Monday, May 28, 2007

Romans 3:21 – 26 a closer look at forgivness

Romans 3:21 – 26 a closer look at forgiveness

Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all[h] who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (NKJV)


I know I am doing the series on Romans, yet the other day someone was asking a bit on my position that we are all forgiven but that does not mean we are all saved. This view is traditionally known as universal atonement. This is not the same “Universalist reconciliation: though I see that all creation has been reconciled is what the scripture teaches. (Romans 5:10) Yet, I do not see that because all have been forgiven or reconciled that all will be eventually saved… I think that that is a logical leap that comes from not understanding the difference between the Cross and the Resurrection and what they accomplished.

I have written a bit about this in my post called; ~ emerging thought in Montana ~: Universalism: Why I do not agree

All mankind was forgiven at the Cross… all the past sins and in that moment all sins from that day on would also be forgiven. If this is not true then no one’s sins are forgiven unless Jesus goes back to the Cross for each and every one of us. Hebrews states this in chapter 9: 11-15:

“11. When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation.
12. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.
“The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”

This is the end of the Old Covenant which entered us into the New Covenant which was promised in Isaiah 28: 15 – 18:

“You boast, "We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place."
So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.
I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place.
Your covenant with death will be annulled; your agreement with the grave will not stand. When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by, you will be beaten down by it.”

Isaiah 42:6-9 is a fascinating passage that runs parallel with Romans 3 it states:

"I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. "I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you."

And what are the new things God declares? Well that is what the bulk of Isaiah is about!!! Yet we rest on this verse in Jeremiah 31:31-34 to show the how He will do this.

"The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, " declares the LORD.
"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

The writer of Hebrews also alludes to this passage.

Hebrews 8:10 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Hebrews 10:16 "This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds."

This is the New Covenant. We are no longer under the Old and subject to death if we turn to Jesus. Forgiveness is given at the Cross… it was given once for all… here is a quick study on the verses that use this phrase.

• Romans 6:10
The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

• Hebrews 5:9
and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him

• Hebrews 7:27
Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

• Hebrews 9:12
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

• Hebrews 9:26
Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

• Hebrews 10:1
[ Christ's Sacrifice Once for All ] The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.

• Hebrews 10:2
If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.

• Hebrews 10:10
And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

• 1 Peter 3:18
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,

Jesus died once for all mankind… He did not die over and over for everyone as they come to Him for forgiveness which is what some teach without realizing that they do…

The question I ask is this… If Jesus died once, then all sins are forgiven, past the ones present and the future ones to come… how many of your sins were future in relationship to the Cross?
The answer is obvious. All of them would be future to the Cross. The Cross is a fix place in time that lasts eternity. So, the logical conclusion is that all sins are forgiven. Yet, we then still have the problem of salvation. Yet, that comes with the Resurrection of Jesus.
Romans 5:8-11:

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

When we accept that we are forgiven at the Cross and then go to the Living Jesus of the Resurrection we find in that reconciliation… we are then reconciled. The door of heaven has been thrown wide open, in that moment we are saved through His Life.
People miss this in its very simplicity, yet without we have a partial Gospel. We only have a dead Jesus on a Cross… who dies for us every day over and over so that we can be forgiven… and that is not what God intended. He gave His Son “once for all” at the Cross so that we could no longer have to fulfill the covenant with death Adam signed. The Covenant of Death no longer binds us, unless we stay committed to it even though it no longer holds us. This is like a wife who clings to her dead husband and carries him around and insists she is still bound to her marriage… it is sick and it only glorifies Death. God glorified Himself in His Son, so that we could have Life. The old is gone, the new has come… and I say Glory!