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Posts Tagged ‘Heaven’

God is the ultimate cause of everything, and He is neither responsible nor sinful. Whatever God does is just and right because righteousness is what God does.

God is the ultimate cause of sin, but is not its author. The immediate cause or author of sin is the one who commits it.

The laws that God imposes on men do not apply to Him because He is above law. God is the sovereign Creator, and He has absolute and unlimited rights over everything He created. He can make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor, and the vessel has no claim on Him.

God cannot be responsible for sin, even though He causes it. God’s causing Judas to betray Christ is not sinful. Judas, not God, betrayed Christ, and Judas, not God is the agent responsible for the sin. 

God doesn’t submit to law for no law is superior to Him. No law forbids Him from decreeing sinful acts to be carried out by secondary agents. 

Too often Christians have said that God permits sin, when the truth is He causes it. Scripture reveals how God decreed and caused the prophets of Ahab to lie:  

“I [Micaiah the prophet] saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so. Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil against thee.” 2 Chronicles 18:18-22 KJV 

The sinner is the author of sin and is responsible for it. God cannot be responsible for causing sin because there are no superior or greater powers to hold Him accountable and punish Him, and there are no laws for Him to disobey. 

Peace.

I.M. Kane

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The Gospel

Edited by John W. Robbins

The Gospel is the good news about the person and work of Jesus Christ, the second Adam. In the whole stream of human history there are only two men who have universal significance – Adam and Jesus Christ. Adam was not merely the biological father of the race; he was the legal representative of the whole human race. He acted for all. His sin involved all: “by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners…” (Romans 5:19). 

Consequently, the whole stream of human history has been corrupted by human sinfulness, and all stand under the judgment of the law. None of that history can satisfy the demand of holiness, for even the lives of the best saints fall far short of the glory of God. Into this sinful stream of human history, God sent forth his Son to be our “everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6), our second Adam, our new representative. His name was Immanuel – God with us.” 

In Jesus Christ we see God with us in poverty and humiliation, God with us in trial and sorrow, and finally, God with us in suffering and death. More than that, Jesus was “God…for us” (Romans 8:31). What he did in all his glorious acts of goodness was done for his people. It was done in our name and on our behalf, for he was our representative who acted for us before the bar of eternal justice. By his sinless life he fulfilled the precepts of the law for us, and by his death he satisfied the penalty of the law for us. On our behalf he strove with sin and annihilated its power. 

In his human nature he engaged the devil in hand-to-hand combat and destroyed his power. He tasted death and abolished it, “…having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:14, 15). 

All that Christ did is imputed to his people through faith. His victory is ours. So the apostle says, “By the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life” (Romans 5:18). 

There are three things we must say about this good news of Jesus Christ: 

1. The Gospel is about an historical event. It is about Jesus Christ coming into the world and not about Jesus Christ coming into our hearts. It is historically objective. 

Christianity is the only truly historical religion. It alone proclaims a salvation based on a concrete outside-of-me event. 

Of course, the Gospel has subjective benefits. It has effects and fruits in the hearts of all who believe it. But in the Gospel itself there is not one subjective element. It happened completely outside of you and me. 

The Gospel brings to view a new holy history – the thirty-three years which Jesus Christ lived on Earth. In the death of Jesus Christ, God rejected and punished our sinful history; and having buried it with Jesus Christ, he brought forth that new history. Now he proclaims to us that he accepts us as righteous solely on the basis that he has accepted his Son and our representative, Jesus Christ. 

The Gospel is the good news that the saving deeds have taken place, the redemptive transaction has been sealed by Christ’s blood and attested to by his resurrection from the dead. God’s liberating act has been carried out, and believers are cleansed, accepted, and restored in the person of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is historical. 

2. The Gospel is about a unique history. There is no other event, and can be no other event, like the Christ event. His holy history is unique. In the whole stream of human history, Christ alone is without sin. We must never compromise the unique sinlessness of Jesus Christ. Only one is absolutely righteous in reality and fact. 

The saints can be absolutely righteous only by the merciful reckoning of Christ’s righteousness by faith alone. No one but Christ, the slain Lamb, is able to open the book and look therein (Revelation 5:1-5). 

3. The Gospel is about an unrepeatable history. This is the great emphasis given by the writer of Hebrews. The offering of Christ was once and for all: 

By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till his enemies are made his footstool. For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:10-14) 

We are never called upon to initiate another redemptive event. Nothing needs to be added to what Christ has already done. Nothing can be added to it. God himself cannot add to it. We say it reverently but decidedly: This is one thing that God could not do again – the giving of and offering of his Son, Jesus Christ. 

Paul tells us that with him God gave us “all things” (Romans 8:32). To suggest that God could do this again is to imply that God did not really give everything the first time. But he emptied all Heaven in one gift. He poured out all the accumulated love of eternity. He kept nothing back, but gave all he had to give. The Gospel is unrepeatable history. 

This unique, unrepeatable event, this holy history of Jesus Christ, is the focal point of Biblical proclamation. These mighty deeds of the incarnate Son, this awesome, effective act of atonement, is the one great pre-occupation of the apostolic message. 

Gospel preaching is the constant exposition of this historical Gospel and the unfolding of its significance for men and women everywhere. All who believe are justified, not on the grounds of their faith, but on the grounds of the saving acts of God already done once and for all in Jesus Christ. 

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