Sunday, June 11, 2006

6. Confinement Under Sin


.... Pursuant of His goal to glorify Himself alone, God has revealed His own character and Divine nature through the Scriptures, and this has become His ‘standard of acceptance' for all men. Whatever falls short of His nature ‘misses the mark’, which is the literal meaning of the Greek word for ‘sin’ (hamartia).

.... "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

(Rom 3:23)

.... By revealing God’s character as the standard for mankind, the Scriptures have also set an impossibly high standard for us all. Therefore, as a reflection of His character, with or without the law of Moses being specified, they have forever settled the issue of man’s self righteousness, placing justification by our own, personal merit forever out of our reach (Rom 3:19-20; 1 Cor 1:29). Through the contrast with God’s own character, in the ways we have fallen short of Him, the Scriptures have effectively defined all men as sinners, and thus have confined us all under sin:

.... "But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe."

(Gal 3:22)

.... IIn confining us under sin in this way, God’s intention is not to condemn us, but to save us through His Son as an act of mercy, since this is the approach that would add to His glory (John 3:17; Rom 11:32-33). For the same problem with confinement under sin does not exist with our Lord Jesus, and this allows Him to become our champion.
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Jesus alone is able to stand before God on the basis of His own, personal merit (Rev 5:5; 9), for He is not confined by the Scriptures in the same way as we – but rather, it is the opposite. For He Himself is the Word become flesh, the personification of God’s character, and the epitome of His ‘Divine standard’ as shown in the Scriptures. Notice the natural blending of this concept in this pronouncement of Him:

.... "Then I said, "Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of Me. I delight to do Your will, O My God, and Your law is within My heart."

(Ps 40:7-8)

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