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“God be Thanked that Ye were the Servants of Sin”
Sinful man is brought into a nearer union with God in the Person of Christ our Substitute than we could ever have enjoyed had we not known sin. Had we never sinned, Christ would not be our Surety and Substitute. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!” God has assumed our nature in the Person of his Son. We are members of his body (Ephesians 5:30). The Son of God died in our place (Galatians 3:13-14). Christ is our Brother and our Husband. He who is our Brother and our Husband is our Surety, the one responsible for us. And we are the Sons of God (1 John 3:1). Our temporary separation from God by sin has been made the means of our eternal union with God in Christ by redemption (John 17:20-23).
Knowledge of God
Saved sinners, by reason of their sin, have greater and fuller knowledge of God, his glory, his grace, his justice, his holiness, and his love than we could ever have possessed had we never sinned. We see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ our dying Substitute (2 Corinthians 4:6). And it is in his death that we have the love of God commended to us (Romans 5:8). This will be the theme of our heavenly praise for ever and ever (Revelation 1:5-6).
Love for Christ
Our redemption from sin and death by Christ causes us to have a love for God that we could not otherwise have. One day this love will be brought to perfection. But even now, the love of Christ that constrains us is something Adam in innocence and the angels in heaven could never know. Great forgiveness produces great love (Luke 7:47). Great forgiveness is the greatest possible motivation for love, adoration, devotion, and praise (1 Corinthians 1:26-31; 6:20; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21).
Faith in God
Fallen man, saved by grace, has a greater, more sensible dependence upon God than he could otherwise have. And God is glorified by his creatures’ dependence upon him. Fallen man, saved by grace, knows by painful and abundant experience that he has no hope but the free grace of God in Christ, who is our all in all. Fallen, helpless man cries, “The Lord is my Portion, saith my soul, therefore will I hope in him.”
In the Garden of Eden, the forbidden tree was called “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:17). God is the one who planted that tree in the midst of the garden. And he ordained that our father Adam eat the fruit of that forbidden tree to taste the evil of sin, because he had wisely and graciously determined that his elect might know the great and glorious good of redemption and grace in Christ. God the Holy Ghost tells us that this grace abounding to us in and through Christ Jesus is truly a great reason for thanksgiving and praise to our great God, who is the God of all grace (Romans 6:17-23).