“… Jesus Christ… was… declared to be the Son of God… according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:3,4).
What does it mean that the Lord’s resurrection declared Him to be the Son of God according to the spirit of holiness? Well, have you ever heard it said that there is a difference between the letter of the
law and the spirit of the law? When you drive 66 m.p.h. in a 65 m.p.h. zone, you are breaking the letter of the law, but you are not breaking the spirit of the law. The spirit of the law is for you to drive safely and responsibly. This is why most police officers will not ticket you for going one mile per hour over the speed limit.
The letter of the law of holiness is expressed well in Proverbs 17:15:
“He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.”
But isn’t that what God did at the Cross, when He condemned “that Just One” (Acts 22:14) and justified wicked sinners such as ourselves? In so doing, He surely broke the letter of the law of holiness.
Or did He? For those who would argue that God was not acting in accord with the law of holiness, we would reply that when God the Father took your sins and placed them on the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary, He justly condemned the One who was made wicked (II Cor. 5:21). Then when you believed the gospel, God took His righteousness and put it on you, enabling Him to justify the ones who were made the very righteousness of God in Christ (II Cor. 5:21). The resurrection of Christ then proved that this was also done in perfect accord with the spirit of holiness, for Christ’s sacrifice surely satisfied the just demands of God’s righteousness.
If you haven’t yet trusted Christ as your Savior, however, God has not yet given you the righteousness that is available only in Christ. Speaking of the Lord Jesus, the Apostle Paul says,
“In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).
The forgiveness of sins purchased by Christ’s blood is only available in Him. If you are not in Christ, you are still “in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.