Forgiveness Made Easy 4
By Charles H. Spurgeon.
"Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."—Ephesians 4:32.
The second rendering of the text would be this that God has forgiven us because of the representative character of Christ. It should never be forgotten that we originally fell by a representative. Adam stood for us, and he was our federal head. We did not fall personally at the first, but in our representative. Had he kept the conditions of the covenant we had stood through him, but, inasmuch as he fell, we fell in him.
I pray you complain not at the arrangement, because there lay the hope of our race. The angels probably fell individually, one by one, and hence they fell irretrievably,—there was no restoring them: but as we fell in one Adam, there remained the possibility of our rising in another Adam; and therefore in the fullness of time God sent forth his Son Jesus Christ, born of a woman, made under the law to become the second Adam. He undertook to remove our burdens and to fulfil the conditions of our restoration.
According to covenant he must appear in our nature, and that nature in the fullness of time he assumed. He must bear the penalty: that he hath done in his personal suffering and death. He must obey the law: that he has done to the utmost. And now Christ Jesus, having borne penalty and fulfilled law, is himself justified before God, and stands forth before God as the representative of all that are in him.
God for Christ's sake has accepted us in him, has forgiven us in him, and looks upon us with love infinite and changeless in him. This is how all our blessings come to us—in and through Christ Jesus; and if we are indeed in him, the Lord doth not only forgive us our sin, but he bestows upon us the boundless riches of his grace in him: in fact, he treats us as he would treat his Son, he deals with us as he would deal with Jesus. Oh, how pleasant to think that when the just God looks upon us it is through the reconciling medium, he views us through the Mediator. We sometimes sing a hymn which says—
"Him and then the sinner see,
Look through Jesus' wounds on me."
This is just what the Lord does. He counts us just for the sake of our Savior’s atonement, and because of his representative character.