• The Ransom Theory

    Mark 10:35–45

    When we enter this world in Adam, we owe God a great debt for breaking His law. We can by no means ever pay this debt, and it is futile even to try to appease our Father by our good ...Read More

  • The Ransom Theory

    Mark 10:35–45

    Our sin has made us debtors to God, not to Satan. Therefore, the ransom paid was paid to God the Father. At the Cross, Satan received nothing but the destruction of his power and the guarantee that his kingdom will ...Read More

  • Responding to the Servant

    Isaiah 55

    God works through means. In justification, the sole instrumental means He uses is the faith He gives us to lay hold of Christ’s perfect righteousness—the sole ground of our being declared righteous before Him. We must trust Jesus alone ...Read More

  • Securing our Faith

    Matthew 1:18–21

    The Old Testament also points to limited atonement or particular redemption. Israel’s high priest offered atonement only for the people of Israel, not for Israel and those who remained outside the covenant community. From first to last, the Bible teaches ...Read More

  • Setting One’s Mind on the Spirit

    Romans 8:4-6

    Even though the Spirit of God provides us with real power to obey God now, that power does not perfect us in this life. John Calvin comments on Romans 8:1-2: “Wherever the real fear of God is vigorous, it ...Read More

  • The Severe Judgment of God

    2 Corinthians 5:21

    Ancient Jews who knew their Scriptures understood that Jesus’ crucifixion under the Romans meant that God was subjecting Him to the worst curse imaginable. But He was subjected to this curse because He bore the sin of those who trust ...Read More

  • Spirit-Conceived and Virgin-Born

    Luke 1:26–38

    Question and answer 35 of the Heidelberg Catechism tell us that the virgin birth demonstrates how God could truly unite Himself to a true human nature but remain unstained by sin in the process. This miracle of the incarnation is ...Read More

  • The Spirit’s Internal Witness

    Romans 8:16-17

    More than once we have referred to the reality of the “already/not yet” situation in which Christians find themselves. Already we are children of God and heirs, but our possession of the full inheritance is not yet. Our present ...Read More

  • The Suffering of Christ

    Isaiah 53

    The Heidelberg Catechism says that Christ sustained the anger of God against the sin of His people “during his whole life on earth, but especially at the end” (Q&A 37). There is a sense in which all of the suffering Jesus endured on earth was part of His work of bearing sin, but Scripture is clear that the key work of atonement occurred on the cross. If we focus on Jesus’ life at the expense of His death, we will miss why He really came in the first place.Read More

  • The True Love of God

    1 John 4:10–12

    Dr. Joel Beeke writes in his Epistles of John that “the great motivation for practical, Christlike living is the doctrine of the cross; hence, every failure to love can be traced back to a failure to understand the cross. When ...Read More

  • Vicarious Substitution

    Matthew 3:13–17

    Christ has done for us what we could never do. He has rendered perfect obedience to God in every way. This perfect obedience enabled Him to be a pure lamb, free from every blemish and thus acceptable as the perfect ...Read More

  • Vicarious Substitution

    Matthew 3:13–17

    Nothing that Jesus did was an accident. He did not need to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, but He did need to be baptized to keep God’s laws perfectly and to be perfectly identified with His people ...Read More

  • Waiting for Justice

    Psalm 137

    John Calvin comments on Psalm 137:9 that “it may seem to savor of cruelty … but [the psalmist] does not speak under the impulse of personal feeling, and only employs words which God had himself authorized, so that this ...Read More

  • The Whole World

    1 John 2:2

    Scripture’s emphasis on God’s desire to save His people shows us that the atonement was designed to pay fully for all of the sins of the elect. Two thousand years ago, Jesus paid for the sins of His ...Read More