Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Finality of The Cross P33 (10-20-21)
Come to Christ for Life; The Fullness of the Gospel; The Totality of the Cross and Being Made Complete in Christ
Man is incurably religious. Why is that? Why is it that when you go to the most indigenous people of the world in the remotest jungle, you will find people going through some kind of motion in an attempt to get in contact with the spiritual world. People will acknowledge that there is something out there they cannot see. And unless you are fool, then you must acknowledge there is a God, for all of creation testifies of that.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
In the heart of every man is a God-shaped vacuum that is in the heart of man that can only be filled by His Son Jesus Christ. Have you pondered why that is so? Adam was created with a body, a soul and a human spirit. That human spirit was created alive to God, with the Spirit of God living in him. When Adam sinned, by eating of that one tree in the garden, wanting to be God, to live independently from God, the Spirit left Adam and he died that day. That human spirit is not dead. It is very much alive to this world. But it is dead to the life of God that was once in him and left him because of sin. The reason man is incurably religious is because when the life of God departed Adam, and we are born in Adam, we too are born in a vacuum. Something is missing, and that is the Spirit of God is no longer living in man from the day he is born.
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, sin entered the world, and so all died. That means all men are born in the likeness of fallen Adam, without the Spirit of God living in him. Men are not born basically good. They are born dead to God, without hope and without God.
3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.
Man had to made alive again, to have the Spirit of God placed back in him. There is an emptiness man feels, knowing something is wrong and longing for a solution. Man looks to and fro looking for a solution. They can try all kinds of religion, the best they kind, try various philosophies, try even harder, and nothing satisfies their soul.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Until the light of Christ shines and illuminates their understanding, they know not the solution to their lack of meaning and purpose to life or emptiness of heart they feel inside. That is precisely why God sent Jesus into this world to solve the problem of mankind, sin that caused our death and the need of life that man cannot attain.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Adam, when he was created, was born in a loving, dependent relationship with the living God. He could talk freely with God. There was no barrier between him and God until he sinned. Death is a separation from God, an absence of life, God’s life. God had to reconcile the world unto Himself so that man would be able and willing to come to Him for 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!
How could man ever approach God when he is under a system of law that requires perfection? If man should sin again under the law of the wages of sin is death, then the next time man should sin he would die again. Man has to be out from under that system. But that is impossible for man to achieve. Someone without sin has to pay the price that sin demands, which is death.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
That is precisely what God did. He took on human flesh. He was the firstborn among the dead, which is us. He is the first person born with the Spirit of God living in Him, and was called the second Adam. Jesus, though God, behaved like a man in total dependency upon the Father, so that we who are not God would know what living as a man with the Spirit of God put back in him would look like. Adam, when he was first created, represented God here on earth, until he fell into sin. Jesus was that second Adam who never sinned, represented God here on earth, but is also God and therefore could never sin. He did not inherit the fallen nature of Adam because He was born of a virgin. God took on human flesh.
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
Therefore, Jesus, as we read in Hebrews, became that high priest of better promises. He set aside the Old Testament system to establish a new and better system of the New Covenant.
6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.
And what are these better promises under this New Covenant of grace?
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”[Jeremiah 31:33]
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”[Jeremiah 31:34]
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
He fulfilled all the requirements of the old system of law by living in perfect love because God is love. Yet He lived as a man like us but in total dependence on the Father. He did this so as to identify with all human weakness and yet not sin and become the perfect intercessor for us. He met the demands of the law for us, which is death for sin. He took upon our sin, and experienced a death like ours so we can experience a resurrection like His. Sin has no hold on Him because He never sinned. He laid down His life for us to pay the price of sin, which is death, once and for all mankind. He did this so that after being raised from the dead, He can offer us His eternal life to be received by faith in the one who can live a life we could never live. He put His life, His Holy Spirit, back in us, who put our complete trust in Him, so we can live back in that dependent relationship with Him, to live in a new way under pure grace.
17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
But who understood this totality of the cross and of being made complete in Christ, this message of God’s grace in Christ Jesus. of salvation, new life in Christ Jesus? The Israelites during the time of Christ on earth did not understand it. They were looking for a political leader, a conquering king, to overthrow Rome. They thought only in terms of the natural world, like we all do without the Spirit of God living in us. The apostles did not understand until the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit of God came to live in them.
2 We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.
So if you hear the message of life in Christ Jesus, do not drift away. Do not allow what seed of truth that was sewn in your heart be stolen away by the deception and lies of this world, of whom Satan is the author, who is out to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Hold onto truth that you hear until the time faith in Christ in all its fullness shall come alive in you. Allow God to make this truth known to you, so you can walk in true freedom.
1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Many an Israelite in that day of Jesus walking on earth would not take heed to the words of Christ. They would rather hold onto what they had been told by their religious leaders and the traditions of men. They claimed they believed in Moses but Jesus told them someone greater than Moses is here (Hebrews 3:1-3), and that if you believed in Moses you would believe in me for Moses wrote about me (John 5:46). That is indeed what Hebrews is writing about, the superiority of Christ over angels, over Moses, over Abraham, over all creation.
5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”?
This is because there were people who worshiped angels. They thought that was the spiritual, of how you get to God. There was a group like that and so it had to be addressed. The book of Hebrews is saying there is someone greater than the angels, the one who created them.
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
All things were created by Him and for Him, even the angels.
Therefore, there was no room in their heart for the word of God. Many an Israelite was so accustomed to the Old Covenant system, that they were once under, until Christ Jesus came and finished the work. So let go of those systems of sacrifice you have, whether the blood of bulls and goats, of worshiping angels, of a Catholic mass or a confessional booth, or your 1 John 1:9 confessing of sins for forgiveness, or doing the best you can or some other philosophy of men, or of Buddhism or whatever religion it might be. Let go of that so you can hold onto truth, so you can make room in your heart for truth and hold onto it.
1 Corinthians 15:2
2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
Many a person has grown up in church, but have not heard this message of God’s grace. And those who have heard have not understood this message. Many say they believe in Jesus, that he is God’s Son and that he lived, died and did certain things, and even rose again. But they have no clue what that means or by what Jesus did what that accomplished for them personally. The Israelites followed Jesus but only a remnant followed him to the cross and to the empty tomb, and then to the day of Pentecost to have the life of God put in them. Judas Iscariot never followed Jesus to the cross, never understood the message of Christ. He was a follower of Christ, even going out witnessing two by two among the rest. You can be a follower of Christ but not a possessor of Christ. You can go out witnessing like Judas but fail to come to Christ for life to be born again.
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
Many people have never heard the phrase “born again” or have no clue what it means. I have talked to religious people who have heard the phrase but have not understood what Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus that day. As Jesus said, “unless a man is born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”