Behold, You Despisers

“Then let it be known to you, men, brothers, that through this One remission of sin is announced to you. And everyone believing in this One is justified from all things which you could not be justified by the Law of Moses. Then watch that the thing spoken in the Prophets may not come on you: Behold, you despisers, and marvel, and perish, because I work a work in your days, a work which you would in no way believe if anyone declares it to you” (Acts 13:38-41).

Consider the person who believes that Jesus Christ died for those who will perish under God’s curse and wrath. Does such a person believe that justification and remission of sin is “through this One”? Clearly the answer is no. Not even close. The Law of Moses states its strict demands, both precept and penal:

“For as many as are out of works of Law, these are under a curse. For it has been written, Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all the things having been written in the book of the Law, to do them…But the Law is not of faith, but, The man doing these things shall live in them” (Galatians 3:10, 12).

Jesus Christ redeemed certain sinners from the curse of the Law of Moses so that ALL for whom He died would be blessed and receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:13-14). Clearly faith is not the condition for salvation since Galatians says that a righteousness that answers the demands of God’s law and justice is the condition. This condition, as the Galatians passage above states, was met in full by Jesus Christ for all whom He represented.

The person who believes that Jesus Christ was the Representative and Substitute for those who will remain everlastingly cursed (cf. Galatians 3:13) is presently among those despisers of Jesus’ propitiatory blood and imputed righteousness who marvel and will perish if God does not see fit to shine into that darkened heart the “brightness of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

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