©2012 Dr. Irene Bonney Faulkes DD
Please note: -
Throughout we have given a variety of translations
using "/". This sign indicates that the phrase or sentence quoted is from a
WHAT GOD SHOWS TOWARDS US
The central theme of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible is God's personal love story to mankind, to whoever will receive that story of love. It is obvious that this whole world is tainted with wrongdoing, both in its progress of civilisation, governments, cultures, educational systems, banking, commerce and trade and in the lives of each of its citizens. The Bible calls it sin.
God, the Creator, as a just Judge and a God of love, had to deal with this problem of sin in us all. To do this, He sent His only begotten Son into the world to be born with the purpose of dying on the cross for that sin, as an atonement and propitiation for that sin against a holy God and as an expression of Divine love.
Before the world was created with man (Adam and Eve) set to have dominion without sin, God made provision to bring back to Himself, this man He knew would become sinful. He already had decided on the plan that involved His Son's death on the cross. This was so that through the shedding of His blood in love, He would redeem man from the power of that sin and rebellion, reconciled to Himself in a resultant state whereby God could look upon him as having had his sin dealt with.
God's purpose for this is shown in many scriptures. If we turn to them, we can see it for ourselves.
Ephesians 1:9,11; he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will,
2 Timothy 1:9; who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
Romans 8:28; We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Galatians 1:15;But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased.
The basic motivation of God's actions, was His great love for us. John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish (away from God) but have everlasting life".; Romans 5:8, "God demonstrates His own love for us /proof of God's amazing love is this /proves by the fact: that it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us"; Galatians 2:20 "in love for me gave"; Ephesians 2:4 "with what an excess of love He loved us"; 2 Thessalonians 2:16 "God, even our Father, who has shown such love to us; and gave us eternal comfort"; 1 John 3:1 "Think what love the Father has shown us /How great is the love"; 1 John 4:7 "love springs from /originates with God; 8 God is love. 9 God's love to us has been revealed in this way /in this was the love of God clearly shown toward us"; Revelation 1:5 "who ever loves us and once for all released us from sins /He has proved his love for us, by washing us clean from our sins".
In the Old Testament God says, "My love for you is an eternal love: so with mercy I have made you come with me /long ago the Lord appeared to them: I have dearly loved you from of old and still I maintain my unfailing care for you/therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you".
Hearts are warmed at the thought of God's love that is extended through His grace. However, we cannot overlook the justice of God as Judge of all the earth. Love involves justice. It can never obviate the need for justice on the part of God in His dealings with us. Thousands of years ago, the righteous man, Job, had an understanding of this. We read it in Job 8:3 "Does God give a wrong decision; Can God deflect the course of right /Does God twist justice? /or Shaddai falsify justice?"; King David also knew this as in Psalm 89:14 "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of thy throne /Divine mercy and truth precede You /Righteousness and Justice support your throne, Lover and Faithfulness are your attendants" Then later on, the prophet Jeremiah wrote in Jeremiah 31:21 "The Lord bless you, O habitation of justice and mountain of holiness /Blessed be the Lord on his righteous, his holy mountain /Yahweh bless thee Thou home of righteousness /O holy hill /O resting place of righteousness /May the Lord bless you, holy mountain, abode of justice"; Jeremiah 50:7 "they have sinned against the Lord, the habitation of justice /against his righteous habitation /the Lord in whom is righteousness; justice (righteousness)."
The New Testament further speaks of the justice of God, in the mouths of Peter and then Stephen, that great Christian martyr, Acts 3:14 "The Holy One and the Just. (just, righteous)"; Acts 7:52; 22:14; Romans 3:26 "To vindicate His justice at the present time /to demonstrate /the exhibition of His righteousness /that He might be just /righteous, even when declaring righteous him that hath faith in Jesus /that he himself might be just and yet the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus." Revelation 15:3 - "the song of the Lamb - Great and amazing are your deeds, Just and true are your ways , King of the nations."
As a God of justice, He obviously must involve Himself in judgment. Justice demands judgment in the case of guilt. We see that in our courts of Law. In the very beginning of the Bible we read in Genesis 18:25 that He is "Judge of all the earth". When God delivered His people, Israel, out of their bondage and captivity as slaves in the land of Egypt, He did it as He had told Moses, that great Deliverer, in Exodus 7:4 "I will bring My people, Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments". We should recognize the right of God to exercise judgment where needed. At one time in the history of Israel, many centuries later, the judgment of God had fallen upon them as a nation. They were placed in captivity to the King of Babylon that is Iraq today. When God promised them that a remnant would be brought back to their land after seventy years of captivity He said in Isaiah 1:27 "Zion shall be redeemed with judgment"; Isaiah 3:14 (See also 4:4; 5:16. Also in Isaiah 33:5 in a message of hope by the prophet Isaiah, it is declared that God "filled Zion with judgment". Zion refers to Israel.
At the beginning of Israel's being established as a nation by God, well over a thousand years before Christ, He set up a system of worship with a priesthood. We read about His commands to Moses in the second book of the Bible. In Exodus 28:15, God said that Aaron, the brother of Moses, was to be the High Priest. Amongst other items of the vestments Aaron was to have was a "breastplate of judgment", Exodus 28:15-30, "Aaron shall carry the names of the sons of Israel in the breast piece of judgment over his heart".
Aaron brought the right of the children of Israel before Jehovah in the breastplate with Urim and Thummim that represented revelation and truth with illumination and completion. God's judgment was upon Israel and as High Priest, when Aaron served before the Lord, their judgment was borne on his heart.
This pointed forward to He who was to come, the Lord Jesus Christ, who became our High Priest in heaven. He bore the judgment of all our sin done against God and thus removed any judgment that had accrued against us, when we believed in Christ and received Him as the only Saviour for our sin and judgment. Jesus Himself clearly said in John 5:24, "Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me as eternal life, and does not come under judgment but has passed from death to life". If a person wants to escape the judgment of God, he must go the only way of escape. He must do what Jesus said.
It is interesting to understand about the Urim and Thummim, that are mentioned in Numbers 27:21. Here, Joshua, who became the leader of the nation of Israel after the death of Moses is told to inquire through the right of Urim how to act. If we look carefully at Exodus 28:15-30 above we see how Aaron, before the time of Joshua, brought the right of the children of Israel before Jehovah in the breastplate with Urim and Thummim, revelation and truth with illumination and completion. "Urim" is for "Lights". Why "Lights"? James, in the New Testament, the stepbrother of Jesus, who became a leader in the Jerusalem church at the time of the book of Acts, explains it, perhaps unwittingly. He writes in his epistle, "Every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shadow due to change".
The High Priest throughout the time of the Old Testament rituals, displayed on his breast, a "breast-piece of judgment. This also bore in it, the Urim as well as the Thummim. The Urim spoke of the God who dwells in light. Because of this light, He must show judgment against the darkness of sin. James, in James 1:17, adds a further revelation when He calls Him "the Father of lights". Amidst the necessary judgment, is the love of the Father heart of Jehovah God, in light dispensing judgment against the darkness. The apostle Paul tells us, 1 Timothy 6:15,16, "He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honour and eternal dominion. Amen". One reason for the necessity of God to send His only begotten Son into the world, He who died in our place of sin and judgment, was so that the Son could reveal the Father God, the great Jehovah, to us. Jesus said, "He who has seen me has seen the Father".
In addition, the Urim stood for "Fire" in as in Isaiah 31:9 "whose fire is in Zion". This latter verse was part of the prophecy by Isaiah a few hundred years before Christ, when he prophesied against the Assyrians who had troubled Israel. Fire is full of light. Here again is a reference to the judgments of God according to His justice. God's judgment against man's sin was so severe of necessity, that He could not deviate from that course. There had to be judgment against our sin. God's love found a way whereby He could forgive us our sin and establish us in His righteousness and holiness. It was by sending His Son to be born a man and to die on the cross. There He became a curse for us. He took our curse on the cross. He bore our sin there. God judged Jesus in our place. For that judgment on Jesus to benefit us personally, each one must repent of his sin and turn to Jesus Christ dying on the cross and rising again as He did nearly two thousand years ago.
"Thummim" is "perfections", as shown in Deuteronomy 32:4 that Jehovah Gold is "The Rock. His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He." The High Priest, wearing such near his heart as stated in the book of Exodus, can even say to us today that God 's work is perfect and just and that He is faithful, without injustice, righteous and upright.
These things are recorded in the Bible for us today so that we can understand about God, about His character and ways. He deals justly with each of us personally. If we see injustice or blame Him for what happens to us, it is because we are looking at Him from the darkness of our hearts. Let He who is perfect and just, shine in light within us so that His light reveals Him and His dealings with us for what they are. The Father who dwells in light, sent His son into our world to be the Light of our personal world. Isaiah in his sublime prophetical writing about Jesus Christ, says it all in that "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people" and "When you make his life an offering for sin. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. And he was numbered with the transgressors and he bore the sin of many", Isaiah 53:6,8,10-12.
In this way, God brings salvation to us who are sinners, if we believe on His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Man of sorrows, what a name,
For the Son of God who came,
Ruined sinners to reclaim,
Hallelujah, what a Saviour".
Yes, Jesus is the only Saviour who has come into the world, to deliver us and save us from our sins and the judgment deserved.
Another fact was typified with the wearing of these things "on the heart". This showed that as a representative of the people, there was "that personal intertwining with the life of another". This happened in the office of High Priest, the Advocate of the people's rights before God in His plan for them. God gave them rights as a result of the sacrifices, in those days, of perfect animals. The High Priest was to receive illumination and he brought Israel into remembrance before Jehovah that the Lord might accept His people. This was a type of Jesus Christ, who is now our High Priest in heaven. He is there on our behalf. He brings us in remembrance before His Father and ours. He intercedes for us there, as we pray in His Name. Our "Names" are important to God, He knows us by name. We have an example of this in Acts 9:10-15, where the Lord appeared to a man of God named Ananias. He was told by the Lord to go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, who was praying. God sees all that we do. He knows us by name and His eyes are running to and fro throughout the earth, looking at and after those who revere His Name. Our names are written in heaven, the moment we receive Christ as our Saviour. As our Father, He watches over us very carefully. The priestly system of the Old Testament or Covenant, pointed to all this that happens to believers under the New Covenant.
Jesus Christ is our Advocate in heaven, 1 John 2:1,2, as well as being the atoning sacrifice for our sins "But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world" NIV. Other translations use the words "Advocate" in verse 1 and "propitiation" in verse 2. The Greek word for "advocate" also means "intercessor, comforter or consoler".
Jesus Christ is our "Advocate" today in heaven. On earth, the Holy Spirit within us is to be our "Advocate", "intercessor, comforter, consoler", John 14:26; 15:26; Romans 8:26,27 (in these two verses, it is clear that the Holy Spirit intercedes through us as we pray in other tongues. That is how the early church understood it and how even today, some theologians put the same meaning upon them. Experience in praying in other tongues and the obvious resultant blessings further substantiate this same meaning.
Going back to Exodus 28:29,30, the High Priest wore a "breastplate of judgment", bearing the judgment of the Israelites on his hear, NRSV and in KJ. In the NIV there is the word "decision" instead of "judgment". This breastplate of judgment also had on it the Urim and the Thummim, or the Lights and Perfections. God has dealt with His church in "judgment". Paul shows us in Ephesians 5:25-27 how God did this, "having sanctified and cleansed it with the water of washing by the Word that He might present it to himself as a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that it should be holy and without blemish". God's judgment respecting the Church is, that it stands in the lights and perfections of Christ. That is how He sees us, perfect in Christ, but it is only "in Christ". We are accepted in the Beloved. The Word of the gospel that we have received has had the effect of washing us so that now we are part of a glorious church before Him who is in heaven, spotless and holy. That is God's judgment upon us as our High Priest, Jesus Christ, in heaven presents us to God in Himself.
The sentence is pronounced already. We have been acquitted as stated in Romans 5:9 "we have been acquitted by His blood". God looks at us with full eternal approval. The reason He can do this is found in Romans 5:8 "while we were yet sinners, in love, Christ died for us". Now, His judgment of us is as above, even as He has acted according to Psalm 72:2 "He shall judge Thy people with righteousness /justice". However, that applies only to the people of Christ, who have received Jesus as their Saviour. For those who have not, there remains for God to do what He says in Acts 10:42 "and solemnly declare that it is he (Christ) who was appointed by God to be the Judge of the living and of the dead" and in Revelation 1:12-16 "John saw one like the son of man (Jesus Christ). His eyes were like a flame of fire", speaking of He who will Judge those who are not in Christ.
God's judgment had also to be on the prince of this world, Satan. John 5:22. John 16:11 "because the Prince of this world is judged". The judgment on Satan was accomplished through the death of Christ, John 12:31 "Now is the judgment of this world the prince of this world shall be cast out". This was effected by Christ on the cross. It was while on the cross that Christ finally defeated Satan and his hordes, for us. The book of Colossians 2:15, tells us that He threw off from Himself those evil foes of His and ours. Because we are in Christ, the power of Satan over our lives has been broken. Even in that, we are more than conquerors. Satan is already under our feet because we are "seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2:4-6, "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus". We are believers and recognize what God has done for us. Our faith in this will result in our living accordingly.
Jesus told the Pharisees in John 8:44 "you are of your father the devil". This applies to every person born into this world. The imagination and desire of the human heart is evil from youth up. That is how Satan has power. That power does not rest upon any right of Satan, which even God is bound to respect. Being subjected to his power is only the deserved punishment and necessary consequence of sin. We are to blame for our own situation of sinfulness and not the Devil. We were not born with the nature of Satan and never did have the nature of Satan. Sin is innate in us and we choose to sin of our own accord.
We are the children of Adam our forefather. His sinfulness was passed down to us and we were born with the nature of sin. We were slaves to sin and as a result to Satan. Now that we have received Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin and thus to Satan. We are from the power of sin. Because of God's grace, we are in Christ who was obtained the victory for us over the power of sin and Satan. We who believe in Christ still have that carnal, sinful nature within but it is somewhat quiescent, according to the degree of our faith placed daily in Christ and His cross. However, we have been born again and made new in Christ. Satan cannot shift us from that position, as long as we walk the path of faith in Christ and the cross with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Satan for ages did have access to God and to heaven. We read about this in the oldest book in the whole Bible, the Book of Job. There is a very interesting account of Satan's doings in relation to that wonderful man of God called Job. In case someone reading this thinks there is no Devil, we should know that in every culture and in every religion of the world, there is a place for the Devil and demons. Many people have had encounters with demons and have been controlled to a large degree by them.
In Job 1:6-12 it is told how angels presented themselves before the Lord, Jehovah God. Satan also came with them. Then there is a conversation between the Lord and Satan. In it, God extols the virtues of Job and Satan replies that Job serves God for what he gets from God. Then Satan is allowed to go down to earth and bring grave problems for Job. The man loses his sheep, his servants, his camels and their keepers, all his sons and daughters to capture and death. The book of Job relates how the Lord brought Job through this great test, in victory. Job shows great faith in Job 29:14 by saying, "I put on righteousness as my clothing", showing that he recognized he had none of his own. He had no innate goodness with which to protest against the doings of Satan. Instead, he realised that he needed to be clothed with righteousness from God. He shows us that this is the only route we can take personally. We have nothing of our own with which to boast before God. We of necessity must be clothed with the righteousness, which is God Himself in Christ.
Then again, Job gives a great affirmation of faith in the Lord, despite his terrible sufferings and says in Job 19:25-,27, "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth, And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" Here also is the hope of the resurrection of the dead. With this kind of understanding and faith, that knew what his end would be whatever happened to him in this world, he was triumphant amidst his sorrows and sins. We also, must personally have such faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Redeemer.
The Bible tells us that every person in the world is blinded as to the truth of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, by Satan himself. We read this writing by Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:4, "The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the gospel of the glory of Christ". The last book in the Bible, written by the beloved apostle of the Lord Jesus, John, informs us that Sata even though at one stage in heaven, could not remain there, Revelation 12:7-9. He was cast down to earth with his angels. This was because of the victory which Christ had won over him through His shed blood and death. Here Satan is cast out into the world. Satan is in reality, at the Cross, was cast out of the world as one who held it in absolute control and bondage. Thus Christ is exalted has dominion over it and is able to draw all men unto Himself, John 12:31,32. There, before His death, Jesus said, "Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth (on the cross), will draw all men to myself". The judgment upon Satan was consummated by the atoning death of Christ. It was seen in those verses as already accomplished in the word "now" and the phrase "at hand" in Matthew 26:45 as Matthew relates scenes that occurred before the cross. By faith anyone in the world can pass over into the kingdom of another Prince, Jesus, who has judged the prince of this world.
This generation of those who refuse to receive Christ, has Satan for its lord, as Peter says in Acts 2:40 "Save yourself from this crooked generation". Jesus actually came into this world to do according to John 12:47 "not judge the world but to save the world". Nevertheless, Christ acted as judge against the Pharisees, Matthew 23:28. Christ places Himself on a level with the Supreme Lawgiver. However, He is a Saviour before He is a Judge. Judgment has its root not in Christ but in the unbeliever. It is the words we say that judge us. Also, as declared in John 3:19 "And this is the condemnation ( judgment, punishment) that light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. We do ourselves great harm by turning our backs on the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Light of the world. Men do this as the above verse says due to their love of the darkness of their sin. The reason is that they do evil things.
All unbelievers are condemned or judged guilty already, John 3:36, assures us of this. Jesus said, "Whoever believes in the Son (Jesus) has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him. The position now before the Lord is one of terrible danger for the welfare of his eternal soul that exists after death and that will exist forever. God is now angry at him, will stay angry with him and he will be separated from the life of God forever and ever. This is sufficient reason for every person who hears the gospel to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour.
Our judgment was transferred to the Lord Jesus Christ, who was not only under the judgment of God but was made by God to be historically under judgment. This was a judgment before the Jews and the Romans. The sentence was pronounced in a judicial way, but with a travesty of justice. We see this as we read about the events at the end of the four gospels, of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In John 18:28 the record states "They led Jesus into the hall of Judgment". Josephus, the Jewish historian recounts these events. It had been prophesied a few hundred years before Christ in Isaiah 53:8 "He was taken from prison and from judgment." The prophecy given all those centuries ago, was fulfilled about 30 A.D. It is a matter of history. Like a criminal, the Servant of the Lord, who was in actuality the Divine Son of God from heaven, the Lord of Glory, was brought before a judge and condemned to death - for us. It was an unrighteous but judicial act. John 19:4-16. As Pilate sits in his judgment chair, Rome, the Jews, the world and God say, "I condemn Jesus Christ". In the condemnation He bore instead of us, there is acquittal for us. Every one of us, had we been there, would have joined with the others and pronounced condemnation upon Him. We, in the evil of our hearts, would have turned from Him and rejected Him. We would have said, "Away with Him, crucify Him". Until we turn to Christ as our Saviour, we are living with that attitude within us. Therefore, "Turn, for why will you die?" Turn to Christ and receive eternal life.
This was the purpose of God so that through the judgment of men He could be taken to the Cross, the place of judgment before man and God. Jesus Christ did this in our place. The wrath of God fell on Him instead of on us. This fulfils what was said in Isaiah 52:14;53:5,10, "Jehovah has delighted to bruise Him, when He makes Himself an offering for sin".
God's judgment fell on Jesus and He was forsaken, Mark.15:34. That was on the Cross. He cried, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" He was forsaken because He bore th4e guilt of our sin and God could not be associate\d with that guilt of our sin. For three hours there was darkness. During that time Jesus suffered the tortures of Hell, as prophesied in Isaiah 53:11 "After the suffering of His soul". "Suffering" touched not only His body but His whole inner being. Hell is not only a place, designed for the Devil and his angels but it can be a condition It is separation from God. Jesus experienced that for us, in our place, on the cross.
The final Hell is a place of fire, Revelation 20:15. Jesus never went there. He does not yet exist. He was judged, however, instead of us. The final judgment on sin is the place and eternal condition of separation from God in the fire of the condition of hell that Jesus suffered.
Jesus said, in Mark 9:48 that "their worm never dies and the fire is never quenched". The worm is inward and means the gnawing sins that are forever with them in Hell. The fire is the fire of Hell that comes from outside. It is outward. Jesus could not experience any worm eating within Him. He had no sin of His own. Therefore He did not suffer the worm of sin in that time on the Cross. The worm did not touch Him inwardly. Therefore the actual worm did not begin to eat His body. The fire of Hell came at Him from the outside. It could not touch Him from within.
The weight of our sin and guilt was upon Him. Therefore He suffered, as it were, the fires of Hell when darkness came upon Him for three hours. Then He had to say, "Eli, Eli, Why have you forsaken Me?" He was forsaken of God. That is Hell. Hell is not annihilation. Death is not annihilation. It is separation. Jesus suffered Hell, for us. That was separation, from God, as punishment for us.
Note that His heart was free from sin. He had not become sin itself, else He would never have had even a desire to pray to His Father. He prayed twice while on the cross.
To mankind, sin and death (the worm) come first and then judgment (the fire). Within Jesus, there was no sin and no death. The fire was present in Him, which was objective death, not subjective. His Being did not die. His body eventually died.
Death came at Him from the outside. During those three hours of torment, suffering the judgment and wrath of God, Psalm 22, death was swallowed up. Death died. Life was everlastingly present within Him. To Him, the cross represented eternity in Hell, of separation from God.
The prophet centuries before Christ, in Isaiah 53:11 said these words, "After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life". His soul suffered there on the cross. In verse 9, His innocence is declared. In verse 10, God afflicts Him with heavy sufferings. Why? It was Jehovah's will so that He should present Himself as a voluntary sin-offering to redeem mankind through His sufferings.
He is High Priest, Sin-Offering and Sacrifice. The hope of Israel for centuries was the coming of the Messiah. What was overlooked was the description in this chapter regarding His coming. As in Isaiah 53:10 it was shown that there was an aspect about it that went beyond all human understanding, "When He has brought a sin-offering, He shall see a posterity". This is the Messiah. Verse 5, "the punishment was laid on Him" (as the Sacrifice), verse 11, "bear their sins". See also Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10.
During that time, the forces of Hell itself came upon Him. He conquered them, as is stated in Colossians 2:14,15a and He conquered them on the Cross where He suffered the pangs of Hell. He did not descend into Hell, the place, the eternal abode of Satan, demons and unbelievers. "He cancelled the note that stood against us, with its requirements, He took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to the Cross, And the hostile princes and rulers He stripped off from Himself/having drawn the sting of all the powers ranged against us/He rid Himself of the Powers of evil" or as another translation says, "He disarmed the Principalities and the Powers that fought against Him".
On that cross He discarded the cosmic powers and authorities He made of them an open example, celebrating a triumph over them thereby/and put them to open shame, leading them captive in the triumph of Christ and held them up to open contempt, when he celebrated His triumph over them on the cross /made a public display of them, triumphing over them by the cross /He exposed them, shattered, empty and defeated, in His final glorious triumphant act." Thus read various translations.
These principalities and powers seized on His human nature, which, though without sin, had infirmities, as we see illustrated in the temptation in the wilderness and the agony of Gethsemane as well as that of Calvary. He knew hunger and thirst. He could suffer and feel sorrow. His victory was complete, for the powers of evil which had clung to His humanity were turned off and cast aside forever. Now that victory is the victory of the believer.
Moreover, He made a show of these powers boldly, openly, confidently, exhibiting them to the whole universe. Finally, He led them in triumph in the cross, triumphing in their helplessness, the cross itself being the sphere of the triumph. "We see the whole process before our eyes - the victor stripping his prisoners of their clothes, of arms and ornaments and dress, then parading them as his captives and then dragging them at the wheels of his triumphal chariot", as stated previously.
Christ conquered those spiritual enemies whose possession of the "note" or "bond" had us in their power. These Principalities and Powers thought they had Him in their grip when He was fastened to the cross. They flung themselves at Him while He hung upon the cross. Jesus prayed for His executioners, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do". Even in judgment, His heart contacted God in prayer.
He fought with them in the spirit realm. They were in this material world but not of material form. He was Master over them. He took their armour and power off them. He held them aloft in His Mighty Hands, He who was suffering the torment of our judgment in Hell, on the Cross. He disabled those Principalities and Powers. The Cross had become a triumph. He "made a public example of them", as it were.
Colossians 2:15b "and put them to open shame, celebrating a triumph over them thereby /or put them to open shame, leading them captive in the triumph of Christ /or made a public display of them, triumphing over them by the cross /or he exposed them, shattered, empty and defeated, in his final glorious triumphant act!" Notice that this victory over Satan took place on the Cross and not down' in Hell itself.
This is the language for the Romans after a victorious battle. The conquering Roman General and His army, would, on their return to Rome, march in a victory parade. Their conquered enemies would be stripped and tied in chains, then to be dragged along in the triumphant procession. Paul uses this symbolic language to show the victory of Jesus Christ on the Cross over these Principalities and Powers. He conquered them in our place and for us. We now share in that victory.
Countries, cities and communities, the whole world, were held in Satanic bondage by these demon powers. Jesus conquered them on the Cross. We share in that victory. Therefore, in the power of the Holy Ghost, as we preach the gospel and particularly if God confirms His Word with signs following and Gifts of the Holy Ghost, we can go in to those places and take out of Satan's hands many precious souls who are at present in bondage to him. He is already conquered and we can continue to spoil his house, in the authority of Jesus Christ, Mark 3:26-28,Matt.28:18,19. We do not need to bind any demons. We do not need to cast down any supposed principality or power over a city or a district. It is done. We do not need to wrestle against these principalities and powers of Satan. We do not need to have "spiritual warfare" that is so wrongly taught today.
JESUS SUFFERS FOR US
Jesus came down to this world to take our place. He became the God-Man Substitute for us in God's dealings with man on account of our sin. He suffered for the guilt of our sin. He received the judgment of God instead of us, so that we who believe are considered without guilt. He suffered the pains of Hell, the judgment for our sins. "The chastisement of our peace was upon Him", or "upon Him was the punishment that made us whole", Isaiah 53:5. This is why for us who believe there is no judgment, "There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit", Romans 8:1; "Amen, Amen I say unto you, he who puts his trust in Him who sent me, has eternal life and does not come under judgment but has already passed out of death unto life", John 5:24.
We have passed out of death and judgment, because Jesus suffered judgment and the death of separation from God for us on the Cross. He was resurrected unto life and we also share in that resurrection and are in a condition of Life.
Satan did not get the soul of Jesus, the spirit of Jesus or the body of Jesus. "God did not leave Him in Hades (Sheol); neither did His body see corruption", Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27. He gave up the ghost, His spirit and His soul. He left His body that had been tortured and mangled on the Cross. The moment He surrendered His spirit into the hands of His Father, death came to His body. He was placed in the sepulchre. That body did not have corruption.
God preserved that body from the beginnings of corruption, which always takes place in a body once the person is dead. Therefore, even in death, Satan had no part in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man. His spirit, soul and body were preserved inviolate by sin and Satan.
The death of Christ shows God's mercy. His mercy is revealed in Psalm 130:7 "With the Lord there is mercy" and in James 2:13 "mercy rejoices against judgment". "You will perform mercy to Abraham /steadfast love /covenant love /faithfulness /You will keep your promise to Jacob, shew mercy to Abraham, your promised mercies of long ago." God had promised to Abraham, the father of the Jews, in Genesis 12: 2 "I will bless you. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you /you will become a name of blessing to all the families of the earth." This promise concerned the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in whom the promises to Abraham are fulfilled. Through Him the exclusive rights of the Children of Israel as a nation before God, came to an end.
A new race began. All Jews and non-Jews who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are made by God to be part of that new nation. Paul had that revelation as he writes in Galatians 3:7 "the real descendants of Abraham are the men of faith /all those who believe God are the real sons of Abraham." Peter also was given this insight as he also writes, to believing Jew and believing non-Jew in 1 Peter 2:9,10, "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light, Once you were not a people, but now you are God's peo9ple; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."
Galatians 3:16,17 "Now it was to Abraham that the promises were made and to his offspring - and that was Christ. A testament, or covenant, had already been validated by God."
God is kind to us. He shows mercy to us. It is His mercy that we are living. It is His mercy that is displayed to us in the birth and crucifixion of Jesus Christ for us.
Mercy is kindness, beneficence. There are a few verses that speak to us about His mercy for us, His kindness. Titus 3:5 "According to His mercy He saved us"; Romans 9:23, we are "vessels of mercy"; Romans 15:9, "the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy", Luke 1:78 "through the tender mercy of our God"; Ephesians 2:4 "But God, who is rich in mercy (in his abundant compassion because of the intense love (with what an excess of love he loved us)".
Jesus on one occasion, told how two men went up to the temple to pray, one being a religious leader and the other an ordinary person. The first was full of spiritual pride. The latter knew his inward condition before God. His prayer was the one that please God. He in effect prayed, "Be propitiated". This account is in Luke 18:13, KJV version reading, "God be merciful to me a sinner". It means "be propitiated". This man thought of the Old Testament ritual where blood of an animal was placed by the High Priest on the Mercy Seat that was upon the Ark of the Covenant placed within the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle Moses built as described in Leviticus 16. This Mercy Seat was the place of propitiation towards God for the sin of the people. The truth underlying this ritual was made known to this sinner Therefore, he prayed, (in other words) "Lord, see the blood on the propitiatory and be propitiated because of Him Who has made propitiation for me". Mercy is given. Then this was given because of the blood of the slain animal. Now it is given because of the blood of the Anti-type, Jesus, that is in heaven, Christ being the Mercy Seat and His blood there propitiating for our sin and for that man's sin. It came through his faith and comes to us through our personal faith.
The whole purpose of Jesus' recital about the prayers of the two men, was to show the basis of forgiveness for our sin. It is atonement or propitiation of our sin before God through the shedding of blood, now the shedding of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. It is made effective for us as we believe in Him as having died for us on that cross and who rose again from the grave.
God is the God of all grace. Grace is "unmerited
favour". God shows us favour that we do not deserve or merit. There is nothing
in any one of us that could attract the favour or merit of God. He shows His
kindness towards us without our deserving it. That is the grace of God, as
stated in 1 Peter 5:10 "the God of all grace"; Philemon 25 "the grace of our
Lord Jesus Christ".
In the earliest of time, men found grace, as Noah did, in the eyes of the Lord, Genesis 6:8. The Psalmist wrote a song about His grace in Psalm 84:11, "The Lord will give grace and glory". Even in the Old Testament the promise of the gospel of Christ was prophesied in Zechariah 12:10, "the Spirit of grace and of supplications." In Zechariah 4:7, concerning the rebuilding of the temple that was to be done after a remnant of the people returned from captivity in the land of Babylon, the prophecy says of it, "Shoutings, grace, grace to it". Of him in whose hands was given the task of rebuilding, it was said, "And Zerubbabel will finish building the Temple with mighty shouts of thanksgiving for God's mercy declaring that all was done by grace alone". The Temple of the Lord today is the one built by Christ Himself. He Himself first of all became that new temple, when He, the Lord of glory, tabernacled amongst us as God and perfect man, in the body created by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, see John 1:14, "The Word (the Son of God) became flesh and tabernacled among us and we have seen His glory, the glory as of a father's only son"; Luke 1:35, the angel says to Mary, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be borne will be holy; he will be called Son of God".
Through Christ salvation comes to us individually by grace through faith. Ephesians 2:8,9 "By grace are we saved through faith and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast" and also see Ephesians 1:7 "according to the riches of His grace, redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."
God's grace is extolled in the following verses - Titus 2:11 "the grace of God that brings salvation"; Ephesians 2:8 "By grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God."; Romans 3:24 "Being justified freely by His grace"; Romans 5:20 "Where sin abounded grace did much more abound"; Romans 11:6 "If by grace, then is it no more of works".
There is a note of warning found in 2 Corinthians 6:1 "We urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain." Believers in Christ have received the grace of God. If we turn away from Christ, if we turn away from faith in the cross of Christ, if we receive another Christ of our own persuasion, another Holy Spirit of our own imagination, a gospel other than that presented by Paul, if we again become slaves continually to sin, to Satan, to heresies or to the lust of the eye, the pride of life or the lust of the flesh, we will be considered by God to have received the grace of God in vain. His grace will then not be found towards us.
Jesus made an atonement for our sin. "Atonement" is also spoken of as "propitiation", He became on His cross an atonement for our sin. He made an atoning sacrifice.
The atonement of Christ effects heaven and hell. Heaven is satisfied, provision is made for earth's sin and hell is defeated by the atonement. God as just and holy could never ignore sin and guilt against Him. He had to be satisfied. The only way this could happen was by propitiation for sin by a perfect and holy God-Man. Jesus Christ is God. He is also perfect and holy man. In his One Person, He is God and Man, still, for eternity. For man on earth to be reconciled to God in heaven, for his sin to be forgiven and atoned for, this propitiation on the cross had to occur. Satan himself and his minions, was defeated by the atonement on the cross. His power over mankind was broken.
It is by the blood of the cross.. Hebrews 9:13-14 "if the blood of goats and bulls how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God". These verses take us back to the Old Testament rituals given to the nation of Israel for that time and only for that time. That time finished when God tore the veil of the temple from top to bottom as Jesus died on the cross. The blood of animals in those days had the effect of covering the sin of the people from the judgment of God. It was effective. The people could live year by year in a favourable position before God. The writer to Hebrews tells us that if the blood of animals was effective, how much more will the blood of Christ actively be engaged for us now. The blood of Christ was the blood of God Himself. The sacrificial and atoning offering of Christ on the cross was performed through the eternal Spirit. There is life in that blood. The sacrifice of Christ as a Lamb to God was without any blemish of sin. It pleased God. We can be assured of its potency on our behalf.
Should any place their faith in the sacrifice of animals today, the following verse should be noted. It is Hebrews 10:4 that says "For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins". This relates to the Day of Atonement, found in Leviticus 23:27,28 "there shall be a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you." In Old Testament, "atone" means "to cover". Exodus 30:10 "once in the year shall he make atonement". Numbers 16:47 "make an atonement for the people. Leviticus 23:27 seventh month... a day of atonement.
There is only one way to obtain forgiveness of sin and freedom from its power. It is by the precious blood of Christ, Romans 5:11 "we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have received the atonement, reconciliation". "Atonement" in the Greek dictionary means "adjustment of a difference, reconciliation, restoration to favour". The New Testament was written in Greek, reading in Romans 5:11, "we received the reconciliation or/blessing of the recovered favour of God". Romans 4:6,7. "So also David speaks, Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered."
The purpose of God in Christ's atoning death concerned His righteousness. As Judge of all the earth, God must act justly and righteously. We read, Romans 3:25,26, "Whom God set forth as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus. All of God's actions have spring from His own heart. There was never any man who ever advised Him - Ephesians 1:9 "God - which He purposed in Himself."
This atonement explains the incarnation. The incarnation took place so that the sin of the world would be put away by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ., Hebrews 10:10. It was a holy body, Luke 1:35; "without sin and without blemish", 1 Peter 1:19. In His death for us, that body became so warped and mutilated by our sin and sickness and the suffering at the hands of man that the prophet foretold what He would look like on the cross, in:
Isaiah 52:14 - "His visage was so marred more than any man and his form more than the sons of men /so marred beyond any man's was his appearance /As the crowds were appalled on seeing him, so disfigured did he look that he seemed no longer human /Even as many were amazed at him so marred was his look beyond that of man and his appearance beyond that of mortals." He took upon Himself in death the responsibility of the sin of the world. His was a sacrifice of substitution.
This is metaphorical. It does not mean that He was disfigured thus, not looking exactly like a man, because of the sicknesses and diseases He took upon Himself being all those of the whole world. Firstly, that was impossibility. He, a Man, took our place on the Cross and all knew that this Man hung there. Pilate called Him, "King of the Jews". He still appeared as a man. Mary and the disciples did not visually see Him other than a suffering man they recognized.
Secondly, there is no hint in the Crucifixion accounts in the New Testament that this was how the people and His disciples saw His body.
Thirdly, it is unscriptural to say that because every sickness of the world was laid on Him, all who believe can have healing of their bodies. Isaiah 53:4 shows He bore our sickness and pains.
Thus one cannot say that Healing is in the Atonement in the sense that Atonement for sin is in the Atonement. Were it so, just as every one who confesses his sins is instantly forgiven, so would every one who claims healing find it happen easily and quickly.
In Matthew 8:17 is said to have healed the sick for that very reason, that He took our sicknesses and pains. He commenced the work of removing the evil which sin had brought when He healed the sick. The main emphasis is that He gave His soul a ransom for many, Matthew 20:28. Jesus Christ is still the same today and will heal the sick and diseased, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
It shows the dreadful pain, suffering and contemptible death that He endured. "Man of Sorrows, what a Name, for the Son of God who came, Many sinners to reclaim, Hallelujah, what a Saviour". He suffered vicariously for us, in our place.
Romans 8:3. "For God has done what Law could not do by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and to deal with sin, He condemned sin in the flesh." Because God is holy, He must condemn sin. He did this in a specific way. He judged Christ instead of us. At the same time Christ was a holy offering for our sin and High Priest who offered it to God (not to Satan). His blood was poured out in atonement and that blood cleanses us from all sin.
He took our sin and its guilt. Ephesians 2:1-3 shows our situation before accepting Christ. All of us lived as described there. We were born with a nature of sin, following in the footsteps of our father, Adam. Through Adam (not Eve) sin entered the world, Romans 5:12, "just as sin came into the world through one man", so through one man, Jesus Christ, righteousness can be imparted to those who believe in Him. Our nature was not that of Satan's. The Scriptures clearly show it was of sin and we quote Ephesians, "You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in (NAS) or among (NRSV) those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else", NRSV and NAS are said to be the most correct translations of the Bible.
Our condition as sinners was terrible but there is wonderful news. Christ died for sinners. He did not die for any (and there were none) who may have not been sinners. His death and resurrection is the source of a new and eternal life for us in heaven. If we want to be blessed with this we must acknowledge we are sinners. Deep in our hearts we have to realise our guilt. Not to recognize it leaves outside of the sphere of the grace of God that desires us to be blessed with forgiveness and eternal life in Christ. Paul writes in Ephesians 5:6, 8, 10, that "For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His son."
He came into the world to die for sinners, to die for our sins, to put away sin by His sacrifice.
Hundreds of years before Christ, the prophet foretold in Isaiah 53:12, "He bore the sins of many." Peter tells us it was on the cross, " He bore them on the tree", 1 Peter 2:24.
It was a one time only action. The apostle Peter
leaves us no doubt about it as he says in 1 Peter 3:18 "Christ died for sins
once". The writer of Hebrews 9:28 says "Christ, offered once to bear the sins of
many"; "Offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all", Hebrews 10:12. The
sacrifice of His body occurred once. It will never be repeated. Man can never
This offering of His body for sin had been foretold all throughout the Old Testament, particularly in the continual offerings of animals by the Jewish worshippers. The scriptures were full of prophecies about this offering. Hence, the writing of Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:3. "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." In Hebrews 9:26 we learn that "Christ put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. The beloved John in 1 John 3:5. writes that "He was manifested to take away our sins."
He died to make an atonement for sin, is clearly stated in Hebrews 1:3; 2:17 - "When He had made purification for sins;" or "to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people."
His place of suffering was outside the city of Jerusalem, that was the centre of Jewish culture and religion. He suffered while His people, the Jews, had no understanding about it. This is stated clearly in the New Testament writing to the Jewish people, Hebrews 13:11-13.
Perhaps this account will touch the heart of some of our Moslem brothers and sisters, as it touched those listening to us on one occasion. As well, we would hope that some of our Israeli brethren would read and be touched, finding the salvation promised by Jehovah, to the Jews and to us also, that is in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is salvation.
We were in a certain place preaching outdoors to a group of people. There were some Moslems there, sitting and listening. The theme of the message was the main thought found in the above verses. These Moslem people were greatly impressed, as the thought was tied in to the Old Testament ceremony, found in the above verses of Hebrews, "For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood."
We refer to the Old Testament rituals in Leviticus 16:21. Aaron the High Priest was "to lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, putting them on the head of the goat, and sending it away into the wilderness. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a barren region.". This typified what the Saviour, Jesus, was to experience when God laid all our sins upon His head and sent Him away into the barren wilderness, outside of the city gate of Jerusalem, where He bore our iniquities on His cross.
Also, we liked to refer to Numbers 19 that set out the purification rites in relation to a dead body. A red heifer without blemish was to taken outside the camp and slaughtered. It was to be burned. Its ashes were to be gathered up and placed outside the camp. They were to be used for the water for cleansing. Anyone in contact with the dead or with parts of a dead body, was to take some of the ashes. These rituals were to show the horror of sin and God's hatred of it. They showed there had to be purification. It could only come in actuality through Christ.
The purpose of God for the cross regarding hell is seen as follows. In Genesis 3:15, after the sin of Adam and Eve, God pronounced that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. King James says "it" but it should be "he". It is masculine and not neuter. "He shall bruise his head". This verb means "to cover, overwhelm, as with a tempest or darkness".
This verse has a reference to the outer darkness to which Satan should finally be condemned, as well as to that darkness of death and the grave to which the mortal part of the promised Seed should be reduced, when the Power of darkness prevailed against Him, Luke 22:53. "This is your hour and the power of darkness." (When I was with you day after day you did not lay hands on Me)
Satan appeared to overwhelm Christ when all the powers of darkness came against Him at the cross. Satan was bruising the heel of Christ. Christ by means of that very death has overwhelmed the power of darkness and covered it with eternal confusion. Satan has bruised the heel of Christ but Christ gave him such a blow on the head that he will never recover.
Isaiah 53:12 "Therefore I will apportion to Him the many and the mighty people shall He share for His spoil, in whose stead He poured forth His soul unto death /Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great and he shall share the spoil with the mighty, because he exposed himself to face death ... and he was numbered among transgressors and bore away the sins of many and on account of their iniquities was delivered up or and let himself be numbered with the rebellious; whereas it was he who bore the sins of many and made intercession for the rebellious"/ "and letting himself be taken for a sinner."
SATAN IS ALREADY BOUND
Satan was the strong man armed that kept his goods in peace till Christ the Stronger overcame him, taking his armour from him and dividing his spoils Luke 11:20-22. "As for me, I have only to lift my finger to make the devils leave their prey."
These victories, so easily won, prove that henceforth Satan has found his conqueror and that now God begins really to reign. The citadel of Satan is plundered. The fact proves that Satan is vanquished and that the kingdom of God has come.
In the Middle Ages, a strong and well-armed warrior watches at the gate of his fortress. As long as he is there his captives remain chained, his booty is secure. Jesus shows this "strong man" is Satan. His castle is the world, which up till now has been his property. His armour is the authority allowed him by God. His booty are, first of all those he possesses and in a wider sense, humanity itself.
Luke 11:20-22. All was changed when Jesus came. The pronoun in this account alludes to His definite personality, Verses 21,22. He alone can plunder the citadel of the prince of this world. He alone began by conquering him in single combat, Matthew 4. That triumph was the foundation for the establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth and for the destruction of Satan. This kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, as in Daniel 4,7. John 14:30 "He has nothing in Me" or "for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me". There is a double negation, meaning absolutely nothing. "Has" is that of a ruler and possessor. Jesus Christ bound Satan on the cross, Colossians 2:15. He as the conqueror defeated Satan and bound him.
Christ was beyond Satan's authority, because He was not of this world, which since the Fall has been subject to the dominion of Satan. Because of the fall, God in righteous judgment allowed the world to be exposed to Satan's assaults. Christ's nature is of sinless humanity and divine. Satan could never control any part of Jesus as he did ordinary men.
Christ willingly came into contact with the enemy and faced all his power. Christ broke down Satan's dominion for all those who should become one with Himself through faith. "Has nothing" points to the Lord's perfect freedom from sin. This shows His divinity. It is not possible for there to be a sinless man, except the Son of God and Son of Man, because all are born with the nature of Adam, Genesis 5:3, "begat a son in his own image and likeness." Begat means became the father of. Jesus had no human father. Therefore the genes bearing Adam's sin never became part of the body of Jesus.
The scriptures show clearly the position in relation to Christ's becoming sin for us and to our being made righteous. It is in 2 Corinthians 5:21 we read that "God caused Christ who had never sinned, to be sin for us" or "Christ was innocent of sin and yet for our sake God made him one with the sinfulness of men", NEB. Christ became a sinless penal substitute for our sin. Our sin was imputed to Him, who is sinless, to redeem a sinful people. To them is granted the righteousness of God in Him.
Christ at no time, knew sin. Sin was never part of Him. See also Hebrews 4:15;7:26;1 Peter 2:22; 3:18;1 John 3:5. We know that because He is and always was God, He is without sin. As man, in His incarnate state, from His conception until He ascension into heaven, He did not know sin at all. It was impossible for Him to sin. His freedom from sin is testified by His unbroken unity with the Father, John 10:30; 14:10; 17:11,21; Luke 23:4,11.
He was made sin for us. It is not said that God made Him a sinner, or (as some heretical Pentecostal/Charismatic doctrines are taught on T.V.) that He took the nature of Satan, into spiritual death, thus having to be born again! That is heresy. We should not follow such preachers, even if hundreds of millions of other Christians do. To say He was made a sinner or with the nature of Satan would mean He could not then be a sinless sacrifice for sin, thus annulling the atonement. Neither would He be Divine, as how could Divinity become the nature of Satan?
It was an imputation or a transference. It means that God made His innocent incarnate Son the object of His wrath and judgment, for our sakes. He paid the penalty for our sin the wages, death, Romans 6:23.
There is an "interchange in Christ" shown in two opposite conditions, as found in Romans 5:19. "The many will be constituted righteous through Christ's obedience, in the sense that, since God has in Christ identified Himself with sinners to take upon Himself the burden of their sin, they will receive as a free gift from Him that status of righteousness which Christ's perfect obedience alone has deserved." This could not happen if He actually became sin or the Satanic nature as some heretically teach.
Just as Paul does not say that Christ was made sinful, for sin was merely imputed unto Him; neither does Paul say that we are made righteous as though from now on we can be untouched by sin. He says we were made the righteousness of God. He is speaking about the sinner's justification before God. "Justification" says "Just as if I have never sinned". The absolute, spotless perfection of His righteousness is reckoned to us.
We probably cannot say He was made a "sin-offering" from this verse. If you look up a Greek-English inter-linear version, you will see that the same Greek word is used for "sin" in verse 21, in both occasions of using "sin". Both times the word "Hamartia" is used and it is used in such places as Colossians 2:11; 1 Timothy 5:22; Romans 8:2; Matthew1:21, etc. God made Him sin, in accordance with the willing obedience of Christ in Philippians 2:6-8.
We were at enmity with God. We neither loved nor knew Him. We could not find Him ourselves. Instead we made gods of our own. We were far off from Him. God reconciled the world to Himself through Christ becoming sin in an act of expiation. Expiation is paying the penalty for our sins.
Christ identified Himself with us in our humanity and in the guilt of our sin but He did not identify Himself with us in our sin. Therefore we cannot be identified with Him in His righteousness. We experience that "Christ was made unto us righteousness", 1 Corinthians 1:30, "He became for us righteousness and sanctification". We are not "as righteous as Jesus". His righteousness is reckoned to us, just as our sin was reckoned to Him. Christ is our righteousness. Christ was our representative. The connection can be found to exist between this verse and the wonderful prophecies concerning the coming Messiah who was Jesus Christ, in Isaiah 53:4-12.
Some believers are always looking for the work of Satan in their lives. They fear his attacks daily. All should know that we have a conquered foe. We are delivered from the power of darkness, Colossians 1:13. 1 John 3:8 "That is why the Son of God appeared that he might put an end to the works of the devil." Those works in and against have been derailed by what Christ did on the cross for us.
If Satan attacks believers through persecution and heretical teaching, we are to follow what Peter said to those suffering like things in his day, 1 Peter 5:9 "Resist the Devil and he will flee from you". Ephesians 6:10-18 shows we have a whole armour in those situations when they come in the evil day. That day comes often for millions of believers throughout the world. Persecution comes. As Jesus said, there is rejoicing and a standing fast in that situation. Heresies abound all over. The armour of Truth will prevail if we follow it. Revelation 12:11 shows the intended song of believers in heaven, "And they conquered Him by the blood of the Lamb /they defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by the preaching of the Word. It was the Message to which they bore their testimony as they had to die for it but they did not cling to life /In their love of life they shrank not from death /they loved not their lives even in the face of death".
IT IS CALLED SALVATION
Believers and the church are called to preach the gospel of salvation. There is a necessity to do so. This is clear from Romans 10:14-16, among other scriptures, "But how are men to call upon him if they have not believed in him whom they never heard /whose words they have not heard /if they have never heard of him /And how are they to hear his words unless some one proclaims him /without a preacher /without someone to spread the news /unless someone tells them. And how shall they bear the tidings if no messengers be sent forth /how can they preach unless they are sent /how could anyone spread the news without a commission to do so /so we read in Scripture /As the scripture says How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things /that bear Glad-tidings of peace, that bear Glad-tidings of good things /How pleasant is the coming of men with glad, good news."
1 Corinthians 1:17 "Christ sent me forth as His Apostle, not to baptize but to publish Glad-tidings"; 1 Corinthians 1:21-23 "God decided through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe /it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe /HIS message which the world calls foolish and silly. But we come preaching a crucified Messiah /we preach about Christ dying to save them (absurd to the heathen /sheer nonsense to the gentiles)".
Romans 1:15 "hence my eagerness to proclaim the gospel to you also who are in Rome."
a. The Object of Preaching is - Saving Faith in Jesus Christ.
i. It is to persuade hearers to believe in Christ.
Acts 16:31, "Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved". Acts 4:12, "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved."
Acts 2:21 "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Romans 10:9 "If you confess with your lips that Jesus is LORD and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. The Scripture says, 11"no one who believes in him will be put to shame".
ii. What does it mean to believe?
This is not a mental belief. It is a belief with the heart. Romans 10:10 "one believes with the heart and so is justified and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved."
"Heart", dictionary, means "the centre and seat of spiritual life, the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours". The heart is the seat of religious consciousness and must not be restricted to the realm of emotions or affections. The heart determines what a person is morally and religiously and includes the - intellect, volition (will) and will and emotions.
iii. This will involve repentance. Repentance is "About turn, quick march". It is a change of mind which has begun to abhor one's deeds and misdeeds and results in entrance upon a better course of life. It is not a "work" one does. 2 Timothy 2:25 We are to "correct opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth". This shows what repentance is and how it happens.
God gives repentance, Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Corinthians 7:9,10. It is He who changes the heart and turns a person around, Titus 3:5. Along with repentance is "knowledge of the truth", i.e. turning from error unto knowledge of the truth. "The content of Christianity is the absolute truth".
"Repentance" is regarded in the New Testament as true acknowledgment of sin, sorrow for it and turning from it. It is man's response to God's mercy. In His response, God forgives sin, Acts 5:31; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3. The "repentance" in 2 Timothy 2:25 also has regard to a correction taught that seeks to produce a "change of mind" in the believers with regard to the wrong ideas and deeds of the false teachers.
Romans 2:4, New English Bible. "Without recognising that God's kindness is meant to lead you to a change of heart." Or "Not considering", which implies that the purpose of God's goodness was so noticeable that failure to understand was wholly inexcusable.
"Repentance" means change of mind and refers to that transformation registered in our consciousness by which in mind, feeling and will we turn from sin unto God. It is joined with faith as an activity which lies at the inception of the believer's life and is unto the remission of sins and eternal life.
Believing with the heart that God raised Jesus means that we believe with that which is most decisive within us and results in the determination of religious conviction. It signifies all there is in relation to Jesus as the person raised and the exceeding greatness of God's power as the active agency. Faith is unto righteousness.
iv. To believe in Christ means that all of the above comes into play (must be involved). See also 1 Thessalonians 5:23 "your whole spirit, soul and body."
Romans 10:8 "what does it say? 'The Word is near you, on your lips and in your heart' (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim)"; all has been done by Christ. verses 9-11, The Divine word is within ourselves, nearer than we are to ourselves and is the essence of faith. Whosoever possesses this faith, obtains through the power of the Divine in it, the salvation which he could not have without it. As in Isaiah 28:16 he who puts his faith in it shall not be shaken (in the foundation stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation).
v. It includes confession. Romans 10:9,10, No true belief is without confession. A dumb faith is no faith.
2 Corinthians 4:13 "I believed and so I spoke". Confession is unto salvation. It cannot exist without the above-mentioned faith unto righteousness.
This confession is in the resurrection of Christ,
the moment of victory. (Matthew 10:32,33). 1 Corinthians12:3, only if you are
moved by the Holy Spirit, can you say, "Jesus is the Lord". The confession,
"Jesus as Lord" or "Jesus is Lord" refers to the lordship which Jesus has as a
result of His being exalted. 1 Corinthians 12:3, "that He rose again";
Philippians 2:11, "and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to
the glory of God the Father. Acts 2:32-36, "This Jesus God raised up
exalted at the right hand of God ....36 know with certainty that God has made
him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified."
This lordship includes His incarnation, death and resurrection, now with dominion. To accept His Lordship is to turn our back on sin.
WHAT YOU AND I MUST DO ACCEPTING OR BELIEVING ON JESUS CHRIST AS SAVIOUR
Note this principle for us in witnessing, evangelising, teaching and ministering. The word "Logos" (Word) had meaning for the Greeks. For centuries they knew of the Logos of their philosophy. Even Plato expected from his "god", a Word, a Logos. This was meaningful to the Greek mind. Therefore, John, under the Spirit, said, "You Greeks, the Logos has come and God is revealed to us perfectly".
In view of the former Greek philosophy, one wonders about the real origin of the present-day idea that we should obtain a Word, a Rhema, from God!
It is prevalent to build on what true slant or understanding already exists from the Word of God. If there is a wrong understanding and it is used as a basis for further but wrong interpretation of Gospel Truth and the Word of God there will be wrong doctrine. The reason is that the Truth is not acknowledged as it actually exists in the written Word. This is where often the supposed "Rhema" or revelation is error, because it is really contrary to the actual Truth as it is exists. It has become a dangerous exercise. Truth is Truth and there should not be any subversion of such. Even if it confronts our preconceived ideas we should always allow the Truth to speak for itself. It is sad if we start with Truth and end up with error as millions do.
Let us look at Acts 17:23, where Paul starts with error, their pantheistic belief in an impersonal divine essence and leads them to the true God.
We can do likewise when approaching a person with the gospel. We should sit where they sit by understanding where they are in relation to Jesus Christ and His gospel. Then we can lead them from there to the Truth of the gospel. We should show the person the certain Scriptures regarding sin.
They should know that sin means, among other things, "to be ignorant". In Acts 17:30, sin was previously overlooked by God with no serious consequences. Ephesians 4:18 says of the Gentiles or non-Jews, meaning us today, "they live in a world of shadows and are cut off from the life of God through their deliberate ignorance of mind and sheer hardness of heart. They have lost all decent feelings and abandoned themselves to sensuality, practising any form of impurity lust can suggest. But you have learned nothing like that from Christ".
The terrible condition of the human being is disclosed in Romans 1:18-22 "Because that which can be known of God lies plain before their eyes /is clear to their minds /is clear to their inner moral sense God Himself has made it clear to them. For His invisible things (qualities or attributes or perfections) are clearly seen... in the things he has made... in their reasoning's they went astray after vanity and their senseless heart was darkened /they became fantastic in their notions /they busied themselves with silly speculations about Him and their stupid minds groped about in the dark. Though claiming to be wise they made fools of themselves."
Sin also means "error". In the Old Testament it means sheep that stray from the flock whose true Shepherd is the Lord Jesus, Ezekiel 34:6 "My sheep were scattered". Men are without a true Shepherd, scattered everywhere because they have strayed. Isaiah 53:6 "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way". We point out to the sinner that "I myself have done this" and this is what he has done. He has done all these things.
Every man outside of Jesus Christ follows his own away and is astray. He is in error. For example, Exodus 20:3 "You shall have no gods but Me, says the Lord (Jehovah)". Luke 10:26, 27 - A legal expert in God's law question Jesus. "What does the Law say and what has your reading taught you?" The legal expert answered, "You must love the Lord your God with your whole heart and your whole soul and your whole strength and your whole mind and you must love your neighbour as yourself." Jesus said that was the right answer. Are you not in error? You ask the person this question. There should always be an acknowledgement by him, each one of us, that our position naturally is one of error.
To be in error, is to "make stupid errors and mistakes" i.e. to "err in vision".
In Isaiah 29:24 it speaks thus - "that err in spirit"/"whose minds are confused". That is and has been the condition of every one of us. All who are in error before God have confused minds in relation to Him, in relation to right, in relation to sin, in relation to life and such matters.
Eve perceived the false light thrown upon the tree
by Satan and fell into sin. In the New Testament, if in error or astray, the
cause is shown to be because of being deceived. 1 Corinthians 6:9 "Do you not
know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived,
Nobody who lives in sexual sin or worships idols, nor adulterers, male
prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, robbers -
none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. People must be shown the
terribleness of sin and what it is.
Another meaning of sin, is inattention. Or to hear wrongly or incorrectly. Hebrews 2:2,3 "For if the message spoken through angels proved to be true (was fixed) so that every offence against it, or neglect of it, has met with a just punishment, how shall we escape if we refuse to pay proper attention to that greater salvation which is offered us? which was declared at first by the Lord."
Sin is "missing the mark". In Judges 20:16, seven hundred marksmen who were left-handed, "could sling a stone at a hair and not miss." In the bible the word occurring hundreds of times, means not merely failure but a decision to fail. This failure is sin and carries the consequence. The consequence is an eternity in hell. Death does not end existence. The soul exists on forever and ever, either in God's heaven or in the hell prepared for the Devil and his angels. Death is the absence of life. It is not annihilation of the spirit or soul. It is separation of spirit and soul from the body that has gone into a state of death. For all those who have never received the Lord Jesus Christ, according to the Word of God, they will have to face the Judgment Seat of God and hear the words of rejection. Revelation 20:15, "And anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire". Only those who have received Jesus Christ have their names written in the book of life.
The only reason anyone can have their name written in the book of life lies in the Old Testament scripture, Isaiah 53:12, "He bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors." This speaks of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins.
Sin is always sin against God, since it is failure to hit the mark which He has set, His standard. Romans 3:23 everyone has sinned, everyone falls short of the beauty of God's plan /all alike are unworthy of God's praise /none have attained the glorious likeness of God /come short of the glory of God /all fall short of God's glorious ideal /and lack the glory which comes from God /are deprived of the Divine splendour. Every man has missed the mark.
Sin is "irreligion". This failure to have religion does not mean the kind of religions that are in the world. It means the absence of righteousness. This is "wrong, useless, not of a right nature". This all is in relation to God Himself and His laws.
It has nothing to do with what a nation, a race, a
culture, a people or a family think is wrong. God's Word tells us what He says
is wrong. All people are born and live "unrighteous". 1 Corinthians 6:9 "Do you
not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?" Colossians
3:25 "For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done." Therefore,
it is important to acknowledge this condition, repent or turn from it and cling
to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ so that a change can be made by God in and
Sin is "transgression". In the Old Testament, the word "transgress" appears six hundred times. In Numbers 14:41,42, The Children of Israel wanted to go into Canaan. Moses said, "Why are you now transgressing the command of the Lord /disobeying the Lord's orders /trampling under foot the Lord's direct order. In Romans 5:14 and in 1 Timothy 2:14, we perceive that Adam and Eve transgressed a particular commandment given to Adam and ate the forbidden fruit. To be transgression there has to be law. God had given them His commandment not to eat of it. Romans 4:15 "Where there is no law there is no transgression". God has written His Law against sin in our hearts. In the Bible, it usually means the Law as given to the Jews. It was given to them and not to us. However, it still remains God's standard for mankind. We who are not Jews are still guilty as they are.
Sin is "rebellion". Isaiah 1:2 "they have rebelled against Me." In Hebrews 3:18, the Jews of Moses' time refused to enter into the Promised Land because of their rebellion. We are all rebellious as in Ephesians 2:2 "and obeyed the evil ruler of the spiritual realm who is now active in those who are disobedient to God." Regarding the heathen, there is a law written on their hearts. Thus the Holy Spirit says in Romans 1:30 "They God-forsaken and God-defying, (God-haters) Hebrews 3:16 "who were they that heard and yet were rebellious.
All sin begins as sensual then bestial finally Satanic.
Sin is "perversion." It is "to bend or twist". Sin in Isaiah 21:3, literally means "I am bowed down so that I cannot hear; I am dismayed so that I cannot see." It is distortion of judgment, Isaiah 19:14, The Lord has mingled within her a spirit of confusion;".
Sin is "abomination." It shows God's attitude towards sin. Abomination generally describes particular acts that He hates.
We cannot treat sin as something to laugh about and ignore. We should never think that it is not to be mentioned. Indeed, it is so serious in God's eyes that we should be told about sin. We stand before a holy God and not before a world of perverse mankind. We are not dealing with psychology here. We have to treat sin as God does. He is our Maker and our only Saviour.
Deuteronomy 7:25,26 "As for those sacred images of their gods, you must commit them all to the flames, take it and you will be caught in its snare for it is an abomination to the Lord /the curse of the Lord Thy God rests upon it. So idolatry is an abomination to the Lord. Leviticus 18:22 ; 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination."
Homosexuality is an abomination to the Lord. Deuteronomy 12:31 sacrificing sons or daughters is an abomination. Deuteronomy 18:9-12, "Let no on be found among you who uses divination (a fortune-teller), an observer of times, an enchanter or a witch (a soothsayer, an augur, a sorcerer) or a charmer, a medium /no one who weaves spells, no medium or magician /no one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead /or who seeks unto the dead /no one who casts spells or traffics with ghosts and spirits and no necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord."
This means that these sins produce revulsion in God.
Sin is Not merely wrong acts and thoughts but it is really sinfulness - an inherent, natural disposition in us that inclines u to wrong acts and thoughts. We are sinners and that is why we sin. It is not simply that we are sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.
"Sin is failure to live up to what God expects of us in act, thought and being. Sin is any lack of conformity, active or passive, to the moral law of God. This may be a matter of act, of thought, or of inner disposition or state."
There is a wrong teaching that is in Charismatic and some Pentecostal circles regarding the "sins of the fathers". The true position is as follows.
Exodus 20:5,6. In the giving of the Ten Commandments, God said He would "visit the sins unto the third and fourth generation on the children". This has no connection with "generation sins", "sins of the fathers" continuing on from generation to generation, or demonic powers in a family. When God "visits" a person, family or nation, it is with blessing or judgment.
The different translations of verse 5 say, "retribution of the sins of the fathers upon children", "punishing children for the sins of their fathers", "and I punish the father's fault in the sons:, "and thy children for thy guilt shall make amends" "upon the third and fourth generations of those who reject Me". See Leviticus 26:39; Isaiah 65:7; Amos 7:17; Jeremiah 16:11; Daniel 9:16.
With regard to so-called "generation sins" (obvious sins that appear continually in families), they are probably occurring automatically. They are perhaps due to example. People are following the sins and traditions of their fathers. It is not necessarily because of a certain curse on the family or the carrying through of the same sins and weaknesses by deliberate demon activity.
The sins peculiar to certain families, can go down through the generations. This is due to the example, teaching, philosophy and inherent sinful tendencies that are innate in families. All members of every family outside of Christ are already in sin. They are under some dominion of Satan, because every person in the human race is "born in sin and shapen in iniquity", Psalm 51:5, "I was born a sinner, yes, from the moment my mother conceived me". Also, particular sins and sinful tendencies come down through the genes. (This makes us wonder about abortion!)
Due to the modern day exaltation of psychology, even many Western Christians are loathe to admit their "sin". They prefer to think it is weakness and the result of demon activity because they are a "lovely" person. This is contrary to the Scriptures. Also James 1:14 shows that "every man is in every case tempted by his own passions (lusts) - allured and enticed by them". It is not demons or other people tempting us. It is what is already in us tempting us, called passions or lusts. All unbelievers live "under the wrath of God", John 3:36.
Regarding so-called generational curses, looking at Exodus 20:6, it reads "and showing mercy upon the thousandth generation of them that love Me and keep My commandments". Another translation is "But I keep faith with thousands, with those who love Me". It is clear that it is not sins or demonic influences that are carried on from generation to generation, - but the judgment and punishment of God. However, there is also mercy with God.
This judgment ceases for the believer in Christ at the Cross. He accepts Christ. No longer is he an enemy of God. No longer does he reject God. Now he loves God and is an object of the kindness, mercy and love of God. If a member of a family in "the next generation" loves God and in our day this means turns from sin and receives Jesus Christ as Saviour, there is no punishment or retribution upon him for his father's sins.
There is no inherited sin pattern or demonic power from one's ancestors that must be broken. This teaching is error. The old nature is on the Cross. The believer has become a new creature in Christ Jesus. He is saved and delivered from the power of sin. Romans 6:14 shows this, "Sin shall not have dominion over you for you are not under Law but under grace". The believer's position has changed from law and sin, to grace. He no longer is under the Law of the Ten Commandments as cited in Exodus 20. The words written there do not apply to Him who is in Christ and believes in Him.
Traditions and culture are that which we inherit from our forebears. Much of it commenced when they were in sin and living in the kingdom of darkness. Something phenomenal has happened for the believer in Christ, 1 Peter 1:18,19 says, "For you know that it was not by perishable things, such as silver and gold, that you were ransomed from the empty folly of your traditional ways But with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish".
It is clear that such traditions and culture that spring from a non-Christian source are to be cut from our lives. We have been redeemed from them. We should not hang on to those traditions/culture.
The descendants from generation to generation, suffer for both their own sins and the sins of their fathers, in the judgment of God and not mercy. We still have natural death, which is a judgment. Nevertheless, the mercy of God is extended even to unbelievers who while on this earth, do not suffer the extreme judgments. There is still a long life for many, health, rain and sunshine, food, clothing and economical prosperity. In all this, He extends certain grace to mankind.
The judgment and retribution mentioned are only for those outside of Christ. This judgment and retribution does not exist for believers. This judgment is now is not for believers. It was lifted at Calvary because Jesus Christ was judged instead of us and suffered the retribution we deserved.
Those with Bibles handy may care to look up 1 John 4:17; Isaiah 53:4,5,8,10,12; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:9; 6:10-13.
The judgment or condemnation has gone for believers in Christ as we read Romans 8:1,2 "There is no more condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus". A great deliverance has been effected for believers, as in Colossians 1:13,14 "He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. There is freedom from curse, as in Galatians 3:13 "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us".
It is not necessary to tell all of this at one time to a person. However, it is wise for us to know it as a basic understanding regarding God's attitude to sin. It should be pointed out to the one you wish to lead to Christ that as in Romans 3:23, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." "That means me. It means you". Also we can give a quick look at Romans 3:10, "There is no one who is righteous, not even one; 11, there is no one who has understanding".
Such is the condition of all men. We must show the Word of God to the unbeliever.
There are wages for sin. These wages are death. Romans 6:23 "the wages of sin is death /Sin pays its servants: the wage is death."
Originally, the cause of this death occurred because of God's dealings with Adam. We discover this in Genesis 3. Then it became the lot of all men. Our individual position is explained Romans 5:17, "For if the reign of death was established by one man (Adam) through the sin of him alone /if one man by his sin made death a king /and, Romans 5:19, For, as through the disobedience of the one man, the whole race was rendered sinful /the many were placed in the position of sinners /all were made sinners."
What is this death? Death is separation. Spiritual death means separation from God. Physical death means separation of the spirit from the body and soul. Eternal death means eternal separation of the person from God, in hell. Genesis 2:16 "On the day you eat of it by death you shall die /for in the day you eat of it you shall die."
Adam ate. On that day he died. For instance, his spirit which was created alive through Christ, passed into a position of death in relation to God, immediately. Therefore, Paul is able to tell believers in Ephesians 2:1 "And you likewise He raised from death to life when you were dead through your trespasses and sins /who were dead by reason of / He found you dead men, such were your transgressions, such were the sinful ways you lived in".
Every baby born into the world is born with a spirit that is dead, even though at birth it may become physically alive. However, it is very possible that if a small child dies, its spirit goes immediately into heaven, as the Scriptures tell us that "children are the heritage of the Lord". On that day in the Garden of Eden, sin brought on also the beginning of physical death. The body began to weaken and become subject to sickness and disease. A "death" gene somehow appeared in their bodies. Physical and emotional suffering became the lot of man, all to end in physical death.
Scriptures show and we all know about the inevitable death that comes. We read, "you are dust and to dust you shall return", in Genesis 3:19.
Eternal death is the culmination and completion of spiritual death. The corruption of sin has its perfect work. The full weight of the wrath of God falls on the condemned. Their separation from God, the source of life and joy, is complete. This means death in the most terrible sense of the word. Their outward condition is made to be in accordance with the inward state of their evil souls. Revelation 14:11 "the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever."
We should show the person being talked to verses about the love of God for them personally and particularly His love expressed through the cross of Christ. The cross of Christ is the full revelation of the love of God. He does not love us according to what we deserve or how wonderful we think we are personally. He loves us despite the fact that we are seen by Him then as sinners.
John 3:16 shows that God loved the world enough to
give His Son. God loves that person to whom you are speaking. Let the Spirit
impress this upon him as we voice God's love for him.
We should explain what love is. This love is pure and holy. It is not a sensual kind of emotion. It has nothing to do with sex. When the believers in Christ get to heaven, they will be as the angels who neither marry or are given in marriage, Matthew 22:30. God's love is the heavenly love of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. It is far above earthly love.
Tell them that God gave His son to die for their sin. Romans 5:6 shows that Christ died for the ungodly, even for us who are all ungodly. 1 Thessalonians 5:10 speaks of Him "who died for us". 1 Peter 2:24 shows that "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross." These few verses in Peter centre on Christ dying for our sins.
We must show all sinners that Christ arose from the dead on the third day, Luke 24:56;25:1. On Friday he was crucified and on the Sabbath, Sunday, He rose again. . Show them - 1 Corinthians 15:20. "But the truth is Christ was raised to life." Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits / and has become the first of millions now dead who will come back to life again some day.
When a person receives Jesus Christ as his Saviour, he is united to Christ Therefore, a believer can say as his experience, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 2:20. Our body of sin, the sinful corruption and depraved nature, is legally slain. The power is broken It no longer is ruling us so that we must be servants to this sinful nature, even though it still exists within us. We should then the believer know about Romans 6:5,6.
Having come to this point when speaking with a person, we should show him how to be saved.
If a person will believe in Jesus as his Lord and Saviour and confess Him as such, he will be saved. Romans 10:9, 10 "if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved." He or she must take his stand with 1 Corinthians 8:6, "for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and we exist through him". He must believe all that the resurrection means.
It is necessary to lead them in a prayer for salvation. For example, "Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I know you love me. I believe in my heart that you died on the cross for my sins. I turn from them unto you, Lord Jesus. I believe that you rose from the dead and that you are seated at the right hand of God in heaven as the only Saviour and as Lord. With my mouth I say, 'Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour'. I believe you forgive all my sin and my guilt has gone. Now I have eternal life. Christ Jesus has come into my heart."
They must be led to know the assurance that the Word of God gives. It is not what a person feels. It is what the Word of God says.
Show them - John 3:36 "He who has faith in the Son has eternal life.
Also, 1 John 5:12 "Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life." And, 2 Corinthians 5:17, "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! / There is a new creation whenever a man comes to be in Christ /Whosoever then is in Christ is a new creation." This means a miraculous new birth has taken place within him. He is born again according to John 3:1-6.
The work of the Holy Spirit within him should be made clear to him It is good to open the Bible and read aloud Romans 8:15,16, "You have received a Spirit which makes us sons, in which we cry out, My Father, my dear Father. The Spirit Himself thus assures our spirit /The Spirit himself endorses our inward conviction /In that cry the Spirit of God joins with our spirit in testifying /For His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are the children of God".
The seed of the Word of God has penetrated his heart 1 Peter 1:23 "You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God."
The clear position according to the Bible should be shown. The new birth is not by the Sacrament of Baptism. It is a birth from above. It is supernatural. It has no natural elements in it. John 3:3, "born from above"; John 3:5 "without being born of water and Spirit; v.6 "What is born of the flesh is flesh and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Shows clearly, this new birth is supernatural (nothing of the elements of this natural world), it is "Spirit"-ual (not of water of earth). "Spiritual" means always in every place in Scripture, "of the Holy Spirit". "Water" in the Scriptures means "the Spirit" John 7:39; Isaiah 44:3 and "the Word" 5:26. The "New Life" on file is a good booklet to read.
It is by confession of the mouth a person is saved, not by water baptism. Verse 13 in Romans 10 shows a person is saved when he calls on the name of the Lord. The Name of a Person such as Jesus implies what He is and thus what He will do for the person who calls upon His Name. Jesus is the Jehovah of the New Testament. It implies repentance, faith in Him, salvation and deliverance from the power of sin. Explain this.
Jesus Christ becomes Lord for that person at that time, v.12 and as Lord of that person, all the benefits of the Cross and redemption, become his, because he has called on the name of the Lord. It must be made clear that this "believing" is with the whole inner being, with the "heart" which includes spirit, will, mind, affections and emotions. It is not a mere intellectual assent.
"Calling" means a confession of the Name of Jesus as Lord with the lips, that involves a repentance, a "turning about" from the old life and a heart acknowledgment that henceforth, Jesus Christ is Lord of that life.
NEW BELIEVERS MUST BE LOVED
The new person in Christ needs to be ministered to after his receiving Christ. He should be shown love and friendship.
Even as in 3 John 5, "Beloved, you are acting faithfully in doing what you can to the brethren, who though they are strangers".
They should be encouraged to continue on in the faith. The scriptures give us the basics of the faith. The epistles show how to live in Christ. Paul and the early disciples did this, as in Acts 13:43 "many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to continue in the grace of God." It is noticeable that they were not discouraged but the emphasis was the grace of God Himself in Christ. We are all encouraged to keep on in our faith, as in Hebrews 10:23 "Let us maintain the confession of our faith unshaken."
The new believer should be taken to the meetings. Hebrews 10:24,25 "not neglecting our own church meeting but encouraging one another (admonishing)." He is to be encouraged.
All heathen objects and occultic books or emblems should be destroyed, according to Acts 19:18,19 "Also many of those who became believers confessed and disclosed their practices. And numbers of those who practised magic collected their books an/d burned them publicly." There is no scriptural basis for "renouncing the occult" as a step to salvation. Perhaps those things need to be attended to but it is after receiving salvation. The occult or paganism are sins. All have to repent of sin and receive Christ to be saved. It is as simple as that. Afterwards, some may need to do as they did above in the book of Acts.
These things were willingly given up. Often this will occur after water baptism. When Philip baptized the man from Ethiopia all he asked him was, "Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God?" On the man's affirmation he baptized him under the water.
Important things to show him are :
i. How to read and study the Bible continually, making sure that he has one, or even a New Testament. It is important to advise him not to start with the book of Genesis. He perhaps should start with the book of John, going to the other gospels, the book of Acts and then the epistles.
ii. Instill in him a love, desire and obligation to pray fervently. show how. He needs to be baptized in the Spirit according to Acts 2:4, as they were on the Day of Pentecost. There is also on file writings about this. As in the early church for one hundred and fifty years, believers today need to pray, worship, intercede and sin in other tongues, Romans 8:26.
iii. Teach him the need of fellowship, Hebrews 10:25; 1 John 1:3.
iv. Show him the truth of separation from the world of sin, 1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4, "Unfaithful people. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?" 2 Corinthians 6:16.17. He must learn to witness to the world about Jesus Christ.
Every believer should know the fundamentals of our wonderful salvation from the Lord. Hopefully this booklet will help to that end.
Because of the emphasis placed on healings and miracles, which indeed the God of miracles does do, it is important to show that the greatest of all miracles is that a person has his sins forgiven, is reconciled to God, is washed in the blood of Jesus, is redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, is brought out of darkness into the light of Christ, is given eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, is justified or considered righteous, passes from being a sinner to a saint, i.e. a sinner saved by grace, has heaven as his home, is looking for the resurrection of the body and the return of Jesus Christ to take His people home to glory.
The attitude of the heart is to be, "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of Christ my Lord, by whom I am crucified to the world and the world to me", Galatians 6:14.