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The Substitute

The problem
...There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one Romans 3:1012 (read also verses 13-23). The whole human race is in a place of total separation from God (Isaiah 59:2). They are... Children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:1-2). Children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). Children of the devil (John 8:44). Enemies of God (Col.1:21; James 4:4). Having no hope (Ephesians 2:12). The Bible reveals: All have sinned (Romans 3:23). None are righteous (Isaiah 64:6). All deserve judgment (Romans 6:23). Mans sin, rebellion and disobedience made it impossible for a holy, righteous God to accept him into His presence.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24

...Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8 (read also verse 9-11; Hebrews 2:9; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

The substitute
Surely he took our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him; and by his wounds we are healed Isaiah 53:4-5. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, entered fully into the stream of human life becoming the Son of Man (Luke 19:10). He lived a perfect life and thus was able to represent us before God, bringing man and God together. He was the only one who could satisfy both the holiness of God and the total needs of mankind (see Hebrews 4:1416; 8:6; 1 Timothy 2:5).

The plan
The only way God could abide by His righteous Law and still bring forgiveness and reconciliation to Man was to find a substitute to die in his place. A suitable substitute had to be one who could stand righteous before God, and yet who could truly represent the human race. It had to be a man who had no sin. But there was no man for all had sinned. So God Himself had to become man in order to reconcile man to God.

The Cross
The Cross is the place where Gods love and justice meet. His righteous judgment demanded the death penaltyfor sin the shedding of blood. His love met His own demands and Jesus, the Son of God died as our substitute (Rom.5:8-11).

Copyright 1998 Paul Collins, Bunty Collins and David Collins. May be freely reproduced, except for profit, provided copyright and contact information is kept intact. Scriptures quoted from the New International Version, unless otherwise stated. Used by permission.


Making the Truth Mine

Write out in full the scripture from this lesson which means the most to you. We encourage you to commit the verse to memory.

Write out one statement from the study which you feel is most significant for your life.

Write in your own words how you believe you should respond to the truth of this study.Are there any decisions you should make? How are you going to minister it to others?

You can make a difference!

For this study to have its full effect in your life, we encourage you to: * Read and digest the study - meditate on the Word of God. * Put into action what you have learnt (James 1:22). * Share the Word of God with others.