• Pastor Charlie Rivens

Forgiveness Planned by the Father: Romans 3:25

Forgiveness began with the Father because he was the one that planned it. The New Testament explicitly teaches that the Father sent the Son into the world and appointed him as the redeemer. We see this in John 3:16-18, Acts 2:34-36, and Hebrews 3:1-2.

The New Testament also teaches that the father authorized Jesus’ empowerment as the Redeemer of his people, and promised to accept Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as payment for sin. We read about these roles of the Father in passages like John 10:14-18, Colossians 1:18-20 and Hebrews 2:10. 

In fact, Romans 3:25 says that it was the Father who offered up Jesus as a sacrifice. Consider what Paul wrote there:

God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement (Romans 3:25).

The Father is the great architect of redemption. It’s his gracious plan and merciful desire to forgive our sins and to bless us. And it’s his authority that makes salvation both possible and certain.

The idea that at the cross, that Jesus is trying to turn away the anger of his heavenly Father against his people in such a way that Jesus is loving and that the Father is not, is actually a very serious misconstrual of what is happening in the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ work on the cross is actually the expression of the Father’s prior love for his people. Think how often in the New Testament it is stressed that Jesus coming into this world and his bearing of the cross is in fact the result of the Father’s love. The verse that most of us memorize perhaps first in our Christian life, John 3:16, emphasizes “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…” Now, whose love is being emphasized in that verse? I don’t mean in any way to take away from the love of Jesus, but it’s the love of the heavenly Father in the giving of the Son, that is being emphasized in that passage. – Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III

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