Friday, June 17, 2016

There Was A Man

John‬ ‭1:6-9‬ ‭- There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

John the Baptist, Jesus' cousin, was called to be a witness of Christ. Jesus hadn't started His ministry yet, but John was pounding the paths, countrysides and ways preparing people for this Man who was to be the Savior of the World. 

John had been questioned by the religious leaders, Who are you; are you Elijah, or a prophet? What do you say about yourself? His answer was: I am "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Make straight the way of the LORD,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” ‭‭(John‬ ‭1:22-23‬)

As believers we are all called to be a voice in somebody's wilderness. Jesus nearing the end of His ministry said this to His disciples: Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark‬ ‭16:15‬)

Those religious leaders did not like the competition. They did not like the idea of Jesus upsetting their way of doing the religious duties. He came to be the final act of atonement through His death. But what would the religious leaders' jobs be if they did not have control over the people? They were worried. Jesus said He was the way, truth and LIFE. These religious leaders were not. 

The laws were not obsolete. These laws showed how difficult it was, and is, to keep them all. Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. (Matthew‬ ‭5:17‬) Jesus came to fulfill the laws! Fulfill: do what is required; succeed in doing. Jesus did it all; He paid the price; He did what was required and He selflessly succeeded. No one else could, then or now. 

Not one single good deed or specific prayer or devotion to anyone else will work. We come to Christ alone, have faith in Him and ask Him for forgiveness of our sins. In Christ alone. ...John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John‬ ‭1:29‬) The entire Bible shows this from Old Testament to New. 

Old Testament sacrifices required an animal. Blood needed to be shed. These sacrifices were offered on a regular basis. Who shed His own blood? Who was the ultimate sacrifice? Didn't He die just once? Didn't He arise from the dead? And what does the Word say when we come to Christ? We too are made alive, in Christ. 

We come to Christ in faith believing His death on the cross was enough. He came to earth knowing His ultimate end. He knew He would become the sacrifice. John the Baptist preached Jesus as the Savior. Jesus commissioned His disciples to preach it. The disciples carried on the only tradition necessary...preaching who was the only way, truth and life. 

This is why I do these blogs. It's partly my voice. Hopefully my voice will reach into someone's wilderness and show Christ. I proclaim Him as my Savior. I have chosen the only way, the only truth and the only life. 

Our churches should be preaching a simple message, that of Jesus Christ. The only thing necessary is hearts opening to receive Him. Acknowledgment of one's sins and realizing that only Jesus has atoned for those sins. We cannot do enough to receive Christ but His gift of life comes free. The veil in the temple was torn when Jesus died allowing direct access to God. Church rituals are not the way. They are very much like the animal sacrifices which did nothing. He is the only way, truth and life. It means having faith in what Jesus has done and absolutely nothing to do with anything we have done. The only thing we do is receive Christ.

Ephesians‬ ‭2:4-6‬ ‭- But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus...

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