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Seeking God Produces Holiness

Seeking God Produces Holiness

In the eyes of the world, the Prophet Isaiah was a holy man. He was a righteous prophet of God who others strived to be like. In the fifth chapter of the book of Isaiah, the prophet pronounced six woes upon the people of the land proclaiming the judgment of God upon them, as well as the punishment that would come as a result of the wickedness of their hearts. Isaiah was correct and justified in every woe he pronounced. However, in the next chapter we find Isaiah in the very presence of God where he then pronounced a woe upon himself as he says in Isaiah 6:5, “Then I said, Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”  

What was the difference between the fifth and sixth chapters? In the sixth chapter Isaiah was standing in the very presence of God. In Isaiah 6:1-4 he describes how he saw “the Lord lofty and exulted sitting upon His throne.” He saw the angels before Him worshiping Him and heard them proclaim, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.” When Isaiah stood in God’s presence and saw Him in all His majesty and glory and when he recognized the absolute Holiness of God, he also recognized that any righteousness he thought he had pales in comparison to God’s.

Upon the recognition of his sinfulness in the presence of God’s holiness, he proclaimed in verse five, “woe is me, for I am ruined.” He knew that sin could not come into the presence of God and would, therefore, be destroyed. He knew in his heart that he would be ruined, undone, destroyed. However, upon his confession of sin, God chose to give him grace and cleanse him from his sin instead of condemn him. When Isaiah recognized the grace that God had given to him, he chose to worship and serve Him all the days of his life.

Many years later Isaiah proclaimed the word of the Lord in Isaiah 55:8, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.” We see that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts; and His ways are not our ways, when we are okay with sin. We have no problem with the little white lies or the stirring up of strife so long as we get our way. We have no problems walking in the conformity of the world, although we are ignorantly walking against God rather than with Him. For this reason, we so desperately need to seek God! We need His presence in our lives to show us His ways so we can repent of our own, to know His thoughts so we can rebuke the lies and deception we thought were truth.

When we seek God and find Him as His word promises us we will, we discover how sinful we truly are in light of how holy He truly is. This should then provoke repentance of sin within our lives, drawing us all the more in love and on fire for a holy God. God has promised us in I John 1:9 that, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When He forgives us of our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness, we then can have true fellowship with God.

However, we need to truly seek God in our lives. Apart from Him we have no desire to repent from sins. Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” God gives us the “will” to live “for His good pleasure”. Apart from the presence of God in our lives, we won’t have any will to repent of our sins and serve Him. Jesus also said in John 16:8 that He sends the Helper, which is the Holy Spirit. “When He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” Praise God we do not have to fight the battles of the flesh on our own. He has given to us a Helper.

However we need to submit ourselves to the standards of God and seek the Helper to guide us down that path. A great scripture that I often pray is Psalm 139:23, 24 which says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.” I seek God asking Him to search me and try me because I may be unaware of sinful attitudes and actions within my life. Everyone else in my life may know of my sins, but I could be totally in the dark. However, when I seek God and ask Him to search me and try me and to show me everything in my life that does not line up with Him, He will. This then will produce a heart and a mind of repentance to where I will fully know the grace and mercy of God through a life of fellowship with God. He is a holy God that not only requires holiness within my life but will also produce it, if I seek Him and allow Him.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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It’s not Religion

It’s not Religion

Jesus said in Matthew 5:6, “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” Jesus ended that statement in the same verse with “for they shall be satisfied”. We are blessed and satisfied when we hunger and thirst for righteousness. Hungering and thirsting for righteousness is hungering and thirsting for God.

God has placed a natural void in our lives that He intended to be filled with Himself. However, most people (Christians and non-Christians) try to fill that void in their lives with many things of this world only to discover that they are never satisfied. Money, power, sex, possessions, drugs, or anything else of this world will never satisfy us. Only the righteousness of God that comes from seeking Him will ever satisfy us.

However, if the devil can’t draw us away from God with the immoral rivals of this world, he will attempt to distract us with the invalid rituals of religion. Satan loves religion. That may  strike you as odd at first, but hear me out. We must ask ourselves “what is religion?” Religion for the most part is a system of things that we should do and things that we should not do. It is a meaningless and emotionless system that is only rooted in what we do and is focused entirely on us. The things that are done out of the spirit of religion may be good and proper and even biblical; yet, they are done out of a sense of tradition rather than a Spirit-led soul that seeks the face of God. Many times religious rituals are done out of a sense of guilt, trying to appease God rather than out of a heart that is sold out to God.

As we look in the Gospels, we find that the people that Jesus was the harshest to were the Pharisees. The Pharisees had religion down to an art. However, Jesus said of them in Matthew 25:27, 28, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Religion focuses only on external things to the neglect of the soul. God isn’t concerned with outward things. He is focused on the heart.

Shortly after God called me to plant a church in 2006 He gave us our first convert who repented from her sins and wholeheartedly gave her life to Jesus. When that first convert walked forward, I noticed she was wearing a shirt with a large beer logo on the front of it. It didn’t bother me; however, the religious person would have turned her away and said, “Don’t come back until you are dressed properly.” What we later found was she had lost everything she owned in Hurricane Katrina except the clothes on her back. In the process of rebuilding her life, her newly acquired home as well as her few belongings burned to the ground just a few days before we met. The clothes she had on that day was all she owned, and they were given to her by someone else. Had I been a religious, person I would have turned her away in her most desperate time of need. She most likely then would have viewed all Christians and all churches as cold and heartless, and her soul would have been forever condemned to hell. Yes, Satan loves religion.

Being focused on the external rather than the internal keeps our focus off of God as well. Jesus said in John14:15, “If you love Me you will keep My commandments.” Notice Jesus did not say, “If you keep My commandments, you will demonstrate your love for Me.” That is religion. However, if we know Jesus because we are seeking Him, we will love Him. And if we love Him we will obey Him-not out of a sense of necessity because that is the right thing to do, but out of a sense of bringing honor and glory to the One we love.

What do you think my wife would have done if on our wedding day I would have said to her, “Honey, I will stay faithful and true to you all the days of my life because that is the socially acceptable thing to do and that is everyone’s expectation of me? Besides, what would everyone think of me if I was ever unfaithful to you?”  She would have thrown the ring back in my face and marched right out of there! I am not faithful to my wife because it is the right thing to do. I am faithful to her because I love her. In like manner, I am not faithful to Jesus because it is the right thing to do. That is religion. I am faithful to Him because I love Him.

God despises religion but longs for relationship. God loved us first; and, therefore, desires for us to love Him back. I John 4:19 says, “We love, because He first loved us.” God doesn’t want our hearts and minds focused on ritualistic religion, but He wants a relationship that longs to know Him more and more. Why do I then go to church? To seek Him and worship Him and to know Him more! Why then do I pray? To seek Him and worship Him and know Him more! Why then do I read His word? To seek Him and worship Him and know Him more! Anything I do for the Lord should be for the purpose of seeking Him, worshiping Him, and knowing Him more-not because it is simply the right thing to do.

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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God’s Heart Yearns That We Know Him

God’s Heart Yearns That We Know Him

A few years ago my wife and I were out shopping at a local Wal-Mart. I had to go pick up a few things from another department while she went and looked at clothes. After getting what I needed, I walked into the ladies department and spotted my wife from behind. I walked up beside her, put my arm around her and asked “Are you ready to go?” However, when she turned her head so I could see her face, I realized I had just made a horrible mistake! This was not my wife. I was horrified; and although she never said a word, the expression on her face told me that she was probably much more horrified than I. I immediately turned to see the face of my wife about fifty feet away laughing at me. My wife and I have been married for over twenty five years, and I know her well. Unfortunately, on this day by not seeing her face, I made an absolute fool of myself.

How many times have we looked at the back of an individual and mistakenly thought it was someone else?  Hopefully, not to my extent of foolishness! How many times have we seen the back of a man and thought it was a woman or the back of a woman and thought it was a man? We can only be certain when we see the face of the individual. Only then we can recognize who they are. Unless someone wanted for a crime has distinguishing marks only the persons face is seen on the wanted poster. If you have seen that person, you know his face. The face of an individual is the most distinct and intimate part of a person that distinguishes them from everyone else.

For this reason God tells in many places throughout scripture to seek His face. To seek His face is to know Him. God’s heart is that we know Him and we seek Him.  Hebrews 11:6 says that “He (God) is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” He rewards us with the power of His presence. There are some things about God that we cannot know today because our finite minds cannot comprehend them. God is an all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present being who is in many ways beyond our comprehension. However, God has not hidden Himself nor made His character a mystery. He has made Himself known. He longs for us to seek Him, for us to find Him, and for us to know Him. Jesus said in John 17:3 as He prayed to the Father, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

From the very first man and woman (Adam and Eve) to this present day, God has desired a relationship. God had a close relationship with Adam and Eve while they were in the Garden of Eden. After they had sinned against Him God then set up a sacrificial system in order to continue the relationship. The Old Testament sacrificial system was an imperfect and temporary system that was set up only until the coming of the Messiah, Jesus. Jesus, the Son of God, God in the flesh, came to this world for one purpose. He stated that purpose in Luke 19:10 when He said, “The Son of Man, (Jesus) has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” John 1:29 records John the Baptist saying of Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of this world.” Jesus came to this world for the purpose of being the Lamb of God who would lay down His life in order that whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord would have a relationship with Him.

As we clearly see, God desires for us to seek Him and to know Him. I also believe that the more we seek God and the more we come to know God, the more we are going to want to know God. To know Him is to love Him. Moses is the greatest example of this. Moses had one of the most intimate relationships with God that any man on this earth has ever had. He first met God in the burning bush; then he spent forty days on two occasions with God on Mt. Sinai. After the construction of the Tabernacle, he then went and met with God every day.

Although Moses was grateful for the relationship he had with God and for all the ways God blessed him, Moses still wanted to know more of God. In Exodus 33:12-23 we find the record of Moses asking God to show His glory. God told Moses that no man could see His face and live. However, God showed Moses a passing glimpse of His glory to the extent that it caused Moses’ face to shine. The glory of God transformed Moses, and for the rest of his days he had to wear a veil over his face to cover his glowing face that continued to shine the glory of God all his days.

Today through Christ we are invited into the very presence of God to bask in His glory. Just as the glory of God transformed Moses life, when we seek and find the glory of God, it will forever transform our lives. But unlike Moses, we do not veil our faces. We allow His glory to shine through us for the world to see. II Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

We, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have been invited into the very presence of God. We must understand what a high honor that is! When we enter into His presence we enter into His glory. His glory then begins to transform us from who we are into who He is. The more time we spend in the glorious presence of God, the more we become transformed into His likeness. However, if we do not seek Him, we will not find Him. How then do we seek God out? We seek Him through worship, through prayer, through His Word, and through meditation on His Word. Remember, if we seek Him, we will find Him.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Follow Me

             Repentance means to turn away from something. It is making a u-turn, going the opposite direction from where you were going. Repenting from sin is turning away from the sin. Biblical repentance not only requires us to turn from sin, it calls us to turn to Jesus. Repeatedly throughout the gospels Jesus says, “Follow Me.”

Biblical faith in Jesus isn’t just believing facts about Jesus it is also following Him. James 2:19 says, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” Although Satan probably won’t admit it, he believes in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He was there. He saw it. Too many people today have a Christmas and Easter type of faith. They believe the facts of Christ but have never committed their lives to following Him. I am a huge Mustang fan. For this reason I know all kinds of facts about men who influenced Mustangs like, Lee Iacocca, Carroll Shelby, and Steve Saleen. Yet, I have never met any of them. I have never had a personal relationship with them. I do however know Jesus, because I have committed myself to following Him.

Romans 10:9 tells us, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Clearly we need to believe the facts about Jesus. God did raise Him from the dead and that should be our foundation of faith. However, that alone isn’t good enough. Along with our foundation of faith we are to confess Jesus as Lord. This is our statement of faith. If Jesus is Lord over our lives we follow Him every day in every way.

In the tenth chapter of Mark we find one who obviously had great respect for Jesus. He came to Jesus knelt before Him and called Him “good teacher.”  He inquired of Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him that he needed to keep the law. The young man quickly responded to Jesus that he has kept the law since his youth. Jesus then told him to go sell everything you own, give it to the poor, and follow me. Jesus was showing him that he hasn’t really kept the law. Although he had respect for Jesus, he was unwilling to obey Jesus and unwilling to follow Him. Many people in our world today have great respect for Jesus, yet they too are unwilling to obey Him and follow Him.

Matthew 16:24 says, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” Notice that He said “you must.” The requirement for following Jesus is denying yourself and taking up your cross. We need to remember that the cross was an instrument of death. It was the form of execution for the day. In other words Jesus is saying if we are going to follow Him we must die to self and follow Him. We need to have more than just respect for Jesus. We must have total surrender; a surrender that leads to denying ourselves and obedient service of Him. Jesus said we must.

While sharing the gospel with the lost we must make it abundantly clear that if they chose to accept Christ as their savior and Lord they are entering into a lifetime commitment. We need to make it clear that this walk should impact and influence every area of their lives. We have way too many Sunday-go-to-meetin Christians in our society who don’t mind going to church on Sunday morning but won’t allow Jesus to impact their daily lives.

We need to clearly communicate the fact that entering into a relationship with Jesus is a onetime decision. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” At the same time we need to clearly communicate the fact that following Jesus is a commitment that is renewed daily. Paul also said in I Corinthians 15:31, “I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”

take up cross

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Not Everyone Who Say’s to Me Lord, Lord.

Let’s be clear, not everyone who calls himself a Christian is truly a Christian. One of the most freighting statements that Jesus ever made is found in Matthew 7:21-23 where He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform manymiracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

First Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord. Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.” These are people who are calling Jesus Lord. Then Jesus said that they are doing works in His name. Why would these people not be saved? Jesus gave us a better understanding of why these people are not truly disciples of Jesus when He quoted the prophet Isaiah in Matthew 15:8, “THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.”

Much like the Pharisees who honored God with their lips they don’t truly know God or follow Him with their heart. They are too consumed in the accomplishment of self to serve God. They are more interested in the rules and rituals of religion than they are with seeking a relationship with the Lord. They are more concerned with the pat on the back than they are with the praise of the Lord. They are more in love with the idea of heaven than they are with the King of Glory and are more interested in building their kingdom than His. Their actions point to self rather than the Savior therefore, they honor Him with their lips but their hearts are far from Him. Jesus said that they “practice lawlessness.” Where is your heart today?

Jesus said that He will say to these people on the day of judgment, “I never knew you.” Not that He once knew them and they slipped away but, He never knew them, therefore, they never truly knew Him. Since their heart was set on serving self rather than the savior they never knew Jesus nor served Him. They never had a genuine relationship with Jesus.

Another frightening statement that Jesus made in this scripture was, “many will say to me Lord, Lord,” Many! Just before Jesus made this statement He said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Mathew 7:13-14.) According to Jesus only a few will be saved while many reject Him and are lost.

It is abundantly clear that the people out in the world who live lives in absolute rebellion against God are not saved. However, Jesus is now telling us that there are many who are serving in ministries that are not saved; teachers, deacons, pastors, and the faithful who sit in the pew week after week; yes, even tithers. They look Christian, they act Christian, they talk Christian, they do Christian acts, but Jesus said their walk is not genuine. There is no doubt that they think their walk is genuine. However, they fall under the category of people who believed in vain. (I Corinthians 15:1.)

Let me give a strong warning here. It is not our job to sit on the judgment seat and try to figure out who these folks are. Remember, they look and act Christian and because they are trying to be saved by their works and religion rather than a genuine relationship with Jesus they may act more Christian than some of the genuine Christians sitting in the pews. If God opened our eyes to the spiritual realm and allowed us to see who was saved and who wasn’t we would more than likely be astounded.

Our job is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Remember the seed sewer? We are to be like him sewing seed everywhere we go. This is one of the reasons the gospel should regularly be preached in the church. Along with our seed sewing we pray for the power of God to draw people unto salvation. God knows their heart. We don’t. I pray for every service that God would not allow one lost soul to leave without knowing Him. If we do our part, God will be faithful to do His part.

 

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Born Again

In the third chapter of the book of John we see a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus coming to Jesus by night seeking answers as to who He was. Nicodemus recognized Jesus was from God but wanted to know more. Jesus then startled Nicodemus with a statement he had difficulty understanding. Jesus said in John 3:3 to Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus not understanding Jesus statement asked in the next verse, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus then answered in verses five and six, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

At first Jesus said unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Then Jesus said, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. I believe Jesus was basically making the same statement, but rewording it a little for Nicodemus to better understand.

If we are alive today we were delivered from the water from the flesh as flesh. In other words we were conceived and formed into flesh in our mother’s womb and thus we were born. If we are born again we have been born of the Spirit of God. If we are not born of the Spirit of God we cannot see nor enter the kingdom of God.

The question that is now before us is, “How do I become born again?” The simple answer is, we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior by believing in who He is and the works He has done on the cross to purchase redemption. By grace we are saved by faith and not by works. (Ephesians 2:9-10).

Paul said in Romans 5:20, “The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” In other words, regardless of how much sin we have had in our lives, God has more grace. Therefore, all our sins, regardless of how much, will be washed away if we place our faith in Jesus.

Paul then asks in Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?” Since God has more grace than we have sin should we just keep on sinning so God’s grace can increase? If we ever see yelling in writing we see it in Romans 6:2 when Paul said, “May it never be!” He then goes on to explain through the remainder of this chapter that those who are in Christ are dead to sin. They have died and have been buried with Christ.

For one to be born again he must first die; not physically but spiritually. One must die to his flesh, his hopes, his dreams, his goals, his ways, his ideas, his thoughts, and basically everything that has made him, him. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Jesus said that the requirement of following Him was denying yourself and taking up your cross. Remember that the cross is an instrument of death.

Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” Paul’s hopes, dreams, goals, ways, ideas, thoughts, and everything that made Paul, Paul was no longer about him, for he denied himself, it was about Jesus. He was born again. He died to Paul and came alive to Jesus. How did he do this? He explained how in the second part of Galatians 2:20 where he wrote, “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.”

Far too many people have a fire insurance type of faith. They don’t want to go to hell but they don’t want to live for Jesus either. They are unwilling to turn from their sinful, fleshly, self-centered, and self-serving ways to truly live for Jesus. Remember, Jesus said, unless you are born again you cannot see, nor enter, the kingdom of Heaven.

To be born again we must die to the flesh and come alive to Jesus. Paul saw the love that Jesus had for him and the actions of the cross that demonstrated His love. With this in mind Paul said in Colossians 3:8, “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.” Paul realized that he, Paul, was not worthy to live for, but Christ was more than worthy.

Have you been born again? Jesus died for you to give you life. He gave up all so you could have all; all that matters anyway. Have you died to you and come alive to Jesus, or do you simply have a fire insurance policy? Romans 8:12-13 says, “So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Life is in the Blood

             As we look into the Word of God we see how brutal and bloody the death of Christ was. People often ask, “Was this bloody brutality truly necessary?” I think that in part God was showing us how ugly sin truly is. However, everything Jesus did in His life, death, and resurrection had meaning. Everything was preplanned and very intentional.

Whereas death is the wage of sin, life is the required payment for sin. Leviticus 17:11 tells us that life is in the blood. For this reason in the Old Testament sacrificial system God required the life’s blood of animals to be offered as a sacrifice for sin. Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.”

While Israel was still enslaved to Egypt God sent Moses to Pharaoh to demand he let God’s people go. Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he refused. God sent nine devastating plagues on the nation of Egypt and Pharaoh still refused to let God’s people go. The tenth plague would however change Pharaoh’s mind. This plague would bring about the death of every first born male child in all the land. God told Moses to tell His people that they would be spared from this plague of death if they would sacrifice a lamb and place its blood on the doorpost of their homes. When the angel of death came, it passed over every home covered with the blood.

Sacrifice didn’t start in Egypt. It started when God Himself sacrificed an animal to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve after they had sinned. The life’s blood was taken from this creature not only to cover their nakedness, but also their sin. The giving of life’s blood was clearly the requirement of God from the very beginning of creation and passed down from generation to generation. Eventually it was commanded by God in the Law of Moses for Israel to abide by.

God knew that He would have to give His Son as a sacrifice for sin before He ever created Adam and before He ever laid down the foundations of the earth. Revelation 13:8 says, “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.” This verse does not mean that God predetermined whose name would be written down in the book of life and whose name would not be, as some would suggest. For God to create people He had no intention of saving would make Him an unjust God. This verse tells us that God foreknew whose name would be written in the book of life. II Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

The bloodiness of the cross was necessary for the salvation of mankind. Hebrews 9:22 says, “Without the shedding of blood there is no redemption of sins.” One of the cruelties of the cross was that those who were crucified died a slow agenizing and humiliating death as their life’s blood slowly drained from their bodies. They were literally bled out.

The blood sacrifices of the Old Testament were temporary and insufficient. For this reason the process needed to be continually repeated. I peter 3:18 says, “Christ also died for sins once for all,” and Romans 6:10 says, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all.” Jesus sacrifice was sufficient putting an end to all sacrifice. The Old Testament sacrifice only covered the sin causing God to pass over the sin while the blood of Jesus washes away the sin. I John 1:7 says, “the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” The blood of Jesus sets us free and releases us from our sins. Revelation 1:5 says, “To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood.” Having been cleansed by the blood we are also sanctified, made holy, by the blood, “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood.” (Hebrews 13:12).

Just before Jesus breathed His last He said, “It is finished,” letting us know that all of the work for the redemption of sins was completed. Nothing else needed to be done. Christ work on the cross and the shedding of His blood is sufficient for salvation opening the door for whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. When Jesus breathed His last the word of God tells us that the veil that separated the outside world from the holy of holies, where the very presence of God dwelt, inside of the Temple, was ripped from top to bottom. Because of the blood we can now enter the presence of God. Hebrews 10:19-22 says, “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”

The cleansing power of the blood of Christ is available to anyone that will turn to Him and believe on Him. But how will all know, unless we tell them?

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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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