Sunday, August 27, 2017

What Did Jesus Do For You When He Died? 1 Peter 2:24

What is so special about Jesus dying on the Cross? The Bible gets to the point in 1 Peter 2:24.

"He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds, you have been healed." 1 Peter 2:24.

HE HIMSELF
This is a double emphasis. Christ had always intended to die for our sins. It was not an accident or a tragedy of history but his plan from the foundation of time.

BORE OUR SINS
Many people ask, "What is sin?" They want a list to check off and say, "I didn't do this or that, so I am OK." But sin is much more than a list of dos and don'ts. The Bible says, "He who knows what is right to do and fails to do it has sinned." (James 4:17). And elsewhere, "All wrongdoing is sin." (1John 5:17).

The word sin in the old language is used for missing the mark or failing to meet the standard. God is the standard and none of us can meet the standard of God's holiness; so He, being a God of love, sent his son to bear our judgment.

To bear something is to endure it; in this case, he bore the consequences of our sin. Christ carried our sins from us and took the punishment on our behalf.

IN HIS BODY
Jesus was not some kind of metaphysical spirit being or a ghost, he had a body that bled when whipped and pierced. He experienced pain and suffered.

Christ had no sin of his own to pay for so he was qualified to take on another's sin. Only as God could he could take the sins of all humanity.

ON THE CROSS
It was a terrible death and fulfilled the prophecy about Messiah's death in so many ways. (Read Psalm 22 which describes crucifixion.)

SO THAT
Christ's death was not an accident or a mistake of history. He came with a purpose and an intention to give his life as a sacrifice for our sins.

WE MIGHT DIE TO SIN AND LIVE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS.
When we accept the death and resurrection of Christ on our behalf we enter into a relationship where our identities are exchanged. When God judges the believer He will not see a sinner, instead, God will see the righteousness of Christ.

Part of the believer's identity with Christ is that since Christ died on the cross to destroy sin the believer is included in that act; in Jesus, the believer has the opportunity and power to overcome sin.

BY HIS WOUNDS YOU HAVE BEEN HEALED.
It is a poetic way of explaining it. These words capture the totality of Christ suffering and death.

  • His death heals our broken lives.
  • His death healed the rift between God and man.
  • His death healed our divided spirit and our broken hearts.
  • His death healed the broken relationships we have with each other.
  • His death makes it possible for us to find peace.

To learn more about trusting Jesus as your Savor see the tab above for the gospel.
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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Can God Ever Forget Our Sin? Isaiah 43:25

If we cannot forgive or forget our own sins then how can God? Can anything take our sin away, will good deeds, a great sacrifice, or heroic efforts? The Bible makes it clear there is one person who is able to blot our sin out of memory forever.

"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." Isaiah 43:25.

I EVEN I AM HE
This repeat of I is an unmistakable emphasis that it is God who blots out our transgressions, not our own goodness or our efforts no matter how noble and righteous they may be.

WHO BLOTS OUT
If a scribe made an ink spot on a page, he would use another piece of paper to lift out the ink. Then the page is usable and purposeful. If a garment had a stain then blotting would lift the stain out without fraying the fibers. Blotting does not damage the thing being cleansed.

Imagine that God has written your sins in some heavenly logbook. Christ is the blotter, Christ takes on the black marks from the page and leaves it clean. He did this when he died as our substitute for our sin.

For a blotter to work, it must be clean first; if the blotter is full of ink already it will not lift the ink off of the page, but Christ had no sin so he was able to become our substitute in the judgment of God on our behalf.

YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS
Transgressions and sins are wrongs done against God; they include rebellion, disobedience, sins of omission, and sins done in ignorance. The Bible sums it up, "All wrongdoing is sin." John 5:17.

FOR MY OWN SAKE
This surprises us. We think salvation is all about us being rescued from hell and going to heaven, but it is secondary because our salvation is primarily for God's glory.

AND REMEMBERS YOUR SINS NO MORE
Our sins are forgotten forever and will never come back.

This is a promise and God always keeps His promises. We have problems forgetting the wrongs done against us but God is able to forget because all wrongs have been made right in Christ and paid for in his death on our behalf.

God does not differentiate between big and little sins. When He says," and remembers your sins no more," it is saying He counts all our sins big and little to be wiped away. Every sin, no matter how small, is worthy of eternal hell so for Christ's death to be sufficient for one sin it must be sufficient for all sins- big and little.

None of our efforts can take away our sin or its judgment, so we need someone else to do it, and here God is telling us that He is the one who promises to take away our sin which he did in the death and resurrection of Christ, (therefore this verse foreshadows the doctrine that Christ must be God).

When we are in Christ God the Father promises that He will forget our sins, it is like they never happened.

To learn more about how to find salvation see the tab above titled The Gospel.

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Thank you for visiting this blog. I hope these thoughts are helpful for you.

You can find more like this in the most helpful post list on the sidebar.


Adron

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

What Did Jesus' Death Do For Mankind? Galatians 1:4

Everyone agrees that Jesus is important and that his death is important, but not many agree on what his death on the cross did. What does the Bible say?

"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever."  Galatians 1:4.

JESUS GAVE HIMSELF
Giving is a choice. Jesus death was not forced; he could have done many things to avoid the horrible death on the cross. He was aware it was coming so he could have left town. He knew Judas was his betrayer but he didn't challenge or censer Judas. He could have done a miracle or said one of those wonderful things that silenced his critics. He said heaven had ready more than six legions of angels to rescue him. But he didn't do any of those things. He stayed quiet and endured humiliation and death.

FOR OUR SINS
What is sin?   The Bible says "All wrongdoing is sin..." 1 John 5:17, and "He who knows the good he ought to do and fails to do for him it is sin."James 4:17.  Every act of rebellion against God is a sin.

Sin must be judged or else God would be guilty of compromise and evil wins mankind. But being the God of Love he sent a substitute to take our place in judgment.

God accounted Christ's death as on the behalf of our sins. The resurrection is God's demonstration of approval or ratification that God accepted Jesus' death on our behalf.*

RESCUE
To rescue someone is to deliver them out of a threatening situation. There was purpose in his death. It was not an accident but an intentional act to save mankind.  We need rescuing since we are in danger because of our sins and the judgment of God who is holy and would never compromise.

Your sin had to be paid for and either you pay for them or a substitute does. But the substitute must not have any sin of his own or he would not be qualified to pay for them since he must have his own sin paid for. Christ lived a perfect and sinless life. Even the professional district judge Pontius Pilot found no wrong in him. His enemies had to fabricate lies to justify his execution. He was able to bear the sins of others because he had no sin of his own to pay for.

The payment must be equal to the judgment so the person paying for the sin would have to be God since God is the judge. Jesus proved himself to be God in many ways so he alone is worthy.

How does Jesus death rescue us from our sins? It is because God accepted his death on our behalf.

THE PRESENT EVIL AGE
In Christ, we are brought into God's kingdom and have become separated from this age and freed from the judgment that will come. The age we live in is going to end. Those who do not have Christ do not have any assurance of surviving God's judgment.

WHAT WE MUST DO
Jesus did the work for us, he paid for our sin as only he could do. The Father accepted his death on our behalf and leaves nothing for us to do in order to make salvation. Christ declared it so when from the cross he said, "It is finished." John 19:30. All that is left for us is to accept what he did for us the same way we receive a gift since salvation is a gift. As the Gospel of John says. "But to as many as received him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God." John 1:12.

If you want to know more about receiving the gift of salvation see the tab above for the Gospel.

*Thoughtful readers will recognize this is the most simplistic explanation of the resurrection and much much more could be said.
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Adron

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(c) Adron

Friday, September 23, 2016

Does The Bible Explain What Being Born Again Is? 1 Peter 1:3

Jesus taught that we must be born again but what if we need help understanding what that is, does the Bible explain it? The apostle Peter gives some insight.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," 1 Peter 1:3.

In his Epistle, or letter, Peter opens with a greeting of exuberant worship and the new birth is the pivot of his worship. In doing so he makes a few  remarks that are very illuminating.

"HIS GREAT MERCY"
The foundation is not our deeds or our worthiness but His great mercy. Mercy is when you have the opportunity to exercise authority over someone but instead demonstrates forgiveness when condemnation is justified, like a judge who could condemn a guilty criminal but grants pardon instead.

"HE HAS GIVEN US"
This word, "has," means that something already happened. This phrase is past tense. God did something for us already and we do not need to look for it to happen.

Being born anew is an event that happens at a point of time and you can point to that day and hour and say that was when it happened.

"NEW BIRTH"
This phrase is used several times in the Bible. It may be seen as a metaphor that describes salvation. A birth is an event. That which is born does not have any power to be more born or less born. The one being born does not make the birth he just experiences it. The one being born cannot take credit for birth because his birth is the result of another's action. In the same way we do not make salvation but we experience it when we by faith receive it.

"INTO A LIVING HOPE"
Not just a hope but a living hope. The word, living, is a present tense word, it is not a temporary hope but it is a hope that is a forever living hope. This is something more than just an idea, teaching or concept, instead it is a hope that is evident by the activity of the mercy of God and what He has given us.
Our hope is not in ourselves or our efforts but it is through or by something else.

"THROUGH THE RESURRECTION"
To be born again is a participation in the resurrection.

The resurrection is a cornerstone teaching of the Christian faith. It represents and confirms the validation by God and acceptance by God of Jesus' work of salvation on our behalf. The resurrection illustrates that the power of death is broken which means the threat of hell is revoked because the justice of God is proven to be satisfied. Because of the resurrection we can be assured that Jesus took our sins upon himself and endured their punishment completely and is victorious.

"OF JESUS CHRIST"
It all points to this person. Only Jesus could save us.
     * Only Jesus was perfect and without sin, (even his most fierce critics could find no fault in him and a professional judge washed his hands of condemning Jesus whom He deemed innocent.) Being sinless he was qualified to bear our sins.
     * Jesus gave his life willingly, he said, "I have power to lay down my life and I have power to take it up again." John 10:18.
     * Being the son of God he alone had the right to offer himself. If anyone else died for mankind's sins we would be indebted to that one over God which would be wrong, but only our creator could be our redeemer since we would not be in conflict with either our God or another who is our Savior. Jesus alone is the expression of God and he alone could be our savior.

Because God is good and merciful He gives us this new beginning of a birth into a hope that will never die. The verse teaches the new life is a gift that  must be received, which means we must choose to receive it. When we receive by faith the work of Christ on our behalf we receive the new birth.

No one can really imagine what blessings and joys are in store for those who come to God and receive the new birth.


To learn more about the plan of salvation click on the tab, the Gospel, above

Thursday, June 30, 2016

How Many Ways Are There To Go To Heaven?

People say that there are many ways to get to heaven or that all paths lead to God, but what if there is only one way? What if that way is so different than we thought it should be that we miss it?

"Jesus is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.'Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." Acts4:12.

The context of this Bible verse is an apostolic sermon to the Jews explaining to them that the one they rejected was really the one they were seeking.

SALVATION...
To be saved begins with the assumption or awareness that you are lost and need to be saved. We are lost because our sins bring us into condemnation.

God is holy and must condemn sin and all wrongdoing- if God didn't He would be "guilty by association." If He compromised on one sin it would set precedence for all evil to triumph and He would not be the God of Love if He did so.

We have all sinned so we all need salvation.

IS FOUND....
There is hope for the sinner. It is a hope not based on works, effort, self-righteousness, ability or merit. It is not made by man but provided to man.

You cannot find something if you are not looking. If you are looking in only one place you are not really looking. God promises that we will find him if we seek him with all our hearts. Jeremiah 29:13.

NO ONE ELSE...
Salvation is not conferred by being born into a Christian country or household, it is not earned through a ritual or observation of a religious creed or doctrine it is found in a person. But not just any person, this 'no one else' is a phrase that is exclusive, these three words eliminate all others except the one, so we have no doubt that there is only one way.

NO OTHER NAME...
Only through one name is salvation available to mankind. It is not your name or the name of the head of a religious organization.  This is the second time the verse excludes all but the one name. When the Bible repeats something it has the power of the ancient legal requirement that every testimony must be confirmed by a second witness.

JESUS:
Jesus said it himself. "I am the way the truth and the life, No one comes to the Father but by me." John 14:6, I am the door...John 10:9  and "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.

It is through Jesus that we are saved. He did what no one else could do; since he had no sin he was qualified to pay for our sins and be our substitute before the justice of God. Our judgment was put on him when he died, and his resurrection demonstrates that his death alone satisfied God's requirements. Since he took our sins before God he gives us his righteousness before God.

WE MUST BE SAVED...
It is imperative and a truth taught over and over in scripture that we are lost because of our actions and are in danger of eternal condemnation. The Bible does not teach that there is another chance after this life but we can choose eternal life now by choosing Jesus.

To learn more about how to have eternal life see the tab above for the Gospel.

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Thank you for visiting this blog. I hope these thoughts are helpful for you.

You can find more like this in the most helpful post list on the left sidebar.

You can contact me through comments or the email link. If you live near Columbia MD I would be glad to meet you and discuss how you can know for sure that you may have eternal life.

Adron

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(c) Adron