I am going through the entire passage found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8. Verses 3-4 say: For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” We have covered the first part of Paul’s declaration of the gospel, “the Christ.” Today we look at the second part, “died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” My absolute go-to passage on this truth is 2 Corinthians 5:21: “He (God the Father) made Him (God the Son) to become sin for us (on the cross He became my substitute) in order that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
The sin of Adam’s rebellion was placed on Christ at the moment He cried out from the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me.” At that moment, God the Father separated Himself from God the Son for the first time (Matthew 27:45-46). Jesus first died spiritually, and then He died physically (Matthew 27:50; John 19:30). At that very instant Jesus Christ became a type of the first Adam, by becoming the last Adam (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45-49). As the first Adam died because he sinned, the last Adam died as a substitute to pay for his sin. The first Adam started the fire of sin burning, and the last Adam put the flames out by the washing of His blood (Roman 5:19). Jesus Christ died for our sins. He did not die as a martyr to teach us how to give our lives for Him – He died on the cross for sins. He did not die simply to show us how much He loved us – He died on the cross for our sins. Well this begs the question, for how many sins did He die? The answer is quite clear. He died once for all (Hebrews 10:10-14). He died for all sin – past, present, and future. He died for the sins that we have already committed, and for the sins that we will commit today, and for all of our future sins. How many does that leave the sinner to pay for? The obvious answer is none. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin has left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.
This gospel is often presented today in a way that leaves the sinner confused. The gospel is presented in a clear way – that the God/man came into the world, lived a perfect life, died on the cross to pay the entire debt of sin, and then….. human works are tied on at the end of the presentation, leaving the sinner confused. It leaves one believing that Christ’s cross work was not really finished. It will not be finished and sufficient until I add my human work to it – such a walking an aisle of a church building, such as turning from all my sins, or joining a particular church, or being baptized, or reforming my life. As I said in an earlier post, all these things are good to do but only after one comes to Christ by faith and is born again.
To add human works to the finished work of Christ just confuses the gospel – it clutters the gospel. Does the reader truly understand this? If one could do anything – anything – to add to Christ’s work on the cross, no matter how sincere or well-intended, that would really imply that Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross really did not do enough to save me by faith alone, in Him alone. What is often subtly suggested by sincere people is that Jesus paid for all our sin, and He said that it was finished – but it really was not paid for in full and it really was not finished – until I pay it off and finish it myself.
Presenting the gospel on God’s terms and then making it available on man’s terms is not biblical and will not save. Paul then proves this by saying “according to the Scriptures.” I think he means the Old Testament Scriptures – like “we have all like sheep gone astray and have turned everyone to his own way but the Lord has laid on Him to iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). Isaiah further writes, “He has born our griefs, and carried our sorrows, He was wounded for our transgressions. . .For the transgression of my people He was stricken (Isaiah 53:6-10). Psalm 22 is a clear prophecy of the crucifixion in detail. The Lord Jesus died for our sins is a crucial second part of the gospel. Halleluiah! Stay safe and stay tuned!