “Jesus” is the message.
• One cannot separate the work and the message of Jesus from the person.
Now we need to step back and take a closer look at what Jesus’ atoning work has accomplished so far.
• As the word atonement or at-one-ment means, it is about restoring or reconciling broken relationships.
• On the one hand, we have the creator of mankind, a holy righteous God, and on the other, sinful human beings who have chosen to reject their Creator and go their own way.
• In order for there to be genuine reconciliation or at-one-ment, these two parties have to be brought together in such a way that God’s holiness is not compromised, while sinful mankind has to acknowledge God’s righteous judgment on their sinfulness so they can be made right with God and therefore be forgiven.