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Freedom through the Cross (FTC) He became Sin who Knew No Sin

May 18, 20128 Comments

“My sin… oh, the bliss of this glorious thought .My sin not in part but the whole.  Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more; Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul.” H.G. Spafford

Do you want freedom?  God wants you to be free.  In the Psalms David rejoiced over a God who forgave iniquities, and removed transgressions.  The Prophet Isaiah spoke of God placing his sins behind His back. Isa 38:17  Ultimately, the cross is where your freedom from was secured, having it all transferred to Jesus’ account.  It’s an ugly picture, but truth be told it was an ugly situation.  God did nothing short of what was needed for us to be free!  Do you believe that if God could have done it a different way that He would have?  Well, since the cross was the only way God could set us free, let’s see exactly what was done.

“He (Jesus) not only shed His blood to cleanse us from guilt, but also carried all of transgressions and sins and iniquities in His body on the cross that we might be freed from our sins.” L.L. Legters

How could Jesus take on the transgressions, sins and iniquities of the whole world?  It’s simple, He became the scapegoat.  Yes, Jesus is the scapegoat for you and I, bearing the weight of our sin.  How could this be you wonder?  In Leviticus 16, God spoke to Moses and told Him how to atone for the Children of Israel’s sins.   Aaron was to take two goats, the first was sacrificed, and his blood was shed.  The second wasn’t killed, Aaron was instructed to lay his hands on its head and confess over it all the iniquities of the people. After that the goat was released to a foreign land bearing all the iniquities.  This is what Jesus did on the cross, He poured out His blood to cleanse us from guilt, and in His body He took on our sins, where they were nailed to the cross.

While sin is sin, there is a difference between, transgression, iniquity and sin.

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven”. Psa 32:1

Transgression is a form of sin that is blatantly doing what God has forbidden.  It includes rebellion, lawlessness, and trespasses.

“This form of sin reveals man as an outlaw, a rebel, a bolshevist; he is an enemy of God.” L.L. Legters

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven”.  The Hebrew word for forgiven literally means to lift up and carry away, the same as if you lifted up your laptop and carried it away, this is what God did with our willful disobedience, not mistakes, the times we did wrong and knew we were doing it.  He has lifted up our transgressions and placed them on Jesus, where He became our scapegoat.

“Blessed is he…whose sin is covered” Psalms 32:1

The word sin here means failure.  This type of sin includes error, mistakes, misunderstanding, inaccuracy etc.  As many know it also carries with it the idea of missing the mark, coming short, not reaching God’s standard.

“This word shows man as an utter failure unable to do what God would have or what is right.” L.L. Legters

Jesus cleanses washes and purges us of our sinful condition.  “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience of dead works…” (Heb 9:14).  “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev 1:5)  “…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7) The blood of Jesus is the antidote for the inherited condition of sin, the only remedy, it purges, washes and cleanses us, leaving us truly free to live for God.

“Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity…” Psalms 32:2

This third type of sin is iniquity or depravity, meaning “crookedness.”  This has to do with the very nature of man which causes him to do things that are wrong.  Man’s twisted or warped nature and inability to be walk straight paths.  It includes immorality, lying, stealing, dishonesty, deceit, pride and unbelief.

“By nature man is a rebel, a failure and a crook” L.L Legters

To impute means to set to one’s account, to charge to one, to attribute to one.  God chose not to charge us or hold us payable for our iniquities.  However, God doesn’t just hit the delete key and vanquish them; no it is charged to Jesus.  Jesus is attributed our iniquity.  “….And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isa 53:6

God has charged Jesus for every time someone willfully did and does wrong, and every time someone fails to do right because of the “crooked” human nature.  Furthermore, it is Jesus’ blood that purges the believer from sin and “dead works” so we can serve the living God.  Jesus has taken in His flesh every conceivable type of sin  to which God will never charge the believer. “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Heb 10:17)

For a complete outline and study notes click here. Outline adapted from L.L Legter’s Freedom Through the Cross 1935



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Comments (8)

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  1. Mel says:

    This the FIRST time I’ve ever had the difference between those three words broken down for me before. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 Thank you for the notes, too!!! AWESOME!!!

    • Thomas Smith says:

      You are welcome, for a long time I didn’t know the difference either and so I didn’t really understand the depth of what Christ really did on the cross. Also, when we see the difference in those 3 words we see better the nature that we’ve inherited, that Christ ultimately died to save us from. Popular psychology would say, people are generally good, they just need love and/or education (I’m not against either 🙂 ). But if that was so God wouldn’t have needed Jesus to die on the cross for us, because at the core of His work on the cross is the subject of real change. Heb 9:14

      Blessings to you!

  2. Justin says:

    Wow. I love that break down of what each of those means and how they relate in the true freedom that god has given us through Jesus’ sacrifice. Never even thought that there was a difference in how our sin might be described. Thanks for your extra insight on this.

  3. Shannon says:

    Thank you! I appreciate your clarification of each of the terms for our transgressions.
    Blessings to you, today and always!
    Clinging to the cross,

  4. Tahlitha says:

    Thank you Thomas, for the in depth look and understanding of the cross and the insight of the multitude of (our) sins. What Jesus took upon his self is not an easy thing to understand, but it is life giving nonetheless.

    Wonderful message!

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