GET ACQUAINTED - Ask each participant to describe what he does for a living and what he enjoys most about it.

Last time we saw that the New Testament reveals Christ at the center of all revelation.  It has been said that History is really "His story."  The difficulty in finding Him in the Old Testament is explained by the old expression, "Christ is in the Old Testament concealed and in the New revealed."  The whole OT anticipates the coming of Jesus Christ and finds its fulfillment in Him.  His work in accomplishing redemption is the pervasive theme of the Bible.  The history of redemption has recovery and restoration of the creation as its ultimate goal.

What insights did you bring to share?


8.  When, where, and how was redemption accomplished?
At the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus     {having accomplished the work [the Father] gave Me to do (Jn.17:4) >> It is finished (Jn.19:28-30)}

Rom.4:25 Jesus our lord was delivered up for our trespasses [substituted for us] and raised for our justification [so we could be declared righteous].

2 Cor.5:21 It was for our sake that [God] made [Christ] to be sin for us [in our place, substitution] that in Him we might become the righteousness of God

Explain the dilemma of how God can remain righteous and forgive sin.

Rom.1:16-17, The Gospel is the power of God to save people because in it the righteousness [not salvation] of God has been revealed.     the righteousness of God has been revealed in the Gospel

1:18,   the wrath of God has been revealed

2:2,    the judgment of God

2:3,    there is no escape for the wicked

2:4,   God has been showing kindness, forbearance, and patience to lead us to repentance

2:5,   instead of repenting, men have been accumulating a backlog of guilt [reasons God is just in condemning – we deserve His wrath]

2:6,  God’s justice renders to every person exactly what he deserves

3:9,  all men are sinners

3:19,   the law confirms the guilt of every person

3:21-26 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it - the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.  For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith.  This was to show God's righteousness [not mercy], because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins. (v.25)

Paul is arguing not only that God delayed judgment of Old Testament believers by leaving previously committed sins unpunished,* but also that He transferred their sins to Jesus where they were punished and thus righteousness [justice] upheld.  That is the core of what the discussion of Abraham's justification in Rom.4 is about.  It wasn’t just for Abraham’s sake that God wrote ‘it was reckoned to him (Gen15:6),’ but for our sakes also (those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead – Him who was delivered up because of our transgressions and was raised for [the purpose of accomplishing] our justification). (Rom.4:23-25)

It was to show His righteousness [not graciousness] at the present time, so that He might be just [not merciful] and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (3:26)

{so that grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom.5:21)}


* This is not the same thing as described in Acts 17 where Paul in Athens addresses unbelievers who have wrongly conceptualized God as "an image formed by the art and imagination of man" (v.29).  Here, "God overlooked the times of ignorance" (v.30) refers to God's mercy in delaying final judgment, postponing sins' disastrous consequences (see 14:16).  Notice that the certainty of judgment is set in which "He will judge the world in righteousness" (v.31, see Ps.96:11-13; 98:7-9), which is expected.

What does Rom.3:26 have to do with the vindication [definition?] of God?

God is vindicated when He is proven (found, shown) to be just, righteous, faithful, true, correct, and right in His actions or words.  His righteousness (etc.) is upheld and He is cleared of suspicion and accusation (exonerated).  He has not been found to be wrong (etc.), has not been discredited or His reputation damaged so that we might have complete trust and confidence in Him.

1 Tim.3:16 He was…vindicated [justified, proven righteous] by the Spirit… [see Rom.1:4]

Jn.3:33 Whoever receives His [Jesus’] testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.

Rom.3:4 Let god be true though everyone were a liar, as it is written, ‘That You may be justified in Your words, and prevail when You are judged’ (Ps.51:4b)

Isa.5:16 But the Lord of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.

Explain how God resolves the tension between judging sin and forgiving the sinner.

2 Pt.1:1 To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ [we expect the word "grace" instead of "righteousness"] > 1 Jn.1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [we expect "faithful and gracious"]

FOURTH LESSON > Hand out, Dealing with Language

What might be the purpose of exercise 9?

To give us a more complete picture of Christ's accomplishment, like facets of a diamond.

9.  Besides redeeming enslaved people, glean from the verses below other things God has done for us through Christ.  Define the terms, using a dictionary where needed [see Taxonomy, Student session 1].  Try to find examples illustrating the idea of each term in the Old Testament.  The use of paraphrases such as The New Living Translation are not recommended for this exercise.  NAS, ESV, and NKJ are recommended (see Partial List of On-Line Resources, Student 2)

·                    Select a student to solicit answers.

Mk.10:45 The Son of man[came] to give His life a ransom for many

1 Tim.2:6 He gave Himself a ransom for all [NLT - purchase freedom]

a.                Ransom - price paid to secure the release of a captive.  Redemption is liberation through forgiveness which is obtained by payment of a ransom

Ask, “What is the designation of the one secured our release”?    Redeemer

OT example?  At the Exodus, God judged everyone and bought [ransomed] the firstborn males (representatives of the whole family and God's claim on all) by taking the lamb in their place [substitution].  This was a demonstration of God's sovereignty - that judgment falls upon all, Egyptians and Israelites, and that mercy was available to all.  Ex.30:11-16, "when you take a census…each shall give a ransom [lit. atonement] for his life to the Lord (v.12) the rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less" (v.15).  The lesson of the Passover was that the sentence of death upon the firstborn was put off [atonement - covered over for the time being, a temporary measure until actual redemption was accomplished at the cross] through the acceptance of a specific sacrifice is now expanded to apply to the whole community.  Later, God took the Levites in place of the firstborn of Israel (Num.3:11-13).

Hosea's ransom of his unfaithful wife (Hos.3:1-2) served as an illustration of God’s ransom of unfaithful Israel, and of mankind.

·                    What was our ransom price, what determined it, and how was payment made?
Death is God’s just penalty for sin.      Rom.6:23a the wages of sin is death

1 Pt.1:18-19 You were not ransomed with perishable things such as silver and gold…but with the precious blood [life] of Christ [by His death], like that of a lamb without blemish or spot [pure].

1 Pt.2:22-24 Christ suffered for us [how?]…[He] bore our sins in His own body on the tree… [substitution]

{Lev.1:4, laying hands on the sacrificial animal portrayed personal identification with the one taking the penalty for my sin.        Isa.53:5, with His stripes [welts], we are healed}

Titus 2:11 for the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for all people

Acts 28:28 this salvation from God is available to the Gentiles

b.  Salvation - describes our rescue, our deliverance from sin and its ultimate consequence, eternal damnation

{Ask, “What do we need to be saved from?”    1 Thes.1:10  the wrath to come

1 Thes.5:9, God has not destined us for wrath, but [contrast] to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.}

OT example?  Ex.14:30; 15:2, (after God destroyed Pharaoh's army in the sea) The Lord … has become my salvation from the song of Moses

{In the OT, to make atonement meant to cover.  Atonement is used generally to refer to the work of Christ that accomplishes our salvation.}

Rom.5:1 having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ [through whom we have gained access into this grace in which we stand v.2]

Titus 3:7a having been justified by His grace [NLT - He declared us not guilty] we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life v.7b

Rom.3:24 [all] are justified [fully] by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God set forth as a propitiation by his blood v.25

c.  Justified - declared to be righteous; vindicated

OT example?  Zech.3:1-4, a courtroom scene where Satan accuses Joshua the high priest of unworthiness for the priesthood.

Col.1:20-22 He [Christ] reconciled all things to Himself by having made peace [implies conflict] through the blood of His cross

2 Cor.5:19 "God reconciled the world [us] to himself"

d.  Reconcile - to make peace between two parties at odds with each other    Reconciliation - restoration of a broken relationship.

OT example?  Peace (or Fellowship) offering (Lev.3:1 NIV note; Beg. at Mos.p.287), a communal meal depicting peace and fellowship between God and man.

   {Ask,What happened when we were reconciled to God”?
Our alienation from God was ended by removing the cause - our sin, guilt, condemnation,       Rom.5:1, we [now] have peace with god
Rom.5:10, we were reconciled to God while we were enemies

Heb.2:17 He had to be made like his brethren in all things in order to become a merciful and faithful high priest … to make propitiation for the sins of the people  NIV - atonement   NLT - a sacrifice that would take away sins

1 Jn.4:9-10 the love of God was manifest in that God sent his only begotten son into the world that we might live through him.  God loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins

{Lk.18:10-13 be propitious [not merciful] to me, the sinner [turn aside Your wrath from me even though I deserve it and look favorably upon me even though I don’t deserve it]}

e.  Propitiation - describes the satisfaction of God's justice and appeasement of his anger [turning aside of His wrath]; means whereby our sin is covered and remitted thereby turning aside God’s wrath and restoring us to His favor (The God Who Is There, Carson, p.178-9)

OT example?  Blood sprinkled on Mercy seat [lid covering ark, lit. place of satisfaction] postponed God's wrath so He could look upon the people with favor.    sacrificial goat offered on the Day of Atonement (Beg. at Mos.p.291)

[speaking of one aspect that the OT sacrifices portrayed by sprinkling their blood at the inauguration of the old covenant], [Moses] sprinkled with blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship.  Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified [cleansed] with blood, and without the shedding of blood [death of the sacrifice to appease the anger of God] there is no forgiveness [cleansing] of sins (Heb.9:21-22)[Christ] has appeared…to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (v.26).

(Tit.2:14) [Jesus Christ] who gave Himself [His life] for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession…

f.   Expiation - the removal of the sin and cleansing [purifying] of the guilty conscience

{Ps.38:4 My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear NIV

Ps.103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our sins from us.}        OT example?  scapegoat freed on Day of Atonement (Beg. at Mos.p.291).

·        Explain Isa.6:7b.  Isaiah sees himself in the light of God’s holiness as utterly unclean and undone.  He describes the plight of all people as having unclean lips.  An angel touches his lips with a burning coal from the altar, “your guilt is taken away [expiation] and your sin is atoned for [propitiation].”

·                                            Look up the hymn “Rock of Ages” and perform an interpretive analysis of the first 2 verses.

Rock [figure of God in the OT as a place of safety, Ps.18:2, here referring to Christ] of Ages cleft [split open] for me, let me hide myself [take refuge, Ex.33:21-22] in thee; let the water [for washing away the stain and guilt of sin] and the blood [for appeasing the wrath of God], from Thy wounded side that flowed [Jn.19:34], be of sin the double cure, save from wrath [propitiation] and make me pure [clean, expiation].

All the labors of my hands [no matter how hard I try] can’t fulfill Thy law’s demands [I fail, fall short]; could my zeal no respite know [never slacken or diminish], could my tears [of sorrow over my sin] forever flow, all [labors, zeal, tears] for sin could not atone [make up for my sin; make things right with God; save me].  Thou must save and Thou alone.

Acts 13:38 forgiveness of sins is preached through this man.

Col.2:13-14 He made you who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh alive together with Him, having forgiven all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us [ESV, canceling the record of debt], which was contrary to us.  And He has taken it out of the way [ESV, set it aside], having nailed it to the cross.

{Micah 7:18-19 …pardoning iniquity…passing over transgressions…He will tread our iniquities under foot.  You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.     Heb.8:12 I will remember their sins no more}

g.  Forgiveness - remission of a debt or offense; a grant of free pardon

OT example?  Pictured by the scapegoat sent out into the wilderness bearing and removing the sins and guilt of the nation (Lev.16:20-22).

Tit.3:5 [God] saved us according to His mercy by the washing of regeneration [new genesis, origin, lineage] and renewal [new again, revival] of the Holy Spirit.

2 Cor.5:17 the one who is in Christ [condition] is a new creation

Col.2:13 He made us [the dead] alive with Christ having forgiven us all our trespasses

{1 Cor.15:50 flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God [it is spiritual in nature],

Jn.1:12-13 to all who received Him [Jesus Christ], who believed in His name [explanation], He gave the right [authorization, lawful entitlement] to become children of God, who were not born of blood [plural] nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but [by the will] of God.

Jn.3:1-8 you must [indicative dei – it is necessary, required - stating a fact rather than a command] be [or become] born again [or from above]

Jas.1:18 He brought us forth [gave birth to us] of His own will that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures

1 Pt.1:3 …He has caused us to be born again [regenerated us] to a living hope through [means] the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead}

h.  Regeneration - rebirth; the work of God that makes us new creatures, alive to God

OT example?  Ez.36:26, "I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you."      Ez.37:1-4 - valley of dry bones - read 37:4 note, ESV

·        Fill in the blanks with the words regeneration and faith and explain.

Regeneration logically precedes faith.      The dead cannot believe.

See Approaching the Bible with Prejudice

{Col.2:11-12 You were circumcised in Him with a circumcision made without hands by putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him…

i.    Circumcision - cutting away of sin; undergoing a change of heart; separation to the household of faith.  Circumcision in the flesh was (is) a type of regeneration or circumcision of the heart.}

FIFTH LESSON > go over handout, Dealing with Language

·                                {Ask, “What struck you in these lessons”?}

FURTHER STUDY    "The Holiness of God," cassette by R.C. Sproul;
What is the Gospel by Greg Gilberty; Justification by Imputation

Read Introduction and Chap.1 of RPCD - Chapters