Netchaplain on Faith-Space.com
Subject: "Sacrifice Effected Salvation" -Netchaplain
Christ's perfect obedience to the Law wasn't what effected salvation for us, this just made Him the only candidate for a spotless sacrifice. It was His sacrifice on the cross that effected our salvation. This is why no man can ever be saved or maintain salvation by obedience ("Not of works"--Eph 2:9) but by its imputation to us from Christ's obedience to the sacrificial atonement. We are saved by His sacrifice and righteous by His obedience! Our works aren't for salvation but from it. Imputation of righteousness doesn't save but the saved are imputed with righteousness--His! The Law required eternal (second death) death if it wasn't obeyed. Christ obeyed it perfectly, so why did He have to die? So sin could be condemned and its curse (eternal separation from God) removed by a spotless sacrifice! I believe this is most useful by William R. Newell, "Romans, Verse by Verse": The words Christ is the end of the Law, cannot mean Christ is the "fulfillment of what the law required." The Law required obedience to precepts--or death for disobedience. Now Christ died! If it be answered, that before He died He fulfilled the claims of the Law, kept it perfectly, and that this law-keeping of Christ was reckoned as over against the Israelite's breaking of the Law, then I ask, Why should Christ die? If the claims of the Law were met in Christ's earthly obedience, and if that earthly life of obedience is "reckoned to those who believe" the curse of the Law has been removed by "vicarious law-keeping." Why should Christ die? Now this idea of Christ keeping the Law for "us" (for they will include us among the Israelites! although the Law was not given to us Gentiles), is a deadly heresy, no matter whoteaches it. Paul tells us plainly how the curse of the Law was removed: "Christ redeemed us, " (meaning Jewish believers), "from the curse of the Law, having become a curse, is seen in Deuteronomy 21:23: "He that is hanged is accursed of God." It was on the cross, not by an "earthly life of obedience, " that Christ bore the Law's curse. There was no law given "which could make alive, " Paul says; "otherwise righteousness would have been by it." Therefore those who speak of Christ as taking the place of fulfilling the Law for us,--as "the object at which the Law aimed" (Alford); or, "the fulfillment or accomplishment of the Law" (Calvin); give the Law an office that God did not give it. There is not in all Scripture a hint of the doctrine that Christ's earthly life--His obedience as a man under the [Mosaic] Law, is "put to the account" of any sinner whatsoever! That obedience, which was perfect, was in order that He might "present Himself through the eternal Spirit without spot unto God, " as a sin-offering. It also was in order to His sacrificial death, as "a curse," that Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15:3).
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