(Rom 4:25) “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
The question is this: Did Christ satisfy God as our sin offering? Yes, He did (Isaiah 53:1-12; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:24-29). If not, Christ failed; for Romans 4:25 said, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” This was His purpose of going to the Cross. This action of Christ was vicarious (substitutionary) and it was expiratory (made satisfaction, or appeased God) for the sin debt of the sinner for whom He died. The result of the death of Christ was effectual, and did not depend upon the decision of the sinner to make His work in the Atonement on the Cross complete. It is the Atonement of Christ on the Cross that ratified the Covenant of Grace; and it does not depend upon the action of the sinner to be complete, or effectual, concerning the standing of “Justification” (or being declared Righteous). Christ is the end of the law for righteousness (Rom. 10:4), and not the sinner’s act of believing. Therefore, it is concluded that the sinner was declared righteous in the Atonement of Christ on the Cross, and not when the sinner was brought to believe that fact. The sinner’s action does not make the Atonement for his sin effectual as to his position of Righteousness; but, in the work of Christ and in Him alone on the cross.
Was it Christ’s Work as Sacrifice and Substitute on the Cross for our sin that satisfied God, or is there something else that needs to be done for God to be satisfied? Most evangelicals will admit that Christ’s death as the Sin Offering was necessary, and that God was satisfied. But they say, unless you believe the Gospel of Christ, then you will die and go to hell; but they never give you chapter and verse to prove that the Atonement of Christ is not effectual to the sinner unless the sinner moves toward God. Also, they never explain the process of believing. I submit that the problem lies in a misunderstanding about Believing. They say, for the most part, that man’s believing is a work of man. That it is the requirement to get God to give them the New Birth.
The problem fades away when you come to see that Believing is the Result and not the Requirement to be justified. Believing is the act of confessing that you are fully persuaded that Christ is your Substitute, Sacrifice and Savior (2 Cor. 5:21). The requirement of being Justified (or being declared righteous) is in the Atonement of Christ on the Cross as the Sin Offering; as the Perfect Sacrifice; even the Lamb of God which appeased (or satisfied, or propitiated) God for the sinner’s sin debt (Isa. 53:1-12; Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-20; 2:24). Believing is a work of God, not a work of man (John 6:29).
(Ephesians 2:1-3) states that you are dead in trespasses and sins until you are quickened (made alive) by the call of God (Jn. 6:63). Therefore, how can a dead man believe spiritual things without being made alive and given a new nature; given Faith by being made a New Creature in Christ (1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17; John 3:3-8); given eyes to see and ears to hear and the power to perform the Commandments of God?
Faith is a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). Believing is from Faith – “out of” as to Source. Christ is Faith; and Faith must be in you, for you to have the ability to see (perceive) the King and His Kingdom. You must be Born Again (or born from above; which action in John 3:8 is said to be done by the Holy Spirit) to have the power to enter into His Kingdom (John 3:3-8). To Believe (or to trust, obey, and be firmly persuaded), you must be revealed what it is you are going to trust (Matthew 16:13-16; John 3:27). Revelation comes only from above, or from God. For Revelation to come, and for you to see with eyes of Faith (Hebrews 11:1), then Faith must be given to you to do this. See Romans 1:17b, “From faith to faith” or “out of faith because of faith.” Paul proves in Galatians 2:20 that Christ is Faith; and Ephesians 2:8-9 proves faith is a gift. Paul gives the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
You cannot believe, or trust, in something that has not been seen; but by a supernatural ability given to a person in regeneration, or the New Birth; whenever Faith, or Christ, is implanted in you. Thereafter, when Faith is preached, it bears witness with Faith that is in your mouth and in your heart that it is truth and can be trusted (Romans 10:8).
John said, in (John 6:37), all will come to God that have been given to Christ. (John 6:44) is very plain that you can’t come to God unless He draws you. (John 14:6) is very plain that if you come, it will be through Christ. (John 6:63) is very plain that it is not your flesh that quickeneth you, but it is the Spirit of God. Jesus went on to say in verse 63, that “My words (Rhema) that I speak unto you (1 Corinthians 1:9 says it is Christ that calls you), they are spirit and they are life.” This is speaking of the Spoken Word of Christ (the Rhema), not the preacher, but Christ Himself calling the spiritually dead sinner, dead in trespasses and sin, to life.
John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
John 6:65 “And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.”
Christ is speaking, not of a preacher preaching the Gospel, but He is speaking here of a direct work of Christ giving life to a dead sinner; giving him faith to have the ability to perceive that the Gospel message applies to him personally (2 Corinthians 4:6-7). That Christ died for his sin debt and set him free – not maybe be free, if he decides to believe it. No, he is free, and he will believe it when he is Born Again, because the love of God will have been shed abroad in his heart; he is awakened to the knowledge of sin by the law, and realizes that it is his sin that nailed Christ to the cross (Isaiah 53:1-12).
But also he will come to see and confess that Christ’s Work is his Justification and Salvation (Romans 10:9-14), and will follow Christ in believer’s water baptism (immersion) (1 Peter 3:21). It is because of this revelation that he comes to believe (trust, obey, and be firmly persuaded), that Christ died for him and raised after the third day from among the dead (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:1-57, especially verses 12-22) for his justification. Then and only then, will a person know of his Justification in Christ, and not in his own works; he will be revealed that it is a done deal in Christ. Now he can rest in this fact that he is Righteous in Christ; because of Christ’s Work, and not because of his believing the facts.
The conclusion of the matter is that a dead man must be raised from the dead and given life to know that he is alive. See John 11:41-44, Christ called him (John 11:43), “Lazarus, come forth.” Had not Christ commanded Lazarus to come out of the dead, he could not in himself have raised himself from the dead. So it is with a dead sinner, John 11:44, “And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.”
He was bound hand and foot with the grave clothes. (So he had to float out; he could not walk.) And Christ said: “Loose him, and let him go.” This is what the Gospel does to a quickened sinner. The revelation of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection are preached to one who has been given life, faith, the ability to hear the Faith preached (Romans 1:17), “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” or by Christ. But if Lazarus had not come alive out of the tomb, he would not have been loosed from his grave clothes (type of the old man) and let go free.
(John 6:44-45) “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (45) It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”
Those that are taught and learn of Christ – come to Christ. They will all come to believe the Revelation of Christ’s Atoning Work for His Seed’s sin debt. He paid it and set them free; not because they decided, as a dead man, to believe; but they come to believe, because they have been Born Again, and given faith to perceive it and power to perform God’s Commandment of love. They will come, because it is God’s Plan to do so. (See Ephesians 1:4-14; John 6:37.)
(Romans 8:29-39) “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The notion that God cannot, and does not, work regeneration in the sinner until the sinner comes to God and says that he does believe Jesus is his Savior, is absolutely absurd and contrary to the truth revealed in the Scriptures concerning the Eternal Justification; the Judicial Justification and Experiential Justification of the sinner. The Scriptures confirms over and over that the sinner cannot and will not come to God and confess Christ as his Substitute, Sacrifice and Savior – until God comes to the dead sinner and calls or quickens the spiritually dead sinner who is born dead in trespasses and sin (Jn. 6:63; Eph. 1:1-8) and gives the quickened sinner ears to hear and eyes to see spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:9-16); and draws the sinner to God (Jn. 6:44-45); and grants repentance in face of the law which reveals the sinner to be guilty before a Holy and Righteous God; and brings the quickened sinner to confess that Jesus is his Substitute, Sacrifice and Savior, and Christ alone.
Salvation is of the Lord (Jon. 2:9). Its Origin is God; its Performer is God; God is the Cause and the sinner receives the effect. The sinner cannot confess, or believe, that which he does not know to be true; or cannot hear to be true; or cannot see or perceive what is true until he is given the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16).
When these things happen in the sinner, he will cry “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:14-16); then, and then only, will he have definite assurance of an internal witness that he is a child of God. Therefore, we conclude that it is Christ that Satisfied God in His Atonement on the Cross for the sin debt of the sinner. Then, upon that foundation, the Holy Spirit of God goes to the spiritually dead sinner and calls him, or quickens the spiritually dead sinner, and brings the quickened sinner to believe, or confess, that The Gospel of Jesus Christ has revealed his righteousness in Christ, and in Him alone. The quickened sinner comes and un-ashamedly confesses before men that he is a child of God; and follows the Lord in water baptism (immersion) as his public confession before others that he was co-crucified, co-buried, and co-raised with Jesus Christ to walk in “newness of Life”.