attributes of God, biblical discernment, Biblical truth, Christian doctrine, Christianity, doctrine of God, Dr Paul Elliott, false doctrine, God's holiness, Gospel of Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, salvation
Another excellent series from Dr Paul Elliott of Teaching the Word Ministries:
The doctrine of Christ’s holiness is under attack today as never before. Much of that attack is coming from what should be the least expected source – inside the nominally evangelical church.
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted – you may well put up with it! (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)
The doctrine of the holiness of Jesus Christ is absolutely essential to the Christian faith. Without a sinless, absolutely holy Christ there would have been no perfect creation and no perfect Lawgiver. There would be no perfect sacrifice for sin, and no sinless Mediator between God and man. There would be no hope of a perfect New Heavens and New Earth now in preparation for the redeemed of God.
A Doctrine Under Attack – From Within the Church
We live in a time when these foundations of the faith are crumbling in many churches. The reason is that the doctrine of Christ’s holiness is under attack as never before. Today much of that attack comes from what should be the least expected source – the nominally evangelical church. In its efforts to attract the unbelieving world, much of the postmodern church sets forth a defective and deficient caricature of the holy Christ of Scripture.
This is the unvarnished truth: Much of today’s church presents a “Jesus” made in sinful man’s image – someone who is, at best, a flawed but noble character not unlike the rest of us. By promoting such a position – or at best doing little to counter it – much of the contemporary church slanders and blasphemes the Christ of Scripture.
And what is the result? According to reliable surveys, nearly half of self-described evangelicals do not believe that Jesus Christ is sinless. Well over half believe they must add their own works to the cross-work of Christ in order to have eternal life.
Given the church’s sinful debasement of Christ, these things should not surprise us. But on the authority of Scripture we must ask critical questions.
How can the worshippers of such a “Christ” possibly understand their true position before God – their utter depravity, the sinfulness of their sin, the condemnation under which they stand, their total helplessness as they face Hell, and their need of a sinless substitute in order to escape God’s wrath?
How can the worshippers of such a non-sinless “Christ” possibly understand the great transaction of justification by faith alone – God’s declaring repentant sinners not guilty before His judgment bar by not only imputing their sins to Christ, but also imputing Christ’s perfect righteousness to them?
How can the worshippers of such a “Christ” not think that they must somehow earn their way to Heaven by some cooperative effort with this imperfect man? Or, how can they not alternatively think that a God made in their own image will merely overlook their condition and welcome their thoroughly polluted selves into His perfect world to come?
From the very beginning, a principal focus of Satan’s attacks has been on the doctrine of the holiness of the true Christ of Scripture. It is not difficult to understand why. Satan can take multitudes to Hell with him by simply deceiving them into the false comfort of a false Christ.
A Vital Study for All
For these reasons we now begin what will be, the Lord willing, a series of articles setting before readers the true Christ of Scripture. The Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son from all eternity, is no mere man. One of His most prominent names, from the Pentateuch all the way to Revelation, is “the Holy One.”
That great name will be the focus of this series of studies. It is our prayer that the Lord will use these materials to instill a greater appreciation for the perfection of our Savior in the minds of the saints. We also pray that a realization of Christ’s holy demands and of His qualifications as the Redeemer of all who call on His name will bring sinners to saving faith.
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