No Condemnation: The Ultimate “Clincher”

Clinch. It’s a funny sounding word if you think about it.  Webster defines the word clinch as “to make final or irrefutable. To assure the winning of.”  We’ve used the word around our house some in recent days watching the Olympics.  “That goal just clinched the win for our team.”  “That routine just clinched the gold for that gymnast.”  This morning I happened to be reading in a study on Romans called To the Glory of God by James Boice where he talked about the word clinch.  He used the term in a slightly different variation of the word’s definition where a carpenter bends the protruding part of a nail over into the wood to “clinch” the nail.

Boice noted that Rom. 8:1-4 shows how God “clinches” our salvation through the work of the Godhead- Father, Son, and Spirit.  “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

I guess I’ve never really thought of the roles the Godhead plays in salvation as a means of assuring the genuineness and permanence of salvation.  I’ve always believed in eternal security on the basis of other biblical passages and the doctrine of justification by grace.  However, this makes sense.  Each member of the Godhead has a role in our salvation, as Rom. 8:1-4 demonstrates.  Boice explains:

God the Father– What has God the Father done for our salvation? The answer is twofold.  First, God sent Jesus in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.  Second, and by this means, God condemned sin in sinful man so that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in those who are joined to Christ.

God the Son– What has Jesus done for salvation?  He became like us in order to become a sin offering.  This has two parts. First, as a sin offering to God, Jesus made payment for our sins.  Second, Jesus did a work of redemption.

God the Spirit– What has the holy Spirit done for our salvation?  He has joined us to Christ, so that we become beneficiaries of all Christ has done.  By joining us to Christ, the Holy Spirit seals our salvation and makes possible the great declaration of this text- “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

The various roles of the Godhead serve as something like layers of security when it comes to salvation.  This is great news as it reminds us that salvation is not up to us- it’s up to the work of the Godhead within us.  If salvation were up to me, I wouldn’t be very confident.  However, salvation is clinched in the more than capable work of the Godhead.  When it comes to my standing with God, the nail has been bent over and secured into the wood so strongly that it will never come apart.  I am grateful for the incredible work of God to save me from my sin and place me securely in Christ.

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3 Responses to “No Condemnation: The Ultimate “Clincher””

  1. Todd, from the tone of your recent writings you seemed to have shifted much further into the Calvinist camp. With references to John Piper, Al Mohler, and Don Whitney of, it would appear you are far more Reformed that in the past? Just curious.

  2. This was something I never thought of but really appreciate – I like Boice…