R.C. Sproul – Jesus saved us from the curse of the law – Hristos ne-a răscumpărat din blestemul Legii (subtitrat)

Everywhere in this country you see cars with bumper stickers that say, „God bless America.” After 9/11 Pat  Robertson and Jerry Falwell suggested that perhaps the events of 9/11 were God’s judgments upon America. And, the outcome and the outrage of the press were so severe they had to recant their musings on that point because we believe in a God who is infinitely capable of blessing people, but is utterly incapable of cursing them. „May the Lord curse you and abandon you. May the Lord keep you in darkness, and give you only judgment without grace. May the Lord turn His back upon you, and remove His peace from you forever.” The apostle Paul says that the whole creation groans together in travail, waiting for the manifestations of the sons of God. (Romans 8:22)

We live in a planet, dear friends, that is under the curse of God. If there ever was an obscenity that violated contemporary community standards, it was Jesus, on the cross. But, on the cross, not only is the Father satisfied by the atoning work of His Son, , but, in bearing our sins, the Lamb of God removes our sins from us, as far as the east is from the west. How does He do it? By being cursed. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law. (Galatians 3:13) Listen to this:

Not simply by being cursed for us, but, becoming a curse for us. Can you take that in? He, who is the incarnation of the glory of God, now becomes the very incarnation of the divine curse. „As it is written, Cursed is everyone as he hangs upon a tree. Galatians 3;13. Because, after He became the scapegoat, and the Father imputes to Him every sin of every one of His people, we see the most intense, dense concentration of evil ever experienced on this planet. Jesus was the ultimate obscenity, bearing the full measure of the curse Christ screamed: Eli, Eli, lama sabachtahani? My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?

He didn’t just feel forsaken, He was forsaken! For Jesus to become the curse, He has to be utterly, totally and completely forsaken. And here’s the reality that we must make clear to our people: That they will either bear the curse of God themselves, or they will flee to the one who took it for them. Cursed of God. The Father turns His back. Until that moment, when my sin was placed upon Him, and the one who was pure, was pure no more. And God cursed Him. It was as if there was a cry from heaven, excuse my language but I can not be accurate unless I say: God damn you. Because that’s what it meant to be cursed, to be damned, to be under the anathema of the Father. As I said, I don’t understand that, but I know that it’s true, and I know that every person in this room, or every person outside, or on the street, across the world, who has not been covered by the righteousness of Christ, right this minute draws every breath under the curse of God.

If you believe that, you will stop adding to the Gospel and start preaching it, with clarity and with boldness, because, dear friends it is the only hope we have, and it is hope enough.

The curse motif of the atonement

From “Treasuring Redemption’s Price by Ligonier Ministries

The key to understanding the cry of Jesus from the cross is found in Paul’s letter to the Galatians: „Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree'” (Galatians 3:13, NIV).

To be cursed is to be removed from the presence of God, to be set outside the camp, to be cut off from His benefits. On the cross, Jesus was cursed. That is, He represented the Jewish nation of covenant breakers who were exposed to the curse and took the full measure of the curse on Himself. As the Lamb of God, the Sin Bearer, He was cut off from the presence of God.

On the cross, Jesus entered into the experience of forsakenness on our behalf. God turned His back on Jesus and cut Him off from all blessing, from all keeping, from all grace, and from all peace.

God is too holy to even look at iniquity. God the Father turned His back on the Son, cursing Him to the pit of hell while He hung on the cross. Here was the Son’s “descent into hell.” Here the fury of God raged against Him. His scream was the scream of the damned. For us.

Reflect on what Jesus did for you on Calvary. Give thanks for the Lamb of God who bore your sin. For further study:

~Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
~Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
~Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

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How do we know God exists? J P Moreland at Thrive Apologetics Conference 2013

See other lectures at the THRIVE Conference 2013 here – http://www.youtube.com/user/thrivingchurches

There is a public relations problem we are facing today, and it’s essentially the idea that Christians believe things for no reasons whatsoever. In fact, the idea that is widely promulgated is that what modern people have discovered has made belief in God an unreasonable thing to hold.

So, for example, the late William Provine, who is a biologist at Cornell University, made the following statement about the evolutionary theory, „Let me summarize my views on modern evolutionary theory: „Let me summarize my theory on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear. There are no gods, there are no purposes, there are no goal directed purposes of any kind. There’s no life after death. When I die, I’m absolutely certain that I’ll be dead. That’s the end of me. There’s no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and there’s no free will for human beings either.”

So, this idea is that intellectuals have discovered something, such, that if average people knew what it was, they wouldn’t be able to believe in God any longer. And so, we live in a time, when it is not only widely thought that belief in God is irrational, but, it is now widely thought that if you believe in Jesus Christ, you’re not only stupid, but you are a bigot. Recently, a novelist put our ‘bigotry’ in this way, „Here is how their ignorant bigotry works (referring to christians). First, they put the fear of God in you, if you don’t believe the literal word of the Bible, you’ll burn in hell. Of course, the literal word of the Bible was tremendously contradictory, and so, you have to abdicate all critical thinking to believe. And, you must accept a simple, but logical system of belief, but you’re not allowed to question. A corollary at this point is that they make sure you understand that Satan resides in the toils and snares of the complex thought. So, it’s best not to think at all.”

Now, this is not the christian religion as it’s been for 2,000 years. It was we that founded the universities of the western world, that produced art and literature, and some of the richest intellectual literature ever produced. What is being talked about here is a relatively recent phenomenon, and I am seeing signs that this is changing, over the last 20-25 years. I’d like to ask the question: How do we know that God exists? Is there a case that can be made for God’s existence?

Through the experience of God and the testimony of the Spirit. God’s Spirit bears witness with our spirit that God is there. However, as important as that way of knowing God is, that is not what the Bible suggests, when we come to the topic of ‘how do we know God is’? When we come to that topic in Romans 1, Paul says that the way we know God exists is not from an experience of God, and it’s not because the Bible says so, it’s because of the created world. Paul says that since creation, God’s existence and His invisible attributes are clearly seen through what has been made. Now, what this does is the idea that the creation, in some way or other signals the idea of a supreme being. That provides us with encouragement, that we might be able to formulate some arguments, based on the creation , for the conclusion that God exists.

Three arguments for the existence of God:

  1. The Universe began to exist and something supernatural was used to bring it into existence…. If God exists, He is the first cause. If He doesn’t exist, that’s fine. But, if there is a God, He’s the first cause. You can’t ask a first cause what caused it, because if you did, it’s no longer a first cause. The first cause, by its very nature is an uncausable kind of thing. (25:00)
  2. Biological information. Information only comes from an intelligent mind. The biggest discovery of biology in the 20th century is that living things are filled with libraries of information. There’s more information in one cell of your body than the entire library at University of California, Berkeley. If we’re gonna use the principle that information is explained by an intelligent mind, why can’t we explain the info. in the DNA as coming from a very intelligent mind?
  3. The moral law. There is an absolute moral law. This is what philosophers call self evident. It’s obvious. The idea that torturing little babies for the fun of it is wrong, is as obvious as  2+2=4. That there is an objective, absolute moral law is self evident to virtually all people. When I talk about an objective moral law, what I mean is: moral principles that are true, whether anyone believes them or not. So, on this sense of an objective moral law, we discover morality, we don’t invent it. It’s discovered, just like we’ve discovered the laws of nature, and the laws of logic and math, and so on.. So, there is an objective and moral order. And that moral law imposes duties and responsibilities on us. What if someone says, „I don’t believe in an objective moral law? I think everything’s relative?” What do you do? You find out something they care deeply about, and treat it as relative and see what happens. You’ll get an absolutist that will come out of the closet quickly. Where did moral absolutes come from? Matter can’t produce moral absolutes. As a matter of fact, the moral law imposes duties on us to be loving and kind. Now, what kind of a thing can impose duties on another thing? The answer is ‘A person with a will’. You have to have a will to impose duties on something else. And laws come from lawgivers. We know where the moral laws come from, they came from a moral law giver. Why, again? Because the moral law comes in command form  and it imposes duties on us, and the only kind of a thing that can impose duties on something else is a being with will. There is a willing behind the moral law that imposes duties on us. One important aspect of the moral order is that there are objective duties that are imposed on us. Everyone knows they’re there, and the most reasonable explanation for the origin of the objective moral law is that there is a legislator, or an imposer, someone who imposes moral duty on the human race.

While we’re talking about morality, there’s also the issue of evil. Here’s how I believe evil provides evidence that there is a God, not evidence that there isn’t. What exactly is evil? Throughout western culture, for at least 1600 – 1700 years, the most widely accepted definition of evil is this: Evil is when things are the way they are not supposed to be. Can you have a bad carburetor in a car? Of course you can. When you say it’s a bad one, what we mean is that it’s not working the way it’s supposed to work. That means it’s not working the way it was designed to work. Then, if there is a designer, then there is a way this object is designed and supposed to work. And, if it doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to work it’s evil, or bad, or defective. So, we can learn that there are bad things, if those things are not like they’re supposed to be and that can be true if there is a designer. So, evil, in the world indicates that things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be. But, that presupposes that there is a way that things are supposed to be. And that makes sense if there is someone who designed them to be a certain way.

If God does not exist and evolution is how we got here, I’m sorry, but things just happen, and there really is no way things are supposed to be, and there really can’t be any such thing as evil at the end of the day. And, if God exists, because of the origin of the universe, can’t cross infinity, ing bang, something supernatural that’s timeless, spaceless, invisible, had to bring the universe into existence… if the SETI scientists themselves that information is best explained by an intelligent line, why don’t we follow that reasoning when we come to the discovery of information in living things.

Finally, the absolute moral law is best explained by an absolute moral law giver. Everybody knows there is an absolute moral law. And evil itself is best explained if there is a designer for the world. How do you move to christianity from here? I appeal to fulfilled prophecy, miracles, and the resurrection of Jesus. And this is where I would appeal to historical evidence.

Professor JP Moreland answers the question, „Does God Exist?” at the Thrive Apologetics Conference, held at Bayside Church in Granite Bay, California. thrivingchurches

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