Saturday, November 4, 2017

        FREEDOM             THROUGH CHRIST!
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

     The Bible says, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8); 
    “Grace be unto you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world according to the will of God our Father: to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Gal.1:3-5)
   It was part of an elaborate plan formulated in Heaven before the foundations of the world were laid! The Bible speaks "...of the Lamb slain from the foundations of the world." (Rev. 13:8)
    St. Peter declared, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things...But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
    "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God". (1 Peter 1:18-21)
    The Holy Scriptures state unequivocally, "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel, and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain;" (Acts 2:23) The amplified Bible translates this verse thus, "...according to the definite and final purpose and settled plan and foreknowledge of God..."
     "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:17)
Jesus declared, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10). THERE IS ONLY ONE SAVIOUR!
    The Bible states: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved". (Acts 4:12); "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
    "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Who gave Himself a ransom for all..." (1 Tim. 2:3-6)
Jesus Christ said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me". (John 14:6); “I am the Door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be SAVED, and shall go in and out and find pasture.
    “The thief (Satan) cometh not but for to steal, kill and destroy; I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10: 9, 10)
   He was born to die. He came to purchase our salvation through His sacrificial, vicarious (substitutionary) death for us on the cross. His Death was a mighty victory because His PRECIOUS blood secured our eternal salvation.
    His vicarious death met the demands of Divine Justice in the Courts of Heaven for the payment of the sins of the entire world; past, present and future.
    “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 were past, through the forbearance of God.
   “To declare, I say, at this time His Righteousness; that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Rom. 3: 23-26)
    The word propitiation means a satisfaction, a covering. The death of Jesus Christ – the spotless Lamb of God - for our sins, SATISFIED Almighty God. His shed blood was the ransom price that God paid through His Son for our salvation and that of the entire world, meeting the demands of Divine Justice in the Courts of Heaven!
As the sacrificial lambs died on the altars in Jerusalem, Jesus Christ died on the cross as the 'Lamb of God'. That's why John the Baptist could point to Jesus of Nazareth as "…the Lamb of God, which taken away the sins of the world". (John 1:29
   The Bible says, "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission (forgiveness) for sin". (Heb. 9:22) "It is the blood that maketh atonement (covering) for the soul". (Lev. 17:11) "The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanseth us from all sin". (1 John 1:7)
     Isaiah prophesied Jesus’ death 700 years before His birth in Bethlehem of Judaea! "Surely He hath borne our griefs (heb. kholee-sickness) and carried our sorrows (heb. makob-pains) yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
    “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:4-5)
Jesus said: “I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine. Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again.
     “No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received from My Father.” (John 10: 11, 14, 17, 18)
     “Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour: for this cause came I unto this hour.” (John 12:27); “…Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the TRUTH.               Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice.” (John 18:37). St. Peter declared: “How that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: Who went about doing good and healing all who were OPPRESSED of the devil; for God was with Him.” (Acts 10: 38)
   St. John wrote, "...For this purpose the Son of God was manifested (revealed) that He might destroy the works of the devil". (1 John 3:8)
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son:” (Col. 1:13)
    “Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
    “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col. 2:12-15)
    St. Paul confirms the staggering victory Jesus Christ obtained for us through His efficacious death on Golgotha! "...that through DEATH He might DESTROY him that had the power of death, that is the DEVIL: And DELIVER them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb. 2:14-15)
    "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." (Gal. 3:13-14)
    “And they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony...” (Rev. 12:11)
    "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16); “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Rom. 5:6)
    "In Whom (Christ) also we have obtained an inheritance...In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of Truth, the gospel of your salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.
     "For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9)
     The Bible says that we shall be declared righteous in God’s sight. “...if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead: Who was delivered for our offences (sins), and was raised again for our justification.” (Rom. 3: 25)
    St. Paul declared, "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved); and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus". (Eph. 2:5-6)
    “Therefore if any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17)
    "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)
    The Bible says, "The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord". (Rom. 6:23)
     “Set your 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. 3:2-4)
    Jesus Christ says, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free". (John 8:32) You may ask "What is truth"? Pontius Pilate asked our Saviour those same words during His infamous trial.
    He was speaking to the ULTIMATE TRUTH and didn't know it. Jesus Christ is truth personified. He was God in the flesh! He is the Living Word of God and the Holy Bible is the written Word of God!
   "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
     “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..." (John 1-4, 14)
In his epistle, St. John confirms that Jesus is the Logos, the Word of God:         "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life;
     “...declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." (1 John 1:1-3)
     Jesus said, "I am the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE..." (John 14:6) Not only is He the only way to God and the Ultimate Truth but Jesus is the life!
    The Bible says, "In Him (Jesus) was life; and the life was the light of men". (John 1:4) "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
    “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live...For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself;" (John 5:24-26)
     "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life." (John 6:47-48)
Jesus said, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:      I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
    By trusting in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, we are born again and receive eternal life. The Bible says, “In Whom (Jesus Christ) also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest (GUARANTEE) of our inheritance of the purchased possession...” (Eph. 1:13-14)
     Here is the staggering truth - the Baptism of Holy Spirit is the guarantee that God's seal is upon us. The Blessed Holy Spirit Himself is 'the Guarantor' Who guarantees that we are the Children of God. We are going to make it to Heaven. He has already given us Eternal Life!
    His guarantee will last until we are glorified and presented unto our Heavenly Father by Jesus Christ Himself! "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy." (Jude 24)
     Jesus declared, “My Father, Which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand”. (John 10:29)
     God’s promises are conditioned upon our willingness to obey or not obey Him. “No man can pluck us out of God’s hand”, but a believer can unilaterally walk away from God through deception, pride, bitterness, hated, lust or rebellion or through dabbling with false cults or the occult!
    In such case, God’s mercy would no longer be covering that individual because He cannot force anyone against his own will to love God!
    St. Paul again confirms the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers who trust Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord: “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Who was preached among you by us… was not the yea and nay but in Him was yea.
     “For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him (Jesus Christ) the amen (even so be it), unto the glory of God by us. Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, in God:
Who hath SEALED us, and given us the EARNEST (guarantee, deposit) of the SPIRIT in our hearts.” (2 Cor. 1:19-22)
     Jesus promises believers, however: “...and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (age)”. (Matt. 28:20). And St. Paul confirmed His words in Hebrews 13:5: “...for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”.
    Jesus used a double imperative (gr.) which makes His promise even stronger. He actually said, “I will never, no never leave thee. I will never, no never forsake thee”. Hallelujah! He stated: Come unto Me all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
    St. John declared, “Beloved, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.
      “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:1, 2)
    In closing this brief paper, I present these awesome words from our Master: "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be FREE INDEED". (John 8:32, 36).