“For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.” (Hebrews 4:2)
God loves sinners so much he gave his only son to die for them to reconcile them to Him (Romans 5:8; John 3:16). This is an undeniable truth.
Someone might ask, “So does this mean that God loves me just the way I am?” In response, let us make three points.
(1) While God loves you “the way you are”, or rather in spite of the way you are, you cannot love him the way you are, because your sin interferes with your relationship. You need to be born again.
(2) God’s love for you caused Jesus to come and die for you to change you. God doesn’t love “the way you are”, He loves you and wants to change the way you are so you can love Him. What we mean is that, God loves sinners and wants to remove their sinfulness to restore their relationship with Him.
(3) God’s love for us is because God is love, not because we deserve love. We humans tend to think worthiness = love.This is human thinking. God’s love is perfect and stems from his own nature not our deserving of it. He calls us to love the undeserving by loving your enemies, because He loves His enemies.
When you spend something, you exhaust that thing. Say you have lots of energy, and you go for a run. That run would spend or exhaust your energy. Another example is a battery that still has charge, but if you spend its power, you will no longer have it. In both cases the energy or power has been exhausted on something. It doesn’t simply vanish!
This is immediately relevant to us. We are building up something that is for us fearful, each day. When we sin, we store up wrath for ourselves. Wrath in this case means righteous anger that will be frightening on judgement day. The longer we go on, the more wrath is stored up that one day must be spent! and since it must be spent on us, we’re in trouble. Because God is just, he will expend that wrath. But there’s good news!
The wrath of God against sin, which all mankind had earned, was utterly depleted, spent and exhausted on almighty Jesus! Someone strong enough to enter human flesh and receive the complete wrath of God, was found in Jesus! He did just that. If we trust in Jesus’ finished work, then we can receive this forgiveness. At the cross the wrath of God was spent or exhausted on Jesus, “for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1John 2:2) Spent means both fulfilled and completed. That it is completed means that God’s just wrath does not need to be against you, and fulfilled means that it was without any miscarriage of justice. Exhausted means used up, depleted, no more wrath against those who trust in Jesus.
More fully, not only did God spend and exhaust the payment due to us (of wrath), Jesus gave to God, the Father, the obedience due from us, and the life we owed for using our God supplied lives for selfish pursuits.
Therefore, whoever repents and believes in Jesus “will have eternal life.” Let go of the sins that sink you down into the dark place of death. Cling to Jesus, whose loving arms can draw you out of the darkness and into the light of life.
But there is a warning:
“how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?…”
“Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
Yet there is a promise:
“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.””
The Lord Jesus Christ has brought us salvation by absorbing the righteous and just wrath of God to give us forgiveness. What a wonderful promise!
“For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.” (Romans 14:9)
A PhD student found troubles, but then Jesus found him – and saved him.
A surfer saved: He was attracted to Buddhism and went in search of the light. The light of the world, Jesus, found him.
A house is on fire and several teens are trapped inside. It is a frightening ordeal for anyone to witness. A woman living nextdoor makes the difficult decision and breaks down their door putting herself at great personal danger to rescue the teenagers stricken inside.
“I was just thinking about them. I just wanted to get them out,” she said. “I just had to take a deep breath and put it in the back of my mind that nobody wanted to help them.” (CBC News, 3 September 2015).
What motivates people to save others at great risk or sacrifice to themselves?
What makes a hero?
A hero is someone who makes a great exploit of personal sacrifice for another person, group of people or simply a cause. Heroes by definition are those who give of themselves for worthy causes. Heroes are admired for their sacrificial love, exploits and commitment to others.
Crucial to understanding earthly heroes is knowing that they must first judge the cause or person worthy of their sacrifice. They find themselves compelled by the worthiness of the person for whom they sacrifice everything. This drives them to great endeavour.
Explorers like Marco Polo, Captain Cooke and Francis Drake all judged that discovery of new lands, peoples and kingdoms were a worthy cause. Parents have judged their children worthy of love and made great sacrifice for their children. Think of the many heroes who have given themselves for others – those they deemed worthy.
Does a hero ever die for an unworthy person?
There is One who went beyond the heroes we often hear of on earth. This sacrifice involved not merely the ultimate sacrifice, but also made it for the unworthy.
Who were the unworthy? Who made the sacrifice?
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:6-10)
This is available to every enemy of God. “But”, you say, “I’m not an enemy of God!”. The Bible makes it clear that as sinners, we were all enemies of God (Romans 3:23). The good news is that God loved His enemies so much, Jesus died for you and me (John 3:16).
Put all your trust and faith in Jesus. Jesus died for all – for the unborn baby, it’s mum and the abortionist alike.
If you want to know more, just contact us.
In this short article, we want to share these brief simple truths with you.
1. Jesus is the only mediator between God and humans (Hebrews 9:15).
2. Christ’s priesthood removes need for human priesthood (Hebrews 7:23-25)
3. Salvation is by faith alone, not by rituals, membership or works (Ephesians 2:8).
A mediator is one who comes between two separated parties to bring about reconciliation. In our case we were separated from God by our sins (Isaiah 59, Romans 3:23). Jesus came to bring about a restoration of this relationship, by paying the penalty of our sins.
Hebrews 9:15 “Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.”
Okay, so Jesus is the mediator between God and man. Does this mean he is the only mediator? Well, Jesus makes this explicit.
John 14:6-7 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.””
There is no other way to the Father, except by Jesus. If we know Jesus, we know the Father also. If we don’t know Jesus, we don’t know the Father. Jesus is the only way.
Since Jesus is the only mediator, is there any need for another priest aside from him? After all, the Old Testament had many priests? This is answered compellingly by the Bible in Hebrews.
Hebrews 7:23 “The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”
So the Bible makes it clear. The Old Testament Priests were many in number because they were mortal humans. But the New Testament priesthood is a divine priesthood. Since Jesus does not die, since he is everywhere, and since he always lives making intercession, we don’t need another priest. The Greek word for antichrist in John’s Epistle, means “anti” – in the place of “Christ” – messiah. In other words, if someone claims to be in the place of Christ, be careful!
Because God himself intercedes for us, we don’t need human intercessors, saints or popes. If God is for us, who can be against us?
Only by faith in Jesus
“Surely I need some kind of work, ritual or membership to be saved?” No, the Bible makes it clear that Salvation is obtained through faith alone!
Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Jesus says that all who come to him will be saved. Turn to him; trust in Him; turn from sin, self and pride. He has paid all the price and lives for us, because after death, he rose again, making a way to life. Call on him today.