Christ Died for Our Sins!
James Smith, 1860
"Christ died for our sins!" 1 Corinthians 15:3
What a glorious testimony is this! It is a main feature of Paul's gospel. He preached it everywhere. He preached it to all. It was much for Christ to live for us, pray for us, and work for us; but it was much more for Christ to die for us--to die for our sins! But for our sins, the Son of God would never have . . .
lived in poverty with worms below,
suffered and died.
In the cross, we see . . .
the worst atrocity in the universe,
the means of the greatest display of God's love,
and the Savior's wonderful condescension.
But for sin, the Word would never have been made flesh--and the universe would never have seen God's perfect and complete character exhibited! The cross is a mirror, in which is seen all His divine attributes, and glorious perfections. We see God's character fully manifested--in the salvation of His people. The death of Christ is a subject which fills the holiest intellect with wonder and astonishment. Only in the sufferings and death of Christ, is the true nature of sin seen, and the full glory of God displayed.
"Christ died for our sins," to get rid of our sins. To remove them from God's sight, that they may not provoke the eyes of his holiness. To erase them from his book--that justice may not bring them forward at the grand assize. To give full satisfaction for them, that Satan may not justly accuse us with them.
Jesus, the Son of God took our nature--that he might be capable of dying for our sins. He took our place--that he might be allowed to die for us. Having our nature, and voluntarily coming into our place--he became our Substitute. He stood for us. He was accepted for us. He engaged to do, and suffer, all that could be required for our salvation.
His obedience to the law, therefore, was for us.
His sufferings were for us.
His death was for us.
His obeying the law--was as if we obeyed it.
His suffering the desert of sin--was as if we suffered it.
His dying for our sins--was as if we had died for them.
This being the case, as believers in him, as united to him, as represented by him--we are free . . .
from all charges,
from all condemnation,
from all just occasion to fear wrath.
"Christ died for our sins," to obtain our eternal redemption. That redemption, includes . . .
freedom from the law of sin and death,
admission into the presence and favor of God,
complete and eternal deliverance from sin, and all its penal consequences.
In consequence, the grave must give back our bodies, and they, strong, spiritual, glorious, and immortal--become the abodes of our sinless souls forever. Then in the enjoyment of perfect freedom, we shall live and reign with our glorious Redeemer and Savior, enjoying the smile of God, and the perfection of holiness and happiness forever!
"Christ died for our sins," and so became our Savior; and becoming our Savior, He became . . .
our all in all.
Christ therefore, as having died for our sins, and as having risen again for our justification--is the glorious object of our faith, hope, and affection.
In him we confide;
from him, and through him, we expect every blessing;
and on him our warmest love is fixed.
Blessed Savior, your death prevents our damnation, and your resurrection secures our everlasting salvation!
We shall never die for our sins--because you have died for them!
We shall never be held in the grave--for your resurrection secures our deliverance! Our present pardon, peace, and every blessing--come to us through Christ dying for us! And our perfect sanctification, resurrection, and glorification, are now certain--because "Christ died for our sins!"
O my soul, whenever tempted by Satan to despond and give way to slavish fears, call to mind this glorious truth, "Christ died for our sins!"
O my soul, whenever you have guilt upon your conscience, and corruption rages like a stormy sea within you--then remember that "Christ died for our sins!" When your sins stare you in your face, or rise up like mountains before you--do not forget that "Christ died for our sins!"
Yes, Jesus died for those very sins which now alarm and terrify you, which rise up in such horrid forms before you! And such is the efficacy of His blood--that it cleanses from all sin! No sin is too great, no stain is too deep--for it to remove! The vilest sinner, through Christ's precious blood--shall be as faultless and pure as a holy angel.
Reader, did Jesus die for your sins? If you sincerely believe on him--he did. Those for whom Jesus died, are by the Holy Spirit convinced of sin, and are led to exercise sincere faith in him. He who believes, is born of God; for true faith in Christ, is the effect and proof of the new birth; and the new birth is produced by the Spirit, to honor Jesus, and that he may see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.
If therefore I am born of God, I shall believe in Christ to the salvation of my soul; and if I believe in Jesus thus--there can be no question that he died for my sins.
If Christ did not die for them, then we must eternally die. How infinitely important then is faith in him, for to him give all prophets witness, that through His name, whoever believes on him, shall receive remission of sins. "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him!"
Now from the garden to the cross,
Let us attend the Lamb of God;
Be all things else accounted dross,
Compared with sin-atoning blood!
With thorns his temples gored and gashed,
Send streams of blood from every part;
His back with knotted scourges lashed,
But sharper scourges tear his heart!
Nailed naked to the accursed wood,
Exposed to earth and Heaven above,
A spectacle of wounds and blood,
A prodigy of injured love!
You who assume his sacred name,
Now tell me, what could all this mean?
What was it, bruised the harmless Lamb?
What was it, pierced his soul--but sin?
Blush, Christian, blush; let shame abound;
If sin affects you not with woe,
Whatever spirit be in you found,
The Spirit of Christ, you do not know.