Course: The Doctrine of Salvation (Soteriology)
The Special Consequences of Redemption
All of the ideas and principles conveyed by the instructor in this course are not necessarily held by the Blue Letter Bible ministry.
Praise the Lord! Thank You for the joy that we have in Christ. Thank You for the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We ask that you would teach us, Lord, as only You can do. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Take your Bibles and turn to 2 Corinthians chapter five. “The Special Consequences of Redemption.” In five ways we look at this, not only the consequences for the whole world, the consequences towards Satan and demons, toward God the Father, Jesus Christ, and believers.
14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
16 Wherefore henceforth we know no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh: [meaning, as an unbeliever we know about him] yet, now henceforth know we him no more [in that manner].
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: [a new creation] old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputed their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
The fact is that the world was reconciled. Now God isn’t having the problem. Man has the problem with God. There’s enmity between us and God. But man can’t solve it. God solved it. He smashed all the requirements of the ordinances that were against us, says Ephesians 2:15 and He did it for the whole world, interestingly.
In Hebrews 2:9 it says, “He tasted death for every man.” In 1 Timothy 4:10, it point blank says that “God is the Savior of all men, especially those who believe.” So in some sense, He’s got to be the Savior of all men. He certainly had reconciled them all to God. There’s nothing hindering any man from being saved, except his own sin and rebellion. It’s all been paid for. It’s all been reconciled, propitiated. The wrath of God is satisfied. Redemption is now available to all who will believe.
In relation to Satan and demons, you remember that Jesus said in John 12:31 that He saw Satan. He said, “Now is the judgment of this world. Now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” So here we have a clear statement of the judgment of Satan.
Colossians 2:14-15 really emphasized that. When it says in verse 14,
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross;
15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
In Revelation 12:10-11 it says that “the accuser of our brethren was cast out.” And it says that “we have overcome him by the blood of the Lamb.”
One of the most precious promises is in Hebrews 2:14-15 where the Bible tells us that “we’ve been delivered from the power of the enemy to control us by the fear of death.”
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part in the same; that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
So that has been broken. When you come to Christ, we’re redeemed, set free, from the bondage of the fear of death. “Absent from the body; present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalm 115:16). Paul said “I have a desire to depart and be with Christ which is far better” (Philippians 1:23).
So, all the demonic world has lost its power over the believers who have overcome them by the blood of the Lamb. Now the Bible says in 1 John 4:4, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” And in James 4:7 it says you can “resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Why? Because Christ’s death set you free from his ability to control you. No believer needs to be controlled by either sin, death, or hell or Satan himself. No way! You’ve been set free by the precious blood of Christ.
Now even towards God the Father there’s an interesting passage that we have sort of talked about briefly. “God so loved the world that He gave…” (John 3:16). One of the consequences of redemption is to demonstrate the love of God the Father. Like Romans 5:8, “God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” So, in the Bible, the Father demonstrates His love through redemption. How much He really loves us. And in Romans 8:31-32, 34 it says,
31 If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is now at the right hand of the throne of God interceding for us.
So in terms of redemption towards God the Father, He’s demonstrating His love for us when He sent His Son into the world. And He’s also clearly told us that nothing can be against us, if He has sent His Son to redeem us (cf. Romans 8:31). So the Father has nothing against you, when you put your faith in Jesus Christ. Isn’t that something?
At the retreat I had last weekend, we had a lot of men come to know Jesus Christ. They had brought a lot of unbelievers. They told me that ahead of time and in illustrating salvation and how Christ, when God looks at us, He looks at us through Christ and He doesn’t see our sin anymore. He remembers it against us no more. I got one of the smaller men, up in front and I stood in front of him with my arms outstretched like this. And I didn’t say a whole lot. And it was amazing how men, it just hit them.
Yes, He took our place. And His death was so wonderful and so sufficient that God doesn’t see you except through Christ. You are in Christ. He doesn’t remember your sins against you any more. What a beautiful thing!
Well on the cross when He was dying, He made this statement which has been the subject of controversy for a long, long time. It says, “About the ninth hour.” Now that would be about 3:00 in the afternoon. “About the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice.” He’d been on the cross since the third hour. It had been dark for the last three. “Unusual eclipse,” people have argued, but God made darkness over the whole land for three hours. Thus symbolizing the war, perhaps demonically and also the payment of our sin, the sins of all the world. How interesting that God would make the whole world dark during that time. “About the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani’” (Matthew 27:46).
Some of you have translations that read, “Eloi, Eloi.” That’s an attempt to say this is Aramaic. It is not. It is Hebrew. The next statement says, “Some who heard it thought He was calling for Elijah or Elias.” You would not get that if it was Aramaic, Eloi, Eloi. But you would understand that if He said, “Eli, Eli” because that’s Hebrew. It’s abbreviated form they still used today for a man that’s called Elijah. They just call him Eli as he grows up. And that means my God. El is God; the little e, my. “My God, My God.”
Now people say, “If there is one God then how is the Father, the God of Jesus who is also the God?” Interesting problem, isn’t it?
King David wrote in Psalm 110:1, “The Lord, Yahweh said unto my Lord, Adonai, ‘Sit thou here at my footstool, till I make your enemies be conquered by you.’”
42 What think ye of Messiah? Whose son is He? They say unto him, ‘The Son of David.’
43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
44 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on thy right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
45 If David then called him Lord, how is he his son?
Does everybody follow that? If you do, it’s remarkable because they didn’t who heard Him. In fact, the Bible says that they didn’t answer Him a word. They wouldn’t dare ask Him any more questions. They had a hard time with that. It’s like a paradox. Wait a minute. How could David call the Messiah Lord if he was his son? It’s a philosophical impossibility, unless of course, there’s another answer to it.
You see, ‘Lord’ is an earthly lord. And He will be an earthly Lord and rule over the whole world. And He is the son of David, but you can’t call your son lord. It’s a confusion of terms, unless he’s not a biological son, unless the term has something more significant to it. And that it does because it’s referring to the Messiah. And what Jesus is doing here is facing them with the fact that He was the preexistent Son of God. And the fact is that it was legitimate for David to say ‘my Lord,’ because he in fact prayed to Him as Lord of Hosts and armies and King of Glory who will come with all of His armies with Him. David prayed to his Son before his Son was born of a virgin in Bethlehem. So He obviously existed ahead of time. The preexistence of Christ is involved.
Now when Jesus on the cross said, “My God, My God,” let’s ask ourselves a question. Was and is the Father, God? Yes. Would He be, in a unique sense to Jesus, ‘My God’? When you come to believe in Him, do you say, “my God?” But you’re not God. You say it because you needed Him to save you. Now Jesus didn’t need Him to save Him. He just said, “My God, My God.”
What’s even more significant is that He’s saying, “Why have you forsaken Me,”—why have you turned your back on Me? There’s a lot of interesting things there. One is that means up until this point it never happened. So they apparently have a pretty close relationship, wouldn’t you say? Why have you ever turned your back on Me? Why have you ever forsaken Me? He never had ‘til this point. What’s the answer to Jesus’ question? Why did the Father turn his back on Him at that moment? Why? Our sins, exactly right!
Class, I want you to think with me very carefully. This is a controversy. I want you to think very carefully. Many people think that when we say, “When Christ died on the cross that He died spiritually and physically,” they think it’s a heresy. I mean a lot of good people think it’s a heresy. It’s not a heresy. It’s a heresy to believe that He only died physically. The physical death of Christ, even if He was a perfect man, could only substitute according to the law for one other person…“eye for eye; tooth for tooth; life for life” (Leviticus 24:20). If He was a mere perfect man who had never sinned, His physical death could only substitute for one other person. There has to be more to this. He died spiritually. The problem isn’t just to rescue us from physical death. The problem is to rescue us from spiritual death.
Let me put it to you another way. When Adam sinned, first of all, God told him “Not to take of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And in the day you take of it, you will surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Did Adam die physically the day he took of that tree? No, he didn’t. But either God’s lying or he died in some other way besides physical. The way he died was spiritual. Physical death is a consequence of spiritual death.
Now, what is spiritual death? Spiritual death is the separation of the person from God because of sin. Isaiah 59:1-2 says, “The Lord’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save, neither is His ear heavy that it cannot hear; but your sins and iniquities have separated between you and your God so that He will not hear.” Spiritual death is the separation of the person from God because of sin. Physical death, by the way, is the separation of the body from the soul’s spirit. James 2:26, “the body without the spirit is dead.”
When Christ died on the cross, He had to die spiritually as well as physically. He didn’t die because He had to pay the price of His own sin. But when He bore our sins in His own body on the tree, 1 Peter 2:24 says, then He died spiritually. And it was expressed the moment He said, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?” Very important that the order be maintained: He died spiritually before He died physically.
Or to put it another way, death to a lot of us in our culture, means annihilation because we don’t understand it. That’s not the meaning of thanatos in Greek. It’s the meaning of separation. If I tore a piece of paper in two, I deathed it. All I did was separate the paper. You see, the Father and the Son were separated from each other in that moment. And that is spiritual death on the cross, which must precede physical death exactly in the way it happened in the case of Adam. He died spiritually first. He died physically second. Christ died spiritually first on the cross. Died physically second, and neither one of them was annihilation. And God did not die!
Is everybody clear? Because you’ll have to answer this someday to somebody who tries to question the whole issue of death of Christ on the cross, but He did die spiritually and He did die physically and this is the moment.
Several years ago I preached on that verse, “as the Father separated from the Son,” just that one phrase. And I was amazed at the response of that tape how it sold. Just on the one thing. It’s like nobody ever hears about it or we say it in passing or try to cover it over or reinterpret it or whatever. No, He died spiritually in that moment, as the Father separated from the Son.”
Now by the way, that also helps us to understand the triunity of God. Can the persons of the Triune God be separated from each other? Can they be distinct from each other? Yes. One of the proofs of that is this moment. “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). He didn’t say it because He didn’t know. He said it for our benefit.
I once heard a message on this and I was just so encouraged by it. It was a message that someday maybe you’ll want to preach on the simple phrase, “for us.” Boy, you hear a message like that sometimes and you can’t forget it. For us! Christ died for us. Beautiful thing, isn’t it? And it can be deeply implanted on your heart.—I was there! I was chosen before the foundation of the world. I was in the mind of God. I was redeemed by His precious blood. And I was there. It was my sin. It was the depravity of my heart that He died for. It was for me and it was for you. May God help us never to forget it!
Well, in the case of Jesus Christ what would we say? What were the results of redemption for Him? Turn to Philippians 2. So the consequence of redemption was that Christ demonstrated for all time the meaning of humility.
According to Philippians 2, let’s pick it up at verse 5 [Phl 2:5], “Let this mind be in you [this mind of humility] which was also in Christ Jesus who being in the form of God.” This Greek word morphe is the essential nature of God, not appearance here as some people read. There is the word appearance here, as I’ll show you in a moment. This is the word morphe not skidzo. “Who being in the exact nature of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” He thought it not robbery, dealing with seizing. Robbery is a correct translation, but it also means a thing to be grasped, like stolen. So the point is that He wasn’t grasping that which was already true. He didn’t need to parade it or anything. It said, “but made Himself of no reputation.” Kenoo. We talk about the kenosis of Christ.
There’re lots of problems in trying to identify what this means when He emptied Himself. And I’m back really trying to help us with the moment of the cross when He said, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”—in case you didn’t know where I was going and what I’m doing. The person of Christ, who He is at the moment of redemption, is critical to our salvation.
So, was He all human? Yes. Was He God? Yes. How do you explain this then? That’s what we’re trying to say. He emptied Himself. Now does that mean He ceased being God? No.
Let me give you an illustration of this and maybe it will help. When Rome went into battle, one of the keys of the Roman armies, in addition to their marvelous formations and highly skilled training, is that their leaders, especially the centurions, and this will explain to you in the New Testament why the centurion seems to be so frequently mentioned and honored. Centurions were very much honored. In fact, they were the most highly respected military man in the Roman army. Why? They were leaders of one hundred men and they would always go into battle with their men. That’s why the men like them. They never stayed back in the camp. They were the best warriors of all, real leaders of men…lead them in whatever you’re asking them to do.
Anyway, when they went into battle, they always removed their insignia that identified them as a centurion, so they appeared to be a common soldier. Now the purpose of this is so the enemy wouldn’t know who the leaders were. That’s a very common Roman tactic. When you take off the insignia and awards and stuff that show who you are, you use the same word, kenao. You empty yourself. Now, did he stop being a centurion? No. But the outward, visible display of that was removed.
You see, when it says “He emptied Himself,” I think we can rightly conclude that He laid aside the exercise of His divine attributes so that He might identify with all of us. He didn’t cease being God because many, many times He did allow it to be seen. Remember the Mount of Transfiguration? All of a sudden He let His glory be seen to Peter, James and John (cf. Matthew 17:1-6). Remember when He was in the garden and they were ready to take Him? Just by one look they all fall over like dominoes (cf. John 18:6). And as they picked themselves up He then freely offered them His hands and they tied Him up and took Him away.
There were many occasions. He didn’t need anyone to tell Him what was in man because He knew all the thoughts of men. See, there are many examples when the divine attributes and nature of our Lord were manifested. But most of the time when you see Him, you would see Him as a man.
The early church claims that the half brother of Jesus, James, actually looked very much like Him and was often mistaken for Him. Isn’t that interesting? He looked like a real man. From what we know of the carpenters who worked with their hands, no doubt His hands were quite rough.
It says, “He was made in the likeness of men.” Now he changes the word. As a matter of fact, the next statement is even more significant, “He, being found in fashion as a man” (Philippians 2:8). You and I know that a skidzo, a schizophrenic person is one with two personalities. But the original meaning of skidzo had the idea of putting a mask on in the Greek plays and playing another role; changing a voice pattern, acting like you’re someone else; then switches masks and playing another character. You often do monologues which in fact have four and five characters to them and so you have to play all four of them and absolutely create the story by that. So we would use that word skidzo.
The point being that the whole humanity of Christ is an outward appearance. But the inward nature was God. So it isn’t small
The emphasis here in this passage is that He was God in human flesh. The emphasis isn’t that He was this wonderful man who had godlike qualities. No. He is God. That’s His essential nature. Well, why was He even found in fashion as a man? Look at this carefully: “took upon the form of a servant, made in the likeness of man, found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself.” In Philippians 2:7, the verb is He ‘emptied.” In Philippians 2:8, the verb is He ‘humbled.’ In other words, two things that flow off having the mind of Christ, He emptied and He humbled. Two lessons in humility from the Savior!
Now, how did He humble Himself? Notice He did it Himself. He was not humbled. The Bible does not say that. He was not emptied. The Father didn’t say, “That’s enough. Come here. I’m taking your divine attributes away.” No. He emptied Himself. He laid aside the exercise of those divine attributes. And in fact, He humbled Himself. Nobody forced Him to do this. He wasn’t a victim of circumstances. He let everybody know that “I laid down My life of Myself. No man taketh it from Me” (John 10:18).
So, what we read here is that He did it “by becoming obedient unto death, even the death of…” you notice the next words say “the”? But there’s not definite article in the Greek. I’ve always been interested in that. Why? Because we glory in the cross instead of the Christ of the cross. We glory in a piece of wood rather than the salvation that it represents. “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). We don’t glory in the cross, period. It’s the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. And in emphasizing His humility, it just says “a cross.” Were there others who were crucified on crosses? Oh yeah, thousands of them! All the way from the ancient empire of Assyria clear to Rome.
By the way, about this cross, it’s a beam. The idea that it’s a cross, meaning two boards crossing is a church tradition; it isn’t based on the language. The cross is simply a beam. It could be a tree trunk, a limb of a tree or a piece of wood that was carved to be that; the beam that perhaps He carried and had to have Simon of Cyrene help Him with. The Bible actually says that “He died on the tree” (Acts 13:29). Very clear! And I happen to believe that He was nailed to an olive tree. And that the two thieves were also nailed. And it explains the circumstances of those two thieves, how they communicated and why the soldier when he went around them saw the other two first before Jesus.
It’s a very interesting thing. He was between the two, but seeing these three crosses on a hill, is not correct in my opinion. But of course, I’m not making a crusade of that or I’ll be crucified. You know everybody wants that. They want to see three crosses on a hill, but I don’t believe that at all. I believe they were nailed on a tree, a very common method. And they pounded the beams on the huge trunk of the olive tree. And I believe that He didn’t die where the garden tomb is. I believe He died on the Mount of Olives. What do you think? You think I’m crazy, don’t you? You tell me how in the world, they could have seen the veil of the temple rent in two if wasn’t on the Mount of Olives. It was impossible!
By the way, all the Jewish people believe He died on the Mount of Olives that study the New Testament at the Hebrew university. Where’d we get this kind of tradition? Well, it comes out of church tradition, not out of the Bible. Apparently Constantine, when he wanted to make everybody Christian, saw a vision. He saw a cross he said, two pieces of wood, crossed. And from then on, everybody is wearing crosses.
You know, I’m not here to shake up your confidence in a lot of religious symbolism. And sometimes it’s helpful to people I guess, I don’t know. But I hope that you will always have a mind that desires truth. Whatever it means, there’s so many things that we come to accept and believe without thinking it through.
What was a special consequence of redemption in relation to Jesus Christ? Philippians 2 passage…was to demonstrate for all time the true meaning of humility. “As I have loved you…” we ought to lay down our lives, “as I lay down My life for you” (cf. John 13:37). It becomes a great example for all of us, certainly more than a mere example.
Anyway, turn to Hebrews 9:11-12.
11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; [Remember the temple is still standing when Hebrews was written.]
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
What was the special consequence is it relates for Jesus Christ? And that is the satisfaction of the Father’s will in providing eternal redemption. You find over in Hebrews 10:10, “By the which will we are sanctified to the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Verse 9 of chapter 10 [Hbr 10:9] says, “Lo I come to do thy will, O God.”
In Hebrews 12:1-2 we have another interesting consequence of redemption as it relates to the person of Christ. It says,
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
What does that mean? Some say the word for, ante, could be instead of the ‘joy,’ the joy of seeing up His kingdom now, instead of that joy. I don’t like that view. Why? Because He came to die! It was all in the plan of God. And to say something like that sounds like what He really wanted was the kingdom now, but okay, if that’s what you want, I’m going to go to the cross. I don’t like that view. I think it’s demeaning. I think what it’s talking about is you and me. We are the joy of His heart that caused Him to endure the cross and despise the shame.
In Hebrews 13:20 it says, “Now the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant…” We were always in His heart. He is a shepherd. He always will be a shepherd. He is the Good Shepherd. He is the Great Shepherd of the sheep. “Sheep I have which are not of this fold, them I must also bring,” He said, in John 10:16. “I lay down My life for the sheep” (John 10:15). My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me” (John 10:27).
One of the most wonderful consequences for the heart of the Shepherd was that He would have a flock, redeemed, bought by His own precious blood.
Well, what about for believers? Well, you can make up a long list, can’t you? Freedom from the penalty of the law, Galatians 3:13. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. For it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.” Class, the worst curse, the very last one of the law is the one who hangs on a tree. Isn’t it interesting out of all the curses He chose the last one. And the very form of death, He chose the worst thing that could ever happen.
He came, of course, and died to give us eternal life (John 3:14-15). “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.”
Sanctification (Hebrews 10:10) “By that will [His will to be obedient to the Father] we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” If you’ve come to know Jesus as your Savior, you are already sanctified. We will learn a lot more about this soon.
We have justification, (Romans 5:9) “through His blood we are justified, by His blood.” And we’ll learn more about this soon.
Deliverance, we are “loosed from our sins” (Revelation 1:5). Some translations say “washed from our sins.” It’s a Greek word louo, to loose from our sins. Like you loose a donkey or a horse that’s tied up, you just loose him and let him go.
Forgiveness, “In whom we have forgiveness of sins through His blood” (Ephesians 1:7).
Perfection, Hebrews 10:14 says very clearly, “By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” In Christ, I am absolutely perfect. I am absolutely perfect in Christ. Amen? Good to remind yourself of that when you feel kind of stressed out and bombed out.
We have access to God. “Having boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh” (Hebrews 10:19-20).
“And there’s no condemnation [praise the Lord] for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
“Who is He that is condemning?” says Romans 8:34. “It is Christ that died, yea rather that has risen again.”
Don’t you want to say at least “hallelujah” or “amen” or “praise the Lord”?