Our sin has left us eternally separated from God. Mankind has been polluted, thus leaving us both unable and unwilling to please God and be restored to him. We can’t obey, and we simply don’t want to. What hope do we have then? If our sin keeps us from believing and receiving the things of God (1 Cor. 2:14), then how can there be any “good news” for man?
We continue our study of Great Doctrines of the Bible by Martyn Lloyd-Jones (MLJ) by examining chapter 19 entitled, “Redemption: The Eternal Plan of God.” Lloyd-Jones provides eight biblical truths about redemption:
- Redemption Is Entirely of God– Lloyd-Jones argues, “the Bible, after all, is an account of what God has done about the redemption of man. It is not an account of man seeking for God” (214). Romans tells us that “no one seeks for God” (Romans 3:11), therefore if God does not initiate salvation then we’d all be lost.
- Redemption Is All of Grace– Man has proven to be rebellious, arrogant, and blind. We deserve absolutely nothing but eternal torment. However, God graciously moved toward us in redemption in spite of ourselves. “We have no claim upon the love of God. We have forfeited it. Salvation is all of grace” (216).
- Redemption Was Planned Before the Foundation of the World– Rather than being a reaction or a plan B, Scripture attests that redemption was conceived before the world was even made, or before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). God does not change his plans based on man, instead he carries out his good plan until the final consummation.
- Redemption Involves All Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity– The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each involved in specific roles: “the Father as the originator, the Son as the executor and the Holy Spirit as the One who applies what the Son has achieved” (217).
- Redemption Is a Definite Plan– There is nothing “incidental or contingent” about the plan of redemption. It has been sealed from eternity. Scripture tells us that God sent his Son when “the fullness of time” had come. God tells Abraham exactly how long the Israelites would be in Egypt (Genesis 15:13-16). Romans 11 refers to the time when “the fullness of the Gentiles” will come in. Lloyd-Jones concludes, “He knows the number of Israel; He knows the number of his new humanity that is in Christ Jesus. The plan of redemption is an entire plan: a perfect, definite plan, down to the smallest detail” (220).
- Redemption’s Consummation Is Absolutely Certain– God’s plan will come about exactly as he has foretold, and no work of man and no power of hell can frustrate it. Scripture teaches that his plans cannot be thwarted (Job 42:2) and nobody can separate us from his love (Romans 8:31-39). Praise God!
- Redemption Always Centers in the Lord Jesus Christ– There is no salvation outside of Christ, and all things will be gathered “together in one all things in Christ” (Eph. 1:10).
- Redemption Has Been Revealed to Mankind in Various Covenants– We see throughout Scripture God making covenants and promises to man. He tells man what he’s going to do and how he’s going to accomplish it. This will be examined more in the upcoming chapters.
Lloyd-Jones concludes, “We have taken a kind of synoptic view of the biblical doctrine of redemption…We have looked at it from beginning to end, and have seen that God in His kindness and love and mercy and compassion, and in His infinite grace, looked upon men and women when they deserved nothing but hell and destruction, and gave them the promise of their wonderful redemption that would finally be consummated in His own eternal Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Therefore to Him, and to Him alone, must of necessity be all the praise and all the honor and all the glory!”
Other posts in the “Great Doctrines of the Bible” series:
- Mind, Heart, and Will: Examining the Great Doctrines of the Bible
- How Can We Know Anything About God?
- Does the Bible Claim to be Authoritative?
- The Existence and Being of God
- The Warnings and Comforts of God’s Attributes
- A God We Can Trust
- Lloyd-Jones On The Mystery Of The Trinity
- The God Who Knows: The Eternal Decrees of God
- What Does the Bible Say About Angels?
- Who is Satan?
- The Creation of the World
- 3 Aspects of God’s Providence
- The Fall of Man
- The Pollution of Man