Sunday, March 18, 2018

     Man's Wretched Condition:     
Deliverance through Christ
                                                    By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D
     The Bible states: "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. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
     "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die. Yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 3: 23; 5: 6-8)
    "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: For what I would I do not: but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
     "I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
    "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
     "There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Rom. 7: 14-25; 8:1, 2)
   St. Paul speaks about three laws that govern mankind. The first is the law of sin and death with which we were born, inheriting from Adam a sinful nature.
    The second is the “law of God” in our members which is our conscience, telling us right from wrong. The third is, “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”
                                                    A MESSAGE OF HOPE!
   "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of God shone round about them.
    "And the angel said unto them, Fear Not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in city of David, a Saviour which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2: 10, 11)
   "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of Heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the   Highest and on Earth, Peace, Good Will unto men." (Luke 2: 8-14)
   Into the desperate situation the human race had fallen, Almighty God interjected Himself personally. He intervened in the darkest hour of human history. His great plan of Salvation which was in the heart of the Father from before the foundation of the world was about to be inaugurated!
    Repeatedly from the beginning of human history, our Heavenly Father had involved Himself through Prophets and holy men who had delivered His message, through the calling of Abraham and raising up His Chosen people Israel.
   This time it would be different. He would not leave the Redemption of the Human Race to the angelic host, prophets or holy men. He would personally redeem the world through the Sacrifice of His own dear Son.  He would give Himself to save us!
   Bearing a message of hope, peace and joy, Almighty God sent Gabriel and multitudes of His holy angels to spread the Glad tidings of the birth of the Christ Child, the Redeemer of lost, doomed and hell-bound sinners!
 The intricate plan was executed to perfection when Jesus Christ the second Person of the Godhead left the throne to assume the role of God's Pascal Lamb by shedding His pure, holy and untainted blood to meet the DEMANDS of Divine Justice in Full payment for our sins and that of the entire world!
  The Only Begotten Son of God was incarnated (God in human flesh) so that He could shed His pure and holy blood as a propitiation for the sins of the world, satisfying the righteousness of Almighty God. Through His vicarious death on the Cross of shame, Jesus of Nazareth took our sins, diseases and death upon Himself, to purchase our freedom!
     Our Saviour Jesus Christ died as our Substitute, the Holy for the unholy, the Righteous for the unrighteous, the Well for the sick, God for man! He died that we might live and He arose for our justification. Praise His holy Name!
    Seven hundred years earlier, the ancient prophet saw it all and 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.
                               JESUS GOD'S SON TOOK MY PLACE!
 “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)
  After observing Jesus of Nazareth bringing healing and deliverance to multitudes, St. Matthew wrote: “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).
     And St. Peter declared: “Who His Own Self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by Whose stripes we are healed.” (1 Peter 2: 24)
      Jesus Christ not only purchased eternal life for each of us by forgiving our sins and liberating us from demon oppression, but He gives His peace, joy and faith to receive His Holy Spirit and power!
                                             THIS IS SO AMAZING!
     The Bible says: “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” (Heb.3: 14)
     And there is more. This is so amazing. St. Paul writes: “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption.” (1 Cor. 1: 30)
      All this is ours through Jesus Christ Who died so that we might live and arose from the dead for our justification. This is the free gift of God to sinful humanity, if they repent of their sins and cry unto Him for forgiveness!
    The Bible says: “But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, 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. 4:24, 25)
      Many year ago in London, England there lived a man named William Cowper. He had gone through many trials and was deeply troubled. He believed the gospel of Jesus Christ, but could not believe that it was for him.
      He had tried kill himself on several occasions but was not successful. He had tried to drink a glass of hemlock but his hand trembled and he dropped the glass.
      On another occasion, he had gone onto the ridge over the River Thames to cast himself into the waters but was strangely restrained and another time, he hung himself but someone came just in time to cut him down and save his life.
                            WILLIAM COWPER RECEIVES CHRIST!
       In 1763, he ended up at St. Albans Asylum. On a certain day, he picked up the Bible and read Rom. 3:25. He writes:
  “Having found a Bible on the bench in the garden, I opened upon the 11th of St. John, where Lazarus is raised from the dead; and saw so much benevolence, mercy, goodness, and sympathy with miserable men, in our Saviour’s conduct, that I almost shed tears upon the relation; little thinking that it was an exact type of the mercy which Jesus was on the point of extending towards myself. I sighed, and said, “Oh, that I had not rejected so good a Redeemer, that I had not forfeited all his favours.” Thus was my heart softened, though not yet enlightened (Ibid., 131–132).
Increasingly he felt he was not utterly doomed. There came another revelation and he turned again to the Bible and the first verse he saw was Romans 3:25: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.”
Immediately I received the strength to believe it, and the full beams of the Sun of Righteousness shone upon me. I saw the sufficiency of the atonement He had made, my pardon sealed in His blood, and all the fullness and completeness of His justification. In a moment I believed, and received the gospel ... Whatever my friend Madan had said to me, long before, revived in all its clearness, with demonstration of the spirit and power.
Unless the Almighty arm had been under me, I think I should have died with gratitude and joy. My eyes filled with tears, and my voice choked with transport; I could only look up to heaven in silent fear, overwhelmed with love and wonder .”(Ibid. 132).
       WILLIAM COWPER wrote, “God Moves in a Mysterious Way” and “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood” and “O for a Closer Walk with God.” Hallelujah and Praise the Lord! My dear friend, why don’t you call unto Jesus the Saviour today? He will adopt you as His child forever! Amen