Grace Baptist Church of Danville
October 26, 2008
“There was only one way a holy God and his sinful enemies could be reconciled. One equal with the offended One, and yet brother of the offenders, must lay down his life in their stead. Bless the name of Jesus Christ, he is both the Son of God and the Son of Man.” — Pastor Jim Byrd
Daily Readings for the Week of October 26-November 2
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Susan Grant-28th Rickey Dale Birchum-29th
CHURCH CLEANING IN NOVEMBER: Joyce Montgomery
NURSERY DUTY THIS WEEK
Today: Shante’ Birchum (AM) Pam Wood (PM) Tuesday: Shelby Fortner
Above All Worlds, Above All Space — Don Fortner
(Tune: #52 — Majestic Sweetness — CM)
1. Above all worlds, above all space,
Where measurement’s unknown,
Jehovah has His dwelling place,
Immensity His throne!
2. My soul, consider and adore
The God of truth and grace.
He is “the High and Lofty One,”
Whose name is Holiness,
3. Justice and Mercy are His hands,
Omniscience is His eye,
His Truth, unchanged, forever stands,
Though earth in ruins lie!
4. With Grace and Glory He is dressed,
Eternal are His days!
He is “The Lord our Righteousness,”
And good are all His ways!
“They made their hearts as an adamant stone.” (Zechariah 7:12)
The adamant stone is harder than flint (Ezekiel 3:9). Pliny named it as one of six unbreakable stones. Yet, ancient naturalists asserted that it can be softened by the blood of a goat. Whether Pliny and the naturalists were accurate or not does not matter. The Lord God declares that the heart of fallen man is as obstinate and hard “as an adamant stone.” Nothing can break the heart but the almighty, efficacious, irresistible grace of God. Nothing can soften the stony, adamant heart except the blood of Christ sprinkled upon it by the Spirit of God, declaring the forgiveness of sin.
Three Aspects of Christ’s Satisfaction
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Romans 3:25)
Gospel preachers speak frequently about the satisfaction of Christ, declaring that he has both made satisfaction for the sins of his people and that he shall forever be satisfied with the results of his finished work. The Lord Jesus Christ satisfied the law and justice of God for his people when he suffered and died as our Substitute upon the cursed tree. By obeying all the precepts of God’s holy law as a man, he fulfilled it as our Representative and brought in everlasting righteousness for us. By dying under the curse of the law, bearing our sins, bearing its penalty to the full extremity of divine justice, dying as our Substitute under the wrath of God, our all-glorious Christ satisfied the wrath and justice of God for us. Thus the Lamb of God put away the sins of God’s elect by the sacrifice of himself. He has forever secured for his people complete, total immunity from all the evil consequences of their sins. He has secured the eternal salvation of God’s elect by his satisfaction, making it impossible for God in justice to impute their sins to them. Having satisfied the law and justice of God for us, we are assured that our great Redeemer shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied. He will see his people, every one of them saved, justified, sanctified, and glorified. Not one ransomed sinner shall perish under the wrath of God. This is the good news we declare in the gospel (Isaiah 40:1-2). This matter of satisfaction is set before us in Holy Scripture as propitiation, atonement, and reconciliation.
The word “propitiation” is used three times in the New Testament. In all three places we are told that Christ is our Propitiation. The very same Greek word translated “propitiation” in the New Testament is translated “mercy seat” in the Greek version of Exodus 25:21 and in Hebrews 9:5. The mercy seat, which covered the ark of the covenant and covered God’s broken law, upon which the cherubim were fixed, upon which they constantly looked, was the place where the atonement blood of the paschal lamb was sprinkled. The mercy seat was the seat of divine majesty where God promised to meet his people in mercy. To the mercy seat men were bidden to look in the hope of obtaining mercy from and communion with God, through the blood of God’s appointed sacrifice (typifying and pointing to the blood of Christ), just as we are bidden to come to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, because there Christ has sprinkled his blood. The publican mentioned by our Lord in Luke’s Gospel had a glimpse of Christ as the one represented in the mercy seat. He cried, “God be merciful (propitious) to me the sinner.” He sought mercy through the propitiatory sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Christ is our Propitiation. He is our Mercy-seat.
As propitiation, or appeasement, is one aspect of Christ’s satisfaction, a second aspect of it is atonement. The word “atonement” is commonly used in the Old Testament in connection with the typical sacrifices of the law and the ceremonial (typical) expiation of sin (Leviticus 1:4; 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:6, 10, 13, 16, 18; 16:6, 10, 11, 16-18, 27, 30, 32-34; 17:11). The basic meaning of the word “atonement” is “to cover.” As the blood sprinkled on the mercy-seat covered God’s broken law beneath it, so the Lord Jesus Christ, by his sacrifice, is a covering to his people, from the curses of the law we have broken, — from the wrath of God we deserved, — and from avenging justice of the holy Lord God, to which our sins exposed us.
However, the word “atonement” is only used one time in the New Testament. We find it only in Romans 5:11. — “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” This atonement was made for us by Christ our Surety, Head, and Representative. The knowledge, blessing, and benefit of it, the application of it comes to us by the Spirit of God, who takes the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ and applies it to chosen, redeemed sinners, shows us our interest in the atonement, and causes us to receive the effect of it by trusting Christ. The effect of it is joy, peace, and comfort in the knowledge of redemption accomplished.
The word translated “atonement” in the King James Version means and might be better translated “reconciliation.” It is translated that way at times. The Hebrew word for “atonement” is also translated in some places, “reconcile,” or “reconciliation” (Lev. 6:30). The fact is: atonement and reconciliation for sin is essentially the same thing. Both imply a satisfaction made and accepted by God for sin. The word “atonement” means “at one with.” Believers are brought to be at one with God by the sin-atoning blood of Christ. As soon as we believe on the Son of God, we are at one with God, because God has reconciled us to himself by the death of Christ for us.
The third aspect of Christ’s satisfaction is reconciliation. “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18). Ours is a ministry of reconciliation. We proclaim reconciliation accomplished and seek to persuade sinners, who are by nature haters of God, to be reconciled to him, bowing to and trusting his dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Reconciliation began with God himself, not with us. “All things are of God,” in nature, providence, and grace, “Who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ.” It began in the thoughts of his heart, which were thoughts of peace. It was brought up in the council chambers of eternity, and settled in the covenant of grace and peace before the world began. It was executed and accomplished by Christ, by his death upon the cursed tree (Romans 5:10; Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:20-22).
The ransom price of Christ’s precious blood was paid to God, against whom all sin is committed, whose law we have broken, and whose justice we have offended. The ransom price was paid to the Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy (Romans 5:10; Ephesians 2:16). Christ’s blood was shed to make reconciliation for sin, to make atonement for it (Daniel 9:24; Hebrews 2:17). Christ died to reconcile men and women to God, who are by nature sinners, “children of wrath,” and enemies in their minds to God (Romans 5:10; Ephesians 2:1-4; Colossians 1:21).
All who have been reconciled to God by the sin-atoning death of his Son shall, at God’s appointed time, be reconciled to him in their hearts by the power and grace of his Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). Reconciliation has been made for sinners by the death of Christ. The way is open for sinners to come near unto God and come with full assurance of faith. The way is Christ, — His Propitiation, — and His Atonement. God Almighty sends his servants with the Word of reconciliation to persuade sinners to be reconciled to him. The motive by which God urges sinners to be reconciled to him is redemption accomplished and the blessed promise of all things new in Christ.
Propitiation is the appeasement of God’s wrath by the blood of Christ. — Atonement is union made between God and sinners meeting at the Mercy Seat (“the throne of grace” – Hebrews 4:16), where Christ’s blood covers our sins. — Reconciliation is the reuniting of God and his elect in the person of his dear Son, both looking to the blood of atonement.
October 26, 2008
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Telephone (859) 236-8235 - E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor
Schedule of Regular Services
10:00 A.M. Bible Classes
10:30 A.M. Morning Worship Service
6:30 P.M. Evening Worship Service
7:30 P.M. Mid-Week Worship Service
Television Broadcasts in Danville
Channel 6 - Sunday Morning 8:00 A.M.
Channel 6 - Wednesday Evening 6:00 P.M.
Channel 6 - Friday Evening 7:00 P.M.
Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com