Monday, October 04, 2010

What is the Gospel? Part 3: Why do both Jesus’ Life and Death matter?

Matthew 3:13-15

In order for sinful human beings to have eternal life, the guilt and penalty of sin must be removed. Jesus does this not only by dying the death we justly deserve but by living the life we should have lived. If Jesus simply needed to impute the righteousness of God from His essence, there would have been no need for him to live for 33 years. However, in order to become a perfect high priest and lamb without blemish, Jesus not only had to die for us but He had to live for us. It is clear that the Scriptures speak of God’s people not only being justified by His death (Romans 3:25, 4:25, 5:9) but also as being saved by His life or obedience (Romans 5:10, 19). On the cross, God treated Jesus as if He lived your life so He could treat you as if you lived His life. That’s the Gospel.

Hebrews 4:14-15, 5:7-10 – this does not mean that Jesus was merely sinless in His essence as the second Person in the Trinity, but that He overcame temptations as a man. He revered and obeyed God. It says He was made perfect. Now if only His essence were needed for our righteousness there would be no need for Jesus to be made perfect since He already was. What this is speaking of is the same thing Jesus meant when speaking to John the Baptist. He was made perfect as a man (fulfilling all righteousness) so that He could become the source of salvation. Jesus was not lacking in any godly quality, but in the full experience of having lived a perfect human life. Jesus obeyed the Father in everything without sin (John 8:29). The lifelong perfect obedience of Jesus (Hebrews 5:8, 7:26-28) provides the basis for eternal salvation (Hebrews 2:10-18, 10:14).

Matthew 5:17 – Jesus did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it. Jesus does for us what we cannot do for ourselves (Romans 3:20). Romans 8:3-4 – the problem is not with the Law, but that it was weakened by the flesh and therefore could not do what it intended (i.e. do this and live, Deuteronomy 8:1, etc.). Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin but without that weakness so that the righteous requirement of the Law might be met (fulfilled) in us.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

1 comment:

Even So... said...

This is part of session #3 in a basic training and membership class at our church. You can see all ten weeks in .pdf form on the front page at

You can also see and download them from our "eDocs" section at SermonAudio...