Dec 23, 2012

THE WORK OF CHRIST

CRUCIFIXION, RESURRECTION, ASCENSION and ATONEMENT
I believe Jesus voluntarily suffered at the hands of wicked men – Jews and Romans alike – and was executed via crucifixion (Jn 19:30). After He died, Jesus was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimethea (Jn 19:38-42) but rose again on the third day (Jn 19:38-42). Jesus’ resurrection was literal and his resurrected body was physical yet glorified and therefore it was imperishable and incorruptible (1 Cor 15:42-57). Jesus appeared to many (1 Cor 15:1-8) people over a period of forty days before ascending back to heaven, where He is now, seated at the right hand of the Father in power (Acts 1:3, 9).
I believe that Jesus functions in three different offices: prophet (Heb 1:1-2), priest (2 Cor 5:15), and king (Matt 19:28). As prophet, He reveals God to the world and as king, He reigns and rules over all. As priest, Christ gave himself up to be a sacrifice for sin and is now interceding on the behalf of believers (Heb 7:25; 9:24). In order to procure salvation, it was necessary for Christ to die for sin. The reason is that no human can meet the righteous standard of God, which is perfection. No human work can satisfy the wrath of God against our sin (Rom 3:23; 6:23).  Jesus’ sacrificial death on our behalf accomplished our salvation by his work. Jesus atoned for our sin as our substitute on the cross (Is 53:5-6, 12). The sacrifice of Jesus was a propitiation (1 Jn 2:2); it satisfied the wrath of God and brought us into a righteous legal standing before God (Rom 5:1). Anyone who comes to the Son will not be turned away but only those who call upon the name of Christ for salvation will have the work of the atonement applied on their behalf (Acts 4:12; Eph 2:8-9; Tit 3:5). I agree with the Synod of Dort (1619) that Christ’s death was “sufficient for all but efficient for the elect” (Jn 3:16; Rom 5:6).

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