Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Blood of Christ

Our greatest need is salvation because sin condemns us and only Christ can save us. God's law has always been that a sacrifice must be made for sin. This has been the way of God from the very beginning. Cain and Able, the sons of Adam and Eve, had to make sacrifice for sin. Under the law of Moses, the blood of animals served as a type of the blood of Christ which would later take away sins. The Hebrew writer says, "And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance" (Hebrews 9:15). But how can the blood cleanse us from sin? The apostle Paul answers that question in Romans 6:3: "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" In baptism we are washed in the blood of the lamb. That's the reason that baptism (immersion) is essential -- there is no other cleansing but by the blood of Christ.

The apostle Peter told the Jews on Pentecost in Acts 2:38 that they needed to "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Remission of our sins does not take place until one is baptized by the authority of Jesus Christ. Salvation does not and will not take place until one is baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of their sins (1 Peter 3:21; Galatians 3:27; Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16). Jesus pleads for us to "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30). Truly, if we really do love Him, then we will do His will (John 14:15).

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Our Spiritual Needs

We were not born in sin, but men of accountable age do sin. We do not inherit our sins as we do the color of our hair. Yet, being sinners, our greatest need is salvation. Since we cannot save ourselves, we must have a Savior. God in His infinite love and grace has provided our salvation through Jesus Christ. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Why did God send Jesus to die on the cross? Because He was not willing that we should perish, but instead, have eternal life. At great expense God fulfilled His promise to send Christ into the world as our Savior. Over 2,000 years ago, Christ died on the cross for our sins. We thank God for His love and mercy!

God makes two dispositions of sin: 1) If not forgiven, sin brings forth death to the sinner. This is justice. "The soul that sins shall die" (Ezekiel 18:20) and "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). 2) God can and does forgive sins. We cannot live above sin, and we cannot save ourselves, so we are entirely at the mercy of God for forgiveness. Christ died on the cross for our sins, and had He not done this, we would all be doomed to death, for no other person could have died for our sins. However, God has not provided salvation for any of us unconditionally. Salvation is conditional. Jesus said, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). Why is it important that we are baptized into Christ? "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:3-4).

We should be so very thankful to our heavenly Father that He sent His only Son to die for us so that we can be saved. God did His part, we must do our part.