Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Finality of The Cross P38 (11-02-21)
Have You Understood the Complete Gospel in All Its Fullness?
Many times people have heard a gospel as merely getting your sins forgiven. To have your sins forgiven is a necessary part of the gospel to be given, but it is at best a partial gospel. Yes, it is good news to know that your sins are forgiven. But as good as that is, to know your sins are forgiven and that there is no more sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 10:16-18, 1 John 2:2 NASB), the full and complete gospel is that God sent Jesus to die for your sins in order to give you new life through His resurrection, to live His life in and through you. True salvation is not merely getting your sins forgiven but the receiving of new spiritual life in you, God’s life.
10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
There is no power in just knowing your sins are forgiven. The Jews under an Old Covenant, right after the day of atonement, had their sins covered until they left the altar of sacrifice and sinned again. But when Jesus died, He died for the sins of the entire world, back to Adam and forward to eternity.
But does forgiveness of sins give you the power to live a different life? Not if you do not have the life of God living in you. Not if you have not been born again. I can know my sins are forgiven but not have a personal relationship with the living God. Christ alive, living in you, is the power to live a new life that you could never live in the energy of your fallen flesh.
Because Jesus shed His blood on a cross, does that mean everybody is saved?
22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Since without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22) and He is not coming back to shed His blood again, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him (Hebrews 9:28), and you were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, when you were still dead, and you are saved through His life (Romans 5:10), what have you understood in regard to salvation? If your understanding of salvation is merely getting your sins forgiven, then that would be universal salvation. But that is not what salvation is. Salvation is receiving new spiritual life.
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned
When Adam sinned, the Spirit of Life left Adam because of sin. When Jesus died on a cross, the Spirit left His physical body because of sin, not His sin for He had none of His own, but ours. So, when Jesus died, He met the just demands of the law for us, that the wages of sin is death, that no man could pay.
2 Corinthians 5:19
19 God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.
That was what Jesus did to reconcile the world unto Himself, and that while we were still sinners. Why did Jesus have to die on a cross? For if sin that caused our death was not taken away, He could not offer to us eternal life. For if Jesus did not shed His blood on a cross as a propitiation for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2 NASB), then the next time man should sin, he would die. Man had to be transferred out from under an impossible system of the wages of sin is death to a new law of liberty in Christ Jesus.
1 John 2:2 NASB
<sup2< sup=””> He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
So man has to move beyond the cross and go to the empty tomb. For if Jesus was not raised from the dead, we could not be raised from the dead either. Sin caused our death, but our death is the real problem. We are born physically without the life of God living in us. And unless we have the the Spirit of God, what was lost in Adam, placed in us, then we have no hope of eternal life.
1 Corinthians 15:16-19
16 For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ only in this life, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But that Holy Spirit can only be placed in a body that has been cleansed of all unrighteousness, which was what the cross was for. But there must be an exchange that takes place, where the righteousness of God is imputed to you. On what basis? On what I do? No. By observing the law? By no means. I died to the law. By going to church? No. By obeying the ten commandments? No. Do the best I can? No.
17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him [in His resurrected life] we might become the righteousness of God.
17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
A righteousness is revealed that is by faith from first to last. What faith? Faith in faith? No. The object of your faith must be in a an eternal being who can pull this off for you, and that person, and the only person who has a life to give you and me, is the person of Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh, who is eternal life.
How then can a person be saved from a certain death, not a physical death, for we will all die physically unless the rapture happens first, but a spiritual death, a life without God, a state we are born in due to the fall of Adam? A person personally accepts the forgiveness from God when he comes alive in Christ Jesus. A person is declared righteous before God because He receives the only one who has righteousness, God Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. Salvation is not merely saying certain words without understanding the meaning of the words you say. A person can repeat a prayer such as Romans 10:9-10 and yet not know what any of that means.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
There is more than just verbalizing words. Some people take that and say that if you have not said something out loud you are not saved. They missed the entire point. There is more than just saying that Jesus is Lord. It is understanding what that means. You can understand what something says but do you know what it means. Every year there is a Christmas season where people all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is a known fact that He was born. The Buddhists believe He was born. The Hindus believe that He was born. These people believed He was a prophet but they do not deny His birth. Every major religion believes that Jesus was born. They do not deny that a man named Jesus of Nazareth was born and they do not deny, in most cases, that a man named Jesus of Nazareth hung on a cross. It is not the denial of the event. But they do not know what it means. We acknowledge the event but we do not know what the event means.
So it does not mean anything to confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord if you do not know what that means. For it is with the heart you are justified. Justified by believing what? Just that Jesus is Lord with all of the ramifications of what was accomplished for you by His death, burial and resurrection. The fact He was Lord, having no sin of His own, is what qualified Him to die a death on a cross for the forgiveness of all of your sins. The fact that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not counting our sins against Him is understood. The fact that He was raised from the dead in order to impute to you and me a righteousness from God that man could never obtain alone, and never on his own. There is a realization of the lost person that he is a sinner, and those sins he does is a symptom of a root problem, unbelief in Jesus, for everything that does not come from faith is sin (Romans 14:23). There is a realization of an emptiness and of wretchedness that tells him he cannot do it for himself and he needs a savior, someone who can rescue him from his condition of death. When that happens inside the heart of a person and he turns to receive the resurrected life in Christ, not a Eucharist, or an alter call, but a moment in time where you personally believe what Jesus of Nazareth did for you on the cross, and receive Him, and are born again spiritually just as you had a one time physical birth, then you have the Holy Spirit placed in you, to never leave you nor forsake you.
1 Corinthians 1:5-8
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people – 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world – just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
Now God wants us to know the fullness of the gospel for that is where the power is, to grasp the love of God that surpasses understanding, to be able to have the mind of Christ, to be able to communicate with the living God, to discern the meaning of His words, having His Spirit in you leading and guiding you into all truth, to know the amazing grace of God, that even if I should sin, and I will, He has said He will remember my sins no more, that He will never leave me, and that I can boldly run to Him for counsel to live in the new way of the Spirit, to have my mind renewed with truth. In essence, I have become a new creation, a child of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
So where are you at in your life? Have you heard the gospel, in all its fullness? Can you identify with Martin Luther, who at one time sought a righteousness as if it were by self effort until the day he understood that the righteous shall live by faith? Can you identify with John Wesley, a lost preacher, who thought he could obtain salvation for himself by trying to save the Indian? Listen to their testimony as Bob George shares their story with us. Have you come alive in Christ Jesus? When you come to the end of your self-sufficiency, let go of your pride and humble yourself before God. Trials and circumstances of life tend to do that if you are intellectually honest with yourself. So will you consider what Jesus Christ has done for you and cease your striving?
So we come to Christ by personal invitation. He is calling you to Himself.
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
To believe in his name is to believe in all that He is and all that He did. Receiving is to accept what He came to do for you and me, to receive who He is and what He came to do. It is coming to the point in your life where you are seeing your own destitution. People realize that in the treatment of alcohol or the treatment of drugs, that until a person comes to the end of himself and his own self sufficiency he will never get cured. He will never get well. Until a person says, “I cannot do it” is the only time they are in a position to let someone else do it. Salvation is the same way. We have watered it down. We have compromised it. We have made it a salvation of forgiveness instead of a salvation of an exchange of a life.