Saturday, April 9, 2016

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
    “Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the Right Hand of God, Who also makes INTERCESSION for us… Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us.” (Rom.8: 34, 37)
    The STUDY of God's Word is the most life fulfilling and life changing enterprise. Nothing can compare with the PEACE that God's Word brings to the human heart and the HEALING that the Living Christ brings to our innermost being through the Person of the Holy Spirit.   
     There is no word to describe the cleansing and purging of our conscience through faith in the shed BLOOD of Jesus Christ our Lord:  The Bible says: “How much more shall the blood of Christ Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God,  PURGE your conscience from dead works  to serve the Living God.” (Heb. 9: 14)
    A psychiatrist, psychologist or counsellor may be able to alleviate stress, decrease inner tension, encourage or motivate a hurting, struggling soul and bring some temporary relief, but only the cleansing, healing virtue of JESUS’ BLOOD has the power to release that soul from guilt! No other power has the life of Christ in it which delivers a hopelessly lost soul from hellish guilt to rapturous joy!
      The JOY that our Lord brings into our lives is beyond comprehension.  Jesus stated: “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full.” (John 15: 11). Just before the Cross, Jesus reassured His disciples:  “And ye now therefore have sorrow, but I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice, and your JOY no man taketh from you.” (John 16: 22). “Peace I leave with you, My PEACE I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14: 27).
     St. Paul wrote; “REJOICE in the Lord always; and again I say rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the PEACE that passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 4: 4-7)
    A study of the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so astounding that one wonders how there could be anything MORE to praise God for. St. Paul, however, takes us deeper and lifts us higher with these truths about Jesus Christ: “Who is even at the Right hand of God, Who also makes intercession for us.” (Rom.8: 34)
                                             THERE IS EVEN MORE!
    Our hearts are already full with the amazing things our Lord has done for us.  Then, we realize that there is much more! Jesus is at this moment PRAYING for us all, interceding before the throne of God for our needs. The Bible states that Jesus is our Advocate with the Father and also our Heavenly High Priest.
     “My little children, these things write unto you, that ye SIN not. And if any man sin, we have an ADVOCATE with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous: and He is the PROPITIATION for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the WHOLE world.” (1 John 2: 1,2)
    The word propitiation means ‘a covering, expiation and satisfaction’.  The vicarious (substitutionary) shedding of Christ’s holy blood for the sins of the whole world, past, present and future, satisfied the Righteous Judgment of Almighty God! The death of our Lord on the cruel cross of Calvary met the demands of divine justice in penalty for the sins of Adam and his posterity from the Garden of Eden until now!
     In the Book of Hebrews we get a glimpse of the INTERCESSION of Christ our High Priest before God the Father for us all! “Where would anyone of us be if Christ were not interceding for us? St. Paul makes the case that Jesus is that High Priest that the prophet declared is greater than Aaron, and after the order of Melchisedek:
     “Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifies, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek... By so much was JESUS made a surety of a better testament, and they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death.
    “But This Man, because He continues ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He EVER LIVETH to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.
      “Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the peoples; for this He did once, when He offered up Himself for the law makes men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of an oath, which was since the law, makes the SON, who is CONSECRATED for evermore.” (Heb. 7: 16, 17, 22-28)
                                     HE EVER LIVES TO INTERCEDE!
     Has it ever entered your mind, my friend, the immensity of Christ’s awesome Redemptive work for us all on the cruel cross, not just for time but for eternity? Not only was God the Son incarnated and made lower than the angels, taking upon Himself the likeness of human flesh (He was sinless) so that He could satisfy the righteous judgment of God upon SIN, bearing the load of sin, guilt and death on the cursed TREE, freeing us from the judgment of eternal death.
     After rising victoriously from the grave, He ascended to the right Hand of His Father’s Throne in Heaven, where He ever lives and intercedes for us! The Holy Scripture says, “He ever liveth to intercede for us.” (Heb.7: 25). He lives to intercede for us. Glory, Hallelujah to the Lamb!
    The work of Redemption did not end with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It continues through the constant intercession of our Lord and Saviour, as our Heavenly High Priest! He lives to intercede! You may ask: “Were our sins NOT washed away by His substitutionary death for us on the cross?  And were we not justified by His resurrection from the dead?”  YES, of course we were!
     The Holy Scripture says: “He (Abraham) staggered not at the promise through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God: And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
     “Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead: Which was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” (Rom. 4:20-25)
    With the flesh, the world and the devil arrayed against us, we would not, however, be able to continue in a sanctified state without Christ’s intercession for us, and the Holy Spirit within us! Jesus Christ’s intercession for the apostle Peter, brought him back to the Faith after he cursed, swore and vehemently denied knowing Jesus.
     “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, “Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have PRAYED for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22: 31,32)
      The Bible declares: “God… hath in these last days spoken unto us by His SON, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person, and UPHOLDING all things by the Word of His Power, when he had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High.” (Heb.1: 1-3)
   The Bible reports Christ’s victory over the Evil One during His 40 day fast and Wilderness Temptation. Repeatedly, the Devil sought to have Jesus destroyed. I never quite understood the enormity of Christ’s Victory over Satan on the cross and His Resurrection from the dead, until I began to study His work of INTERCESSION as our Heavenly High Priest.
      It is no wonder the Evil, Wicked, Sinister, lying Devil hates Jesus Christ so deeply, when he KNOWS that he is lost, doomed and damned FOREVER, and Jesus our High Priest is FOREVER interceding for us. And THAT IS WHY he hates all God’s children who trust in the shed blood of God’s paschal LAMB!
     The truth is driven home more powerfully when you realize that Christ will always be our Security, constantly looking after us as the ages roll. We will always be His Bride, His Body and sons of God without sin, fear, struggles, sickness, disease or death!
     In the same way that Jesus Christ is keeping the universe running smoothly, His intercession to the Father on our behalf SECURES our Salvation, because He is Eternal, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent together with the Father and the Holy Spirit! World without end! WOW! What a Saviour!
                                         CHRIST THE INTERCESSOR!
     Johann Tobias Beck, professor of Theology in Tubingen, Germany (1843) stated, “See the difference between having Christ as Advocate or Intercessor Who stands outside of us and having Him within us – our abiding in Him, and He in us through the Holy Spirit – perfecting our union with Him so that we can go directly to the Father in His name.”                                                 
      In his splendid book, Teach Me to Pray, Dr. Andrew Murray writes: “The whole of salvation is Christ Himself. He lives in us. Because He prays, we also pray. Just as the disciples, when they saw Jesus pray, asked Him to make them partakers of what He knew of prayer, so we, seeing Him as intercessor on the Throne, know that He makes us participate with Him in the life of Prayer.
   “To understand this, think first of HIS INTERCESSION. He ever lives to make intercession for us. The work of Christ in earth as Priest was but a beginning. It was as Aaron He SHED HIS BLOOD. It is as Melchizedek that He Now lives within the VEIL to continue His work after the power of Eternal Life. As Melchizedek He is more glorious than Aaron, so it is in the work of intercession that the ATONEMENT has its true power and glory. “Christ Jesus Who died – more than that, Who is at the Right hand of God, and is also interceding for us.” (Rom.8: 34)
   “That intercession is an intense reality, a work that is absolutely necessary and without which the continued application of REDEMPTION cannot take place. In the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus, the wonderful reconciliation took place by which man became partaker of the Divine Life and blessedness. But the real personal appropriation of this RECONCILIATION in each of His members here below cannot take place without the unceasing exercise of His Divine Power by the HEAD in Heaven.
     “In all conversion and sanctification, in every victory over Sin and the World, there is a flowing forth of the POWER of Him Who is Mighty to SAVE. This exercise of His power only takes place through His prayer. He asks of the Father and receives from the Father. “He is ABLE to save completely, because He ever lives to intercede.” (Heb. 7: 25)
                                           PARTAKERS OF HIS LIFE!
     “There is never a need of His people without His receiving in intercession what the Godhead has to give. His mediation on the Throne is as real and indispensable as on the cross. Nothing takes place without His intercession! It engages all His time and power. It is His unceasing occupation at the Right hand of His Father.
    “We participate not only in benefits of His work, but also in the work itself, because we are His Body…We share with Jesus in all He is and has. (John 17:22). We are partakers of His life, His righteousness, His works; we share with Him in His intercession too; it is not a work He does without us. We do this because we are partakers of His life. Christ is our life; “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20).
     St. Paul makes our relationship with Christ amazingly real even though it is still incomprehensible. He states: “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.
     “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be PARTAKERS of the INHERITANCE of the saints in Light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son: In Whom we have redemption through His BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sin.” (Col.1:11-14)
     St. Peter writes: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant Mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an INHERITANCE incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you; Who are kept by the power of God through FAITH unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1: 3-5)
     “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2: 20); “And having made PEACE through the BLOOD of the Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself by Him I say, whether they be things in earth or things in Heaven.” (Col.1:20)
      “Even the MYSTERY which hath been hid from ages and from generations but now is made manifest to the saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the HOPE of glory.” (Col.1:26, 27); “And Jesus came and spake unto them saying, All power is given Me in Heaven and in earth.” (Matt. 28: 18).
     The Bible says: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set you affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in Glory.” (Col. 3: 1-4)
     O’ how great and glorious is this amazing Gospel of Jesus Christ! To Him be honour and glory and praise forever and ever. Amen.