Genesis Sermons from Gospel Chapel Ministries HOME SERMONS SERMON NOTES
#360 SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON #19 GEN 17:9-14
THE RELATIONSHIP OF CIRCUMCISION TO RECONCILIATION
We will place the emphasis in this chapter on GEN 17:9-14. The message in the last chapter dealt with repentance in our walk of life as the sign, or type, and the removing of the foreskin of the heart as the seal, or mark of genuineness, taught in the covenant of circumcision.
Now we will endeavor to show the beauty of the meaning of circumcision in relationship with the doctrine of reconciliation. There is a depth and richness in the teaching of circumcision that perhaps no human mind has ever been able to fathom. We will try with the help of the Lord to unfold, even if it is but a glimpse of what is contained in the covenant of circumcision with its relationship to reconciliation.
The first thing the word "reconciliation" implies is that there was a previous state of friendship, of perfect harmony, of mutual trust between God and man. The word "conciliation" means there is a state of perfect harmony and mutual trust between the two parties who are enjoying the state of conciliation. There is a oneness of purpose, mind, and spirit.
Secondly, the word "re-conciliation" implies that this state of perfect harmony in the image of God had been broken by disobedience, and as a consequence, had been converted into a state of enmity. See ROM 8:7, which says, "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." "Reconciliation" implies that there had been a state of perfect submission before it was replaced by a state of rebellion, an enmity against God that is not subject to the law of God nor can it be. It is a state of total depravity as a result of breaking the state of conciliation.
Thirdly, "re-conciliation" is the renewal of that original state of "conciliation." It implies a healing of that breach and a restoration to the same or greater state of obedience, harmony and unity. Because disobedience has marred the state of conciliation, the goal is to restore perfect harmony wherein the image of God is restored to the soul by a greater state of obedience.
We must understand two principles to understand reconciliation. The first principle is the requirement of the law. The law required perfect obedience, reverence, and respect to the will of God. The second item the law required was punishment of every infraction of the law with eternal death. Perfect obedience would merit eternal life.
Reconciliation means to restore that state of conciliation, which was broken. When we understand that by perfect obedience, eternal life was to be merited, the breaking of that conciliation did not alter the terms. We must properly understand the meaning of salvation. It means to be saved from the power of sin, and sin is the transgression of the law, Cf., 1JO 3:4.
Therefore, we are to be saved from transgressing the law if we are to be saved from sin. Perfect obedience merits eternal life. The blood of Christ appeases the wrath of the Father and takes away the penalty of sin. If Christ's atonement ended with merely appeasing the wrath of God and taking away the penalty of sin, it would have saved the souls from hell, but would not have merited eternal life, since eternal life can only be merited by perfect obedience. This principle has not been altered. To properly understand salvation and see the preciousness and beauty of the covenant of circumcision, we must understand it was a covenant to restore eternal life merited and purchased by perfect obedience.
LUK 10:25-28 speaks of a lawyer who was attempting to catch the Lord Jesus Christ in His words. "And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? [What actions would merit eternal life?] He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? [As a lawyer, he should know and understand the law.] And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart [We spoke about the circumcision of the heart so we could love the Lord.], and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. [He sighted the law of love.] And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live."
Jesus was telling the lawyer that he was right. If the lawyer was able, and if he would keep the law of love with perfection, he would live. Eternal life is merited by perfect obedience to the law of love.
The slightest infraction of the law, however, was to be punished with death. If the law is disobeyed in the least manner, just one time, it is punishable by eternal death. JAM 2:10 says, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." Perfect obedience is required, but by nature of the fall, we are not able to render perfect obedience.
The covenant of circumcision was given to us as a pledge that the Lord Jesus Christ would fulfill that requirement of perfect obedience and thereby purchase salvation for His bride, the church.
Until the first principle is satisfied by the restoration of perfect obedience, there could be no reconciliation by payment of the penalty. An illustration will clarify this point. A man has violated the law. The intent of a penalty for violating the law is to restore respect and honor for the law, and vindicate the public for the violation of the law.
A man complained to me about being convicted in the courts. Reconciliation had to take place in two steps. He satisfied the law by paying the penalty when he served his time in jail, but there was still no reconciliation because in his heart, he still hated the judge. In His heart, he determined to retaliate by continuing to break the law. The penalty was paid, but when he got back on the streets, he had no desire to honor the law. There was no reconciliation.
The Lord Jesus Christ paid and satisfied the penalty, but that alone does not constitute reconciliation. The law had to be satisfied on both sides. The honor of the law had to be restored to a holy reverence for the law of God. The heart, the soul, and the mind must long and desire to obey the will of God. We can only do that with the imparted righteousness of Christ. His perfect obedience must be imputed to us because we are not capable of perfect obedience to the law. Therefore, we not only need Christ's payment of the penalty, we need the perfect satisfaction of the law by perfect obedience imputed to us. God the Father can never be reconciled to one who has not learned to honor the law.
Until this first principle of restoration of the honor of the law and perfect obedience is satisfied, there can be no reconciliation by the payment of the penalty. The very sacrifice of Christ and the shedding of His blood would not have appeased the Father's wrath if perfect obedience had not been restored first. The law was honoured by Jesus humble obedience unto death, even the death of the cross, PHI 2:8. "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name."
Until there is repentance and rebellion is broken, and the heart is reconciled to God, there is no claim we can lay to the blood of Christ for justification. It is impossible. It is against all logic to even contend such a thing. 1SA 15:22 says, "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." Those offerings and sacrifices portrayed and typified the pledge of Christ to pay the penalty. Can we capitalize on the death of the Son for the inheritance without the fruit of repentance?
Are we going to disobey God's commands in order to honor Him with sacrifices? Will we please Him by disobeying His law? The Lord wants our hearts back. He isn't primarily interested in watching the blood of His Son being spilled. It appeased His wrath, but He is glorified in the reconciliation wherein the heart is brought back and the state of conciliation is restored.
This is why Christ's first and foremost work of reconciliation was restoration of perfect obedience in our human nature. There are those who teach that baptism replaces circumcision. That is folly. The Lord Jesus Christ was circumcised, and He was baptized. The circumcision was His pledge to become a debtor to do the whole law for His church. Outside of that, His baptism would not have been acceptable because His pledge, through circumcision, to first keep the whole law had to come before stepping into the Father's wrath to remove the penalty of sin. The punishment in hell is eternal because man does not have the ability to satisfy the law with perfect obedience; therefore, the offense continues to compound. The Lord Jesus restored perfect obedience for His church before removing the penalty of sin in order that the punishment would not have to be eternal.
Christ was able with one sacrifice to take away sin because He first restored perfect obedience. Thus He could pay the penalty and secure reconciliation from God's side. Until perfect obedience had been restored, the penalty continued to compound as long as the offense continued. Hell is eternal; those who are in hell continue sinning and blaspheming God's name. For God's people, who have the imputed righteousness of Christ, the offense has ceased; therefore, the state of conciliation could be restored upon Christ's payment of the penalty.
Christ paid the penalty. His act of paying that penalty was one of highest obedience. PHI 2:8 says, "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Obedience to God and His law have been restored in perfection in the very act of paying the penalty.
The Old Testament gospel so clearly taught the same two-fold work of Christ for our salvation. The covenant of circumcision was Christ's pledge that He would satisfy the law in behalf of His church with perfect obedience, even as the burnt offerings were His pledge to pay the penalty of their sins. Do you see the two-fold work of reconciliation? The covenant of circumcision was symbolic of Christ's pledge to become a debtor to do the whole law in behalf of His church. The burnt offerings were symbolic of Christ as our sacrifice to pay the penalty for sin, which was also pledged in His baptism.
The Old Testament teaches the principle that no claim can be made upon the sacrifice of Christ without a circumcised heart. This is taught by the fact that those who were not circumcised could not even enter the tabernacle where the burnt offerings were made. The principle is the same in reconciliation. Until perfect obedience was restored, the sacrifice would not be acceptable. Christ's sacrifice and the shedding of His blood would not have been accepted as the atonement for our sins if perfect obedience had not first been restored.
When Christ was circumcised on the eighth day, He took it upon Himself to become a debtor to do the whole law for His church. We see this in GAL 5:2-3: "Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. [Why? You are abolishing the circumcision of Christ on your behalf.] For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law." When Christ became circumcised, He became a debtor to do the whole law, and He did it for His church.
It is by the circumcision of Christ that we are circumcised, i.e., it is His pledge to keep the whole law with perfect obedience, which is imputed unto us. COL 2:10-11 says, "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised...by the circumcision of Christ." Why is circumcision still preached? GAL 5:11 says, "And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased." Why? It is because we have nullified the circumcision of Christ in our behalf. We must not look to ourselves being circumcised because we then become a debtor to do the whole law. We have to look to the imputed righteousness of Christ. We have to see that it was that precious circumcision of Christ in whom we are circumcised in the circumcision made without hands and the putting off of the body of sins of the flesh.
We also need Christs baptism. The one is co-essential with the other. We need His baptism where He stepped under the wrath of the Father. He stepped into death. When Christ was baptized, He was marked for death to be immersed in the Fathers wrath upon sin for His church. This is what was pledged in the burnt offerings.
Christ was raised again for the justification of His church. COL 2:12-13 says, "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses." See where forgiveness fits in. Forgiveness must come before reconciliation is final. Reconciliation requires two things: perfect obedience must be restored and the penalty paid for past transgressions. Now we can talk forgiveness.
I heard a man say once that he never worried about morals or repentance. He said he just went and got people saved. Then he was willing to talk morals. How far from the truth! There is no salvation until the heart has been circumcised.
The circumcision made without hands is the antitype, or the fulfillment of the Covenant of Circumcision, in the perfect obedience of Christ. 2CO 5:21 says, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Christ's suffering for the appeasing of His Father's wrath upon our sin is a fact, but that fact alone is not sufficient. The mere fact that it happened is not enough; we must know that His sacrifice was acceptable to the Father, and reconciliation is now in place.
The Father's acceptance of Jesus' suffering to appease His wrath was found in Jesus' spirit of submission in which He suffered. The act of giving the perfect payment of the penalty of sin in the way of obedience made the sacrifice acceptable.
In HEB 5:8-9 we read, "Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." Is there salvation for those still walking in sin, for those who are uncircumcised in flesh and heart and their walk of life? Will those who do not have a heart of love for God find salvation in their present state? No! The Lord Jesus Christ is the author of eternal salvation only to those who obey Him. Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered. By His perfect obedience, Christ satisfied both requirements of the law, i.e., He satisfied the penalty of the law as an act of obedience. Therein, it was acceptable and the means whereby we are justified. This is where reconciliation was complete.
ROM 5:9 says, "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." Notice the chronology in this verse. Keep it in context to understand exactly what it says. It says we are being justified by His blood and are thereby saved from the wrath of the Father. That does not say one word about eternal life. The blood of Christ satisfied and appeased the Father's wrath.
It is clear that Christ was the substitute for His Church to give perfect satisfaction to the law, by honoring every jot and every tittle of the law, to redeem His church from the curse of the law. ROM 5:19 tells us, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Do you see the difference between being justified and the appeasing of Gods wrath? The blood of Christ satisfied the penalty while His perfect obedience restored us to a state of conciliation. Both are required.
Christ is the end of the law, which we must understand to mean as the full purpose and intent of the law. The law was honored in His perfect obedience; the Father was glorified, and the whole purpose and intent of the law was satisfied.
ROM 10:4-5 says, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness [or conformity of life to the divine law] to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them." Is this not talking about obedience? It is not talking about Jesus' blood sacrifice. These verses talk about Jesus' conformity of life to the divine law. The Scriptures are teaching us that by His perfect obedience. He accomplished the intent of the law. The intent or the purpose of the law was that we would merit eternal life. Only by Christ's righteousness, His perfect obedience is eternal life merited for His church.
Without the law being honored and perfectly satisfied, reconciliation would have been totally impossible. MAT 26:38-39 tells us, "Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." Do you see what Christ was saying? Reconciliation was absolutely impossible without Him obeying His Father unto death, even the death of the cross.
In JOH 10:18 Jesus said, "No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." He prayed that if it were possible, let this cup pass from Him; it was not possible for us to have reconciliation without His perfect obedience. It could not be that eternal life for His church was possible until Jesus fulfilled the cup of perfect obedience to the will of His Father in laying down His life and taking it again.
Therefore, we must understand that the obedience of Christ and the sacrifice of His blood are co-essential to our becoming reconciled with God. Do you see why circumcision cannot replace baptism or visa versa. Circumcision was the Lord Jesus Christ's pledge to perform perfect obedience under the law. Baptism was His pledge to pay the penalty by stepping into the wrath of the Father to take away the penalty of sin.
We could never have reconciliation without both. One is as essential as the other. Neither of the two would have ever accomplished salvation alone. Christ's perfect obedience in our behalf if it had not included the taking away of the penalty of our sin could not have redeemed His church. The payment of the penalty without restoring perfect obedience alone would never have redeemed His church. Unless perfect obedience was restored, the penalty would have been perpetual.
The obedience of Christ and the sacrifice of His blood are co-essential. 2CO 10:5 says, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Do you understand where our worship of Christ lays? We are to worship that precious obedience of Christ, bringing every thought into captivity to that one point, because it included the penalty.
Giving His blood as an act of obedience is what appeased the Father's wrath against our rebellion. Paying the penalty was the central part of His obedience. PHI 2:8 says, "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
The blood of Christ is for the appeasing of God's wrath for sins that are past. ROM 3:23-25 says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [the appeasing of His wrath] through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God." The Lord Jesus Christ gave His blood to satisfy the penalty; it was an act of obedience that declared His righteousness. It declared the righteous demands of God to demand perfect obedience and payment of the penalty. Thereby it declared the righteousness of God for the remission of sins that are passed through the forbearance of God. God, in His forbearance, looked upon the perfect atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ in the way of obedience.
The blood of Christ appeases God's wrath, but it was His obedience with which the Father was glorified. In Christ's perfect obedience in making His sacrifice, the Father's wrath upon our sin was appeased, removed. ROM 5:9-10 explains, "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." That is where eternal life lies. Eternal life is possible because Jesus lived a perfect life of obedience.
When God entered into the Covenant of Circumcision with Abraham, we read "...I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect," Genesis l7:1. Of special interest is the word, "And," in verse 2. "Walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee." The covenant from God's side was contingent upon perfect obedience. Abraham, in the Spirit of Christ, received circumcision as a type, a sign, and as a seal of the perfect obedience of Christ. That perfect obedience of Christ is sealed to us when we receive the circumcision of heart, when we have received that seal, which is the circumcision of the foreskin of the heart to love God with all our hearts, minds, and souls. That is our mark of genuiness; the perfect obedience of Christ is sealed unto us. That is the righteousness of faith.
God instituted the Covenant of Circumcision to teach his just demands for perfect obedience under the law. This is also supported in DEU 18:13 which says, "Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God." Perfection is the requirement of the law.
The Old Testament church looked by faith to circumcision as the pledge of the substitutionary obedience of Christ for its reconciliation with God. The burnt offerings were the pledge of the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ for removing the penalty. In ROM 4:11 we read, "And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also."
Circumcision did not obtain righteousness of faith; it was the sign or token as we read in GEN 17:11: "And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you." The covenant was that God would send His Son to perform perfect obedience in our behalf. The Lord Jesus said in JOH 8:56, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad." How did Abraham see Christ's righteousness? Abraham, by faith, saw the righteousness of Christ sealed to him. That is the righteousness of faith. He saw the perfect obedience of Christ, His conformity of life to the divine law, sealed to him while he was yet uncircumcised. He received circumcision as the sign of that. That was the token or symbol.
Reconciliation contains two requirements. First, God was reconciled to His church in Christ's obedience and perfect atonement. Read 2CO 5:18-19 to understand how reconciliation applies to you and me. "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." Understand that God in Christ Jesus reconciled the world unto Himself. From God's side, reconciliation is fully in place. The penalty has been paid; perfect obedience has been restored. The law was perfectly satisfied. This is God's view of the world in Christ.
Secondly, our hearts must be circumcised to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. God is reconciled to the world; now we must be reconciled to God. 2CO 5:20 states, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." What stands between you and me and being reconciled to God? Adam's sin has been taken care of; our original sin has been covered. God is reconciled to the world through Jesus Christ. Not one person will be able to say on the Judgment Day that the atonement was limited because it didn't include him. No such thing will ever take place. The only thing that now stands between God and us in reconciliation is, "be ye reconciled to God." Our own rebellious heart is the problem. It is still there. By nature, we are dead in trespasses and sin; we need the Lord to regenerate our hearts. We need our rebellion broken and our hearts brought into subjection to the will of God. That takes the grace of God. Here is where we see Gods sovereign grace in our salvation. It isn't in the fact that the atonement is limited; it is in the fact that our rebellion must be broken and "be ye reconciled to God." All the fault now lays with you and me; there is no fault on God's side. The atonement was sufficient, but our hearts are still in rebellion against God.
Christ's pledge of perfect obedience under the covenant of circumcision was fulfilled as we see in JOH 19:30: "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished [Every jot and tittle of the law had now been satisfied. All of Gods wrath upon sin had been spent.]: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." Jesus had finished what He came to do.
The New Testament church now looks to the resurrection of Christ, not to circumcision, as the pledge, that God the Father has accepted the perfect obedience of Christ by the righteousness of faith which is imputed now to us. Satan loves to keep our eyes off Christ; he would have us believe and teach that we are to look to circumcision. No. Now we look unto the resurrection of Christ as the Father's acceptance of His perfect obedience and atonement. In the resurrection of Christ, we have the pledge of the Father's acceptance; the law has been satisfied.
If we yet preach circumcision, what are we preaching? We are preaching that one must still become a debtor to do the whole law, but that law has been satisfied. ROM 4:23-25 reads, "Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." Do you see why our faith must be centered in the resurrection of Christ? Our faith must be centered in the resurrection of Christ because He was raised for our justification.
The law has one great demand, and that is obedience! If a man disobeys and is punished, he does not thereby escape from the duty of obedience. How illogical to think that we can be saved without repentance. Just because Christ has satisfied the law does not give us a license to disobey the law. LUK 13:1-3 gives us an example and a lesson. "There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
The law is still upon us saying, "Obey, obey!" The law was totally satisfied by perfect obedience before the penalty was accepted. Some may say "Oh, but Christ has paid for all my sins! All my past offenses have been forgiven in Christ!" Is that a license to continue in sin? No. Let's look at ROM 5:19-21. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."
Now note ROM 6:1-4: "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
If we claim a part in the resurrection of Christ, it must be through our walk of life. It is so important to understand that our tender, loving Father is not pleased with the sight of blood. That only satisfied His wrath upon sin. It was only when He saw the blood given in the right spirit that it was acceptable. HEB 10:6-7 says, "In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God." That which made His atonement so pleasing unto His Father was the spirit in which Jesus fulfilled His Father's commands.
HEB 10:8-10 says, "Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." When the Lord looked upon sacrifices and offerings, He was not pleased, but when Jesus came to do His will, it was acceptable.
The same principle is taught in ISA 1:11: "To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats." Even though these sacrifices were the type of the blood of Christ, the Father had no delight in them. Verses 12-15 continue, "When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood."
In other words, the people had not repented; there had been no restoration of obedience. Therefore, God did not want those sacrifices. Now He has removed all the burnt offerings because His will was done in the Lord Jesus' perfect obedience.
The Lord was not only pleased with Christ's obedience, which He pledged under the covenant of circumcision, but with the attitude in which He obeyed. An example from our every day life might be the child who knows and obeys the letter of the rules of the house, but pushes them to the limit. Hes pushing it to the point of having you come down on him in chastisement. That attitude is not pleasing. God the Father was looking at the attitude, the spirit, in which Jesus obeyed. It was a spirit of unconditional surrender and submission.
JOH 8:28-29 tell us, "Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him." Notice the significance of the word "do." That is the reason the Father was pleased. The atonement was done in a way to please the Father; it was done in the right spirit.
Not only was the Father pleased with the perfect obedience of the Son, but the Son is as pleased with the obedience of His dear children. Where does salvation lay? It lies in being reconciled to God, not just from His side to gain a fire escape to avoid hell, but our hearts are reconciled with His will.
JOH 8:30-32 says, "As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Again, we see the importance of doing the will of the Lord.
As we see from ROM 5:19, in the Garden of Eden, disobedience and rebellion were the first sin. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, ..." Even so, reconciliation could be had only by obedience, restoring that which Christ pledged in the covenant of circumcision: "...so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Amen.
These on-lines sermons are a ministry of Gospel Chapel located in Conrad, Montana. We also have a daily devotion. For a list of sermons on cassette please visit our on-line tape catalog. See also, our sermon notes.