Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Just shall live by Faith

" And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. 
And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,
Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles:
And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again ". Mark 10: 32 - 34.
  Christ's death on the cross and His resurrection on the third day are the bedrock of the Christian faith and belief in this bedrock is imperative for living a glorious life in Jesus Christ. This is a life-time spent in accepting , believing in and confessing faith in the Salvation Plan of God for all mankind .
 The Salvation Plan of God says : All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3 :20 - 26 .
All men needed a Saviour to take upon Himself the guilt of Man's sin and  without the shedding of blood , there is  no remission of sin . 
Therefore not the blood of goats,calves and bulls was required ; but the perfect  blood sacrifice was the only  blood offering acceptable to God for the remission of sin to effect the salvation of mankind.
 The shedding of the blood of the Spotless Lamb of  God was the perfect blood sacrifice . 
Hebrew 9 : 11 - 15 .
 Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrificial lamb , spotless , holy and acceptable  to God; chosen from the beginning of the world as the Saviour of  mankind, to bear the sins of the world

When Israel sinned by speaking against God and against Moses in the wilderness , God sent fiery serpents into their midst which bit them causing the death of many Israelites.
  Then in their agony and terror , the people raised up a huge outcry to God  for mercy and  deliverance. Numbers 21 :4 - 9. 
 God's answer to their cries and God's solution for their pain and death was based on a simple condition which seemed foolish and hilarious to many of them .
Who amongst them would have thought that the cure and deliverance from death  would be found in no other source but through their faith in staring at the brazen image of the very same dreadful serpent  that was causing so much horror and death in  their midst ?
God told Moses to make a serpent of brass and to set it on a pole and to tell the people that all that was required for the snake bite victims to do was , simply , to believe that they would be saved from death by lifting up their eyes to gaze at the serpent of brass lifted up on a pole.  
Those who survived the terrible ordeal were those victims who had a child-like faith in this solution and they looked at the  brazen fiery serpent hanging on the pole .  
But those who perished were the disputers who despised and rejected this God-given solution; by dismissing it as "foolish , unreasonable and unscientific " .
Incidentally , even today , that same symbol of the serpent on a pole is the world-wide symbol of the Medical Profession . 

In the days of Christ , the cross was a dreadful symbol of a very shameful and painful death .  
Spiritually, the Jews regarded death on the cross as an abominable death .
 Any one who was crucified was regarded as a cursed person . Deuteronomy 21: 22-23.
The occupying Roman government used the cruel punishment of death by crucifixion  to make a public example of hardened criminals and the Jewish dissidents who rose up to rebel against Roman  occupation and forced rule of Israel.
  Therefore the sight of Jesus Christ  hanging on the cross in great agony like a common criminal was a very painful and shameful  one for His family and disciples to behold. Galatians 3 :13,14.
 Hours after the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and He was confirmed dead and His body was removed from the cross , He was buried and His body was sealed up in a cave , heavily guarded by Roman soldiers to ensure that the grave of the Saviour of the world remained sealed , permanently. Matthew 27: 62 - 66.
There was great jubilation in the camp of  Jesus' enemies both on earth and in the Satanic realm because they thought Jesus Christ had been silenced for ever.
When Jesus died on the cross and was buried, the events were witnessed by His mother and some of His disciples; that is those ones who did not go into hiding after Jesus was arrested..
John 19:25 -27, 38- 42 .
Most of  Jesus' disciples and followers had come  to believe that Jesus was the Messiah
 indeed ; because of His miracles , His teachings and His promises of eternal life .
The  fear , despair and grief of Jesus' mother , family and friends must have  been great  because before their eyes was the finality of Jesus' death on the cross and of His burial in a heavily-guarded and sealed grave.  
They too must have thought it was all over and finished indeed.
  " It is finished !" John 19 : 30.
. " He  paid  the debt He did not owe.
I owed the debt I couldn't pay ;
I needed someone to wash my sins away 
And now I sing a brand new song ! 
Amazing Grace !
Lord Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay !" 

Christ  was the rejected stone which was despised and set aside as nothing  by the " expert builders" of this world . He was the rejected stone which has become the head stone , indeed the Chief Corner Stone. 
There is  no salvation in any other name but the name of Jesus Christ and there is no other name under heaven given amongst men whereby we must be saved. Acts 4 :11 - 12.
 Just as the brazen serpent was lifted up on the pole for the dying victims to look at it and to live ; so also is the belief in the crucified , dead , buried and resurrected Christ the only way to eternal life .  John 3 : 13 -18.
Faith in the redemptive blood of Jesus and His finished work on the cross is what justifies a sinner  before God.
This Faith is upheld and built  not only upon the words of our confessing that "Jesus is Lord !";  but on the Belief that Jesus is Lord and Saviour who is able  to deliver to the uttermost ,  all the days of our lives on earth and that Jesus is the giver of eternal life 
 " For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, 
The just shall live by faith ". Romans 1:16,17.
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