The Heart of the Gospel - Part 3 of 3

by Ed Vasicek

Why Propitiation Was Needed

I. Because sin and evil bring about ALSO God's wrath.

1) People today believe in a God who is all love and no justice or wrath.

2) When Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," listeners held on to the pillars of the building lest they suddenly slip down into eternal damnation. Can anyone imagine that happening today?

II. Because there are some things God cannot do: sin, lie, or contradict who He is.

III. Because God is holy and just, He cannot forgive sin without His justice being vindicated.

1) How did God forgive people in Old Testament times? By forbearance. That does not mean God did not bring their sins to judgment, but that He waited to do so until the cross (v. 25b).

2) God's justice was satisfied at the cross (v. 26), so now He can forgive those who believe in Jesus without compromising His character.

IV. Forgiveness is possible if an appropriate penalty has been paid: Old Testament precedent: Lev. 5:5-6:"When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way he has sinned and, as a penalty for the sin he has committed, he must bring to the Lord a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin."

V. Because Jesus paid our penalty, we can exchange our sin for His righetousness.

VI. A woman with no background got saved.a friend asked her to explain what she believed.. "Jesus stood in my shoes at Calvary, now I'm standing in His."

Conclusion

1. Even though Christ provided salvation for all, only those who come with repentant hearts in faith to Jesus receive that salvation. Most people do not do so. Jesus said in Matt. 7:13: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

2. I recently came across this story: A young man from a wealthy family was about to graduate from high school. It was the custom in that affluent neighborhood for the parents to give the graduate an automobile. "Bill" and his father had spent months looking at cars, and the week before graduation, they found the perfect car.

On the eve of his graduation, his father handed him a gift-wrapped Bible. Bill was so angry that he threw the Bible down and stormed out of the house. He and his father never saw each other again. It was the news of his father's death that brought Bill home again.

As he sat one night going through his father's possessions that he was to inherit, he came across the Bible his father had given him. He brushed away the dust and opened it to find a cashier's check, dated the day of his graduation-in the exact amount of the price of the car they had chosen together.

As I thought about this story, I couldn't help but wonder how many people in this world have done the same thing to God-literally tossed aside a wonderful promise, because they didn't understand it, or they didn't believe that it was possible. (from SermonCentral)

Ed Vasicek is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute. He has served the
Highland Park Church in Kokomo, IN, for 22 years.

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