Well, it has been a long time since I have posted on my blog, and God willing, I will be able to post more frequently. Since I have been away from the keyboard, I have done a lot of reading, listening, and learning. Recently, I just finished R.C. Sproul’s book, The Truth of the Cross (As I am writing this it is FREE for Kindle). I really enjoyed the book because it highlighted some truths about Jesus death that I needed to know. It also was great because it cost me nothing to read it! Anyway, something Dr. Sproul wrote struck me profoundly when he after he discussed our need to be perfect in order to be in the presence of a holy God:
We try to get around the helplessness of this situation in modern culture by declaring that everybody deserves a second chance. -(Kindle Locations 226-229). Kindle Edition.
Today, many churches are talking about how God is the God of second chances. You may be asking, “What’s wrong with that?” And that is a great question. The problem with a second chance is that for corrupt and sinful human beings a second chance would be futile. It is pointless for a holy and righteous God who knows everything to give fallen people a second chance because they will inevitably mess up again. A second chance doesn’t save anyone, it only provides another opportunity to fail. If the standard for being with God forever is perfection, a second chance from God doesn’t equal perfection. Sproul follows his statement with these words:
My response is, “Who says so?” Does justice require that everybody get a second chance? A second chance is grace. It is mercy. Grace and mercy are never deserved. So it is nonsense to say that everyone deserves a second chance. But even if that nonsensical, hypothetical condition were true, what good would it do us? How long ago did we use up our second chance?
Sproul highlights the problem with second chances. We, sinful human beings, will eventually blow that second chance. A second chance from a holy God may be gracious and merciful, but it makes no sense because God also knows that we will trade that second chance in for rebellion.
What you and I need is not a second chance, but a savior. A savior that is perfect, holy, and upright in the sight of the Father. We need a savior that can take our place and stand on our behalf before the Creator of heaven and earth. Thankfully, there is a Savior. His name is Jesus and he is the only one that can save.
For our sake he made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. -2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV
The only way to God is righteousness. You don’t need a second chance, you need Jesus!
Thanks for reading.
Yesterday I posted a video of a young R.C. Sproul talking about the imputed righteousness of Jesus. You can check the video here “Justification (Imputed Righteousness)“.
I really like how Sproul explains Jesus’ work on the cross. He first discussed that Jesus took our sin on himself. This is one transaction of Jesus’ propitiatory sacrifice. Our sin became Christ’s sin. This puts us in a place of non-guilt. However, there is a problem. It isn’t the guilt-free people who get into heaven it is the righteous people who get into heaven. In Matthew 13:34 Jesus says:
“Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” -ESV
In Matthew 25:46 Jesus says:
“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” -ESV
Jesus taking our sin from us and placing it on himself is essential in justification, but it is not enough. We must be righteous not just sinless. This work is referred to as imputed righteousness. Jesus takes our sin on himself and places his righteousness on us. We see the imputation of Christ’s righteousness in many places in Scripture. Lets look at 2 Corinthians 5:21:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. -ESV
Here we see the two transactions of Jesus’ sacrifice. Jesus became sin. He didn’t “know” sin. This means that he never participated in or gave into sin. This sinlessness makes Jesus’ sacrifice perfect. Because of Jesus’ standing as holy and righteous he was an acceptable sacrifice for our sin. That is transaction number one. The second transaction is Jesus giving us his righteousness.
As Jesus said in Matthew 25 the righteous that enter into eternal life. The second transaction of Jesus’ sacrifice accomplished the need to be righteous. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 5, “so that we might become the righteousness of God“. This righteousness isn’t ours. Nothing good can come from us. Good can only come from God. This is the amazingness of Christ’s work. Not only does it take our sins from us but it makes us righteous. It accomplishes what we could never accomplish. It is perfect, holy, and final. I love how Tullian Tchividjian speaks to this when he writes:
It is true! No strings attached. No but’s. No conditions. No need for balance. If you are a Christian, you are right now under the completely sufficient imputed righteousness of Christ. Your pardon is full and final. In Christ, you’re forgiven. You’re clean. It is finished. -theresurgence.com “Wrecked by Grace”
May we all live lives that reflect this essential truth of justification.
This post continues on our discussion of the doctrine of justification. I came across this video of R.C. Sproul and had to show it. He speaks about the work of Jesus as taking our sins on him. Then he speaks about Jesus placing his righteousness on us (imputed righteousness). Here is the video: