Monday, October 18, 2010

Jesus is Savior

For the youth summit this year the theme is “Who is Jesus?” and we are looking at who Jesus is by examining His roles, how He reveals Himself to us and relates to us. He is Savior, Prophet, Priest, King and God.

When we say Jesus is Savior we are presupposing one important issue that many seem to not recognize: namely that they have need of salvation. People do not automatically recognize or understand their need of a Savior, so when we begin looking at Christ as Savior we must see a few things: Why do we need a Savior? From what do we need saving? What qualifies Christ as Savior? And How did He fulfill this role of Savior, this action of salvation?

To answer these questions I submit the section on the Heidelberg Catechism we have been studying at Blue Ridge Bible Church in the student ministry. The answers it gives and the Scripture it cites deals with these questions extensively.

3. From where do you know your misery?

From the Law of God.[1]

[1] Rom 3:20, 7:7

4. What does the Law of God require of us?

Christ teaches us in sum, Matthew 22: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.[1] This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.[2] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”[3]

[1] Deut 6:5; [2] Lev 19:18; Gal 5:14; [3] Lk 10:27

5. Can you keep all this perfectly?

No,[1] for I am prone by nature to hate God and my neighbor.[2]

[1] Rom 3:10-12, 23; 1 Jn 1:8, 10; [2] Gen 6:5, 8:21; Jer 17:9; Rom 7:23, 8:7; Eph 2:3; Tit 2:3

6. Did God create man thus, wicked and perverse?

No, but God created man good[1] and after His own image,[2] that is, in righteousness and true holiness,[3] that he might rightly know God his Creator,[4] heartily love Him, and live with Him in eternal blessedness, to praise and glorify Him.[5]

[1] Gen 1:31; [2] Gen 1:26-27 [3] Eph 4:24; 2 Cor 3:18; [4] Col 3:10; [5] Ps 8

7. From where, then, does this depraved nature of man come?

From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise,[1] whereby our nature became so corrupt[2] that we are all conceived and born in sin.[3]

[1] Gen 3; [2] Rom 5:12, 18-19; [3] Ps 14:2-3, 51:5

8. But are we so depraved that we are completely incapable of any good and prone to all evil?

Yes,[1] unless we are born again by the Spirit of God.[2]

[1] Gen 6:5, 8:21; Job 14:4; Isa 53:6; Jer 17:9; Jn 3:6; Rom 7:18; [2] Jn 3:3-5

9. Does not God, then, do injustice to man by requiring of him in His Law that which he cannot perform?

No, for God so made man that he could perform it;[1] but man, through the instigation of the devil,[2] by willful disobedience[3] deprived himself and all his descendants of this power.[4]

[1] Gen 1:31; Eph 4:24; [2] Gen 3:13; Jn 8:44; 1 Tim 2:13-14; [3] Gen 3:6; [4] Rom 5:12, 18-19

10. Will God allow such disobedience and apostasy to go unpunished?

Certainly not,[1] but He is terribly displeased with our inborn as well as our actual sins, and will punish them in just judgment in time and eternity,[2] as He has declared: “Cursed is everyone that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”[3]

[1] Heb 9:27; [2] Ex 34:7; Ps 5:4-6, 7:10; Nah 1:2; Mt 25:41; Rom 1:18, 5:12; Eph 5:6; [3] Deut 27:26; Gal 3:10

11. But is not God also merciful?

God is indeed merciful,[1] but He is likewise just;[2] His justice therefore requires that sin which is committed against the most high majesty of God, be punished with extreme, that is, with everlasting punishment both of body and soul.[3]

[1] Ex 20:6, 34:6-7; Ps 103:8-9; [2] Ex 20:5, 34:7; Deut 7:9-11; Ps 5:4-6; 2 Cor 6:14-16; Heb 10:30-31; Rev 14:11; [3] Mt 25:45-46

12. Since, then, by the righteous judgment of God we deserve temporal and eternal punishment, how may we escape this punishment and be again received into favor?

God wills that His justice be satisfied;[1] therefore, we must make full satisfaction to that justice, either by ourselves or by another.[2]

[1] Ex 20:5, 23:7; Rom 2:1-11; [2] Isa 53:11; Rom 8:3-4

13. Can we ourselves make this satisfaction?

Certainly not; on the contrary, we daily increase our guilt.[1]

[1] Job 9:2-3, 15:15-16; Ps 130:3; Mt 6:12, 16:26; Rom 2:4-5

14. Can any mere creature make satisfaction for us?

None; for first, God will not punish any other creature for the sin which man committed;[1] and further, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God’s eternal wrath against sin and redeem others from it.[2]

[1] Ezek 18:4, 20; Heb 2:14-18; [2] Ps 130:3; Nah 1:6

15. What kind of mediator and redeemer, then, must we seek?

One who is a true[1] and righteous man,[2] and yet more powerful than all creatures, that is, one who is also true God.[3]

[1] 1 Cor 15:21-22, 25-26; Heb 2:17; [2] Isa 53:11; Jer 13:16; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 7:26; [3] Isa 7:14, 9:6; Jer 23:6; Jn 1:1; Rom 8:3-4; Heb 7:15-16

16. Why must He be a true and righteous man?

Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned should make satisfaction for sin;[1] but one who is himself a sinner cannot satisfy for others.[2]

[1] Rom 5:12, 15; 1 Cor 15:21; Heb 2:14-16; [2] Isa 53:3-5; Heb 7:26-27; 1 Pt 3:18

17. Why must He also be true God?

That by the power of His Godhead[1] He might bear in His manhood the burden of God’s wrath,[2] and so obtain for[3] and restore to us righteousness and life.[4]

[1] Isa 9:5; [2] Dt 4:24; Isa 53:8; Ps 130:3; Nah 1:6; Acts 2:24; [3] Jn 3:16; Acts 20:28; [4] Isa 53:5, 11; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Jn 1:2

18. But who now is that Mediator, who in one person is true God and also a true and righteous man?

Our Lord Jesus Christ,[1] who is freely given unto us for complete redemption and righteousness. [2]

[1] Mt 1:21-23; Lk 2:11; 1 Tim 2:5, 3:16; [2] Acts 4:12; 1 Cor 1:30

19. From where do you know this?

From the Holy Gospel, which God Himself first revealed in Paradise,[1] afterwards proclaimed by the holy patriarchs[2] and prophets,[3] and foreshadowed by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law,[4] and finally fulfilled by His well-beloved Son.[5]

[1] Gen 3:15; [2] Gen 12:3, 22:18, 49:10-11; [3] Isa 53; Jer 23:5-6; Mic 7:18-20; Acts 3:22-24, 10:43; Rom 1:2; Heb 1:1; [4] Lev 1:7; Jn 5:46; Heb 10:1-10; [5] Rom 10:4; Gal 4:4-5; Col 2:17; Heb 10:1

This is an extensive dealing with the questions of “Why do we need a Savior?” and also “What qualifies Christ to be Savior?” This section shows that we have sinned against God. We are justly deserving of eternal wrath, punishment unending. We are in desperate need of a Savior. This is what Jesus came to earth to do, to seek and save that which was lost, destined for destruction apart from Christ.

How did He do this? He did this on the cross. The cross is the greatest demonstration of God’s justice, God’s wrath, God’s mercy, God’s grace and God’s love. He made a way for lost sinners, enemies of God deserving of eternal punishment, to be made right with Him. He did not look past sin. He did not ignore His justice or His righteousness. Instead He sent His Son: a perfect, sinless, holy, Divine, human, sacrifice to take the wrath and punishment deserved by those who had rebelled against God. Christ paid the debt for all of those who would repent and believe in Jesus, He came to save all those that the Father gave Him and He did not lose a single one. Jesus came not to just seek, but to seek and to save. Jesus did not come to make people savable, but to save lost sinners. In short, Jesus came to save. Jesus is the only Savior.