Friday, January 11, 2019

The Death and Resurrection of Christ - Death to Life - An Illustration of Transformation

The Apostle Paul taught...

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Why is Christ's death and resurrection important? Is it just myth? Is perhaps true and we have to just trust it happened? What does that do anyhow?

In Matthew we read...

Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

"He shall save His people FROM their sins." What on Earth does that actually mean? Let's take a short journey...

In prophesying of the Messiah, Isaiah stated...

Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

So WE (human beings) esteemed Him stricken, punished of God. Well that makes sense to me, here was this fella claiming to be the "Son of God" and yet he was captured, beaten, whipped, mocked and then nailed to a cross next to common criminals. Not the kind of thing for the "Son of God" to have to go through surely, kind of ridiculous you would think. No wonder WE esteemed Him stricken and punished of God.

Isaiah also stated...

Isa 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

So there it says that God was satisfied with the travail of Jesus soul because it would be through the KNOWLEDGE OF HIM that He would justify many in bearing their iniquities.

Bearing iniquities? What on Earth is that all about? How do you bear someone else's iniquities?

Well, the context of "bearing iniquities" is FIGURATIVE in the same sense as the scapegoat described in Leviticus chapter 16...

Lev 16:21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
Lev 16:22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

Obviously the the "literal sins" of Israel were not put on the scapegoat because literal sin (as well as literal virtue) is a not transferable property, sin is a moral issue pertaining to thought and action, not some substance you can move about the place.

God is simply presenting us with a PICTURE to illustrate forgiveness. With the scapegoat banished from the camp the people were granted a fresh start with the past not counted against them. In other words, on the Day of Atonement, when the scapegoat was released and the people of Israel had gone through all their rituals they held confidence that they could get on with things having been granted a fresh start by God. That is how it worked.

Of course such rituals could NEVER really clear their conscience as it says in Hebrews 9:9 because it was all just outward rite and ritual (form not substance), nothing to do with the actual heart.

The New Covenant is different to the Old Covenant, it is better because it is of the Spirit (2Cor 3:6) and deals exclusively with the heart (Heb 10:16) which is why all the old rites, rituals rules and regulations of the Old Covenant were abolished. In Hebrews it specifically states that Jesus death ESTABLISHED the New Covenant...

Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
Heb 9:16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
Heb 9:17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

The New Covenant is simply the testament of Jesus sealed with His blood.

So now let's go back to this bearing of sin/iniquities (Isa 53:6,11). The Apostle Peter actually quotes Isaiah (1Pe 2:24)...

1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1Pe 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
1Pe 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Take careful not in how Peter presents the Cross as an EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW through which being "dead to sin" we should "live unto righteousness." Our sins "dying with Christ" is directly connected to us being "dead to sin." Peter is not talking mere forgiveness here, rather, his words encompass an ESCAPE FROM BONDAGE. Consider...

Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

HE THAT IS DEAD! Dead to what? Dead to sin (1Pe 2:24).

Not only do our old sins die with Jesus, our OLD LIFE dies with Jesus also which is why we "should live unto righteousness" and "henceforth not serve sin."

It's all a figurative picture of "dying to the old" that we can be "raised up to the new." Jesus did in fact teach, "whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it" (Mar 8:35). It certainly all makes perfect sense to me.

We turn over a new leaf if you will. A lot of people make New Years resolutions at this time of the year, yet how many actually die to sin?

So in that we die WITH Christ (representing repentance), we are then raised up to newness of life (represented by the resurrection) wherein we find ourselves free from both the bondage and condemnation of sin. We cannot have one without the other.

The Apostle Paul described it like this...

Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

So it is in THIS WAY we are now "returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls."

Now with the "bearing of sin" being in context let's return to Isa 53:11...

Isa 53:11  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: BY HIS KNOWLEDGE shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

What knowledge? Consider...

2Pe 1:3  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, THROUGH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM that hath called us to glory and virtue:
2Pe 1:4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

So the means of "partaking in the divine nature" is wrought through the "knowledge of Him" having "escaped the corruption in the world through lust." Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" relates to being "dead to sin" (Rom 6:6) in that...

Gal 5:24  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Therefore they that are Christ's are no longer given over to the lusts of the flesh, rather we walk in accordance with the Spirit with our base passions figuratively crucified. It is in this state that our hearts are in a yielded state to God wherein HIS KNOWLEDGE is able to be received into our souls. James described it like this...

Jas 1:21  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Being justified "by His knowledge" is simply expressing the concept of entering into the new life of LOVE wherein old things have truly passed away and all things have been made new.

2Co 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 

Jesus sacrifice declared God's righteousness (Rom 3:25-26). What is God's righteousness? Well consider that Jesus taught...

Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Now Jesus laid down His life for His enemies...

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Therefore Jesus sacrifice set forth the greatest example of LOVE ever declared before all the nations (God bare His holy arm - Isa 52:10) and thus declared the righteousness of God as Paul teaches in Romans. This demonstration of God's righteousness is the FOUNDATION STANDARD of the New Covenant, that being one of genuine love, sacrificial love, for God IS love.

1Jn 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

By entering into love we find both remission of our past sins and reconciliation with God.

Heb 10:16  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
Heb 10:17  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb 10:18  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

Past sins remitted and the spiritual life established. There is no more offering for sin required because those whom have entered in have been truly washed and regenerated.

It's such a simple and beautiful message laid out before us all. We all know love works, I mean we DO know that. We would rather be around people whom love us and therefore have our well being in mind. Love certainly is beneficial to an orderly society.

If there is a God then He would certainly be a god of what actually works, a god of proper function, not a god of fiction or disfunction. Therefore God would certainly be a God of love, genuine sacrificial love.

Jesus offering Himself up on our behalf without spot makes perfect sense. It is not only testimony of God's love to the world, it is a testimony of God's love itself.

Therefore, by entering into the New Covenant, the covenant established on love, we have given ourselves over wholeheartedly to love, to God's standard of righteousness. It is in this way that God is JUST in justifying those whom believe in Jesus (Rom 3:26), His forgiveness and mercy is never license in such a context, it simply cannot be, for the ROOT issue of wickedness has been dealt with in the heart ONCE AND FOR ALL of the individual whom truly believes in Jesus.

Not "believe" in the sense of just "assenting to a fact or facts." NO! Rather believing in the sense of wholehearted identification with Jesus' example, teaching and spirit. Entering into the life of Christ through a real repentance and faith, a real change of mind which establishes true faithfulness and fidelity to God, a heart given 100% over to God's grace, SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH (Eph 2:8). This is the reason that I put so much emphasis in my material why ALL forms of substitution theology, where people "trust in the cross" wherein they THINK that their sin "was paid for" or some "satisfaction of justice took place" is DEADLY ERROR. That kind of mindset completely destroys the concept of the purging and purifying through which a real deliverance from sin occurs. You don't look at the sacrifice of Jesus and think it is some "magic thing" which somehow cleanses you. NO! You PARTAKE in the Cross wherein you DIE TO SIN that you may ONCE AND FOR ALL be established in the KINGDOM OF LOVE wherein you KNOW God and He KNOWS you. That is how it works!

The death of Jesus Christ established the New Covenant (Heb 9:15-17) FOR THE CAUSE of purging our conscience of dead works (Heb 9:14). Dead works simply being an allusion to ALL works done apart from the Spirit of God because it is the Spirit of God which brings life (2Cor 6:3). This is why Paul would teach...

1Co 13:1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
1Co 13:2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
1Co 13:3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Unless we are truly established in love nothing else matters.

Jesus taught...

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Joh 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
Joh 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

"Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but IF it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." That is a pretty profound statement. A death before a resurrection.

Jesus taught that we must FOLLOW Him to the Cross if we are to be honoured by the Father. Jesus actually taught that and it makes perfect sense.

There MUST be a death or else one abides all alone, but IF one die (repentance) then the Holy Spirit can come into the cleansed vessel shedding that love of God abroad within (Rom 5:5) whereby much fruit may then be brought forth.

Please consider.


Scott.

3 comments:

  1. Hi there!

    First - I haven't used blogger since many years ago when I was a false believer in the fake church. So I don't know if I have anything attached to this profile, but if I do, please ignore it. haha

    Second - my name is Josh. My wife and I run Acts Initiative on youtube. You left us a comment yesterday. I tried finding a way to send a personal message on youtube, but couldn't find one. I just wanted to say, your comment brought us so much encouragement! We left the "Church" a few years ago and have just been letting the Lord teach us the truth. He has completely redefined our understanding of the Gospel - and it has changed our lives and set us free from slavery! Praise God!

    We are just launching out into this new life - now that God has shown us what the Gospel really is, we have to go tell as many people as possible! And we were really expecting persecution from people. So it was really encouraging to have our first comments be from you! Please stay in touch! You can email us at contactactsinitiative@gmail.com

    I'm looking forward to watching your videos and reading through this blog. God bless you, brother!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh good! this isn't my old blogger account after all! haha I don't want any of my old stuff circulating anymore!

      Delete
  2. The death rites in ancient Egypt changed and evolved over centuries with old customs being discarded and replaced with new ideas. Despite changes in details over time the three main elements remained, the preparation of the body, the magic spells and the burial items.Love spell

    ReplyDelete