God’s Showcase of Covenant-Keeping Grace
(5 Part Message by John Piper) Part 3
The Coming Wrath of God
Briefly, let’s see the foundation for this truth in Colossians. We will start with, “On account of these the wrath of God is coming.” If you say, “The last thing I want to hear about in my troubled marriage is the wrath of God,” you are like a frustrated fisherman on the western coast of Indonesia on December 26, 2004, saying, “The last thing I want to hear about in my troubled fishing business is a tsunami.”
(Friends: In this week’s series, Piper is comparing the Grace that God gave/granted to us (you and me) in the giving of our salvation to the type of love and grace we ‘must’ have in our marriage toward our spouse in order to fully come to realize and experience the fullness of what God intended in the marriage relationship between a man and woman…. the Grace and forgiveness that He extends to us…that ‘mystical – powerful work of Grace. The ‘more’ we can come to understand ‘WHAT’ Christ did for us on the cross…as to love, forgiveness, full acceptance…the ‘more’ we will bend this understanding outward toward our spouse…and ‘that’ is God’s intention in marriage… two people receiving God’s Grace as individuals and then coming together in a mystical commitment joined in heaven as they learn to love, forgive, and fully accept one another in the same way that Christ loves each one of them individually. And when they both experience and partake of this divine level of understanding…they experience what it means to ‘become ONE’.) don
Piper continues: A profound understanding and fear of God’s wrath is exactly what many marriages need, because without it, the gospel is diluted down to mere human relations and loses its biblical glory. And without it, you will be tempted to think that your wrath — your anger — against your spouse is simply too big to overcome, because you have never really tasted what it is like to see an infinitely greater wrath overcome by grace, namely, God’s wrath against you.
The Removal of God’s Wrath
So we begin with the wrath of God and its removal. Now go back with me to: “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him [Christ], 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.”
Those last words are the most crucial. This — this record of debt that stood against us — God set aside, nailing it to the cross. When did that happen? Two thousand years ago. It did not happen inside of you, and it did not happen with any help from you. God did that for you and outside of you before you were ever born. This is the great objectivity of our salvation.
The Record of Debt Cancelled at the Cross
Make sure you see this most wonderful and astonishing of all truths: God took the record of all your sins that made you a debtor to wrath (sins are offenses against God that bring down his wrath), and instead of holding them up in front of your face and using them as the warrant to send you to hell, he put them in the palm of his Son’s hand and drove a nail through them into the cross.
Whose sins were nailed to the cross? Whose sins were punished on the cross? Answer: My sins. And Noël’s sins — my wife’s sins and my sins — the sins of all who despair of saving themselves and trust in Christ alone. Whose hands were nailed to the cross? Who was punished on the cross? Jesus was. There is a beautiful name for this. It’s called a substitution. God condemned my sin in Christ’s flesh (). Husbands, you cannot believe this too strongly. Wives, you cannot believe this too strongly. (con’t tomorrow, part 4)