Enslavement to Sin and Spiritual Death


The Lord Jesus Christ has finished His work on the cross of providing for the reconciliation of mankind with God. Upon declaring the work of Atonement finished, the Lord delivered His human spirit into the hands of God and He died. Jesus, who in life had no place to call His own, to lay His head in repose, finally found it upon a wooden cross in death. The seventh word upon the cross reveals that Christians can entrust themselves, when dying, into the hands of God the Father, who will provide grace to carry them through to the end, and then in time will resurrect them to life eternal in heaven to live with Him forever.

The Wall That Separates Man From God

What Jesus, by His death, finished, was specifically the removal of the wall, which separates lost sinners from a Holy God. That wall has 5 distinct blocks which are dealt with one by one by God, and which are discussed in Scripture. And that is what we are focusing upon. This wall came into existence originally as the result of Adam's rebellion in Eden. This wall is made up of these 5 specific blocks which pile up to form an impassable barrier. Until this barrier is demolished, unsaved man cannot be reconciled to God, the Judge of all men. Man himself cannot remove the wall. He cannot get around this barrier. So it must be done by God. That is what Jesus meant, in part, when He said "It is finished," He meant He has brought the wall down.

The First Block - Enslavement To Sin

The first block of this wall between God and man is the enslavement of all by birth into Satan's slave market of sin. Every lost person needs to be redeemed from enslavement to Satan, but one human slave cannot do this for another. It takes the qualifications, special qualifications, of someone who does not have any enslavement of his own. Since Adam's Sin in Eden, there has never been such a person. Everybody born in the human race is automatically a slave in Satan's captured market. The only person born free of the Sin Nature, and thus spiritually alive, was the Lord Jesus Christ.

Man's Nature

Man by nature, however, does not think that he is the pathetic, helpless slave of sin, and so in his arrogance he boasts of his freedom. And the more man boasts of his freedom you may have observed, that what he means by that is to sink deeper into the mire and filth of sin. Freedom for man means freedom to do the evil that God condemns and forbids. So man by nature thinks he is free. And the more he tries to demonstrate that, the more he demonstrates that he is nothing but a pathetic slave.

God's Solution

Jesus declared, therefore, that only He can free one from Satan's slave market. This is done through the sacrifice of Himself on the cross as the price of redemption. Freedom from Satan comes through the truth of the Word of God which reveals to us how God has provided that redemption. The solution for sin slavery is then redemption.

The Concept of Redemption

There are 3 words in Scripture that speak to us describing this concept of redemption. Christ has redeemed all mankind out of the slave market of sin. Specifically, what that means is described in these 3 Greek words, a magnificent provision. It's wonderful to know that this block has been removed between man and God. There's nothing standing in the way of a human being being able to be reconciled to God's standard of absolute righteousness. There is nothing that is keeping him any longer in enslavement.

The First Word of Redemption

The first word of redemption relative to redemption is found in Revelation 5:9. "And they sang a new song, saying, 'Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou,'" speaking of Jesus Christ, the Living Creatures and the 24 Elders singing, "'for Thou wast slain and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.'"

Redemption Equals Purchase

"Thou didst purchase for God." That's the word relating to redemption. Looks like this in the Greek word; "αγοραζω" - "agorazo" (ag-or-ad'-zo). "agorazo" is a point in time action described here. It means "to pay a price, to remove something from the marketplace." It's exactly the same thing, the concept, you go down to a pawn shop, you pawn something. You go in and you "agorazo" that, you purchase it by paying the price of redemption. It is translated as it is here with the concept of purchase. You're really purchasing that back. What this stresses is the fact that for all the bond slaves of sin, there has been paid the required redemption price for their release. Christ has removed this block through redemption, the enslavement.

Christ's Purchase For Us

How did He do it? By what He paid on the cross: The redemption price was His death; One who is spiritually alive, free of all sin.

Now, for people who have had some very deep walk in the world of sin, this concept of being a slave of Satan is very clear to them. And then to know that Christ has redeemed us, purchased us out of that, comes as a great sense of relief because it is something that He has done. "Thou didst purchase," it's in active voice, we did not purchase ourselves.

The Price Has Been Paid

When I was a student at Dallas Seminary, I used to work for the school as a carpenter, and we used to have a man on the work team. He was a black man. He was a student at the school, and as we would be out building forms for concrete, or doing something on the job especially where we were kneeling, he would like to get into a rhythm of his work. He would hammer things in to the word "agorazo," and he would go, "agorazo, agorazo, agorazo!" He would move to the next stud, and "agorazo." It was just almost an inspiration to sense whatever was in his life, he had been purchased, for he was nobody's slave anymore; for his race had once been a slave physically. All of us are slaves spiritually. Here is this man, free physically and free spiritually in Christ. So the first concept of redemption, somebody has paid the price.

The Second Word of Redemption

Now, the object for which the price has been paid is there in that slave market. So along comes the Holy Spirit and says, I have to explain it a little further. I'm going to up the understanding on this and up the results considerably. The next word makes that clearer. It's found in Galatians 3:13 that deals with redemption. Galatians 3:13, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us - for it is written, 'CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE' -." The moral law of God brought guilt upon us all. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, which is another way of expressing the slave market of Satan, by having become that curse for us, which He did on the cross. He did that by paying the price.

Paid Once And For All

Now, this Greek word is a little different because it's the same as His first word, but it adds a preposition that adds a great dimension of meaning. It is now ex-agorazo, "εξαγοραζω" - "exagorazo" (ex-ag-or-ad'-zo), and the word "ex" means "out of." So this word "redeemed," also a point in time, actively done by Christ, is telling you that Christ not only paid the price for your redemption out of the slave market, He redeemed you, but He didn't leave you there. He then jerked you out of full control of Satan. He pulled you out of the market and He pulled you out in the condition that you can never be returned. You can never be returned there again. It's "Ex," once for all.

The Third Word of Redemption

Now, there's one other feature behind redemption. The Holy Spirit clarifies that with the third word in Titus 2:14. Titus 2:14, "who", Christ, "gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us". There's the third word, "from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good works." Suddenly you see interjected in this word, in this verse, positive personal volition. Now all of a sudden, we come into the picture of a choice. "Who gave himself for us," this was something that He did at some point in time on the cross, "that He might redeem us." And He did this in the middle voice, which means Christ did this for His own benefit. He gave Himself for us so that for Himself He might redeem for Himself, people, believers from every lawless deed.

Possibilities For The Christian Life

And this in the Greek is in a mood that indicates possibilities. This is potential. He could deal. He could redeem a people who could be zealous for divine good deeds of people for his own possession, the agape loving type of believer, people who love the Lord that they are His. They come first. Their lives are His life. Their lives are not separated and shared between Him and the world system, zealous for good deeds. This word looks like this. It's the Greek word "λυτρωο" (loo-tro'-o). "Lutroo" means "to set the Redeemer free now to live His life."

Christ's Redemption

So the first word says, God paid the price of redemption in Christ. Second word says He led you out of the enslavement market of Satan. The third word says, now use your volition, go out there and live for Me.

Spiritual Service Is An Act Of Worship

Jesus Christ, therefore, appeals to us through the apostle Paul in Romans 12 to execute this kind of freedom of choice. Romans 12:1-2, "I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." On the basis the mercies of God, part of that mercy is the removal from that block that enslaves us to Satan, you present your physical human bodies as a living sacrifice, which is an act of service. This is an act of worship. Spiritual service is an act of worship. You worship God by letting Him use your body.

Do Not Be Conformed

(Continuing with Romans 12:2) "Do not be conformed," this is an external way of life "to this world, but be transformed," an inner change which comes about by renewing your mind from human viewpoint to divine viewpoint, through the knowledge of the Word, "so that you may demonstrate what the will of God is for you." You will then know how to be guided, so that you will be guided to that which is good and beneficial, which is acceptable, and which is perfect, which is mature. In other words, you will really live a good life.

How Redemption Works

This is what God has done to remove that terrible block that forms the foundation of our separation, our enslavement here to sin. In 1 Peter 1:18-19, we have the mechanics of how redemption works. 1 Peter 1:18-19 Peter says "knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers," Here is something that you learn as a result of past instruction in the Word of God and this knowledge continues in your possession. And that is, you keep on knowing something that you could not know any other way, except you were taught this. That is, that you can't buy your way into heaven. You cannot get out of Satan's grasp. You cannot get out of his control by money. You cannot pay some religious organization to get you out of the sin market that separates you from God. Salvation is not by any kind of human effort.

By Worthy Blood Sacrifice

Verse 19 says on the contrary, it is with the "precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ." Here the reference to the lamb, of course, pictures the Jewish perfect male animal which is brought to the brazen altar to be offered by the priest as a sacrifice in behalf of the sinner. On that occasion, in the Mosaic system, sins were placed by the offeror upon the lamb, and then the lamb bearing that person's sins symbolically was slain by the priest. And this was a picture of Jesus Christ, the innocent dying for the guilty. The blood payment with the precious blood as of a lamb is referring to the blood of Jesus Christ shed in the process of our redemption.

Believe On The Lord Jesus Christ

This is the same idea which we have in Colossians 1:14, "in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." It is Christ who has redeemed us with His own death. So what is necessary to be freed from the sin slave market of Satan? Acts 16:31, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ."

You as a person, however, can decide to stay in the slave market. You may reject this redemption price. You may decide you will not accept the fact that He paid for your way out and you will stay in the market. The issue is faith in the exit provided by Jesus Christ from that enslavement.

Unlimited Atonement

This is not some experience. What emotions you may have at the point that you accept Christ as savior varies with you as an individual. But it is an act of God, and it is based upon another doctrine or principle which we call Unlimited Atonement. This is laid out for us in 2 Corinthians 5:14, "For the Love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died." It is the love of Christ who controls us, the love of Christ expressed in the work of redemption. The love of Christ presses on us from every side. "One died," that is Jesus Christ. And He died for all. Which means His death was a purchase price, covering the purchase price of redemption needed by every human being, including those who will not accept him as savior.

One Died For All

"For the love of Christ controls us." Having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore, all died because he died for all, then all have died. What he is saying is everybody's redeemed. There isn't a human being on the face of this earth, that is not positionally redeemed. Everybody's way out of the slave market has been paid. You can reject it; stay in the slave market if you want to, but the devil can't keep you there. Your way has been paid out. And you may reject it, but it is still paid.

False Prophets Deny The Master

Please notice 2 Peter 2:1. "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there also will be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the master who bought them." Who bought them? Who is that? The false prophets. The false teachers. They will introduce destructive heresies, and among those heresies, they'll be denying the Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, who bought them, who paid their way out of the slave market, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. That is a very sobering picture. The very people whose way it has been paid out of the slave market of sin refuse to accept it. They bring destructive heresies among the people of God. And they themselves will be destroyed. They will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.

Rejection Is A Choice

This is made even more clear in 1 John 2:2, that the way has been paid, that God is satisfied that the redemption price is no longer an issue. 1 John 2:2, "and He Himself," Jesus Christ, "is the propitiation," or satisfaction, "for our sins," our moral guilt, "and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world." Unlimited Atonement! There is not a person on the face of the Earth for whom Christ has not covered the price of release out of the slave market of sin. Nobody has to live like the devil. It's a matter of personal rejection, and thus a personal choice.

All Died On The Cross With Christ

In 1 Timothy 4:9-10, the apostle Paul says "For it is a trustworthy statement deserving of full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers." He has redeemed all men. He has paid for the price for everybody to get out of the slave market of sin. But especially believers. Why especially believers? Because they are the ones who accept it. Most of the human race will not accept the payment out of the slave market. They choose to stay in their lost condition under the control of the devil. All died on the cross with Christ, the vicarious payment in behalf of all of us. So the enslavement to sin, very much there, is totally solved by the provision of redemption.

The Second Block In The Wall Between God And Man / Spiritual Death

Then there's a second block and that is the problem of spiritual death. This enslavement was bad enough, but now it even gets worse. The wall begins to rise up even higher.

Man's Ability To Choose

The penalty which has been imposed upon all of mankind because of what Adam and Eve did by their choice in Eden is spiritual death. Part of what makes up the human soul is the quality of being able to choose. This is indicated, for example, in Acts 3:23, "and it shall be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people." The prophets who speak of Christ, the prophets who speak of eternal life through this coming Messiah Savior. A person decides, ... "and it shall be that every soul that does not heed," my soul can make a choice, "that prophet," he doesn't choose to believe him, to believe the gospel of grace salvation, "shall be utterly destroyed." Human will is given a positive and a negative option. If he "does not heed," indicates that he could heed. You can go either way. But the results are significant.

Adam and Eve's Wrong Choice

The original test of volition, as you know, took place right there in the Garden of Eden. Free choices require alternatives, something to choose from. So it has to be a specific issue. Therefore, God set up a specific issue on which to judge the volitional choice of Adam and Eve. This is described for us in Genesis 2:15-17, told them they can do anything they want in the garden. They can eat anything they want. They can enjoy everything that's there. It is for their pleasure. They cannot do one thing. They must choose to obey God by not eating of a certain tree, the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Everything in the Garden of Eden was perfect, and man himself was innocent. He didn't know any evil, and he was therefore in total compatibility with God. God tests the obedience of Adam and Eve through this special tree, not some kind of a supernatural tree. Just an ordinary tree that God picked out and said that tree you don't eat of. It was clear there was a specific requirement, and choosing to go with God or against God, was very clear and could be defined. He told him the reason you don't want to eat of that tree is because if you do, you will learn evil by experience. You are never to know evil by your own personal experience. You will have the knowledge of the difference between good and evil.

Be Innocent In What Is Evil

This is such an important principle that when the apostle Paul comes down to the end, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to Romans, which was written explicitly to explain the whole concept of salvation and of redemption of justification in the very last chapter near the end, Romans 16:19, the apostle Paul says "For the report of your obedience has reached to all;" he commends the Roman Christians for their obedience to the Word of God, "therefore, I am rejoicing over you, but," an admonition, before I finish this letter, "I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil."

Just think how many times in a day Christians violate this principle. Just think of all the Christians who violate the same principle that Adam and Eve violated; they were not to learn evil by personal experience. They were to only understand good, which had to be by obedience to the Word of God. They had agape love that would hold nothing back from God. Suddenly they chose to throw it overboard and be fond of Him, but do their own thing. Think of all the Christians during the week, sometime attend the motion pictures (which by and large are vile, corrupt, and degrading), who sit and watch television programs that are nothing but vulgarity and mindlessness and evil is learned, who sit home and watch soap operas, who sit home and listen to talk shows which portray in detail how corrupt the sin nature of man really is. How many Christians are hopping mad when they hear somebody tell them, "If you are attending motion pictures on a regular basis, please don't insult our intelligence by telling us or trying to convey to us that you have agape love for the Lord Jesus Christ because you don't? If you did, you would not want the contamination of walking in that world." You know just as well as I do that our Lord would not sit in that theater with you learning evil that is being portrayed so powerfully before his eyes. That puts a great restraint upon us, and all of our society now is more openly evil than ever before.

Evil Acclimates To Evil

What you learn of evil is what you become acclimated to. I'm amazed as I listened to some teenage kids, the things they will say, the things they will think are funny. They should be embarrassed, they should recoil with horror, and they think it's cute. What does that tell me? It tells me that some parent has put a television set in their room, and therefore they have freedom to corrupt themselves any way they like by anything they want to see. Paul said, after all is said and done, I'm glad to have good reports about you, but those reports will not stay good if you do not understand that you should avoid learning about evil by your first-hand experience.

Dying You Shall Die - The First Sin

The penalty attached for negative volition in response to this test of God was death. Genesis 2:17, God said "If you don't obey me, if you use your volition in a negative way," let me just read it. Genesis 2:17. They knew exactly what they were to deal with, "but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die." "You shall surely die" is a little different in Hebrew. The Hebrew says literally, "dying you shall die." Big difference. Dying, you shall die. What that is saying, dying refers to spiritual death which was experienced immediately by Eve, then later by Adam when he chose to follow her. This is what is referred to in Romans 6:23. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death." That is talking about spiritual death.

Spiritual Death Results In Physical Death

This is also referred to the spiritual death concept in Ephesians 2:1, "Dead in your trespasses and sin." Were they physically dead in their trespasses and sin? Of course not. They were dead spiritually. Then, when it says dying you shall die, obviously that is referring to another kind of death; that is referring to physical death, which came later. As a matter of fact, Adam was 930 years old before that death hit him, Genesis 5:5. So it was very clear God said to them, "your spiritual part will die. You will no longer have contact with Me, and your physical part will in time degenerate, and it also will die." Death Is Separation Death, as you know, is basically a separation. Death is never an annihilation. The Jehovah's Witnesses and other cults that teach that a person who is unsaved is eventually rubbed out of existence is not true. Death is separation, but death is not annihilation. Spiritual death is separation of your human spirit from God as you live your life on this earth. Physical death is separation of your soul from your body. When your soul leaves, your body dies. The second death, which is spoken of in Revelation 20:11-15, is when the body and the soul are eternally separated from God in the Lake of Fire. The second death is an irreversible, eternal separation from God.

Negative Volition Brings Spiritual Death

So negative volition to God's test thus would bring immediately spiritual death to Adam and Eve, which it did, and eventually physical death, which it also did. So that's why the Bible makes clear that the only reason death is there, is because of sin. Sin causes death. The penalty for sin is spiritual death. And if a person is spiritually dead, they can't have any communication with God. That is the second block here in the wall. It's an impossible thing to get through. No point of contact with the God that humans face and deal with. Adam and Eve responded to the test, as you know, with their negative volition. So they experience this break in fellowship. Their human spirits were dead; no point of contact with God. In fact, they saw themselves as naked, which indicated to them their fallen condition and the glory light that once surrounded them was gone. They tried to hide their guilt from one another with their fig leaf clothing.

Universal Guilt

So man separated from God, not only by enslavement in Satan's sin market, he is also under the penalty as being spiritually dead. This guilt is universal; Adam and Eve's guilt is imputed to us all. There is the principle of Adam as our representative with God. We won't get into that this evening, we have dealt with that before. But Romans 5:12 points out to us, "Therefore, just as through one man sin," the sin nature, "entered into the world and death through sin, "through that sin nature, "and so death spread to all men because all sinned-". Yeah, but a baby dies. He doesn't sin, but the baby dies. Why? Because the baby is guilty of sin. How? Through Adam. We are contaminated, each of us by Adam's sin. If a child could be born and be as sinless as the Lord Jesus Christ was all his life, he would still go to the Lake of Fire, if he is not born again spiritually. He's spiritually dead. That's the way we are born; physically alive, spiritually dead.

Man Unable To Pay

Now how is the penalty removed? The unsaved thinks that he can remove spiritual death by paying for his sins himself: he goes in for penance, he goes in for good works, he goes through some human effort routine. Since man is spiritually dead, Ephesians 2:1 as we read, he cannot himself pay the penalty of spiritual death. How can you pay for something that's already taken place for yourself? If you are a corpse, you cannot become a corpse again.

Only Jesus Christ Is Worthy To Pay

Christ is our federal head. He is the one who heads up the new creation, and has removed this spiritual death penalty from us. 1 Corinthians 15:22, "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive." In Adam, we all died. In Christ, those who accept can be made alive again spiritually. This is referring to spiritual death. Romans 5:17-19, "For if by the transgression of the one," Adam, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness," salvation by grace gift of absolute righteousness, "will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ." Spiritual death came through one man, Adam. Spiritual life comes through one man, Jesus Christ! Verse 18 says, "So then, as through one transgression, there resulted condemnation to all men," all of us, bear moral guilt of what Adam did, "even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men." The potential for spiritual life has been provided for everyone by Jesus Christ. Verse 19, "For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One," Christ, "the many will be made righteous." That is God's great provision.

Removing The Guilt

What's the solution? Well, we call the solution "expiation." The word expiation means to make amends for a wrong which is done. Expiation means to remove the guilt by paying the price of suffering. Until the penalty of spiritual death is paid, we cannot pass through this part of the wall which is separating us from God. So how can the penalty be paid? Who can pay spiritual death when he's already spiritually dead? God decided to treat mankind in grace, and He provided a solution entirely by Himself, entirely by free gift. He needed a human who is spiritually alive, and so able to at the same time also to experience spiritual death as a substitute for mankind. That person was Jesus Christ. He was sinless. He had no Old Sin Nature from Adam, so He offered to pay the penalty of spiritual death for us to release us from spiritual death. He took His spiritual life and He paid the price of death for us.

Christ Died Spiritually For Us

Matthew 27:45-46 presents this act of expiation or spiritual death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins. Some people go into a tizzy when you say that Christ experienced spiritual death as well as physical death. But that is clearly what is spoken of here. Matthew 27:45, "Now, from the sixth hour, darkness fell upon all the land," 12 noon and it went "until the ninth hour," 3:00 p.m., "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, 'ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?'", Aramaic for "My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?" When the sins of all mankind were placed to the account of Jesus Christ at noon, He was suddenly separated from God the Father, and from God the Holy Spirit. So He cried out. Jesus cried out. The Greek word is "αναβοαω" (an-ab-o-ah'-o), anaboao, always a cry of anguish, it's really a scream of horror. "With a loud voice," indicates the intensity, the anguish over being separated from God in His humanity.

Christ Took On Our Sin

Now, at this point, this had to be a frightening scene on Calvary. Suddenly, at high noon, the sun is eclipsed. Clouds move in. It looks like nighttime. And here suddenly this man in the center of these 3 on the crosses screams out with enormous agony. All the filth and the sewage of human sin are now placed to the account of this sinless Second Person of the Trinity, the Creator of the Universe, the finest man that ever lived. Sinless entirely, and with a great intensity of anguish and agony, He cries out bitterly, tears streaming down his face, reaching out for the Father who is no longer there, who has turned His back on Him. The Holy Spirit is no longer there for Him. Suddenly in His humanity, He is stripped from their presence.

Christ's Spiritual Death Paid For Our Sin

And then look down at verse 50, Matthew 27:50, "And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit." He cries in the agony, then He yields up his spirit; He dies spiritually. This signaled the fact that the work of expiation was completed. As we see in one of the other gospels, he said "It is finished." And at that point, Matthew 27:51 says "the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split." That veil covering the most holy place in the Holy of Holies of the temple, where nobody but the high priest once a year could enter, and he had to do it in a right way or he would die, suddenly here it was for all the world to look into. The Jews were horrified. This veil stripped from top to bottom, finger of God obviously coming down and shredding it, and saying "Now you can come into My presence. Now, spiritual death has paid the price for your sin. Now, you may come in into My presence and not die as would have happened to you until this price has been paid. For now, you too are spiritually alive, and therefore you could come before Me."

Psalm 22 Predicted The Cross

All of this was predicted in the Old Testament in Psalm 22. This is the psalm that deals with the conditions of the Messiah on the cross, a fascinating psalm because it was written a thousand years before the death of Christ on the Cross. It talks about a method of execution that nobody knew what he was talking about. Only the Holy Spirit knew as He guided the psalmist to write this. David was the one who wrote it. Nobody had ever known about it among the Jews. They knew execution by stoning, crushing a person. But they didn't know execution that the Assyrians would be the ones that originated and the Romans would refine by crucifying a person on a cross. But you see that psalm begins with the words, "My god, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning." Here is stated the very words that Christ repeats on the cross, addressing the Father and the Holy Spirit when He has died spiritually. They are far from delivering Him. His words of groaning are forsaken. They do not listen to Him. Far from My deliverance are the words of My groaning. Because now for those 3 awesome hours from noon to 3 p.m., He bore the sins of all mankind. And so the First and Third Person of the Trinity abandoned Him, turned from Him.

Verse 2 says, "Oh My God, I cry by day, but Thou dost not answer; And by night," as the darkness covered Him, "I have no rest." That was the response of the Father and the Holy Spirit to His crying, this man in great agony, great horror of what is happening to Him.

Verse 3, "Yet Thou art holy, O Thou who art enthroned upon the praises of Israel." The reason God turned from Jesus Christ is because God is holy. That's why 2 Corinthians 5:21 says "He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." He says, Why have you turned from Me? Why am I in this darkness? Yet Christ knew His doctrine. He said, "I know Thou art holy. At this moment I am grossly unholy. You who are enthroned upon the heavens, You are the praises of Israel."

Verse 6, a very fascinating statement by Christ. He says, "I am a worm and not a man, a reproach of men and despised by the people." And indeed, they treated Him as a worm. But the Holy Spirit comes in and He tells David "use this word for worm," is a very rare species of worm. It is a worm which is crushed in the ancient world to produce crimson dye, the dye the crimson color of royal robes. What a fitting picture. Our Christ as a worm being crushed to produce the crimson color for us to wear our kingly robes as members of the royal family of God. Through Him, through this work of expiation, this work of making amends for a wrong done, will resolve the problem of our spiritual death. It will enable us to become spiritually alive and to wear these royal garments.

Our Sin Nailed To The Cross

In Colossians 2:14 Paul says, "having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross," having canceled once for all our debt. What debt? ... Our moral guilt with which we were born from Adam that caused our spiritual death. He has now canceled that once for all this certificate of debt that which we owed God, which caused us to be dead spiritually and to take it out of the way, having nailed it to His cross. When I paid my bill at the restaurant this afternoon, the lady took the money, and then she took the little chit, and she had a little spindle, a sharp spindle on a little stand. And she went and poked it right through. I thought, my debt has been canceled to her for the meal. Precisely the picture here. He has taken it out of the way, and He spindled it to the cross, the nails of Christ.

Paid Once And For All

And do you know what? In the Greek language, "taken it," ... perfect tense. Perfect tense, you may remember, is something that happens in a point of time, then what happened there, the effects of that, go on forever, never stop. So those of you who are concerned about losing your salvation, what are you going to do with this Perfect? That spindle that put the hole in that ticket of Christ on the cross, taking it out perfect tense, blocked out the penalty once and for all. With that, we become spiritually alive. So the penalty for spiritual death is forever removed from us. We are now totally under His love and His blessing and can never again be removed from it. Hebrews 10:17 says, "AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE." That's pretty nice. Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. Why? ... Because they've been swindled. The nails of Christ have poked a hole in it, and they have therefore canceled that debt once and for all. So thus far we have learned Enslavement to Sin Block, removed by redemption. Spiritual Death Block removed by expiation by Christ, making amends for our wrongdoing by Himself, dying spiritually because the price of sin is death. Spiritual death requires the expiation by spiritual death. He did it for us so that 2 blocks are removed.

Things are getting better, but there are 3 terrible ones to come and we should look at those next time. Thank you so much for being with us this evening. Please remember the offering box at the door as you leave. Say hello to anybody near you. Maybe they'll come back next week. We're dismissed.

Dr. John E. Danish, 1999

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