Because of Christ’s Atoning Death

We who feel ourselves alienated from the fellowship of God can now raise our discouraged heads and look up.  Through the virtues of Christ’s atoning death the cause of our banishment has been removed.  We may return as the Prodigal returned, and be welcome.  As we approach the Garden, our home before the Fall, the flaming sword is withdrawn.  The keepers of the tree of life stands aside when they see a son of grace approaching.

– A.W.Tozer; Knowledge of the Holy; Kindle Version; Page 77

Death Will Not Have the Last Word

Only the church can declare the message that it has heard: that through Christ and faith in his victory, death will not have the last word; that violence, oppression and injustice will not be an unending struggle; that disease and hunger will not claim the bodies of millions forever.  It is the victory of the seed of the woman over the seed of the serpent that Christ has achieved and the visible effects of that conquest will be fully realized when Christ returns in glory.  Right now Christ is ruling from heaven, in common grace over the nations and in saving grace through the proclamation of the gospel (Colossians 1:15-23)

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 177

This is not the Means of, Nor an Alternative to, but is a Consequence

Following Christ is not the means of, much less an alternative to, but is the consequence of our union with Christ.  Like Christ’s own death, burial and resurrection, baptism is not a repeatable event.  So our Christian life is focused on objective, perfectly completed events in the past, of which the Spirit has made us beneficiaries through the gospel here and now.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 151

This is What We Mean By Justification

To make a way for us to be saved, God sent Christ to live a perfect divine-human life and die an obedient death.  In this way Christ became both the substitute punishment for our sins (Matthew 26:18; I Corinthians 15:3; I Peter 3:18) and the substitute performer of our righteousness (Romans 5:19, 10:4; II Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9).  Therefore, in the courtroom of God, my guilt for sin is removed by Christ’s blood (Ephesians 1:7) and my title to heaven is provided by Christ’s obedience (Romans 5:19).  I am declared just – freed from the punishment of sin and now possessing a title to heaven.  This is what we mean by justification.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 83

Salvation is the Purchase and Provision

Salvation is the purchase and provision of sight for the blind.  God sent Christ into the world to die for our spiritual blindness, pay its penalty, absorb the wrath it deserves, and provide a perfect imputed righteousness for all who believe.  This is the most beautiful display of God’s glory that has been or ever will be.  The divine glory we have been redeemed to see is most beautifully shown in the redemption itself.  The all-glorious Christ is both the means and the goal of our salvation from blindness.  His life, death, resurrection, and present reign in heaven are both the means by which we sinners regain our sight and the highest glory we are saved to see.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 62

Christ Not Only Died for Us, He Also Lived for Us

Our salvation rests not only in Christ’s atoning death, but also in his life of perfect, active obedience.  If to secure our redemption Christ only needed to make an atonement for us, he could have come down from heaven and gone directly to the cross.  But he also had to fulfill all righteousness by submitting to every point to the law of God.  By his sinless life he achieved positive merit, which merit is imputed to all who put their faith in him.  Christ not only died for us, he lived for us as well.

Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 68

We Cannot Pursue Holiness Without Going Back Again and Again

The truth is, of course, we all do get “hurt” to some degree daily because we all sin every day.  That is why we need to come back to the gospel of God’s grace in Christ.  The gospel of God’s forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s death frees us to face those sins honestly and bring them to the Cross and Jesus’ cleansing blood.  The freedom and joy that then comes from a cleansed conscience creates the desire and gives us the right motive to deal with those sins.  We cannot effectively pursue holiness without going back again and again to the gospel  The gospel is the only foundation upon which we can build the disciplines necessary to pursue holiness. Grace and discipline cannot be separated.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 216