The Two Provisions of the Cross

The Two Provisions of the Cross I. Have you ever heard an evangelist present Jesus Christ, forgiveness of sins and eternal life to sinners as an offer? A. He might declare, “There's nothing you can do...” B. He might also declare, “But all you have to do is...” C. Which declaration is the sinner to believe? II. The cross-work of the Lord Jesus Christ has provided for two forgivenesses for God's elect. A. The blood atonement provides for a judicial, unconditional forgiveness of sins. This forgiveness: 1. was accomplished by Christ alone. 2. satisfies the wrath of God against the sinner in eternity. 3. establishes relationship with God. 4. is not based on the merits of the sinner. 5. is bestowed upon sinners who are in no condition to acquire it. 6. is bestowed upon sinners by a sovereign act of God's will. 7. was a one-time occurrence. 8. saves the sinner from hell and the lake of fire. 9. is a gift to a sinner. 10. is infallibly given to all the elect. 11. can never be lost. 12. never has to be repeated. 13. is declared by the gospel. B. The blood atonement also provides for a conditional forgiveness of sins. This forgiveness: 1. satisfies the wrath of God against the sinner in time. 2. establishes or restores fellowship with God. 3. is available to those who have been empowered to acquire it. 4. is conditioned upon the sinner's will. 5. is conditioned upon the faith of the sinner. 6. is conditioned upon the repentance of the sinner. 7. is conditioned upon the confession of the sinner. 8. occurs whenever the sinner sincerely in faith seeks it. 9. saves the sinner from God's chastening. 10. is an offer to the sinner. 11. is available only unto the elect who apply for it. 12. may have to be repeated. 13. is dependent upon the gospel. III. Consider the judicial, unconditional forgiveness of sin. A. God's law condemns all men by nature. ROM 3:9, 23; 6:23. B. All men by nature are dead in sin and under wrath. EPH 2:1-3. C. This spiritual death disabled man from doing anything to rescue himself from the condemnation of God's law. ROM 8:7-8; GAL 3:10; ISA 64:6. D. To say that fallen man could work out his own righteousness by his merit is to make the work of Christ unnecessary. GAL 2:21; 3:21. E. What fallen man could never do (be flawlessly righteous), God did for him in the person of Jesus Christ, Who exchanged His righteousness for the sins of many, satisfying the wrath The Two Provisions of the Cross Page 1 of 4 of God against them by the sacrifice of Himself. ROM 8:3; 2CO 5:21; GAL 3:13. F. Christ's work made sons of wrath into sons of mercy and eternal heirs of God and heaven. GAL 4:4-7; EPH 1:7. G. This inheritance through the death of Christ is for those whom Scripture terms “the called.” HEB 9:15 c/w ROM 8:28. H. “The called” were predestinated to that call and infallibly end up in glory. ROM 8:29-30. I. This calling is not based upon any foreseen work of the fallen sinner. It is based solely upon God's purpose and grace. 2TI 1:9. J. This calling is not based upon any will of the fallen sinner, but rather upon the will of God. ROM 9:11, 15-16 c/w EPH 1:5. K. This calling is applied irresistibly to God's elect by the VOICE of Jesus Christ quickening them, forgiving their sins, making them righteous and fitting them for eternal life. JOH 5:25; 10:26-29; COL 2:13-14. L. This forgiveness which results in righteousness and eternal life is by the work of Christ alone. ROM 5:19; HEB 1:3. M. This eternal forgiveness of sins or reconciliation to God is an accomplished act, nothing to be added to it. 2CO 5:18; HEB 9:12; 10:9-14. N. This eternal forgiveness is declared by the gospel. 2TI 1:10. III. Consider the conditional forgiveness or remission of sin. A. Though eternal forgiveness is plainly a sovereign work of God's will without any condition on the sinner's part, there are verses which set forth a forgiveness or remission of sins that is conditioned upon the will, faith, confession and repentance of the sinner. ACT 3:19; 10:43; 26:18; ROM 10:9-13. B. Repentance and faith are commandments of God. ACT 17:30; 1JO 3:23. 1. Keeping commandments pleases God. 1JO 3:22. 2. But remember that the natural man CANNOT please God. ROM 8:7-8. 3. A change of nature must occur before man can repent and believe. 4. This change of nature is a miracle of grace called the new birth. 5. In other words, a person must already be born again before he can repent and believe. He must already have salvation before he can receive and react to the gospel of salvation. JOH 8:47; 10:26; 1CO 1:18. 6. The man who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ IS born of God! JOH 5:24; 1JO 5:1. 7. The man who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ HATH everlasting life. JOH 6:47. 8. The man who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ IS justified (declared free of the guilt and penalty of sin). ACT 13:39. 9. Remember, if a man has been quickened to life (born of God, regenerated), his sins have ALREADY been forgiven (in eternity). COL 2:13. 10. Therefore, whatever forgiveness Scripture makes conditional upon repentance, confession, faith, etc., it cannot be eternal forgiveness. C. There is a salvation that God's elect may enjoy that is supplemental to their salvation to eternal glory. 2TI 2:10. 1. Christ came not only that His sheep might have life, but that they might have it abundantly. JOH 10:10. 2. The distinction here is one between possession of life and quality of life. 3. This forgiveness and salvation is obviously dependent upon belief of the gospel. 4. All of God's elect have the eternal forgiveness wrought for them by Christ. But The Two Provisions of the Cross Page 2 of 4 only those elect who hearken unto the gospel experience the full benefit of the blood of Christ in time. D. God's elect who have eternal forgiveness may receive temporal forgiveness of sins through faith and repentance. 1JO 2:12 c/w 1JO 1:9. E. Eternal forgiveness of sins establishes RELATIONSHIP to God the Father. But the forgiveness that comes through repentance, faith and confession establishes and maintains FELLOWSHIP with God. 1JO 1:3-4, 6-7. 1. This is how prodigal sons are reconciled to their heavenly Father, as LUK 15:11-32 implies. 2. Those whom Christ HATH reconciled are charged by the gospel to BE reconciled (in faith, practice, etc.) to God. 2CO 5:18-20. 3. When a child of God sins, he suffers the chastening of the Father (LUK 12:47-48; HEB 12:5-8). This may be averted through repentance and fatherly forgiveness. 1JO 1:9; 1CO 11:31. F. The life of unbelieving disobedience for God's children is one of chastening, fear, lack of hope, lack of assurance, doubting, poor judgment, spiritual unrest, diminished joy, diminished peace, etc. 1. The carnal church of the Laodiceans is an example of how to be sons of God WITH REBUKE. REV3:19. 2. Grace fits the elect so, through conversion and obedience, they may be the sons of God WITHOUT REBUKE. PHIL 2:12-15. G. The abundant life of walking in faith in the light of the gospel is characterized by: 1. assurance of sonship and eternal glory. 2PE 1:5-10. 2. confidence toward God. 1JO 3:21. 3. relief from chastening. 1CO 11:31. 4. joy and peace. ROM 15:13; 1JO 1:4. 5. fellowship with God and other believers. 1JO 1:7. H. The abundant life starts with God's elect hearing the gospel, believing the gospel, confessing Christ and repenting so that they may receive forgiveness of sins in time. ACT 26:18. I. The abundant life is maintained by living a life well-pleasing to God through obedience to His word and regular confession of sin. J. The blood of Christ is what makes this life of wellpleasing possible. HEB 13:20-21. The Two Provisions of the Cross Page 3 of 4 Eternal Forgiveness The work of Christ alone Establishes relationship Delivers from hell Makes a son of God Completely unconditional Declared by the gospel Sovereign act of God's will Bestows life upon the dead A one-time occurrence A gift to the dead Universal to all the elect Secures one in the heavenly church Eternal glory “There's nothing you can do.” The Two Provisions of the Cross Compared Temporal Forgiveness Christ's work plus man's conversion Establishes fellowship Delivers from God's chastening Makes a son of God without rebuke Conditioned upon conversion Made available through the gospel Man's will very involved Abundant life for the living An ongoing experience An offer to the living Realized only by elect believers Grafts one into the local church on earth Foretaste of eternal glory “All you have to do is...” The Two Provisions of the Cross Page 4 of 4
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