In Christ Alone…..July 5, 2020
How would you define sin? The real question should be, how does God define sin? Take just a minute and think about both questions. How someone may define sin and how God describes sin will determine what you believe about the gospel. The meaning of the word “gospel” is good news. What makes the gospel the good news? Simply this—people are saved from the consequence of sin, and that consequence is death. The moment sin was introduced into the world, death became a hard reality and has been so ever since. The moment sin happened, God purposed to redeem us by dying for us. Travel with me on a short trip of explanation of what I am teaching…
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 ESV…..
From the beginning of time God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit were present. We attempt to describe this in a word… trinity.…meaning three yet one.
And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 ESV
From the time sin entered into the world, the world groaned, so to speak, for the coming redeemer and Savior of the world. When God became flesh, He was totally God yet totally flesh. Jesus, God’s Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born in the flesh to a virgin. This was referred to as an Immaculate conception. We know little of the life of Jesus until he became a man. We know of his birth, his visit to the Temple as a boy, and from that point the scripture states, And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and favor with God and man. Luke 2:52 ESV Then next we hear and learn about Jesus as a man on a mission.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 ESV
As a man you can follow the evidence of the fact that he was God’s Son. For three years he did the work of his Father all the way to his death on the cross of Calvary. Three days later he rose from the dead conquering the ultimate consequence of sin. It is important to see Jesus as John saw him…. “The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin.” Why is this important? He was referred to a lamb because he was the perfect sacrifice needed to redeem every believer from sin’s consequence… death. To understand how seriously God views sin, we must note the requirement for sin to be forgiven. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Hebrews 9:22b ESV This is the foundational teaching of the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament the sacrifice of perfect animals was used to make atonement for sin. When Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, was sacrificed, no other sacrifice would ever be needed, for nothing could ever make atonement for sin more sufficiently than the blood of Jesus.
If you do not believe the above teaching, then being set free from the power of sin and death will have no meaning for you. If a person believes it is by works that one is saved / redeemed, then what that person is really saying is, “I didn’t need Jesus to die for me, I could have accomplished it by my works.” That logic would nullify the teaching of Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a results of works, so that no one may boast. Believing is essential!!! The work needed for salvation was completed upon the cross and if you believe you must do something to complete this work in you, it would be this…. believe. Jesus addressed a group of people who asked him what were the works of God, so they could be doing them. “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:29 ESV As I have taught many times… what you believe will determine how you live. If you believe that Jesus died for your sin and thus paid the consequence of your sin, then you will live thankful. Jesus said to him, “I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life. No one comes to THE Father except through me. John 14:6 ESV What you believe concerning the salvation of God is essential, for your belief must align with the way, the truth, and the life for it to be real faith that saves by grace through Christ alone.
To believe upon Christ and receive his salvation for you means more than just being called a Christian. It is becoming his disciple and following him with your life as you travel to your home in heaven. The application of what you know is exactly that… application of what you know. The only way to know is to study the Bible … God’s word to us. Many identify themselves as a Christian, but Jesus called us to be followers / disciples of the way. Jesus told his disciples, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24 ESV That’s serious, and who would want to do that…. take up a cross? Answer … The one who received salvation. It is not a physical cross, it is the sacrificing of one’s self to the teaching and way God calls us to live. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 ESV The more I understand what it means to be a Christian, the more I realize that I alone do not have what it takes, but I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV My prayer for myself and all those who identify as Christians / Disciples is this: That he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6b ESV
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David