In this final installment under the above subject, we want to first review the things previously mentioned as having occurred at the cross. (1) At the cross the great love of God was manifested for us; (2) At the cross Jesus died to free us from the bondage and chains of sin; (3) At the cross the law of Moses was fulfilled, finished, and nailed to the cross; (4) At the cross the church was bought and paid for with the blood of Christ; (5) At the cross peace was made; Jew and Gentile were reconciled; and (6) At the cross, the price was paid for sin. Since I ran out of space in the last article, I want to mention an additional point about the fact that, “At the cross, the price was paid for sin.”
By inspiration Ezekiel wrote, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Eze. 18:20). How could a righteous God forgive our sins instead of requiring each one of us as sinners to pay this supreme penalty for sin? “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). The answer is found in Romans 3:24-26. Listen as Paul explains it. “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” We are able to “flee from the wrath to come” (Matt. 3:7) when we “obey from the heart that form of doctrine” (Rom. 6:17-18) by the grace of God bestowed upon us due to Jesus, as the “propitiation” paying the price for our sin.
At a time in history when the most extravagant claims are being made in regard to God’s love, it is wise to take into account Scriptures such as Colossians 3:6, where the other side of the Divine nature is in view. Paul told the Colossian brethren, “For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.” “Far from negating God’s love, His wrath confirms it. For without justice, mercy loses its meaning” [Earle Ellis: Wycliffe Bible Commentary]. The New Testament is full of teaching to the effect that God has a score to settle with evil and one day He will settle it (See II Corinthians 5:10-11, Romans 11:22, and II Thessalonians 1:7ff.) This is because Christ paid the penalty for sin at the cross becoming the propitiation for those who will accept the grace of God. As we sometimes sing, “Jesus paid it all; ALL to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.”
The benefits of the things that occurred at the cross come to us through the preaching of the cross. Paul taught: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (I Cor. 1:18). Thus Paul’s determination was to “know nothing among you but Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (I Cor. 2:1-2). These benefits come when man hears and obeys the truth. Jesus said that the one who would enter the kingdom of heaven is the one that “doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21f). Again, review very carefully chapter six of the Book of Romans which shows this so clearly. And then near the end of the New Testament, John writes once more of this requirement: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:14).
Have you benefited by what happened at the cross? If not, why not consider very earnestly and sincerely, and make preparation now while time is still yours?
Paul M. Wilmoth