“For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”-Romans 8:3-4
One Perfect Life
Easter is the primary time of the year that the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ is focused upon more than any other. Within many of our churches, we talk about, think about, and read about the cross of Christ, and rightly so. The death and resurrection of our Lord is the pivotal event in the Christian faith, for without the resurrection, we are a people most to be pitied as the apostle states in 1 Corinthians 15. Without the death of Christ, the wrath of God still abides on us because His justice would not have been satisfied. What about His life though? The life of Christ is just as important as any other part of the work of Christ; however, His life is not emphasized as much as His death. When we examine life of Christ (His Active Obedience) and His death (His Passive Obedience), both of these are absolutely necessary for the salvation of sinners. The Passive Obedience of Christ, as theologians call it, results in the sinner being granted a position of innocence before the Lord.
In Christ’s death, the Scripture states, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf” (2 Cor 5:21). Our unrighteousness was imputed to Christ, and He endured God’s full measure of justice on the cross in place of those who will believe. As a result, God’s justice was satisfied and the payment for sin was made. The sinner is now innocent before the Holy One, but more is needed. The sinner is now, basically, in a place of neutrality. His sins have been forgiven; however, he is no better off than Adam and Eve in the beginning, as they were created upright as the Scripture states. God requires perfect righteousness and the sinner, though now innocent, lacks any righteousness.
It is here that we must now focus upon the life of Christ. If all that was needed to accomplish salvation was for Jesus to die, then He could have come down from heaven and immediately went to the cross. As we know, this is not what happened. He was born of a virgin and was born under the Law (Gal 4:4); meaning, He was subject to the Law of God. From the time of His birth until the day of His death, He perfectly obeyed the Law of God. The Scripture tells us in Hebrews 4:15 states. “Who was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Christ was truly righteous and fulfilled what God requires of all mankind, perfect obedience to His Law. He was the only perfect man to ever exist and never will there be another. It was once for all time that God took the form of man in order to redeem man.
Now then, what is so important about Him fulfilling God’s Law? The death of Christ (Passive Obedience) makes the sinner innocent before God, but it is His life (Active Obedience) that the sinner is declared to be righteous before God. It is through faith in Christ that His righteousness is imputed to us and on this basis we are justified before the Father! We can now rest assured that all that God requires of us has been fulfilled by our Lord Jesus through His life and His death. How gracious our Lord is that He accomplished it all for us! Soli Deo Gloria!
Joshua Banks is senior pastor and founder of Shepherd’s Rock Bible
Church in Kingsport, TN. He holds a Bachelors degree in Ministry from
Luther Rice University, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, and a
Master of Divinity both from Liberty University. Joshua and his wife
Amanda, along with their 5 children, reside in Gate City, VA.