Friday, June 06, 2008

The Price of Sin

Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”
Matt 9:2-6a (NKJV)

While we know that Jesus was indeed God in the flesh (incarnate) and therefore had all power as a member of the Godhead, was not the forgiveness of sins the reason He came to die on the cross? Which of the following options do you think is most applicable in this situation?

1. Since He was God He was able to forgive the sins of whomever He wished. That is His prerogative.

2. Jesus knew that this man was one of the elect for whom He was going to die anyway, and therefore gave him an advance on His forgiveness.

3. He did it just to spite the Pharisees and show them that forgiveness does not come by keeping the law or being self-righteous.

4. He wanted to reveal His oneness with the Father by doing miracles of power that could only be attributed to God.

11 comments:

Kc said...

1 and 4. ;-)

Daniel said...

We need not speculate about why Christ came to earth - the reason is plainly given in Matthew 1:21 - "He will save His people from their sins."

Why did He come? He came to save HIS PEOPLE.

Dying on the cross was the means by which he saved his people.

I don't think any of these four points really captures it.

Jesus was not half God and half man. He was all God and all man. His divinity did not intrude upon his humanity, nor his humanity upon his divinity - this is what the hypostatic union is all about.

To suggest that Christ had unveiled the divine every time he did something is to deny the ministry of the Holy Spirit through whom Christ ministered. Some people forget that Christ means "Annointed" - not with water, or oil - but with the person of the Holy Spirit in fullness. Christ cast out demons, not in the strength of his own divinity - not on His own authority - but in the strength, and through the authority of the Holy Spirit who was working in Him. If we say that Christ did all these things "because he was God" we miss the whole point of his being the annointed one - and regulate the Holy Spirit through whom Christ ministered to the roll of useless spectator - and come perilously close to blaspheming the one person you must not blaspheme.

Why did Christ forgive the paralytic - because his sins were forgiven.

Only Look said...

I dont know that either of those reveals the purpose Jim of Christ dying.

He died primarily because it was the will of His Father as he prayed for another way if possible and the Father sent Jesus to reconcile us to himself. So the cross opens the floodgates to our re-union with Himself and washes away our sins revealing the willingness of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to forgive which is the very heartbeat of His nature. So then anyone who comes to the cross in repentance of their sins in faith believing that they will indeed be forgiven can enter into this most blessed union. It is his people...the elect that see and cherish this most blessed truth. If one does not go to the cross for reconciliation with the Father through Jesus Christ alone then one is not a child of God nor of the elect. It really is that simple. That is why we cannot bypass the beloved cross by any means that seems expedient at present to seemingly win souls.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Only Look said...

Also....I understand that you were asking what was most applicable to this situation, but the situation is not what determines the purpose is what I am trying to say. God used all of these situations to lead men to the cross revealing that it is only there that they can find forgiveness of sin and before he went there he had to show them that he was the only one who could pay that price and had the authority to do so, but what I am burdened about today is that mankind is always taking the attention away from the cross by elevating these situations over what was done at the cross and what God did to get us to look there. If there could have been any other way or any other place then God would have answered Jesus's prayer in that regard, but there wasnt for Him and so God forbid the thought that there can be for us. We must all receive life at the cross...nowhere else. I never thought a day would come where we as evangelical believers would see it any other way. I am convinced now that the problem today is not music or method but simply we for some reason cannot get the gospel straight anymore and we are confusing one another and being confused by one another...I am ashamed that I allowed others to get to me and try to confuse me, but I am not confused anymore.

Praise God...It is finished.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Only Look said...

BTW...I am not saying you are bypassing the cross either here...but what I am trying to do is seize an opportunity at stating what I believe is of uptmost purpose and what is applicable to everything and that is not Calvinism or Arminianism but the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. For the most part I have observed however and that is that those who may be sometimes labeled Calvinist by others or who consider themselves Calvinists or just simply like to impress the imoportance of the sovereignty of God, never seem to waver here at the cross and by all that I believe in reading the Scriptures...I see that as a good thing. That is why I am so adamant and perhaps have seemed to be very emotional about this I guess.

Grace upon grace

Jim said...

Daniel, you said:

"Why did Christ forgive the paralytic - because his sins were forgiven."

I don't follow you? Because He was elect?

Steve said...

Your four options are tough. I would agree with the fourth, the three others are worded in such a way that, to me, are too loaded.

Thanks for the exercise of thinking them through.

-Steve

Jim said...

Brian, I think too many Christians the cross is simply a nice little icon.

Doubtless there were thousands of people crucifed on crosses, so the cross itself is not inherently "Christian" nor was its death more significantly painful or torturous than other kinds of suffering.

The suffering Christ endured was not merely physical but rather in that He bore the sins of the world upon His shoulders, He took upon Himself the wrath of God.

Thus Christ's death on the cross is the greatest act of love He could show.

Jim said...

Steve, thanks your comment!

Only Look said...

Amen about the cross Jim and the eternal suffering of Christ. The cross is the manifestation of that and the bridge where God answered Jobs prayer and joined his hand with Gods throuh the Son of Man Christ Jesus and the eternal scope can never be overestimated and so by what you have rightly stated it should never be taken for granted in the gospel message or shied away from. Amen.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Duane WATTS said...

HI Jim!
I'll take what behind door number 5!
Our sins were nailed to the cross with Jesus. This poor fellow was carried there by hs faithful friends. He also was probably a believer; however, he was suffering the temporal consequences of his sin. "If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrigihteousness".
You mean if we don't confess we go to hell? No our sin is gone. But He does expect confession, and there is temporal consequence of sin. Who knows what this fellow did to get him into this jam. But Jesus had compassion and forgave his sins unilaterally,and as a bonus Jesus got to prick the conscience of the cinical.
BTW good points about Jesus living by the Spirit. I think that opened up some pores i my brain. I will let that sink in.
Thanks!

Duane