The God-Man and the Gospel
Text: Selected Scriptures
“The union of the divine and human natures in His one Person, as ‘God manifest in the flesh,’ lies at the foundation of the whole system of Christian doctrine, and none of its peculiar lessons can be understood in their true meaning, or duly realized and felt, without constant reference to it,” (James Buchanan, The Doctrine of Justification, p. 302).
Why was it necessary for Christ to be both God and man in order to be our Savior?
What did Jesus accomplish for us in becoming the God-Man?
I. Why was it necessary for Christ to become the God-Man?
“For the gospel to be the gospel, Jesus has to be acknowledged as both true God and true man,” (Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, p. 64).
15. Q. What kind of mediator and deliverer must we seek?
A. One who is a true and righteous man, and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is at the same time true God.
16. Q. Why must He be a true and righteous man?
A. He must be a true man because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned should pay for sin. He must be a righteous man because one who himself is a sinner cannot pay for others.
17. Q. Why must He at the same time be true God?
A. He must be true God so that by the power of His divine nature He might bear in His human nature the burden of God’s wrath, and might obtain for us and restore to us righteousness and life. (Heidelberg Catechism, Q. 15-17)
II. What did Jesus accomplish for us in becoming the God-Man?
A. Christ made a perfect satisfaction for our sin.
“As believers we must steadily keep in mind that Christ has satisfied the justice of God on our behalf. Never again should we fear the retributive justice of God. Yet many believers do live under a sense of fear of God’s justice. We know we sin continually, and sometimes the painful awareness of our sin almost overwhelms us. At such times we still are prone to view God as our judge meting out absolute justice. We fail to grasp by faith the fact that Christ Jesus has fully satisfied God’s justice for us…We must not allow the accusations of satan or the condemning indictments of our consciences to bring us under a sense of God’s unrequited justice. Instead, we should by faith lay hold of the wonderful truth that God’s justice has been satisfied for us by our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Jerry Bridges, The Gospel for Real Life, pp. 45-46).
“The cause of our marriage battles…is neither our marriage nor our spouse. It’s the sin in our hearts—entirely, totally and exclusively, without exception” (Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p. 51).
“We are so weak that we more readily follow the feeling of sin and death than this laughter and joy of the Gospel,” (Martin Luther, What Luther Says, p. 740).
B. Christ fulfilled perfect righteousness for our rebellion and disobedience.
“…no matter how defeated we feel in the battle, we are overcomers because of two amazing expressions of the grace of God. We stand forgiven in God’s court because of the atoning sacrifice of Christ—God no longer views us in relationship to our sin. And we are welcomed as righteous in God’s house because of the imputed righteousness of Christ! (“Imputed” means that God counts the righteousness of Jesus as our own.) God sees you as more than a forgiven sinner. He sees you as a holy person. Even though the power of sin continues to operate within you, its reign has been broken and God no longer sees you in reference to it. Please understand this: No matter how intense your battle with sin may rage, you fight as a forgiven sinner. You fight on the side of God, and God always wins in the end (Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p. 57)!
C. Christ covers our impurity with perfect purity.
“The Incarnation of Christ was by the special operation of the Holy Spirit bringing about conception in the womb of the Virgin Mary. By this means, God broke the natural connection with sinful humanity and ensured that the humanity of Jesus was exactly the kind that was needed for the work of salvation: perfect,” (Graeme Goldsworthy, According to Plan, p. 63).
“For, as you see, Christ Jesus was conceived in the womb of the Virgin, and that by the mighty power of His Holy Spirit, so that our nature in Him was fully sanctified by that same power. And this perfect purity of our nature in His Person covers our impurity, for He was not conceived in sin and corruption as we are, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, who perfectly sanctified our nature in Him, even in the moment of His conception. Thus in that He was thoroughly purged, His purity covers our impurity,” (Robert Bruce, The Mystery of the Lord’s Supper, p. 25).
In Jesus, the God-Man, we find perfect satisfaction, perfect righteousness and perfect purity.
© John Fonville
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