Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 081714
The Doctrine of the Substitutionary Spiritual Death of Jesus Christ Part 3.
The Function of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit during the Substitutionary Spiritual Death. Our Lord’s sacrificial suffering and judgment for our sins is dramatized in a phrase which occurs in all three languages of original Scripture. The phrase originates in PSA 22:1, where it was spoken prophetically of the efficacious sacrifice for sin “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
The doubling of the vocative, “My God, My God,” (Eli, Eli) is a Hebrew idiom for intensity. It expresses the highest quality under two categories: First, the highest quality of the person being addressed, God the Father. Secondly, the highest quality of the attributes used by that person. And both vocatives refer only to God the Father.
The repetition of the vocative, which is My God, My God, refers to the two attributes of the Father involved in our salvation: The omnipotence of God the Father, by which all our sins were imputed to Christ on the Cross, and the justice of God the Father, by which He judged our sins while the still perfect humanity of Christ was bearing them.
So, in Verse 1, the word why is the interrogative Hebrew adverb lamah which literally means “for what reason.” It indicates a rhetorical question. Our Lord understood why He was being abandoned or forsaken; we did not. For that reason, He uttered this phrase on the Cross to tell us what occurred.
The Hebrew phrase “Wa atah qadosh” is translated “because You are holy.” God’s holiness is made up of His perfect justice and perfect righteousness. So God the Father abandoned Christ during those three hours because Jesus Christ was receiving the imputation and judgment of our sins.
HAB 1:13 “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You cannot look on wickedness.”
So, because He became sin for us, and God the Father is holy, He not only forsook Christ, but He judged Christ in His justice.
The righteousness of God the Father rejected the sins of the human race. And then the justice of God the Father judged all the personal sins of the human race as they were imputed to God the Son. The Father in His righteousness condemns all our personal sins.The Father in His justice judges our personal sins.
The answer to the second half of our Lord’s question, “why have You forsaken Me?” is found in one Hebrew word in verse 6tolah translated worm.
PSA 22:6, But I am a worm, and not a man, A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
Tolah refers to a very unusual worm which was harvested, crushed, put into a very large vat. In this manner, its blood was used for the purpose of making a crimson dye used to color king’s robes in the ancient world. On the Cross, the perfect and impeccable humanity of Christ was crushed with the judgment of our sins. Therefore, He calls Himself a tolah, for the weight of those sins crushed Him as He was being judged for them. So the imputation and judgment of our sins in Christ on the Cross by God the Father is analogous to the worm being crushed in a vat, so that its blood can be used for the manufacture of royal robes.
Because our Lord was judged for our sins on the cross, we now wear the royal robes of His imputed righteousness. Ours is a double righteousness under the principle of the firstborn receiving double blessing, we were imputed with the righteousness of God the Father, and we share the righteousness of Christ through the baptism of the Spirit.
PSA 22:1, My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?
The qal perfect second masculine singular of the Hebrew verb azab means to abandon or to forsake.
The subject is found in the suffix, a second masculine singular. Only one person abandoned our Lord at the Cross, and that was God the Father. The reason is because the Father’s omnipotence, which had provided everything for Christ in the incarnation plan, now had to call for the printout of all the sins of the world and impute them all to Christ.
It is important to understand that God the Holy Spirit was not addressed in this cry on the Cross. God the Holy Spirit did not abandon or forsake our Lord Jesus Christ. MAT 27:46, And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
He shouted this question, not because He needed an answer. It was a question to which we needed the answer. A rhetorical question is not designed to provoke questions but to communicate, to answer why something is happening. God the Father had to abandon the Son as He imputed to Him the sins of the world and judged every one of them. The omnipotence of God the Father imputed to the impeccable humanity of Christ what was not antecedently His own.
JOH 3:16 “For God [Father] so loved that world that He gave His uniquely born Son.”
This is the expression of the Father’s impersonal love for the entire human race. In verse 46, the Greek word for forsake is in the aorist tense. The aorist tense gathers together the entire three hours of our Lord’s spiritual death, during which time God the Father both imputed and judged all the sins of the world. And the culminative aorist regards this three‑hour action from the viewpoint of existing results: And what are those existing results?:
a) The provision of eternal salvation for the entire human race under substitutionary, efficacious, unlimited atonement:
b) The guarantee of our eternal security because the power of God is greater than human power. We do not have the power to lose our salvation.
- c) The strategic victory of Jesus Christ in the historical extension of the angelic conflict.
- d) His resurrection, ascension, and session, at which point He received His third royal patent, though He was without a royal family.
- e) The interruption of the dispensation of Israel and the substitution of the Church-age for the calling out of the election of the royal family of God to accompany His third royal warrant.
- f) The perpetuation of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union into the dispensation of the Church, causing the Church-age to become the unique dispensation of all human history.
- g) The greatest distribution of divine power to every believer in all of human history, causing the Church-age to become the crossroads of human history as an extension of the angelic conflict.
The active voice in the second person masculine singular refers to only God the Father who produced the action. Perfect God forsook perfect humanity. The deity of the Father could not forsake the deity of the Son. So it was the human body of our Lord that carried our sins. The interrogative indicative assumes there is an actual fact which can be stated in answer to the question. The question is rhetorical for our benefit.
The actual facts which explain the forsaking include substitutionary spiritual death, redemption, reconciliation, propitiation, unlimited atonement, imputation, and justification. The facts of soteriology; i.e., the efficacious, substitutionary, unlimited atonement of the perfect humanity of Christ during those three hours on the cross when He was made sin for us. Therefore, salvation is completely the work of God.
1) God the Father imputed our sins and judged them.
2) God the Son bore their judgment and became our Savior.
3) God the Holy Spirit reveals this Gospel message.
He also sustained the humanity of Christ on the Cross. In His unique spiritual death, Jesus Christ received in three hours the judgment for billions and billions of sins. This was why He screamed the question in the Aramaic. Throughout all the beatings and excruciating pain, “as a lamb before His shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.” But in bearing sin as the only impeccable human being, He screamed. The three hours of darkness that covered Golgotha were the most intensive moments in all of history. For every sin in the history of the human race were all imputed to Christ, down to the last sin of the Millennium.
The perfect humanity of Christ received the imputation and judgment for every one of these sins. This was the time, above all, when He could not afford to sin. His humanity could not leave the PPOG at any point during the bearing of our sins. Yet, if ever there was a challenge to bitterness, implacability, hatred, self‑pity, etc., it was during that time when He was being judged for our sins.
But He didn’t get out of the PPOG; He didn’t sin; He didn’t react. Not only did He remain impeccable, but He endured the suffering. So the scream of our Lord on the cross, “My God, My God, for what reason have You abandoned Me?” was addressed to God the Father only.
Point 7. A Fortiori and the Omnipotence of God as it Relates to the Substitutionary Spiritual Death of Jesus Christ. A fortiori is a Latin prepositional phrase meaning “with stronger reason.” It is a system of logic related to comparison, then inference. A fortiori says that by comparison comes inference. A fortiori compares a first conclusion with a second conclusion, inferring that the first conclusion is more difficult and that the second conclusion is easier, therefore inescapable and even more certain. An a fortiori in Scripture can generally be recognized by the Greek phrase “polus mallon” translated much more then or much more therefore. In the a fortiori of omnipotence, the premise and conclusion are as follows:
If the omnipotence of God the Father has accomplished the most difficult thing in imputing our sins to the humanity of Christ and judging them, it follows, a fortiori, that the omnipotence of God can accomplish the least difficult, which is what the omnipotence of God the Father and the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit are doing for you. For example, if the omnipotence and justice of God the Father did the most difficult thing in all of history in imputing our sins to Christ and judging them on the cross, it follows, a fortiori, that He can do the least difficult thing, which is to deliver the believer from the Last Judgment. This is taught in ROM 5:8‑9.
ROM 5:8-9, But God demonstrates His own virtue-love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died on behalf of us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, [efficacious sacrifice on the Cross], we shall be delivered from the wrath of God through Him.”
Once you believe in Christ, there’s no way you can be involved in the Last Judgment, the judgment which condemns unbelievers to the Lake of Fire. The a fortiori here says that it is easier for the omnipotence of God the Father to deliver the believer from the Last Judgment than for the omnipotence of God the Father to impute our sins to Christ on the Cross and judge them. The most difficult thing the Father ever did was to use His power, His divine omnipotence, and His justice to impute and to judge our sins in Christ.
If the omnipotence of the Father did the most difficult thing at the cross in judging our sins, it is concluded, a fortiori, that the omnipotence of the Father can do the least difficult thing in the Church-age: deliver the believer from the Last Judgment, and provide eternal security and your very own portfolio of invisible assets, the easiest thing for Him.
This emphasizes the reality of your very own portfolio of invisible assets. If the omnipotence of the Father accomplished the most difficult thing at the cross, it follows, a fortiori, that the omnipotence of God the Father can accomplish the least difficult thing for every Church-age believer.
This is stated in ROM 5:10 “For if, while we were His enemies [in real spiritual death] we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son [substitutionary spiritual death of Jesus Christ], much more, having been reconciled [most difficult], we shall be delivered by His life [least difficult].”
The least difficult thing for the omnipotence of God is to provide the divine power for the execution of the PPOG. It is easier for the omnipotence of God the Father to deliver the believer from the Last Judgment than for the omnipotence of God the Father to reconcile the world to Himself. The most difficult thing was for the omnipotence of God the Father to reconcile the world to Himself. The barrier between man and God was the sins of the world. However, since the work of Christ on the cross, the barrier has been removed. Man is reconciled to God because every sin of the world was judged. It was the omnipotence of God the Father which reconciled us by judging our sins on the Cross. Christ reconciled us by receiving our sins on the Cross. The Holy Spirit was involved in reconciliation because He empowered Christ to endure and to receive the judgment of every sin.
Church-age believers are delivered by His life in two ways:
1) The omnipotence of God the Father in providing us our portfolio of invisible assets.
2) The omnipotence of the Holy Spirit in providing the divine power for the execution of the PPOG.
In other words, we are delivered by His life through the perpetuation of the great power experiment into the Church-age. So the a fortiori conclusion. If the omnipotence of God can accomplish the most difficult thing, it follows, a fortiori, that the omnipotence of God can accomplish the least difficult thing. It was much more difficult for the omnipotence of God the Father to impute and judge our sins in the perfect humanity of Christ on the cross than for that same omnipotence of God the Father to provide for every Church-age believer His very own portfolio of invisible assets.
Your portfolio was easy to provide, and it is as certain as the fact that Jesus Christ died for your sins. It was much more difficult for the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit to sustain and empower the humanity of Christ inside the PPOG so that He endured on the cross than it is for the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit to sustain and empower the Church-age believer inside their very own plan. The most difficult ministry of the Holy Spirit occurred during the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union in the PPOG for the lord jesus Christ.
Hence, the inescapable conclusion of a fortiori: If the most difficult function of the omnipotence of God occurred during the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union, it follows, a fortiori, that the least difficult function of the omnipotence of God occurs during the great power experiment of the Church-age. This inescapable conclusion explains why God does more for every individual believer in the Church-age than He ever did for the greatest believers in the Old Testament!
The Church-age is the greatest opportunity for believers in history! It’s called an “experiment” because we don’t know how many believers will actually use the divine power available to them. The same omnipotence that sustained Christ during the First Advent now sustains every believer during this Church-age. It was much easier for the omnipotence of God the Father to provide for every Church-age believer a portfolio of invisible assets than for Him to impute our sins to the perfect humanity of Christ on the cross and judge them.
It is much easier for the Holy Spirit to empower and sustain the Church-age believer inside the divine dynasphere than it was to empower and sustain the humanity of Christ inside His very own plan. Therefore, the a fortiori doctrine of ROM 8:31‑32 “Therefore, with reference to these things [that relate to the death of Jesus Christ], to what conclusion are we forced? The God [Father], who did not even spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him graciously give to us the all things?”
If the omnipotence of God can accomplish the most difficult, it follows, a fortiori, that the omnipotence of God can accomplish the least difficult. “With Him” means with the substitutionary, efficacious atoning work of Christ on the Cross. “The all things” includes the omnipotence of God the Father doing the easy thing of providing for every Church-age believer with his very own portfolio of invisible assets. “All things” includes the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit providing the easy thing: the divine power for the execution and fulfillment of the PPOG for the Church-age.
So again ROM 8:32 “The God [Father], who did not even spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him graciously give to us the all things?”
This is the great a fortiori of grace. God the Father did not even spare His own Son but actually judged our sins as they were imputed to Christ. Again here is the substitutionary prepositional phrase: huper plus genitive of advantage of pas and ego means “in place of [instead of] all of us.”
God has provided more for us in this dispensation than has ever existed for believers before.
Therefore, if the greatest benefit was given to us when Jesus Christ was judged for our sins on the Cross, then, a fortiori, God can surely provide anything else.
HEB 12:1-3, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us [Old Testament believers of Heb 11], let us lay aside every encumbrance [human power] and the sin that so easily wraps itself around us [by rebound]. Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Be concentrating on Jesus, the author [pioneer] and perfecter of our doctrine, who because of exhibited happiness [+H], He endured the Cross, having disregarded the shame, and He sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you do not become fatigued and faint in your souls.”
More than in any other dispensation, we in the Church-age are required to have endurance.
Because when the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union reached its peak at the Cross, our Lord had endurance. The basis of His endurance was the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit; the same omnipotence of the Holy Spirit we have right now! Endurance comes from the enabling power of the Holy Spirit inside both the PPOG for our Lord and for us. Running with endurance includes the utilization of both categories of divine power: the omnipotence of God the Father related to our portfolio of invisible assets, and the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit related to our function inside the PPOG.
Christ was able to endure the judgment of our sins on the cross through the available omnipotence of the Holy Spirit inside the PPOG and by using the ultimate problem solving device: +H. All precedence for the PPOG in the great power experiment of the Church-age is derived from Jesus Christ in the previous dispensation. The doctrine of the Church-age is mystery doctrine, totally unknown to Old Testament believers, and not revealed until our Lord came in the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union. And so our Lord endured the Cross and the substitutionary spiritual death which took place because of the joy or the happiness that was placed before Him.
+H fulfills the mandate to of HEB 13:5 “be content with such things as you have, for He will never leave you nor forsake you.” “Exhibited happiness” means exposed to public view.
The entire world could see that Jesus Christ, in His humanity, had the ultimate problem solving device. For no one has ever endured more pain, been more unjustly treated, had so much abuse, and then received the judgment of the sins of the world! The humanity of Christ had advanced in the PPOG to spiritual maturity and had passed evidence testing. Therefore, He had maximum use of this fantastic problem solving device of +H.
In HEB 12:2 having disregarded the shame, means our Lord did not allow contact with our sins to produce sin in Him. Even while being judged for our sins, our Lord did not have any self‑pity, bitterness, vindictiveness, etc. Instead, He was able to remain on the cross and receive the judgment for all sins by the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit and the function of +H. And therefore we are told in HEB 12:3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you do not become fatigued and faint in your souls.”
You become fatigued by using human power instead of the unfailing power of God. Human power is no substitute for divine power in the execution of the PPOG for your life. So our heritage from Jesus Christ on the cross is the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit and the use of the greatest problem solving device, +H. The omnipotence of the Holy Spirit is available to us inside the PPOG, in the fulfillment of the two commands: “Be filled with the Spirit,” EPH 5:18; and “Keep walking by means of the Spirit,”GAL 5:16.
Both these are mandates to reside inside the PPOG under the enabling power of the Spirit and momentum from metabolized doctrine. So when it says that Christ died for our sins it isn’t talking about physical death and it isn’t talking about bleeding to death, which He didn’t do at all, it is talking about spiritual death. Our Lord’s physical death had nothing to with our salvation, His physical death meant that His work in the first advent was completed.