50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die

To Cancel the Legal Demands of the Law Against Us

Author: John Piper
Publisher: Crossway
Genre: Theology
Book Review
| Bibles.net
4/5
Reading Difficulty: Easy
This book is short, but dense. It would be a great book to read devotionally, one chapter at a time each morning or evening. We have found it really helpful in understanding why Jesus went to the cross for us. It's one thing to know that Christ suffered and died for us, it's another to know what motivated him, and what his death accomplished. We pray this book will help you grow in your understanding about the good news of Jesus one short chapter at a time.
Chapter
| 5 Minutes
CHAPTER 7

To Cancel the Legal Demands of the Law Against Us

And you, who were dead in your trespasses . . . God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
(Colossians 2:13)

What a folly it is to think that our good deeds may one day outweigh our bad deeds. It is folly for two reasons.

First, it is not true. Even our good deeds are defective, because we don’t honor God in the way we do them. Do we do our good deeds in joyful dependence on God with a view to making known his supreme worth? Do we fulfill the overarching command to serve people “by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11)?

What then shall we say in response to God’s word, “Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23)? I think we shall say nothing. “Whatever the law says it speaks . . . so that every mouth may be stopped” (Romans 3:19). We will say nothing. It is folly to think that our good deeds will outweigh our bad deeds before God. Without Christ-exalting faith, our deeds will signify nothing but rebellion.

The second reason it is folly to hope in good deeds is that this is not the way God saves. If we are saved from the consequences of our bad deeds, it will not be because they weighed less than our good deeds. It will be because the “record of [our] debt” in heaven has been nailed to the cross of Christ. God has a totally different way of saving sinners than by weighing their deeds. There is no hope in our deeds. There is only hope in the suffering and death of Christ.

There is no salvation by balancing the records. There is only salvation by canceling records. The record of our bad deeds (including our defective good deeds), along with the just penalties that each deserves, must be blotted out—not balanced. This is what Christ suffered and died to accomplish.

The cancellation happened when the record of our deeds was “nailed to the cross” (Colossians 2:13). How was this damning record nailed to the cross? Parchment was not nailed to the cross. Christ was. So Christ became my damning record of bad (and good) deeds. He endured my damnation. He put my salvation on a totally different footing. He is my only hope. And faith in him is my only way to God.

Content taken from Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper, ©2006. Used by permission of Crossway.
Video: 2 Min

Author

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John Piper
John Piper is founder and lead teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for thirty-three years as the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than fifty books.

Contributor 

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Crossway
The purpose of Crossway has been, from its founding as a not-for-profit ministry in 1938, to publish gospel-centered, Bible-centered content that will honor our Savior and serve his Church. We seek to help people understand the massive implications of the gospel and the truth of God’s Word, for all of life, for all eternity, and for the glory of God.
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