A Study of Theology III – Part 7
By: Dr. Thomas Figart
Nature of Christ
A Study of Theology III – Part 7 (Dr. Thomas Figart)
Dr. Figart continues his study of the Nature of Christ.
A Study of Theology III – Part 7
Dr. Thomas Figart
- The Saviour (con’t)
- The Death of Christ, a Substitution for Sinners.
- The idea of substitution is inherent in Scripture.
1). In the sin and trespass offerings of Lev. 4-5. Both represent Christ bearing the guilt and judgment of our sin, John 1:29; 1 Peter 2:24.
2). Christ fulfilled these types, but by contrast.
a). His offering; once for all; O.T. sacrifices were offered continually, Hebrews 10:11.
b). His one offering: complete and eternal satisfaction for sin, Hebrews 10:12-14.
c). His sacrifice was intelligent and voluntary, John 10:18; O.T. animals were dumb and involuntary victims.
- The two words used for substitution.
1). Anti, to take the place of another; found only in Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45 in this usage: lutron anti pollon, “ransom for many” and in 1 Timothy 2:6, in the combination word, antilutron, ransom. Anti is a stronger word than huper.
2). Huper, a more general word with several meanings; to benefit, in behalf of, to take the place of. Thus, the context must be consulted to determine each case. In the following verses, it would not make sense unless the idea of substitution were there: 2 Cor.5:14,21, “one died for (huper) all;” Gal. 3:13,”being made a curse for (huper) us;” 1 Peter 3:18, “the just for (huper) the unjust.”
- Vicarious Suffering.
1). Vicar means “deputy, one who takes the place of another;” vicarious is “substitutionary.”
2). A vicar is needed because God is too holy to look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13). There is no other way for a sinner to be saved except by a substitute who satisfies the holiness of God.
3). The vicar must accept the judgment of God’s holiness which is against the sinner. If even one sin could be forgiven by mercy, Christ’s death was unnecessary.
- The nature and extent of substitution.
1). The nature of substitution.
a). The substitute “was made sin for us.” 2 Cor. 5:21. He did not become a sinner, but God “caused to fall on Him the iniquity of us all,” Isaiah 53:6; yet He never needed to be saved or forgiven.
b). Sin was judged, Rom. 8:3-4; 1 Cor. 15:3; and our Substitute fulfilled all our obligations by paying the full price, 1 Cor. 7:23; 1 Pet. 1:18-19.
2). The extent of substitution.
a). The substitution must be sufficient for all time, for all sinners yet to be saved; for all sinners yet to be born, 2 Cor. 5:14. In O.T. the lamb was sometimes offered for one person, for a whole family, or for the whole nation; so Christ bore the sins of all, John1:29.
b). The substitution must produce certain results for us: Negatively, our sins are taken away, Jn. 1:29 and positively, eternal life and righteousness are added to us, Rom. 5:17. We are in Christ and Christ is in us, Jn. 14:20. See Eph. 1:6, 4:13-16; Col. 1:27.
c). The substitution must satisfy the character of God. God the Son offered Himself to God the Father, making available His own infinite worthiness; thus, God can remain just and the justifier of him who believes in Jesus. Job 9:2, cf. Rom. 3:26; 4:5.
- The Death of Christ as Satisfaction of the Law.
- Natural, or inherent law has always existed. By this law God judged the world in Noah’s day, and by this law all men lived, Rom. 2:11-16. Abraham is an example, Gen. 26:5. Man is required by natural law to be righteous, but natural law does not provide that righteousness in itself.
- Mosaic Law: Given as a rule of life to Israel.
1). Remained in effect for 1500 years.
2). Required righteousness for divine blessing and punishment for disobedience, Lev. 18:5; Deut. 30:8-16.
3). Revealed as holy, just and good, Rom. 7:12.
4). Restricted by the weakness of the flesh, Heb. 7:18-19; Rom. 8:3; Gal. 3:21. Therefore the Law could never give life!
- Contrasts: Two methods of gaining righteousness, self-merit (through Law) and grace (through faith).
1). Self-merit hopes God will accept self righteousness by generously overlooking its imperfections, while grace expects and receives in Christ the righteousness of God. Rom. 3:21,31; 2 Cor. 5:21.
2). Self-merit has no idea of how many good works God will require to satisfy His righteousness, while grace trusts in the finished work of Christ at the moment of belief. Then good works come forth as a result of righteousness rather than its cause. Eph. 2:8-10.
3). Self-merit represents the best that man can do, and ends in failure, Isa. 64:6; Rom. 4:1-2, while grace represents the best that God can do, and ends in glory, Rom. 8:28-30.
- Rom. 9:30-10:4: Central passage concerning self- merit and grace.
1). Self-Merit through Law 2). Grace through faith
a). Goal unattained, 9:31 a). Goal attained, 9:30
b). Law-righteousness, 9:31 b). Faith-righteousness, 9:30
c). Christ-stumbling stone, 9:32 c). Christ-believed in, 9:33
d). Zeal-no knowledge, 10:2 d). Real knowledge of God, 9:33
e). Establishing their own e). Christ, the end of “law for
righteousness, 10:3 righteousness, 10:4
- Supporting Scriptures: How Christ’s death satisfies the Law.
1). Freedom from the Rituals of the Law, Act15:10, 24.
2). Freedom from the Righteousness of the Law, Rom. 3:21-22; Gal. 3:18-19.
3). Freedom from the Requirements of the Law. Rom. 3:31. Satisfaction was strictly by payment of the demands of the Law, Num. 15:32-36. The Law was not established by letting the lawbreaker off, nor by a promise to keep the law in the future, nor by the example of another’s good life; it was only by execution of the penalty. So, Christ bore our penalty and established the Law for us!
4). Freedom from the Restrictions of the Law, Gal 4:19-5:1. Christ gives us liberty, not bondage In this context, to “fall from grace” simply means to fall back under the Law; but the two systems, Law and Grace, cannot co-exist! This is the whole point of the passage; it is not dealing with keeping or losing salvation; rather, it is showing that there is only one way of salvation, grace and not Law.
5). Freedom from the Wrath of the Law, Rom. 4:11 -16. Instead of wrath, we have the promise of righteousness by faith, just as Abraham did.