atonement, Condemnation, cross, Decalogue, eternal life, Evangelism, faith, God, Gospel, Gospel of Jesus Christ, grace, Holiness, Jesus Christ, Law, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, mercy, Propitiation, Punishment, repentance, salvation, sinner, sins, Ten Commandments
Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote:
The essence of evangelism is not merely to talk about the cross but to proclaim the true doctrine of the cross. There are people who talk about it, but they do so in a purely sentimental manner. They are like the daughters of Jerusalem, whom the Lord Himself rebuked, weeping as they thought of what they called the tragedy of the cross. That is not the right way to view it. There are those who regard the cross as something which exercises a kind of moral influence upon us. they say that its whole purpose is to break down our hard hearts. But that is not the biblical teaching as to its meaning. The purpose of the cross is not to arouse pity in us, neither is it merely some general display of the love of God. Not at all! It is finally understood only in terms of the law. What was happening upon the cross was that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was enduring in His own holy body the penalty prescribed by the holy law of God for the sin of man. The law condemns sin, and the condemnation that it pronounces is death. “The wages of sin is death.” The law pronounces that death must pass upon all who have sinned against God and broken His holy law. Christ says, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” One of the ways in which the law has to be fulfilled is that its punishment of sin must be carried out. This punishment is death, and that was why He died. The law must be fulfilled. God cannot put it to one side in any respect, and the punishment cannot be put on one side. God in forgiving us — let us say so clearly — does not do so by deciding not to exact the punishment that He has decreed. That would imply a contradiction of His holy nature. Whatever God says must be brought to pass. He does not go back upon Himself and upon what He says. He has said that sin has to be punished by death, and you and I can be forgiven only because the punishment has been thus exacted. In respect to its punishment of sin God’s law has been fulfilled absolutely, because He has punished sin in the holy, spotless, blameless body of His own Son there upon the cross on Calvary’s hill. Christ is fulfilling the law on the cross, and unless you interpret the cross, and Christ’s death upon it, in strict terms of the fulfilling of the law you have not the scriptural view of the death upon the cross.
From: Martyn Lloyd-Jones -“The Sermon on the Mount” (Eerdmans, second edition in one volume, 1971, 1976), 167-168.