For many of us we have given much thought and offered up our thanksgiving in amazement of the incarnation of God in the person of Jesus Christ. Let's be perfectly clear also, that those of us who have rejoiced in the birth of Christ, do not think that His birth was on December 25th. In fact, pondering the incarnation is appropriate at anytime of the year, in fact at any hour of the day. Having said that, I thought it could to look at one of the reasons that God the Son became man, i.e., to atone for the sins of those whom the Father gave Him. Specifically, that reason was to become our substitute and satisfy the demands of the law which we by nature do not keep, nor even do we have a desire to do so. This lecture was given 50 years ago and after pondering what is contained in the lecture I have two very profound but very different emotions well up within my soul. The first was the wonder of God's infinite mercy and grace which was displayed in the person of Jesus Christ and what horror He endured for my sake. The second was the dismay of how the visible church has strayed from the truth and thus how ignorant its members are, with some exceptions, of course.

The task which I have set myself in this lecture is to focus and explicate a belief which, by and large, is a distinguishing mark of the word-wide evangelical fraternity: namely, the belief that the cross had the character of penal substitution, and that it was in virtue of this fact that it brought salvation to mankind. Two considerations prompt my attempt. First, the significance of penal substitution is not always stated as exactly as is desirable, so that the idea often gets misunderstood and caricatured by its critics; and I should like, if I can, to make such misunderstanding more difficult. Second, I am one of those who believe that this notion takes us to the very heart of the Christian gospel, and I welcome the opportunity of commending my conviction by analysis and argument.
May the Spirit of God open your minds and hearts to the great truths Packer has, I believe, by the Spirit given to us who have been given life by the same Spirit and also to those who are yet dead in their sins but perhaps God has destined to call to be united to Christ through a living faith in Him.

You can read this article now by clicking here: What Did the Cross Achieve? The Logic of Penal Substitution.

For later reading, you can go to The Highway website and click on the Article of the Month logo.

In His service and grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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