Not only was it necessary for Christ to die that God might shew mercy to sinners, the death of Christ was needed to justify God’s dealings in the old dispensation, “to declare His righteousness for the remission,” or as it is here “the passing over of sins done aforetime.” vs. 25.
The Sin Question Settled vs. 25, 26
For over 4000 years God had passed over sins as if He were indulgent or forbearing. But not until Jesus died on the cross was the sin question settled.
The great Day of Atonement when sins were covered for the entire year was only a picture of the greater Day of Atonement where sins were put away forever at Calvary. The blood of bulls was only the remembrance of sins every year like the accounts on the credit slips. The blood that was shed then pointed to Calvary where the accounts would be met and full payment made to the satisfaction of God. God had that cross in view when He accepted Abel, declared Noah righteous, justified Abraham and forgave sinning David. What He gave them was somewhat on the order of a promissory note. “I promise to pay,” said God and He forgave the sinner. The cross has justified Him in doing this.
Notice the two declarations in these verses,
“To declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past,”
“To declare at this time His righteousness that He might be just and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
Thus the Cross stands between the two dispensations and explains God’s dealings in both. The sins of those who lived before Jesus died and the sins of those who lived after, all met at the cross and there as far as God is concerned the sin question is settled for all who will believe. Will you?
Boasting Excluded vs. 27, 28.
The blood stained door that admits the sinner, excludes all boasting. Faith enters the door of grace and leaves boasting behind. Once guilty, the sinner’s hand was on his mouth,—now sitting at his Redeemer’s feet he is silent, too. He has no merit of his own.
In the court room there was a Babel of voices each man proclaiming his own goodness and excusing his badness. If man can boast in nothing else he will boast in being less sinful than his neighbor. Around the mercy seat there is no boasting for all unite in the grand conclusion that “a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” God has successfully “shut out” all boasting by saving sinners wholly apart from the works of the law. Had he given man even the tiniest bit to do there would have been no end to the boasting. He would be like the man who has an interest of one dollar in a million dollar concern and makes himself obnoxious by his continual boasting.
The Whole World Welcome vs. 29, 30
Jew and Gentile alike stand guilty before God. We know there is no difference there. But now that God shows mercy will He respect persons? Will He favour His earthly people the Jews? If God is a Saviour He will be a Saviour to all. He gave the law to the Jew only but the gospel is universal
The Jew who had the law can be justified only “on the principle of faith” and the Gentile who was without the law God would justify by “the means of faith.”
The Law Established vs. 31
After all this glorious unfolding we just expect some one to say, “But if this be true, if God justifies both Jew and Gentile wholly apart from the law is the law set aside?” No, indeed not! is the answer. It is not set aside but it is satisfied. Faith established the law. The believing sinner owning his guilt bows beneath the law’s righteous claim but says “Jesus speaks for me.” The law demands righteousness or vengeance. Both demands are met in Christ. He is our perfect righteousness and He has suffered the penalty of the law in His death on the tree.
1. Give a two-fold reason for the death of Christ.
2. In what way was a sacrifice in the Old Testament like a promissory note?
3. Give in your own words the reason why saved sinners cannot boast.