Saturday, December 9, 2017

                                          By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
     “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6: 2). The word salvation according to Webster's Dictionary means: “Deliverance from SIN and its PENALTY.” The Bible states: “The wages of Sin is Death, but the gift of God is eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23).
     “As it is written, There is NONE righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the WAY, they are altogether become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Rom. 3: 10-12)
       “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23). What a Hopeless situation! But, wait... There is good news for fallen man. God sent His only begotten Son to save us, to redeem us through His vicarious Death on the Cross!
   St. Paul proclaims God's grace, mercy and love. He writes about Redemption, Justification and Reconciliation: “Being justified freely by His GRACE through the Redemption that is in CHRIST JESUS; Whom God has set forth as a Propitiation through Faith in His Blood, to declare His righteousness; that He might be just and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Rom. 3: 24-26)
               WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?
    The word propitiation means satisfaction, covering, mercy seat. Jesus Christ is the mercy seat and the offering. Through His sacrificial death, our Lord met the demands of Divine Justice. By His shed blood, Jesus Christ paid our sin debt and satisfied Almighty God in the Courts of Heaven!
     SIN was introduced to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden by Lucifer, the fallen archangel. Prior to that disastrous moment, SIN was unknown, as was the Penalty for sin which was separation from God our Heavenly Father. Immediately thereafter, Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden and fellowship with their Creator was broken.
    There was no hate, jealousy, fear, sickness, disease or death in the Garden of Eden before the introduction of Sin by Satan, the Enemy of God and man. Now, sin is universal with tragic consequences, breeding Evil fruit like unbelief, pride, perversion, murder, insanity, betrayal and death!
     What is SIN? It is 'Missing the Mark' or 'Falling Short of the Glory of God'! The Bible says: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom.3: 3). It is 'Turning away from God':
     “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have TURNED everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him (Messiah) the iniquity of us all...Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him (Christ). He hath put Him to grief...
    "He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied. By His knowledge shall My Righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.” (Is. 53:4-11)
    Salvation is Deliverance from Sin and it's Penalty. It is absolute pardon and forgiveness for all our sins and freedom from them. St. Paul writes: “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 sins! (Col. 1: 12-14)
    From Dr. Scofield's Notes: Redemption is to 'deliver by paying a price' There are three words which are translated redemption:
  1. agorazo - to purchase 'in the market'. The underlying thought is a slave market. The subjects of redemption are sold under sin - Rom. 7:14, but are moreover, under sentence of death: Ezek.18:4; Rom. 3:19; Gal. 3:10, and the purchase price is the Blood of the Redeemer Who dies in their stead. Gal. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:21; Matt.20:28; Mark 10:45;1 Tim. 2:6; 1 Pet. 1:18.
  2. exagorazo -To purchase 'out of the market' – The Redeemed are never again exposed to sale.
  3. lutroo - 'to loose, to set free by paying a price' - John 8:32; Gal.4:4; 5,31; 5:19; Rom. 8:21
   Through JESUS' shed Blood we receive PEACE: “For it pleased the Father that in Him (Christ) should all fullness dwell; and having made Peace through the death of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth or things in Heaven.
   “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled. In the Body of His flesh through Death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in His sight, if you continue in the faith...” (Col. 1:19-23).
    O, how great a reconciliation! The pure, holy and righteous Son of God wrapped Himself in human flesh to REDEEM condemned mankind from the captivity of Satan and Eternal Death. God has adopted us into His Kingdom as sons of God, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ to rule and reign with Him throughout Eternity! Praise the Lord for His great mercy, love and grace!
     “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of Bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
    “The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may also be Glorified together.
    “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the GLORY which shall be revealed in us.” (Rom.8: 14-18). Satan tries to bring believers into the bondage of condemnation, questioning their salvation.
   St. Paul shattered those lies and liberated all believers by not only confirming our salvation, but highlighting that that we are actually children of God and joint heirs with Christ. And that all believers will be glorified together with Christ! How great and amazing is that?
    St. Paul wrote: “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift.” (2 Cor. 9:15). It is impossible to understand the great gift of Jesus Christ Himself, as God's Paschal Lamb, to Purchase our Eternal Salvation. Given to a corrupt, lost and condemned human race through His Son's vicarious death for us on Golgotha, and His glorious resurrection from the grave!
    This Reconciliation between Almighty God and fallen man has wiped out our past sins and made us Righteous in His sight; sinners born again as new men with Christ's nature, able to stand in God's presence without guilt, all because of the Unspeakable Gift of God to guilty, unworthy and doomed humanity!
    The Name JESUS in the Hebrew is YESHUA which means 'Saviour; the Salvation of God'. The Salvation of God is deliverance from Sin and the penalty of sin. Jesus, therefore is the God who saves, heals and delivers! The prophet Isaiah declared:
     “Surely He hath borne our sicknesses (heb. makob), and carried our pains (heb. nasa): 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.
     “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53: 4, 5).
    St. Mathew records: “When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His Word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (Matt.8: 16, 17)
     St. Peter declares: “Who (Jesus) His own Self bare our sins in His own BODY on the tree (cross), that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes we are healed.” (1 Peter 2: 24)
     The Great Commission: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt. 28: 18-20)
     St. Mark records: “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned. 
     "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they SHALL recover.
    “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the WORD with SIGNS following.” (Mark 16: 15- 20)
                NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME!
     We are given a time frame in which this marvelous Gospel is available to each of us, with a challenge to share it with others. St. Paul stated: “We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of Salvation have I succoured thee:
    “Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of Salvation. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:1, 2).
    The Greek word kairos used here speaks of a window of opportunity, a certain time frame,which is NOW. The time or season which we have to win precious souls for Christ, to reap the Harvest is Now.
     And to the unbeliever I say, that there is no better time to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour than right now. One never knows when that time or season will be gone forever.
     The Bible says: “And as it is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment.” (Heb. 9: 22); “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.” (Heb. 10:31); “And, that knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
   “The Night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Rom. 13: 11-14)
    The song writer penned these words: “Today is mine, tomorrow may not come. I may not see the rising of the sun. When day is over, may my work on earth be done. Today is mine, tomorrow may never come.” Amen.