Saturday, May 15, 2021

Whenever You Find Yourself In A P.I.T., Seek Jesus - Reflections On Daniel 3 And The Pressures Faced By Young People Today


    In the third chapter of Daniel we see three young men, 18 or so years of age, who are getting ready to endure the greatest test of faith anyone could experience. Before it is all said and done, the young men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abendego (their Babylonian names) will have themselves tossed into a fiery furnace by a tyrannical king by the name of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. It is clear from the start that before they were tossed into the fiery pit of the furnace, they already were exposed to a P.I.T of testing. 

    Every Christian, and especially young people who profess faith in Jesus Christ, will undergo a season or time of being in a P.I.T. In this post today, I want us to briefly look at this account in Daniel 3 to understand the importance of seeking Jesus in your P.I.T.

 1. What is meant by a P.I.T?

    Think with me of three elements that are experienced by anyone undergoing the temptation to renounce their faith in Christ or to seriously question it in light of prevailing skepiticism.

Pressure              Daniel 3:1-7

Intimidation        Daniel 3:8-12

Threatened          Daniel 3:13-15

    It is important to note that a "P.I.T" can be a God-designed test that helps you to see whether or your trust in God is real or fake. As the reader can see from the brief outline above, the Hebrew youths were tested from every conceivable angle. It is vital that when in a P.I.T, that the sufferer gets a hold on God's wisdom from His Word. Wisdom is that God-given ability that enables you to relate to God and others in a Godward direction. 

    So many times in young life, a child that makes a profession of faith will initially express eagerness about the Bible and the things of God. Such expressions can be genuine, but they can also derive from what we could call "an illumination of the soul". When a child becomes cognizant of such things as right and wrong at an early age, they are, in their little child-like way, awakening to what they are by God-given design - a moral being. Little children will then, especially when exposed to the Gospel, exhibit sudden insights - albeit passing ones. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:2-5,

"And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me."

He then notes in Matthew 18:10-11 - 

    “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 [For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.]

    Jesus then says later in Matthew 19:13-15 - 

"Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 After laying His hands on them, He departed from there."

    All of these tell us that there is a special kind of God's common grace that accompanies children before they reach the point where they connect their sense of "right and wrong" to how such relates to God in the realm of "righteousness and unrighteousness". Such a common grace is a working of the Spirit that keeps that child tender and "safe". Such common grace, as indicated by Jesus, includes some level of angelic working wherein the child may have insights into the invisible realm which far exceeds their young, still developing minds. 

    I often will look at how children are in a service as an indicator as to gaining a sense of what God could possible be doing in the service. Sometimes too, the little ones will pick upon spiritual battle way before adults, which is why they may suddenly "act-up" in moments when a pressing point in the sermon is coming forth. I find it no accident that Paul himself places instructions on the family and child-rearing in the same context as that of the admonishments to "put on the full armor of God". 

    As the Gospel is explained to children, we yet may see them respond positively to its message. Of course, it is difficult to tell, at least outwardly, the difference between "a profession of faith under the common grace of illumination in the soul" versus "a profession of faith issuing forth from the saving grace wrought by the Holy Spirit in the heart". 

    Now I point all of this out to drive home how both the person, and occasionally family members or the church, can discern whether a child-hood profession of faith was real or fake - by the P.I.T. 

    Once a young child reaches adolescence and teenage years, the testing ground truly starts. The P.I.T is entered. Physical temptations, ideas, influences, friends, the will and personality all swirl about in the world of a young man and a young woman. Will they stay true to the one they professed as Savior and Lord at a Sunday School, a V.B.S, from a personal prayer they prayed with mom, dad, or grand-parents? Or, will the battle against the soul show them and everyone else that they had not combined their profession of belief with true faith? The chart below (Lifeway study from 2017, see link here: highlights important disciplines needing exercised by young people if they expect to weather the storms which will rage against them - inside and outside.

    I have seen first-hand a pattern that takes place when a young child grows into older childhood and into the teenage years which involves the Bible, prayer, church, musical influences and service. I have observed, too many times to count, how a young person that drifts away from reading their Bible, will soon find themselves ceasing to pray. Then, before they know it, they won't want to attend church. Once church attendance (or the desire thereof) has went cold, soon the person turns to other influences. Finally, any notion of serving others for Jesus' sake goes out the window, resulting in a self-centered individual. This predictable pattern not only afflicts the teenager, but often afflicts people wel into adulthood.  

2. How can a young person navigate the P.I.T? 

    For this next part of the post, I'll simply lay out five points with appropriate scriptures that provide guidance for anyone who is undergoing the P.I.T as described above.

* Know the God of the book.          Daniel 3:16

Luke 12:11-12 "When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

    I heard a person once say this: “the limit of your spiritual effectiveness among people will only go as far as you are willing to be affected by God in your pray-life.”

* Know to seek wisdom.                 Daniel 3:16

James 1:3-5 "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." 

    Remember, wisdom is the God-given skill to relate to God and others which leads in a Godward direction.

* Know the Book of God.                Daniel 3:17

Romans 15:4 "For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."

    I heard the late Adrian Rogers once note: “Two things are true, that no man can part, when dust is on your Bible, drought will result in your heart.” A practical tip here would be to read the Gospel of Mark, three minutes a day for two weeks, and you’ll read the entire book of Mark.

* Know to pray. (the more you pray on your knees, the more you know how to act on your feet).         Daniel 3:18

Romans 8:26-27 "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."

* Know that God is in control. Daniel 3:19
(not only over Your P.I.T of despair, but also in your P.I.T of despair). Daniel 3:19-25

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

3. When a P.I.T turns into a permanent testimony.

    As much as a P.I.T can sound very negative and foreboding, understand that its end result can lead to either finding out that one's faith is genuine after-all or finding out that they need to trust in Jesus as Savior, Lord and Treasure. As a survivor of many such "P.I.Ts" (yes, there are numerous P.I.Ts strewn along the journey, small and large, see 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; 1 Peter 1:6-8), I can tell you first-hand how such seasons of testing showed me how awesome God is and how much in need of Him I still am. Such P.I.T's are used by God to purify faith; confirm faith; challenge a negligent faith; mobilize to aid others who are weak in faith (see Jude 1:20-23). One thing I learned years ago was this: it is better to walk with Jesus through the “Valley of the shadow of death” than to walk without Him on a mountain top (see Psalm 23; Psalm 73:24-25).  

    If the reader observes the closing part of this episode in Daniel 3:26-30, the three young men were still in a pagan culture. Even when you get through a "P.I.T", understand that greater tests will lie ahead. However, God demonstrates His glory through testing to produce a testimony. As a final thought, seek Jesus walk with Him through your P.I.T, we we are exhorted to do in Hebrews 12:1-3 - 

Hebrews 12:1-3 "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Why Jesus Was Tempted By The Devil

Mark 1:13-14 "Immediately the Spirit *impelled Him to go out into the wilderness. 13 And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him."


    Why is it that when a person becomes a follower of Jesus in saving faith that God does not wisk them away immediately to Heaven? There are many days that I wish that was all there was to the Christian life. However, do you realize that if God did transport a person immediately to Heaven upon their express of trust in Jesus Christ, such an arrangement would not fit the pattern set forth by Jesus. 

    Whenever we look at the life of Jesus, one could ask a somewhat similar question: "why did not God transport Jesus away by simply having Him prick his finger to bleed forth one drop of blood much earlier in His human life?" The answer to this question is that Jesus had to first secure the perfect righteousness required for the Christian life by undergoing every stage of humanity in order to pay for it by going to the cross. Furthermore, crucifixion was required in order for Jesus to become accursed on behalf of the sinner. 

    The first Adam brought into the world curse, sin, and death (Romans 5:12-21). The Second Adam, Jesus, needed to bear the curse by hanging on the cross (see Deuteronomy 21:33; Galatians 3:10-13). 

    Whenever we look at the Christian life, it is, by design, patterned after Jesus' life. He underwent testing, temptation, battles with darkness, so that He could demonstrate how one human life, yielded to the Father's will and the power of the Spirit, would set forth the way for each an everyone of those who would trust in Him by faith (1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 3:6). In this post today, I want us to briefly look at why Jesus was tempted by the Devil - since that event marks the near beginning of His public ministry following His baptism.

    As we begin to answer the question of "why Jesus was tempted by the Devil", we must express the following proposition: Jesus provides the pattern and power for fighting the Christian’s enemies. The sooner the Christian realizes that whatever Jesus experienced in His humanity provides the basis for strength of living the Christian life in their own humanity; the sooner the Christian experience will be made that much clearer. Note with me first...

1. The Pattern for defeating the enemy by Jesus.

    The Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:21 

"For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps."

    It is interesting to note how Matthew and Luke each record the temptation of Jesus by Satan. Matthew's version has Satan tempting Jesus to turn stones to bread (Mt 4:3-4); to leap from the pinnacle of the Temple (Mt 4:5); to worship him to receive all the world’s kingdoms (Mt 4:8). This ordering by Matthew suggests that for Jewish readers, since the Temple was central, the enticement was for Jesus, as man, to take up His role of Messiah/King without going to the cross. 

    Luke has Satan entice Jesus to turn stones to bread (Lk 4:3-4); express worship of him to obtain the world’s kingdoms (Lk 4:5); to test God by leaping off the pinnacle of Temple (Lk 4:9). Luke’s ordering suggests that for his primary Gentile audience, with whom world conquest was everything, Satan was tempting Jesus to seize the world, thus, skipping the cross. 

    If we take both Matthew and Luke's records to indicate a string of repeated, intense cycles of temptation near the end of Jesus' experience in His 40-day trek through the Judean wilderness, then we have the full view of how intense this period was. Jesus was tested in both the religious or spiritual sphere and the theater of the world. Mankind craves control. Whether by manipulating people by the misuse of religion or through means of materialism, humankind's propensity to be bound under the yoke of temptation reminds us of what the Fall of Adam produced. This is why the Apostle John records in 1 John 2:15-17 - 

"Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever."

    As Jesus stood toe-to-toe with Satan, he handed Satan his first defeated at the hands of a man. Jesus denied His self-will (i.e. “lust of the flesh) in not turning stones into bread, but instead drew strength from God’s words. As to the kingdoms of this world (lust of the eyes), Jesus remained true, rather than giving into self delusion. Finally, with regards to Him not jumping from the pinnacle of the Temple, Jesus denied any right over his own life (i.e. pride in what one has, pride of life), since as man, He drew His sufficiency from the Heavenly Father. 

    What Jesus did, as the "Second" or "New Adam" (see Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45-47), was to set the pattern for how all of those redeemed in saving faith are to "fight the good fight of faith" (see Ephesians 6:11-13; 2 Timothy 4:8-9).  If I, as a Christian, am to better understand why I must go through temptations; testings; disappointments; heart-aches; stretching of personal faith; periods of wondering whether God cares for me; sensations of the Kingdom of darkness; and on-and-on; I must realize that the Christian life is patterned after "the pattern-man", "The New Adam", the Lord Jesus Christ. 

    However, we don't simply have a pattern when it comes to fighting the fight of faith - as important as that is. Praise be to God, as a result of Jesus' resurrection and ascension into Heaven, as well as by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Christian has access to Jesus for the power to "fight the good fight of faith". Hence... 

2. Power for defeating the enemy from Jesus. 

    Whenever you consider how the New Testament is laid out with respect to how the believer draws strength from the Lord Jesus Christ: The Gospels portray Christ; Acts preaches Him; The Epistles explain Him; Revelation exalts Him. What will follow from here are citations of New Testament passages which show how the Christian life is connected to all Jesus experienced by way of His temptations. 

    In as much as His temptation by Satan near the beginning of His ministry was of utmost intensity, yet, throughout His experience here on this earth, Jesus was assaulted and insulted. Thankfully, Jesus never caved into pressure. Note with me the following texts which explain how the Christ-follower has power for defeating the enemy.

Luke 22:28 “You are those who have stood by Me in My trials”. Jesus expresses to His disciples how He experienced "trials" throughout the duration of His ministry leading up to the cross. 

    We next read in  Luke 22:42-44 42 

"saying, 'Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground." 

    It was in the Garden of Gethsemane (literally, "the Garden of the Olive Press") that Jesus, in His humanity, felt the pending weight of God's wrath on sin. His submission to the Father's will by way of His human will would show how He, yielded to the Holy Spirit, would push through and do what needed to be done. From hereon I'll quote three more passages as we finish out today's post. As the reader will see, the following texts link together Jesus' temptations to how the Christ-follower draws strength for everyday Christian faith.

Hebrews 2:17-18 "Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted."

Hebrews 4:15-16 "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

2 Cor 10:3-4 "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."

Friday, May 7, 2021

Why Jesus Got Baptized


    Shortly after I began to seriously study the Bible, I was puzzled as to why Jesus was baptized. Mark 1:9-11 gives us the shortest account of this inaugural event in the life of Jesus' public ministry:

"In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; 11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

    In my younger days, I had understood from my study of the rest of the New Testament that baptism was administered to those who had believed on Jesus as their Savior and Lord (Acts 2:37-38; Romans 6:4-11; 1 Peter 3:21). Yet, it was plain from passages such as 1 Peter 2:21 that Jesus had no need of salvation, since He came to provide it (see Mark 10:45; Luke 19:10; Romans 10:8-10; Titus 2:11; 1 Peter 1:18). I had also understood that baptism was administered to believers for the express purpose of publicly professing their trust in Him as Savior and Lord (1 Peter 3:21). This particular point of public identification with Christ had opened up a little bit as to why Jesus Himself was baptized, since He had come to publicly identify with the people He came to redeem. 

    Still, the mystery as to why Jesus was baptized remained a puzzle to me until I began to compare the other Gospel accounts of His baptism in Matthew and Luke. Finally, the Lord began to unlock the mystery. In today's post, we want to explore why it was that Jesus got baptized, and why this has relevance to the Christ-follower today. It is evident from a study of all four Gospel accounts that Jesus' baptism provided the foundations needed for the Christian life. Everything Jesus would experience in His humanity would necessarily form the pattern for what the Christian ought to expect in how they live for Him in their humanity. Below, I want to sketch out three foundations which Jesus provided in His act of being baptized by John the Baptist.

1. Credited righteousness of Jesus. 

    We read in Matthew 3:13-15 -

"Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15 But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him."

    Matthew included this exchange between John the Baptist and Jesus to express how Jesus' active obedience (that is, His perfect life and ministry from birth to the cross) would provide the basis for the righteousness which is credited to the believer at salvation. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless human life. Whenever He got to the cross, it was as if He brought that entire line of credit. The credit-line of Jesus perfect humanity was infinitely extended by He being also truly God. Thus, for every believer, the righteousness of Jesus Christ is credited or "imputed" to them at the moment of saving faith. 

    Remarkably, the righteousness imputed to the believer in saving faith was made possible because, on the cross, Jesus had credited to His account the sinner's unrighteousness. Paul speaks about this in 2 Corinthians 5:21 - 

    "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

     Because of what Jesus achieved in His perfect active obedience in the course of His earthly ministry, this made Him fit to be our Savior as He would "passively obey" (that is, His willing submission, as man, to the Father's will, in His death on the cross) the Father. 

    The result of Jesus' active and passive obedience was validated in His resurrection from the dead. The credited righteousness of Jesus Christ could be transferred to any believing sinner, as stated in Romans 4:25 "He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification." 

    Thus, this first foundation of credited righteousness is why Jesus was baptized. R.C Sproul notes in his commentary on Mark's Gospel: 

“So our Redeemer not only needed to die, He had to live a life of perfect obedience. The righteousness He manifested could be transferred to all who put their trust in Him. Just as my sin was transferred to Him on the cross when I put my trust in Him, His righteousness is is transferred to my account in the sight of God. So when I stand before God on judgement day, God is going to see Jesus and His righteousness, which will be my cover. That is the Gospel.”

2. Complete representation by Jesus. 

    The second reason Jesus was baptized was due to providing complete representation. Note what we read in Luke 3:21 - 

"Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened."

    Luke tells us that because the people were baptized by John, Jesus chose to get baptized as a way of "identifying" Himself with them and for them. What I find interesting is the 77-generation genealogy that Luke mentions between Jesus' baptism and temptation in Luke 3:23-38. Why is this worth noting? The genealogy expresses how Jesus came as the New Adam (compare Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45-47). 

    Over 70 mothers were used by God, with the mantle of motherhood placed upon the 77th, the virgin Mary, to bring about the humanity of our Lord (please read Hebrews 10:5-7). Motherhood is the well-spring of life. The point of the virginal conception of Jesus' humanity in Mary's womb was to unite the Person of the eternal Son to a perfect humanity - since Scripture attributes the sin nature as spiritually connected to the side of the human father (see 1 Peter 1:18). Moreover, Mary's genealogy in Luke demonstrated Jesus' biological connection to David's throne; whereas Matthew's genealogy, as so reckoned through Joseph's bloodline, made Jesus the legal heir to David's throne. 

    In order to be the mediator between believers and the Heavenly Father, an "Adam-like" representative was required. The first Adam failed and brought death upon us all (see Romans 5:12-21). As one takes a closer look at the genealogy in Luke 3:23-38, one will find Jesus as the "Second-Adam" on one end of the genealogy, and the original Adam placed on the other end of the genealogy. The parallellism of the genealogy is made complete when one realizes that Adam is called a "son of God" by creation in relationship to His Creator; whereas Jesus is "The Son of God", The Creator, Who came to take unto Himself a created human nature. 

    Jesus came to perfectly represent us. 1 Timothy 2:4-6 states - 

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.   

    I summarize this second reason for why Jesus was baptized by way of a short poem: 

He came to be in our place,

To represent the hell-bound race,

None could achieve salvation’s plan,

Only He who came to be a man.

3. Clear revelation of God because of Jesus.

    So we have witnessed that Jesus was baptized to provide credited righteousness for every sinner that believes on Him as Savior and Lord; as well as to provide complete representation as the Mediator between God and believers. It is worth noting Mark 1:9-11 again, since Mark unique describes the opening up of the heavens as Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters of the Jordon River:

"In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; 11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” 

    The Greek word rendered “opening” speaks of a ripping of the boundary between Heaven and earth. Isaiah 64:1-4 conveys this similar imagery in reference to a prophecy, which likely was echoed by Mark in His record of Jesus' baptism"

"Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence— 2 As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil— To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! 3 When You did awesome things which we did not expect, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence. 4 For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him."

    When Jesus was baptized, He experienced an open Heaven. What followed was a revelatory moment in which we could see the presence of all three Persons of the Trinity: the Father is heard; the Son is seen; the Spirit is experienced. Whenever a Christian is baptized, they are expressing their desire to walk under an open sky with God. Jesus came as "The Way, The Truth and the Life" (John 14:6). Whereas the Holy Spirit brings to the believer insight from the inner-life of God Himself; Jesus the Son is the One who brings the believer into contact with the inner life of God (see 2 Peter 1:3-4). 

    The Holy Spirit is the Ambassador of the Trinity Who brings to the Christian, by the scriptures, that Heavenly sense of purpose to live for God. The Lord Jesus Christ, as "God made flesh", brings the Christian, with his earthly experiences, into contact with the Heavenly realities so often referenced in God's Word (see Ephesians 1:18-20). In short, Jesus was baptized to remind us that He, as truly man, came to bring unto us a clear revelation of God - since He Himself is also truly God (see John 1:18; John 14:6-8; Hebrews 1:1-2). 

Closing thoughts:

So why was Jesus baptized? In today's post, we discovered three reasons:

1. To provide credited righteousness.
2. To provide complete representation.
3. To provide clear revelation of God.