SALVATION THROUGH CHRIST

SALVATION THROUGH CHRIST

Mankind was created by God and is accountable to Him. God created men and women for fellowship and blessing. They were His highest creation. He created a perfect earth on which they were to rule and serve Him. There was no pain, sickness, or death and a perfect environment. But mankind rebelled against his Creator and fell from his high position and became a sinner and alienated Himself from his God and pain, sickness and death came into the world.

This is why Scripture says “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). And

“For there is no difference: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom.3: 22-23).

The problem is not only the outward sins that we commit, but the inward source of these sins: mankind’s heart is sinful and by nature are alienated from God.

God is holy and righteous and cannot excuse sin. Mankind takes a light view of sin and refers to it as mere human weakness, but God declares that it is an abomination. We excuse our sins but God condemns them to an eternal hell. All the sorrow, tragedy, heartache and shame of human history are summed up in that one little word—- “SIN!”.

Some tell us that God is too good to judge sinners, but the truth is God is too good NOT to judge sin. It is His very goodness that condemns mankind. While God loves us He cannot deny His own holiness.

There was a judge during the civil war whose son was brought before him for treason. The judge came down from the bench and hugged and kissed his son, he wept and told him he loved him, and then returned to his judges bench and sentenced him to death.

A judge who allows criminals to go free is not a good man. His actions would not be commendable but an outrage. It is not corrupt judges that criminals fear but honest judges. It is justice that they fear, getting what they deserve and all mankind are declared criminals by a holy and just God.

While God’s holiness demands judgment for sin, His love longs for the sinner to return to Him, and without this judgment cannot be averted.

Like that judge during the civil war, God says He loves us, and then goes back to the judges bench and pronounces judgment upon all mankind. He has no choice as a Holy God but to condemn sin.

But unlike that civil war judge, after passing sentence God stepped down from His Judges Bench and He Himself took this punishment upon Himself in the sinner’s place. He did this in the person of His Son Jesus Christ.

In order to do this God had to take upon Himself humanity. This is the message of the Gospel. In John 1:1-3 we read:

“In the beginning was the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made”.

The “Word” here refers to Jesus Christ. Here the veil is pulled back to show His true identity. Then in John 1:14 we are told how He took upon Himself humanity in order to represent mankind:

“The Word was made flesh and lived for a while among us”.

Then Hebrews 2:14-17 goes on to tell us:

“Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who were all their lives held in slavery by their fear of death.

For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people”.

I Peter 2:24 tells how He made atonement for sin: “He Himself bore our sins in His body”.

Romans 4:25 says: “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification”.

Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.

I John 3:16: “This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down His own life for us”.

And I John 4:9-10: “this is how god showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins”.

And Jesus last words from the cross were: “It is finished” (John 19:30). His mission to redeem mankind was finished. The price for mankind’s sin was paid in full, and now God could receive sinners freely and give them eternal life through Jesus Christ.

 

Salvation can never be earned but is simply accepted freely by the sinner who turns from His sins and trusts in Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. The way to heaven is through Christ alone: He said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

We receive Christ through faith by trusting Him for salvation.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph.2:8-9).

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Jesus did everything for us and all we have to do is receive Him. Salvation is a free gift and is ours for the taking by simply trusting in Jesus. It is now up to you. Jesus said: “You refuse come to Me to have life” (John 5:40).

Do you feel your need for Christ but are not sure how to receive Him? WANTING to receive Him is the main thing. Receiving Him is turning from you sins and simply choosing Him. How can you know that He will receive you? Because He says so:

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away”.

yirxsjw

ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS NOT A BELIEVER IN CHRIST. IS THIS TRUE?

At first Lincoln, who suffered from depression and had a pretty rough life, was not a believer and was angry and bitter towards God, in fact he would scoff at the Bible and ridicule it. One day he saw slaves being sold with families being broken up and sold to different buyers. He vowed to God that if He ever gave him a position that would enable him to do something about slavery, he would do it.

In 1857 the Supreme Court Dred Scott case, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney decided that slaves were not persons or citizens, but were the property of the owner, the same as their body, horse, cattle, etc., and the owner had the freedom of choice, to decide what they wanted to do with their own property. In his Inaugural address on March 4, 1861 spoke of his disagreement with the Court.

On September 22, 1862, after the massive confederate army was defeated at the battle of Antietam by Union troops, Lincoln spoke to his cabinet. He said:

“I made a solemn vow before God, that if General Lee were driven back from Pennsylvania, I would crown the result by the declaration of freedom to the slaves”. Later that day the President, in total disregard to the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision issued the EMANCIPATION PROCLAIMATION, upholding the right to life, freedom and citizenship to everyone.

Lincoln was becoming more and more aware of God’s hand in the affairs of men. In December, 1862 he said: “The ways of God are mysterious and profound beyond all comprehension—“Who by searching can find Him out?” God only knows the issue of this business. He has destroyed nations from the map of history for their sins. Nevertheless, my hopes prevail generally above my fears for the republic. The times are dark, the spirits of ruin are abroad in all their power, and the mercy of God alone can save us”.

Still in 1862 Lincoln’s son, Willie died at 12 years. That seemed to be the final straw in his fighting God. He spent much more time reading his Bible and in prayer and attended church on Sundays and Wednesday until his tragic death three years later.

Lincoln’s pastor at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, Dr. Phineas Gurley affirmed “The death Willie Lincoln in 1862 and the visit to the Gettysburg battlefield in 1863 finally led Lincoln to personal faith in Christ”.

The last act of Congress ever signed by Lincoln was that the motto, “In God we trust” should be inscribed on our coins.

WAS GEORGE WASHINGTON A CHRISTIAN OR A DEIST? I HAVE READ A FEW AUTHORS WHO SAID HE WAS A DEIST AND DID NOT BELIEVE IN A PERSONAL GOD BUT REFERRED TO HIM AS PROVIDENCE? WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS FAITH?

 

We must first understand what deists believe. They believe what Einstein believed. It is a belief in an impersonal God who created the universe and set it in motion and then abandoned it to run on its own. He abandoned all control over it or any influence on the affairs of humanity.

Washington’s use of providence meant the opposite. Providence refers to God’s governing and controlling all things within certain bounds, overruling and directing according to His eternal purpose. This includes man’s free will. He does not interfering with free will but He does direct it

This includes man’s good and sinful actions. Sinful actions are allowed, never caused or approved of by Him, but controlled and directed by Him for

Good. God’s Controlling evil for good is vividly illustrated in the life of Joseph, whose brothers hated him faked his death to their father Jacob and sold him into slavery. Then he was falsely accused of a crime against his master’s wife and thrown into prison.

But God overruled and controlled their sinful actions and while in prison he interpreted some dreams that led him to be placed in charge of Egypt’s food supply during a great famine. He was made ruler under pharaoh and saved many lives including his own family. At every turn God had overruled evil intensions for good. When the famine hit Israel and affected his family his father sent his son’s to Egypt to buy food where they were put at Joseph’s mercy.

His brothers were afraid when they faced Joseph and threw themselves before him and said: “We are your slaves”. Joseph then explained about God’s overruling providence. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid, I will provide for you and your children”.

So George Washington appealing to providence is the opposite of what a deist would do. He was known for beseeching God in prayer, and for his giving thanks, for

God’s help and blessing as a personal God, who was vitally concerned about His creation. On March 11, 1792, President Washington wrote a letter to John Armstrong, from Philadelphia:

“I am sure that never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them”.

And as President he many times called for days of prayer and thanksgiving for God’s protection and care of America. George Washington was a true Christian and by the true standard of greatness he was one of the greatest men that America ever produced.

WHERE WAS JESUS FOR THREE DAYS BETWEEN DEATH AND RESURRECTION?

 

The dying thief on the cross next to Jesus said: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”. Paul uses the term “paradise” in II Cor. 12:4 and identifies it with the third heaven. Jesus refers to it as “the Father’s house” (John 14:2). Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb while His human spirit went to heaven with the thief who put his faith in Christ.

Some teach that Jesus went to hell and battled Satan there and completed our salvation there. But the hell that Jesus suffered was on the cross where He was judged for our sins. It was while He was on the cross that Jesus cried out “It is finished” and bowed His head and died.

There was no need for Him to go to hell and battle the demons. On the cross He cried out, in the Greek it is one word “Tetelestia”, a word used in connection with a debt being paid and means that the debt is “finished” or “paid in full”. The debt is “ended” or “completed”, “fulfilled” or “finished”. And it is done so “forever” or “once for all”. Satan was complexly defeated on the Cross for all those who put their faith in Christ.