“Jesus saves us. He does all the work of salvation. But he uses the law… and the law is called the hammer of God. What is the purpose of the law? The purpose of the law – oh, I hope you get this! The purpose of the law is to reveal to you how deep your hatred of God is… that it is so deep that the law finally led you to kill God himself. You couldn’t commit a greater sin than that, for all goodness comes from God. And if you could succeed… well, how can you do that? That’s why [Jesus] came in the flesh, so it could be done! But why? It’s hard to believe a doctrine unless there’s some reason for it. Well, the reason for it is this: by coming in the flesh, coming to His own people and getting murdered, and then declaring forgiveness… you know that your sins – no matter how big, no matter how many, no matter how persistent – they cannot be greater than the love of God in Christ. The only way you could establish this was for God to come in the flesh and be murdered, and then forgive us. Because it had to be the greatest sin possible. And if you don’t think that’s right, Paul says in Romans: the law increases sin.
So what is the gospel? The proclamation: your sins have been forgiven. “Well, don’t I have to do something?” NO! You don’t have to do anything. The minute you say ‘I have to do something,’ you are spitting in the face of God. You’re saying, ‘[I’m] gonna do it! God, you’re not in charge. Get off the throne, I wanna get there!’ And that was the original sin in the garden, of Adam and Eve… You know, I tell my granddaughters, ‘If you fall down that’s not so bad, we can always pick you up. But if you fall up, we’re in trouble… how will we ever get you down again?’ And that was the original sin, it was the sin to be like God. I’m always a little afraid of those who sing ‘Be like Jesus, oh my soul.’ I think that a little heresy could come in there very easily.”
Herb Loddigs, Bondage of the Will, sermon notes.
Are the lyrics of the Christian life “Hallelujah, What a Changer!” or “Hallelujah, What a Savior!”? Are we conformed to the image of God’s Son by focus on our change, or faith in His gospel?