The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 134 of 181
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all their needs, at the same time satisfying the demands of justice, His holiness not being
compromised in any way, and this is all because of the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus
Christ Who bore the penalty for the sins of all His people.
The Apostle Paul says more about grace, God's favour to the unworthy, than any
other N.T. writer. This wonderful redemption and justification is based upon the "riches
of His (Christ's) grace" (Eph. 1: 6, 7), leading to "exceeding riches of His grace" in the
ages to come which will be experienced in resurrection glory. The Apostle knew in his
own experience what it was to be the recipient of the grace and mercy of God, as he
looked back on his pre-conversion days and described himself as the "chief of sinners"
(I Tim. 1: 12, 13, 15). And this can be true of every sinner who puts his trust in the
redemptive work of Christ alone. It matters not of what race, nationality, class or colour
he belongs to, this infinite grace and mercy can be his on the grounds of trust in Christ
". . . . . this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who
believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and
are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God
presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to
demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed
beforehand unpunished--He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to
be just and the One Who justifies the man who has faith in Jesus" (Rom. 3: 22-26,
It is clear from the foregoing wonderful facts which stress that justification and
forgiveness are God's acts alone, and achieved solely through the sacrificial work of the
Lord Jesus on the sinner's behalf, that human boasting must be excluded. What has any
sinner, thus forgiven, to boast about? If he boasts at all, it must be in the Saviour Who
has given His life on the cross on his behalf and borne the penalty of his sins.
It is this perfect offering "once for all" (Heb. 10: 9, 10, 12), that God continually looks
at where sin is concerned and it is because of this that He could overlook the sin of
previous generations and be forbearing, holding back His hand in punishment. Christ's
redemptive work can be retrospective as well as looking to the future. Compare Paul's
proclamation to the Athenians ". . . . . the times of ignorance God overlooked; but now
commandeth . . . . ." (Acts 17: 30 R.V.). Yet at the same time, in forgiving the sins of
His people, God's holiness was not compromised in doing this. "He was just" and at the
same time "the Justifier of him who believeth in Jesus" (Rom. 3: 26).
Sin had not been ignored by Him or swept under the carpet so to speak. It had been
fully borne by God Himself in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ "For He hath made
Him (the Lord Jesus) to be sin (or a sin offering) for us, Who knew no sin (He was sinless
Himself); that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Cor. 5: 21).
How wonderful that the God Who pronounced the penalty for sin to Adam, namely
death (Gen. 2: 17), bore it Himself so that His creature should not have to bear it for
eternity! This is surely love beyond our comprehension. No wonder in the N.T. the love
of God is so often described in terms of the giving of Himself in the person of Christ for