The missing declaration of the gospel - the crucifixion for sin by the Son of God
From the beginning God set up a sacrificial system for the fallen state of man; beginning from adam, to Abel, to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, and finalized with Jesus Christ.
Every religion denies or hates the crucifixion because it is the most significant event since the creation of the world. It affects everyone who lives. Some people believe Jesus was a Jewish man who lived in Palestine nearly 2,000 years ago. He is Jesus of Nazareth to them, a historical religious figure. But they cannot accept him as Jesus the Son of God, God who came from heaven, came to his own people the Jews at the time Israel was under Roman Occupation.
The world is reeling from the symptoms of sin and the effects are seen everywhere and in everything. The devil finds his influence in men through hatred, greed, envy; all the fallen qualities of the flesh. There is only one counter way of all this.
Jesus’ ministry lasted over 1,000 days but we have only 30 plus days recorded in the gospels. Nearly one third of the gospels concentrate on his last week of life, especially the day of His crucifixion, where over 30 Old Testament scriptures were fulfilled.
The cross was used as an instrument of death. The Romans tortured the criminals to detour rebellion. Crucifixion is one of the worst ways to leave this world. Three crosses were used on the hill that fateful day. The middle cross was stained with the blood of the one who hung there for our crimes against God, it stayed up after Christ was taken down only to have another person placed there. It was not the instrument that made it significant but the one who hung on it. The meaning of this crucifixion is clear only from the Bible and made confusing by those who do not believe the eyewitness accounts that were inspired by God’s Spirit to be heard for all the succeeding generations.
Many books have been written against the crucifixion, like the Course in Miracles and the Urantia book that denies the purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice. Many occultists and theosophists look to find symbolic spiritual understanding while they ignore the true practical meaning. It is because they want see themselves differently.
He, Jesus, was born into the world for this very purpose, to die for our sin (Jn.16:28; 1Jn.4:14). The very things He created were used to crucify him, both a tree and men. The blood that stained the cross after the one who was sacrificed was taken down, but it continues to give freedom to all who will acknowledge him as the one who bled and died there for the healing of their souls (Heb. 9:14; 1Jn.1:7).
The Pharisees thought they had success, Satan thought he had success when He was taken down from the cross, dead and was put in the tomb. They thought would be permanent. But 3 days later the tomb became as empty as the cross.
Only a man with no sin could die for everyone who has sin, only one with eternal life could give those destined for death His life so they could be with him eternally. Unless the gospel message has in it the content for one to understand who is the one who came from heaven to save us we are neglecting a major element (1Cor.15:47)
Both Peter and Paul speak of calling on Jesus to be saved.
In Rom.10:13: Paul quotes Joel 2:32 about Yahweh and applies it to Jesus: “for whoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be saved” Peter inActs 2:21 “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Jews always called on God to be saved and delivered. As a Jew, Paul called Christ his Lord, not only as a theologian, but also as a worshipper of God.) As a Jew John called Jesus his Lord and his God (Jn.20:28).
Let us not be those who almost have salvation
The Father sent the Son from heaven, the Son when he returned to heaven sent the Comforter. I do not believe that God will indiscriminately condemn all people for their lack of proper understanding of the Trinity doctrine which explains the nature of the one God. But I do believe that those who openly reject it are not received of God (1 John 5:5-13; 2 John 9). This is because it is connected to the gospel for salvation, the one who was sent by the Father.
There are also many Evangelicals that do not hold to the gospel in its accurate intent because they are focused on works, and use it for social change.
They have people walk the aisle. They say a prayer repeating what the one behind the pulpit would have them say. This has become a religious tradition. What about faith? God looks at the heart to see if one truly believes the words they heard concerning the gospel (faith comes from hearing the word of God). Of course we can pray but without genuine faith present it is only a religious exercise.
The Pride of man in unbelief and belief
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I
am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
We often hear of the formulae of 4 spiritual laws, they are remembered to present the gospel, where is this in Acts 2 or any other evangelical sermon in the book of Acts – this is western methodology that is overused and to the detriment of actually being led to reach each person. Yes there are basic necessities to know but one can believe facts and never have them become a spiritual axis in their soul. Again faith must be the reaction to the message or any program, exercise we lead one into is meaningless.
Why do we need a savior?
Mankind has invented various ways to be in God’s favor over thousands of years - they are called religions.
They all have one thing in common; they believe it can be done by our works.
God says “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other” (Isa.19:20). He promised “And he shall send them a Savior.”
Jesus explaining the gospel to Nicodemus says “God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son”
1 John 4:14, John the apostle writes, “The Father sent the Son as Savior of the world.” In Titus 2:13 Jesus is called “our great God and Savior.”
Some religions struggle with God becoming a man, some that call themselves Christians struggle with this. Others because of their background in religion refuse to believe it no matter what the Bible says.
Isa. 63:8-9 explains to us that God became a man, “So he became their Savior. In all their affliction He was afflicted; and the messenger of his presence saved them.” When was God afflicted? Isa.53:7 says “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; he was led as a lamb to the slaughter.” The lamb of God, As Abraham said to his son who averted being sacrificed God will provide Himself as a sacrifice (Gen.22:8;14).
Jesus says “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. He goes on to say “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” in John 10:14-16) David said the Lord (YHWH) is my shepherd, same as what Jesus is saying to us. We are to hear God’s voice, Jesus says we are to hear his voice.
Can a man or an angel give anyone eternal life? No, they have to be the eternal one to do so. Only God who possesses eternal life can give this to another.
1 John 5:8-12 “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
The Son was sent from heaven by the Father to accomplish what was necessary so that mankind would have a relationship with the Father. No angel no human being born of men (of both man and woman) could be the one chosen to do this. His life was given for you to have eternal life. The contemplation of our condition before a Holy God is necessary to understand why there is a gospel so that one will respond to the message (1Cor.15:1-4)
Once one has faith to believe Jesus is their ONLY savior, the only way to be brought back in a relationship with the Father we become new.
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, (Eph 2:1). It is by grace, that is freely offered to us to remove us from the quicksand of a sinful destructive life.
This crucified man is alive and changes the lives of those who allow themselves to be identified with him; they die daily for his life to be lived through them.
The most important point is that new birth brings a new life, no change in ones attitude, behavior or practice shows there was no new birth only a temporary psychological convincing. Which in turn means there was no actual faith in the gospel.
The God of the Bible deals with mans main issue, sin. This is the salvation the Bible speaks of, and it only comes through believing the gospel. This is not by a work we do but a person whose work we believe in - His crucifixion and subsequent resurrection bring us this change of position and practice.
Philippians 1:20-21 “according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Paul was someone who cared about the furtherance of the gospel, even from prison he wrote of both life and death, his own knowing that nothing is lost as God works “in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13)
to “fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (II Thess. 1:11-12)