Presentation on theme: "Lesson 1 for April 2, 2011. “CHRIST IS THE SINNER’S SUBSTITUTE AND SURETY. He has obeyed the law in the sinner’s place, in order that the sinner may believe."— Presentation transcript:
Lesson 1 for April 2, 2011
“CHRIST IS THE SINNER’S SUBSTITUTE AND SURETY. He has obeyed the law in the sinner’s place, in order that the sinner may believe in him, and grow up into him in all things to the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus, and thus be complete in him. Christ has made reconciliation for sin, and has borne all its ignominy, reproach, and punishment; and yet while bearing sin, he has brought in everlasting righteousness, so that the believer is spotless before God. The time comes when it is asked, ‘Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?’ and the answer is, ‘It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again.’ He who has the spotless robe of righteousness, woven in the loom of heaven, in which is not a thread that sinful humanity can claim, is at the right hand of God to clothe his believing children in the perfect garment of his righteousness. Those who are saved in the kingdom of God will have nothing of which to boast in themselves; the praise and the glory will all flow back to God, the giver of salvation” E.G.W. (YI, December 6, 1894)
The most perfect human justice is only “filthy rags” before God. Thus, it is impossible for man to reach the perfection that God demands to reach Heaven. “You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away” (Isaiah, 64: 5-6) “All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no- one who does good, not even one” (Romans, 3: 12)
Jesus invites us to come to him and to believe that He will give us His robe of perfection even if we are sinners. That robe is the perfect justice He showed when he lived on Earth. We obtain salvation when we believe in Jesus by faith and He covers us in that robe of perfection. Then, we are like we never sinned before the Father. That is true in both the Old and New Testament: “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (Genesis, 15: 6) “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans, 5: 1)
If we are clothed in the Law’s robe we cannot obtain salvation, since we will never be perfect before the Father by obeying the Law. “Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin… For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law” (Romans, 3: 20, 28) If we are clothed in Christ’s robe we have salvation.
If Jesus has clothed us in His robe, we must live in a way consistent with that robe. Jesus gives us power to live according to His Law. Law is not a way to obtain salvation, but a logical consequence of that salvation. That process of overcoming sin is called SANCTIFICATION. “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life” (Romans, 6: 22)
“It doesn’t matter what we do as long as Christ lives in our hearts”. “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead” (James, 2: 26) That sentence is false, since if Christ truly lives in our hearts, good actions must, inevitably, follow.
“I must live a life full of good works to be saved”. “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” (Titus, 3: 5) We must remember that obeying the Law is a gift from God. We can be justified, sanctified and glorified only through Christ. That sentence is false, since I cannot reach salvation by obeying the Law; no one will be saved by his/her good works.
“We cannot provide a robe of righteousness for ourselves, for the prophet says, “All our righteousness are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). There is nothing in us from which we can clothe the soul so that its nakedness shall not appear. We are to receive the robe of righteousness woven in the loom of heaven, even the spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness. God has made ample provision that we may stand perfect in His grace, wanting in nothing, waiting for the appearing of our Lord. Are you ready? Have you the wedding garment on? That garment will never cover deceit, impurity, corruption, or hypocrisy. The eye of God is upon you. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. We may conceal our sins from the eyes of men, but we can hide nothing from our Maker. Let the youth and the little children be taught to choose for themselves that royal robe woven in heaven’s loom—the “fine linen, clean and white,” which all the holy ones of earth will wear. This robe, Christ’s own spotless character, is freely offered to every human being. But all who receive it will receive and wear it here” E.G.W. (Our Father cares, August 3)