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"When wisdom entereth into thine heart,and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee." (Proverbs 2:10-11)
THE WICKED JUSTIFIED - THE RIGHTEOUS CONDEMNED "He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD" (Proverbs 17:15). In a court of law, for a guilty man to be declared innocent and a just man to be condemned, each would be a horrible miscarriage of justice. However, that which men must not do is the message of the gospel, but the Lord does this without any breach of His law, but to the glory of His grace. It is written that God "justifieth the ungodly" (Romans 4:5) and the way He justified the wicked was by charging the sins of His chosen people to His just and innocent Son and then He condemned Him to die for crimes which were His only by imputation. In the same way that their sins became His, by imputation, His righteousness became theirs. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation...For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:19, 21). â€“Pastor Jim Byrd
THE INNOCENT FOR THE GUILTY When Adam sinned, the Lord provided a sacrifice to die in the stead of the fallen man and his wife. "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them" (Genesis 3:21). The Lord killed and skinned animals in order to cloth our guilty, naked parents. The animals were innocent of any rebellion against God and thus was implemented a vital truth seen throughout the Bible: if the guilty are to be delivered from judgment, an innocent victim must die in their place. In chapter four of Genesis, we find Abel offering to God "of his flock" (verse 4) to die in his stead. While Abel was a guilty sinner, the animal was not and it was sacrificed to God as his substitute. Hundreds of years later, when the Passover lambs were slain, God commanded that they be "without blemish" and to make certain there was no imperfection, the lambs were to be kept up four days for inspection (Exodus 12:5-6). Of course none of those sacrifices could ever put away sin, but they all pointed to the one offering that would, the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. When Christ died, He was the Innocent dying for the guilty to satisfy divine justice. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (1 Peter 3:18). "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14). Christ was the High Priest and the sacrifice which He offered was Himself which was not and could not be contaminated with sin. He was the perfect and innocent sacrifice unto God, which is why Paul said He was "a sweetsmelling savour" (Ephesians 5:2). He was the unblemished, unspotted offering presented to God in the stead of His guilty people which was accepted as was evidenced by His resurrection. O glorious message of good news! The Innocent died and arose for the guilty, sins have been put away, everlasting righteousness has been brought in and all for whom the Substitute laid down His life shall live forever. â€“Pastor Jim Byrd