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Five Views of Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ calls poor, lost, helpless sinners to look unto him and him alone for all grace and salvation, all righteousness and redemption, all sanctification and holiness. Here are five views of Christ, as he is revealed in Holy Scripture, which form the basis of my soul’s hope, comfort, and expectation before God. I have hope of eternal life; I expect to stand accepted before God forever, not because of anything I have done, not because of anything I have experienced, and not because of anything I have felt, but because of what Christ has done for me as…
1. The Eternal Christ
I have hope before God because Christ stood as my Surety in the covenant of grace before the world began. By his own oath, from which he will not repent, the Lord Jesus Christ was made “a Surety of a better testament,” Surety of a better covenant, by “the determinate counsel” of the Triune God before time began (Hebrews 7:22; Genesis 43:8-9; Job 33:24).
In that covenant, the Son of God agreed to satisfy the law and justice of God for his elect and bring them all safe into glory. God the Father entrusted his elect people into the hands of his Son as a Surety (Ephesians 1:12). And Christ’s suretyship engagements will not be finished until all that the Father gave him have come to him and he has raised them up at the last day, presented them to the Father, and said, “Behold, I and the children which God hath given me.” (See John 6:37-40; 10:16; Hebrews 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.)
2. The Incarnate Christ
The fact that the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, came into this world as a man gives me hope as well (Matthew 1:21). Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature, is God come to save. The Son of God would not have become one of us were it not his purpose to show us mercy. — “For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17). This is good news indeed: “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
3. The Obedient Christ
I have hope before God because Christ obeyed the law of God as my Representative. Though I am a sinner, without any ability to produce righteousness, I have hope before God who cannot accept anything less than perfect righteousness. My hope is Jehovah-tsidkenu, “The Lord our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6). Christ lived in this world in perfect obedience to God as my Representative and brought in an everlasting righteousness. It is this righteousness, the righteousness of God, the righteous obedience of the God-man Christ Jesus, which God has imputed to me and imputes to all who believe on his Son (Romans 5:19).
4. The Crucified Christ
But before righteousness could be lawfully imputed to me my sins had to be both
atoned for and put away. And I have hope before God because the Lord Jesus Christ died as my Substitute under the penalty of God’s holy law at Calvary (Romans 3:24-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21). My God, by a marvelously legal and infinitely wise and gracious transfer, transferred my sin to Christ and punished him for my sin and then transferred Christ’s righteousness to me and rewards me for his righteousness. Christ became what we were so that we might forever be what he is. Christ stood in our place so that we might forever stand in his place. Christ died, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, so that we might live forever with God. And now God is faithful and just to forgive the sins of all who confess their sins, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 1:9).
5. The Exalted Christ
And I have hope before God because this Christ, who lived and died as the sinner’s Substitute, arose from the grave, ascended back into heaven, and has been exalted as King over the universe. The Lord Jesus Christ, “when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). The fact that he arose from the grave assures us that Christ has completely satisfied the law’s claim against our sins. The fact that he ascended back into heaven assures us that he is accepted of God as the Representative of his people. And the fact that he is enthroned as King over all things assures us that “he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (Hebrews 7:25).
I am confident that Christ has done all of this for me as my Surety, my Representative, my Substitute, because I acknowledge my sin before God and trust him alone as my Lord and Savior. My faith does not save me. Only Christ can save. But my faith gives me a confident hope that I have been saved by the grace of God through the righteousness and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 11:1; 1 John 5:10-13). My God given, God wrought faith in Christ is the God-given evidence of my election, redemption, effectual calling, and everlasting salvation.