Thursday, December 25, 2014

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
     "He came unto His own and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." (John 1: 11, 12)
      The story of God reaching out to fallen man in love and compassion is the greatest and most fascinating in the annals of human history. Never has there been so much heartbreak, deception and treason with eternal loss connected with the sin and fall of Lucifer!
      When Adam and Eve were confronted by their Heavenly Father in Eden's Garden, the man blamed his wife but Eve pointed her index finger at the snake, saying: "The serpent beguiled (deceived) me!" (Gen.3: 15)
      She was right, the Devil is to blame! The Liar deceived the weaker vessel, and Adam not being deceived, sinned with his eyes wide open not wanting to lose his wife!
      O' the enormous consequences of that tragic and momentous hour of decision, which plunged the world into turmoil, fear, consternation and eternal death! The Greek tragedies of mythology cannot be compared with the enormousness of the chaos Satan so cleverly organized against God and His greatest creation, Man!
      Since that awful hour, man has been afraid and hiding from God, trying desperately to somehow regain the loss of love, trust and belonging, that was taken away by his treasonous actions. And we their offspring have also failed miserably, by doing our own thing; trying to find peace in a wretched world of our own making!
                          ADAM'S SIN INFECTED US ALL!
       Adam's sin had infected the whole human race and brought forth its evil fruit resulting in the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. Our loving Heavenly Father warned Cain of the slippery slope he was threading toward, with no avail.
      The Lord had instituted the Sacrificial System in order to save Adam and Eve until the fullness of time when He would REDEEM mankind through the sacrifice of His own dear Son!
      To deal with man's sin, an innocent animal was slaughtered to provide blood to cover their sins and skin to cover their bodies. Cain and Abel both knew the rules. Cain, however, being a type of mankind wanting to get Salvation by making their own rules, disobeyed God's injunction regarding the Blood Covering. The power of sin prevailed and Cain killed his brother Abel out of jealousy and pride, becoming the World’s First Murderer.
     The Bible says: "And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.
     "But unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect...And Cain talked with Abel his brother and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his bother, and slew him." (Gen.4: 3-8).
      For 4,000 years, God dealt with sin and its forgiveness through the Sacrificial System. When the fullness of time was come, the Eternal God brought His Son Jesus Christ to Mount Calvary to die on the Cross that He carried, to REDEEM fallen man by meeting the demands of Divine Justice for our sins.     
      When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son on Mount Moriah, it was a pre-picture or type of what He Himself would have to do! Abraham's only son, Isaac, carried the wood for the burnt offering, but escaped death by the substitute ram provided by God, that was caught by his horns in the bushes.
      It was not the Romans or the Jews who killed Jesus of Nazareth. He died as our SUBSTITUTE by the will of God, because there was no other way to redeem Adam's fallen race!
                      JESUS' BLOOD PURGES AWAY SINS!
     The Bible states: "Without the shedding of the blood there is no remission for sins." (Heb.9:22); "It is the blood that makes atonement for the soul." (Lev.17:11); "The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses us from all sin…" (1 John 1:7); "He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His (bloody) stripes we are healed."(Isa.53:4, 5)
      Jesus Christ our Lord stated: "Drink ye all of it. For this is the blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins." (Matt.26:28).
      St. Paul declared: "But commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified BY HIS BLOOD, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies we were RECONCILED to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
     "And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the Atonement." (Rom.5:8-11). Malcolm Muggeridge said it so well:
    "Christ is the only answer to an insane world. They will not understand that the trouble with the Western Civilization is not economics, but mere good and evil. They are thinking they can make things work by policies, inventions, but man will never live in this world without God."
                            PROPITIATION & RECONCILIATION
      There are two words in the Bible that may be foreign to a lot of people. There are propitiation and reconciliation. The word propitiation means satisfaction, covering, expiation. St. Paul states that Jesus Christ’s vicarious death as our Substitute satisfied Almighty God’s Just Demands as payment for mankind’s treasonous sins beginning with Adam in Eden’s Garden. The pure and innocent blood of His only begotten Son, Who was incarnated (God in human flesh) for the express purpose of redeeming mankind, has covered and washed away our sins!
      “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
       “Whom God hath set forth to be a PROPITIATION through faith in His Blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God.” (Rom.3: 22-25)
       To RECONCILE means to bring together those who have been separated, a reunion, reuniting, straightening out differences, and making peace with one another!
      St. Paul is the only writer to use the words RECONCILED and reconciliation to express the amazing redemptive action that takes place when a sinner falls on his knees and opens his heart in confession of his sins to our Heavenly and his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour!
       Here is what happens: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away and all things are become new. And all things are of God, Who hath RECONCILED us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, that God was in Christ, RECONCILING the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them and hath committed unto us the ministry of RECONCILIATION.” (2 Cor. 5: 17-19)
     When God the Father was judging His incarnated Son Jesus of Nazareth for the sins of the world, the Holy Spirit was in Christ redeeming the world to Himself!
     The Miracle of the Incarnation (God in human flesh) made it possible for Jesus Christ to be God’s perfect Sacrifice (Pascal Lamb) to shed His perfect blood for the Redemption of sinful man! (2 Cor.5: 21) It wasn’t the Romans who killed Jesus of Nazareth. It wasn’t the Jews who killed our Saviour. He was born to die.
     Jesus Christ said: “…To this end was I born and for this CAUSE came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the Truth…” (John 18: 37); “Now is My heart troubled: and what shall I say? Gather, save Me from this hour: but for this CAUSE came I unto this hour.” (John 12: 27)

     My dear friend, will you receive Him today as your Lord and Saviour? Please do so and He will turn your darkness to light and your night into day. God bless you as you call upon Him now! Amen.