Tuesday, June 22

The Purposes of Christ's Death, Part 1 of Summary

What I'm going to do in the next post (Part 2 of this summary) is make a list grouping all the purpose statements we looked at in this series into appropriate categories. Before I do that, though, I have just a couple of thoughts on the subject of the purposes of Christ's death--things to keep in mind when you look at the list.

  • We have looked at only the explicit purpose statements in scripture. Any other result of Christ's death listed in scripture, however, is also an intended purpose of Christ's death, and also an important purpose of Christ's death. God has the power and wisdom to do things so that only exactly what He wishes is accomplished, so there are no unintended or tertiary results from anything God does. Since, for instance, we know that one of the results of Christ's death is that we can take the gospel to people worldwide, then we also know that is one of the things God purposed to accomplish with Christ's death. It is not a secondary or less important purpose just because it isn't listed in the list of explicit purpose statements.

  • I call them purposes of Christ's death, which makes them sound like a whole lot of different, unrelated purposes, but they really are not. They are all part of one big, multifaceted purpose, which is listed at the very end of the list. Because we have pea brains, thinking of them separately may be the only way we can manage to think about the whole in any sort of detailed way, but we ought to try to remember that they are all part of one marvelous many-sided accomplishment--a revealing of the manifold wisdom of God. Thinking of them as distinct things may help us in a certain way to understand it all better, as long as we don't see only the details to the point that we lose sight of the whole.

  • Listing them all like this show us how much we have lost to sin, and how widespread the results of sin in the world really are. It also show us how great God's wisdom is, that He could, in one perfect act, give the solution to every one of those widespread problems that result from sin. It's a bit like watching a perfectly done movie--the sort where all kinds of problems come about from one seemingly insignificant little action by one little character, and you can't see how the problems can all be solved and things all be taken care of; but then, just at the right moment, all those loose ends are all tied up perfectly in one plot twist, something you could never have predicted, but the second it occurs in the movie, you recognize it as the perfect solution to everything.