Ruth desired only what she had with Naomi: “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried” (Ruth 1:16-17). Every believer desires only what they have in Christ. May His life by my life. May His death be my death. May His blood and righteousness be my justification. May I be in Him and be where He is. May my only desire be what He desires!
Romans 8:34 answers every question, does it not? What is God like? How holy is God? What is sin? What is grace? What is the center stake in the tent of history and God’s eternal purpose? What is the center and circumference of God’s glory? What silences every doubt in the weakest believer? What gives assurance in conscience? What is my answer in judgment? What emboldens weak men in the face of death and against every enemy? Christ and Him crucified is the one answer to every question: “It is Christ that died!”
If it is Christ who died, God must have required Him to die. If it is Christ who died, He must have given His own life. If it is Christ who died, He must have accomplished God’s will in His death. Because it is Christ who died, God in His wisdom calls forth this answer to every question that plagues the conscience of believing sinners: “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died!” Every enemy must stand down at His answer. It comes from the highest tribunal.
The Son of God, the Son of man, our Lord Jesus Christ, descended from heaven. He took our nature. He was made under God’s law. He perfectly obeyed in all things (Heb. 10:7; John 19:30). He then took our sins in His own body and carried them up to the tree of cursing (1 Pet. 2:24; Gal. 3:13). He was punished as a transgressor, because He took the trespasses of His people as His own (Isa. 53). He answered every claim that God Himself could ever have against chosen sinners. The ordinances that were against us were nailed to His cross (Col. 2:15). He suffered the punishment of those broken laws. The court of heaven ruled in His favor. The decision of the court was rendered. He that first descended, now ascended (Eph. 4:9)! All for whom He stood received God’s answer with Him. As those were silenced who dragged the adulterous woman to Jesus to condemn her, the devil was then cast out heaven (John 8:1-11; Rev. 12:10-11; John 12:23-33).
The peal of this bell from the courthouse of God’s throne resounds eternal in God’s word, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God who justifieth! Who is He that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, who is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom. 8:33-34)! There has never been a time that any could condemn one of God’s elect: not in time, not in eternity. Before creation was called from the page of God’s eternal will out of its nothingness, nothing could be laid to the charge of God’s elect. Before Adam fell and after Adam fell in the garden, nothing could be laid to the charge of God’s elect. Why? Because in choosing His people, God the Father chose them in Christ. By Him, He answered all for them. His answer is Christ. And His answer is now my answer. It is the answer of every believing sinner. Christ must answer for me at all times: before the world began, in His life, when He offered Himself to God, when He rose, now in my conscience, in the Day of Judgment, and throughout the everlasting ages of eternity. The devil is silent against Him who is my answer! But God is not silent. He declares this good news in the hearts of believing sinners and to sinners far and wide. The King has triumphed (Col. 2:15)! God is glorified in Him (John 13:32)! The elect are justified! The Gospel proclamation therefore goes forth: “Be ye reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20-21)!