The Ministry of Christ
It is important not only to understand who Christ is, but also what He accomplished on the cross and what His present ministry is. Why? Because what Christ did is crucial to our salvation and God's redemptive plan centers around the work of Christ.
I. The Death of Christ
A. It's fact
1 . Jesus Christ died on the cross
John 19:30-34 Romans 5:8 I Corinthians 15:3
His death for our sins = gospel Acts 2:23
This is important because some unbelievers claim Jesus did not die on the cross, but rather fainted and was later revived and later died in obscurity.
Jesus' death on the cross made salvation available to us; if He did not die on the cross, there is no salvation for us. Romans 3:21-26
B. It's spiritual nature
When Christ died on the cross, it was more than just an ordinary death.
1. Christ bore our sins on the cross.
I Peter 2:24 Isaiah 53:11 2 Corinthians 5:21 Hebrews 9:28
2. Christ died in our place (as a substitute for us).
Substitution = one life given as a substitute for another; Christ dying instead of us.
I Peter 2:24, II Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 3:13, Galatians 1:4, I Peter 3:18
3. Christ was the sacrifice for sin. Hebrews 9:26-28, 10:10-12, John 1:29 Lamb of God
C. It's significance - Why did Christ die and what did it accomplish?
1. Christ's death satisfied God's justice.
a. God is just Deuteronomy 32:4
God judges His creation according to His moral standard and is fair in His judgment.
b. God's justice demands that a penalty be paid when His law is broken -- the penalty of death. Genesis 2:16-17, Romans 6:23
“Wage” what is earned or deserved “death” spiritual and physical “spiritual death” = spiritual separation from God and eternal “punishment in hell”
II Thessalonians 1:9, Revelation 20:11-15 -- judgment of all unbelievers
Why "death" as a penalty? Isn't spiritual separation from God forever a stricter penalty than the crime deserves?
No. In fact, "death" as a penalty matches the crime of "sins" perfectly for two reasons:
(1) God is just, therefore He cannot be unfair, therefore the penalty of "death" cannot be unfair.
(2) So serious is disobedience to a holy and sovereign God that death is its just punishment.
God is the standard, not man and his understanding.
c. All men sinned and are guilty in Adam. Romans 5:12,15,18
d. All human beings are born spiritually dead with a sin nature because they are descended from Adam.
Ephesians 2:1, Ephesians 2:3 -- were by nature children of wrath
e. The penalty of death must be paid before man could be restored in his standing before God.
I Timothy 2:5-6 -- the man Jesus Christ
Christ needed to become a man because man had to pay the penalty.
f. Christ became a man, died on the cross, and paid the penalty for man's sin, thus satisfying God's justice.
Matthew 20:28 Romans 5:9, 18
g. Man either accepts Christ's payment or rejects it.
If a person accepts that payment by accepting Christ, the penalty is paid for him and he is saved (justified).
Romans 5:9,18 Romans 3:24, Galatians 2:16, I Corinthians 6:11
If a person does not accept that payment by rejecting Christ, he pays the penalty himself in eternal separation from God and eternal punishment in hell.
II Thessalonians 1:9, Revelation 20:11-15
h. God must punish sin and carry out the penalty if He is just.
If there is a God, then He must be just, then there must be a hell.
See (a) above -- God is just.
2. Christ's death satisfied God's holiness.
a. God is holy.
Absolutely separated from all evil
Isaiah 6:3, I Peter 1: 1 6
b. Because God is holy, He cannot be united with sinful men.
Romans 1: 1 8,
Ephesians 2:3 -- children of wrath
c. When man sinned, he became separated from God who is holy.
Romans 5:8 -- sinners -- holy God Romans 5:1 0 -- enemies
All men sinned and were separated in Adams's sin.
Romans 5:12 Romans 3:23
d. The only way man could be reunited with a holy God is through forgiveness of his sins.
Colossians 2:12-14, Romans 5:10 -- reconciliation -- brought back together Isaiah 6:1-6
e. Christ bore man's sins on the cross and thus provided forgiveness for man's sins.
Ephesians 1:7 Revelation 1:5 I Peter 2:24 II Corinthians 5:21 Ephesians 4:32 Colossians 2:13-14
f. If a person accepts Christ, the forgiveness of Christ provided by His death becomes effective in his behalf and he receives forgiveness for all his sins; past, present, and future. Thus, he becomes united to the holy God.
Colossians 1:13-14, Colossians 2:13-14, Hebrews 10: 11-1 4
If a person does not accept Christ, the forgiveness Christ provided does not become effective in his behalf, he does not receive forgiveness of sins, he dies in his sins and is never reunited with the holy God.
John 3:16-21, John 8:24
II. The present ministry of Jesus Christ in our lives.
As believers, we enjoy a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (John 17:3).
A. Christ is the head of His church.
Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 5:23-32
B. Christ intercedes for us before our Father in heaven.
Hebrews 7:25-27, I John 2:1-2, Hebrews 4:14-16
C. Christ lives in and through us. John 14:23 Galatians 2:20