Why the Sacrifice of the Son of God? (Part 2)

As we saw yesterday, Murray argues that God was under no compulsion whatsoever to sacrifice his son for our sakes. Yet to achieve the eternal redemption of his elect, which he was determined to do because of the depth of his mercy and kindness, an atonement was necessary that could only be provided by Christ the Son. Still, the question is why? Why was the price of our reconciliation so high? Why Christ, the son in whom the Father is so well pleased?

Murray writes, “The salvation which the election of grace involves…is salvation from sin unto holiness and fellowship with God. But if we are to think of salvation thus conceived in terms that are compatible with the holiness and righteousness of God, this salvation must embrace not merely the forgiveness of sin but also justification. And it must be a justification that takes account of our situation as condemned and guilty. Such a justification implies the necessity of a righteousness that will be adequate to our situation. …Now, what righteousness is equal to the justification of sinners? The only righteousness conceiveable that will meet the requirements of our situation as sinners and meet the requirements of a full and irrevocable justification is the righteousness of Christ” (17).

In other words, the removal of sin alone would not have been sufficient to bring us into fellowship with God. We needed to be justified. The meaning of “justified” isn’t obvious in english, but, if it would make for good english, the greek word that stands behind the english word “justified” would be rendered “righteous-ified.” Far from only being cleansed from sin, we needed to be made righteous before God. But only the perfect Christ could provide for us a righteousness sufficient to commend us to God, therefore only his sacrifice of himself could be sufficient for our reconciliation.

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4 thoughts on “Why the Sacrifice of the Son of God? (Part 2)”

  1. i have grown to understand the doctrine of justification. in my understanding i have also grown to praise God for this truth.
    i meet with a guy every week to study through some basic doctrines. when we first started meeting i asked him about his daily bible reading. he said he didn’t read as often as he should and the reason he didn’t read was because he didn’t feel worthy. last week the topic of justification came up and it has changed his outlook on his worthiness. yes, he is not worthy to be called a child of God but because of Christ and the cross we are seen as righteous. when rightly understood, big-worded doctrine can bring about big praise to God.

  2. Good word, buddy. I’ve experienced just about exactly the same thing with my mother, who has begun over the last few years to understand some of the essentials of evangelical Christianity despite her Catholicism. Still, we’ve had conversations that have been prompted by her asking things like, “Yeah, but how do you really know if you’re going to heaven or not?” I know she worries about assurance of her salvation due to something of a latent (or not-so-latent) Roman Catholic works-righteousness ethic.

    I appreciate what you said, also, about rightly understanding these big-worded doctrines to the praise of God. I tend to like it when theologians use those big words, because sometimes it just seems like big doctrines need big words. But truth be told, I would trade a million big words for a few simple ones that could really give my mother the assurance that her faith should enjoy.

  3. i am enjoying the way you and i are using your blog to communicate. who cares if no one ever leaves any comments as long as you and i get to communicate more frequently. more people should read your blog though. it is good for the mind and heart and the pictures are good for the eyes and heart.

    wanna go to glacier?

  4. Thanks buddy. Dude, don’t ever ask me to go to Glacier unless you’re 100% serious. Are you 100% serious? ‘Cause if you’re 100% serious, then we’re going this summer.

    Anyone else want to go?

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