E-mail, Curt Crist. March 12-2011.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 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.
20 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.
21 For he [God; The Father] hath made him [Jesus Christ; God’s only begotten son, God in the flesh] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Many (including right dividers) have thought that when Paul states in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 that God has reconciled the world to Himself…that only includes the believers of this present age of grace, and that the sins of those ‘not of this dispensation’ are still be counted against them. Not so! God was in Christ reconciling ‘the world’ unto himself. The first thing this tell us is that ‘ALL PEOPLE’ in ‘ALL LOCATIONS’ have been reconciled to God through the death of His Son. Now, the second issue that must be addressed is this: does this mean that God is not ‘counting the sins of the world’ unto the world…ONLY IN THIS DISPENSATION? The answer to this can be found in the reason God gives as to ‘WHY’ He is not counting the sins of the world unto the world. Verse 21 gives us the reason. He counted those sins to His Son! Therefore, His justice has been satisfied for all the sins Christ died for. Which leads us to ask…’how many sins did God put upon His Son’? Only the sins of the folks of ‘the dispensation of grace’? Or, did Christ pay for ‘all the sins of the human race’ (past people, present people, and future people) when he took the sins of the world upon himself at Calvary? You see, the way God designed to take care of ‘ALL THE SINS OF ALL TIME’ was to have His Son die for them. Christ didn’t die for the folks of ‘one dispensation only’. He paid for the sins of all the folks of all dispensations. Of course, this was not revealed to the folks of other dispensations as it has been revealed to us through Paul. God gave ‘pictures’ (called shadows) to the folks before this dispensation ‘through the sacrificial system’ which only God knew ‘pointed to Christ’. Keep in mind, that even Adam had a picture he didn’t understand when Christ provided (and slew) a sacrifice for Adam’s rebellion. Without the shedding of blood, scripture tells us, there is NO remission. So, sacrifices for sin (in time past) was merely a picture that God knew pointed to the future death of his Son Jesus Christ. In the case of Israel, the high priest brought two goats to the tabernacle; one was slain as a sacrifice and one was released (the scapegoat). Thus ‘atonement’ was made for the sins of the entire congregation of Israel, once every year. God did not hold the sins of the people of time past against them…if the appropriate sacrifice was brought by the high priest. Of course, Christ became ‘the better sacrifice’ we’re told in scripture. He entered ‘once’ for ‘all’ the writer to the Hebrews stated, never having need to offer himself again. Christ died not only for the sins of ‘ALL PEOPLE’, but for the sins of ‘ALL THE PEOPLE OF ALL THE AGES’. The issue for the folks of time past as well as the folks of this dispensation…is an issue of ‘righteousness’. How can a person who has had his sins paid for become ‘perfectly righteous’ before God? Through ‘taking God at His Word’ scripture tells us, called ‘faith’. This was true for every age as well. It’s just that what God told the people of time past to believe was changed or enhanced as scripture was progressively revealed. Just keep in mind, once the appropriate sacrifice was brought, the sin for which that sacrifice was brought was no longer held against the one for whom it was brought. The good news for us (which the author of Hebrews told Israel) is that the sacrifice for our sins…was Christ and that offering was for ALL…so we don’t have to worry about ‘new sins’ and having a new sacrifice for those sins…brought over and over. This speaks volumes about people thinking they have to ask for forgiveness over and over again…does it not?