11 Aug Quarter One Lesson Five
What are the Effects of the Gospel?
In our last lesson we looked at what the gospel is: “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15: 3-4). In this lesson, we want to examine the effects of the gospel. In order to look at the effects, let us now return to Genesis chapter 3.
After Adam and Eve had sinned and God was describing the effects of their disobedience, God said this to the snake:
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15 (NIV)
Question 1. According to Genesis 3:15, what would happen to the snake?
The Bible teaches there is an actual “devil”. His Name is Satan and his purpose is to tempt people to sin (Matthew 4:3), and then once they sin he accuses them of sinning (Revelation 12:10). We will see this later as we continue in our studies, but for now we need to realize that the devil had inhabited (or possessed) the snake in the garden. So when God was speaking to the snake He was speaking directly to Satan who was in the snake.
So Genesis 3:15 is clearly speaking of a person (“he”, “his”) who would come and defeat the devil. He would “crush the head” of Satan, but Satan would strike his heel. In other words, the coming person would defeat Satan and undo all that Satan had done, but he would suffer in the process. He would be wounded.
We learn from the new Testament that this coming one was Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and we learn why He came: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8).
Question 2. According to 1 John 3:8, why did Jesus Christ come to this earth?
Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work; to right all wrongs, to restore all things to the way they were in the Garden of Eden. This He does through the gospel, so let us now study the effects of sin, and the effects of the gospel.
When Adam and Eve sinned (in what is commonly called “the Fall”) there were three immediate effects:
First, Adam and Eve became guilty. This made them the objects of God’s wrath (His hatred against sin). God hates sin and due to His righteous character He must punish sin wherever it is.
And this is actually the condition into which all humans are born. Because we are born sinners we are born guilty, and born under the wrath of God. Notice the following passages:
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. Ephesians 2:3 (NIV)
Romans 3:19 says that God’s law was given “so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
Question 3. Do you believe what the Bible says about all mankind is true? That we are guilty before God and without excuse, and therefore we are by nature objects of God’s wrath? Please explain:
Yes, all people, by nature, are guilty before God and are objects of God’s wrath. In other words, when confronted with our sin we have no excuse, nothing to say. Like Adam and Eve we are simply guilty before God and are the objects of His wrath. This phrase means that we are literally the bullseye for the arrows of God’s hatred; sin makes us the target of God’s wrath.
We have to accept the truth of our condition before God as being guilty, and under His wrath, before the good news really is good for us. It also helps us to understand Jesus’ work: what He came to do through His life, His death, and His resurrection from the dead.
The first effect of Adam and Eve’s sin is that they became guilty, and now every person ever born is born under that same guilt. So the first effect of the gospel is that Jesus came to remove our guilt. In our last lesson we looked at this verse in Isaiah 53:
Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. Isaiah 53:10 (NIV)
We see that God made His Son a “guilt offering.” In order to help understand what Jesus accomplished when He died on the cross as a “guilt offering” let’s consider the intent and process of the “guilt offering” described in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“If anyone commits a breach of faith and sins unintentionally in any of the holy things of the LORD, he shall bring to the LORD as his compensation, a ram without blemish out of the flock, valued in silver shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering. 16 He shall also make restitution for what he has done amiss in the holy thing and shall add a fifth to it and give it to the priest. And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and he shall be forgiven. Leviticus 5:15-16 (ESV)
Question 4. According to Leviticus 5:16 above, what would the effect of a guilt offering be?
The above passage in Leviticus 5 was written to the Jewish nation a long time ago. In it, God gave laws to the nation that they were to follow. One of them was how they were to go about presenting a “Guilt Offering.” The reason I included it in this study is simply to show that the effect of a “Guilt Offering” is forgiveness: “he shall be forgiven” (verse 16). In other words, God allowed that a guilty person could substitute a ram and it could be sacrificed for the forgiveness of the guilty person.
In Jesus becoming our “Guilt Offering” then, we see that all who believe are forgiven of all their sins. In reality, we are no longer guilty because Jesus took all our guilt on Himself. God made His Son the object of His wrath, instead of us.
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2 (ESV)
When the above verse says that Jesus is our “Propitiation” it simply means that He removed God’s wrath from us. He “propitiated” the Father, as God poured out all His wrath, all His hatred against sin on Jesus. This is why we can be completely forgiven.
Notice these passages of Scripture:
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses… Colossians 2:13 (ESV)
I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. 1 John 2:12 (ESV)
and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Acts 13:39 (ESV)
Question 5. Friend, God put His Son to death for you, and Jesus willingly became your Guilt Offering, so that you could be forgiven. By believing in Jesus you literally lose all guilt and are completely pardoned of all wrong. What does that thought do for you right now as you contemplate it? Please share:
So the first effect of the gospel is that we are no longer guilty. Jesus propitiated the Father for us. This truth was illustrated in the beginning when God put to death an animal and clothed Adam and Eve in that animal’s skin, showing that God’s wrath was redirected away from Adam and Eve to their substitute, and they were forgiven.
Secondly, Adam and Eve became alienated from God. This simply means that due to their disobedience to God’s commands they were separated from Him.
This second truth is fairly easy to understand. Maybe you’ve had someone say something bad about you or do something that really hurt, or maybe you’ve done something hurtful to someone else for whom you care. This can put up a barrier, a dividing wall of hostility between the two, which sometimes can take years to tear down. Sometimes we think of people who are “estranged” from each other. This is the “alienation” we’re referring to in this lesson.
We can see this alienation when Adam and Eve, who used to walk and talk with God in the garden, were now hiding from Him among the trees of the garden:
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8 (ESV)
Sin causes barriers to be erected, friends to turn into enemies, and fellowship to be broken. And the truth is, that all of us are born in this condition of being separated from God, alienated from Him, estranged from Him. Notice how Scripture teaches this:
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. Colossians 1:21 (NIV)
“…but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. Isaiah 59:2 (ESV). “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” Ephesians 4:18 (ESV)
Question 6. According to the Scriptures above, what is the condition of all mankind? Do you see yourself as having been separated and alienated from God through sin?
Again, it is essential that we believe the truth about our condition at birth, and by the actual practice of sin: like Adam and Eve, we were separated and alienated from God. But Jesus came to fix that. Jesus is fully God and fully man, and as such He came to bring God and man back together. He accomplished this when He died on the cross:
remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility… Ephesians 2:12-14 (ESV)
Question 7. Please describe, according to Ephesians 2:12-14 above, what Jesus Christ did for you:
The way that Jesus made peace between God and us is by taking away our sin. When He died on the cross, your sin was on Him, as if it were His own. So now, in God’s eyes, you are without sin as if your sin did not exist, as if you had always and everywhere obeyed and lived perfectly… isn’t that amazing?
When Jesus died on the cross, we were “brought near” by Jesus Who “made peace” between God and us. He turned enemies into friends, restoring the relationship that was ruined through sin. We can now have a relationship with the living God!
that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19 (NIV)
Thirdly, Adam and Eve became enslaved. This simply means that due to their disobedience to God’s commands Adam and Eve became enslaved to sin.
Again this is pretty easy to understand. One sin leads to another and then another until finally sin becomes like a “master” and we are its “slave.” Adam and Eve first turned away from God and His Word, then they ate of the forbidden tree, then they ran from God, then they tried to cover it up, then they blame shifted, etc. one sin after another. Jesus said it this way:
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:34-36 (NIV)
Question 8. According to Jesus in John 8:34-36, what is the condition of all mankind, and what is the solution?
It is pretty clear, then, that Jesus came to set us free. In fact, in the first sermon Jesus preached, He preached from this passage:
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, Isaiah 61:1 (NIV)
I once read an account of a young lady who was taken captive by a very deranged criminal who used her for all sorts of evil practices. He then demanded a ransom payment from her parents, who were all too willing to make the payment. They paid the price to get their daughter back and the criminal was eventually caught and punished appropriately.
The way that Jesus sets us free from sin is through His death on the cross, which was the payment needed to ransom us from our sins. Consider this passage:
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (ESV)
Question 9. From Mark 10:45 above, what was the price that was paid for your freedom?
Yes, Jesus gave His life for your life. He paid for you with His own blood, the purpose of which was to release you from sin’s slavery and captivity. He came to set captives free, and He did so through His death. The way that you and I experience this freedom is through faith (belief). When we believe in Jesus we understand that we are released from sin’s captivity and set free and restored back to God. This does not mean that we never sin again, only that we are being freed from its grasp.
And so we learned today some effects of the gospel: we see that we are guilty but Jesus is our Guilt Offering, taking our guilt from us and making it His own. Secondly, we are alienated from God by birth, but Jesus came and on the cross was alienated from His Father that we might be reconciled to Him. And finally, we are born enslaved to sin but Jesus came and died and rose again to set us free.
Question 10. Please summarize the teaching of today, and tell us which of the three effects of the gospel most impacts you.