The Saving Work of the Triune God -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer
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The Saving Work of the Triune God
(Continued from the October-December Number, 1948)
C. The Riches of Divine Grace
5. Forgiven All Trespasses. In the sense that there is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, believers are forgiven all trespasses. The declaration of Colossians 2:13—”having forgiven you all trespasses”—covers all trespasses, past, present, and future (cf. Eph 1:7; 4:32; Col 1:14; 3:13). In no other way than to be wholly absolved before God, could a Christian be on an abiding peace footing with God or could he be, as he is, justified forever.
The divine dealing with sin is doubtless difficult for the human mind to grasp, especially such sins as have not yet been committed. However, it will be remembered that all sin of this age was yet future when Christ died. Its power to condemn is disannulled forever. In this connection the Holy Spirit inquires, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” and, “Who is he that condemneth?” The inspired answers are conclusive: God justifies rather than charges with sin; and condemnation has been laid upon Another, who died, who is risen, who is at the right hand of God for us, and who also maketh intercession for us (Rom 8:33–34). This chapter of Romans which begins with “no condemnation” ends with “no separation”; but such complete forgiveness is possible only on the ground of Christ’s work in bearing sin and in releasing His merit to those who are saved through His mediation and are in Him. Men either stand in their own merit or in the merit of Christ. If they stand in their own merit—the only conception that is within
BSac 106:421 (Jan 49) p. 6
the range of reason and that which is advocated by the Arminian system—there is only condemnation for each individual before God; but if they stand in the merit of Christ, being in Him—whether all its righteous ground is comprehended or not, there remains naught but continued union with God and therefore no condemnation and no separation.
At this point a distinction is called for between this abiding judicial forgiveness and the oft-repeated forgiveness within the family of God. The seeming paradox that one is forgiven and yet must be forgiven, is explained on the ground of the truth that there are two whole and unrelated spheres of relationship between the believer and God. Regarding his standing, which like his son...
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