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Posts Tagged ‘Salvation’

Why is this a wonderful, glorious day?  To quote the angel who brought the message of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds:  Luke 2:10-14  (KJV):  10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, who humbled Himself, gave up His Godliness so that we can participate in all the benefits of the atonement.  What are those benefits?

  1.   Financial prosperity:  2 Corinthians 8:9 (KJV) says that, 9For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
  2.   Healing:  1 Peter 2:24 (KJV), it says, 24Who 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 ye were healed.” And Matthew 8:16 -17 (KJV) it says, 16When 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: 17That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”
  3.   Deliverance from demonic oppression, depression and evil:  Galatians 1:4 (KJV) that says that Jesus “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world,”
  4.  And last but not least, salvation and the forgiveness of our sins:  Romans 5:8-10 (KJV) 8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Please know that all of this was freely given by Jesus, we can accept it or reject it.  It is available already – the full price was paid a long time ago.  God loves us so much that He gave His only Son, so why don’t you accept what He has sacrificed Himself for?

All of this was done, because God loves us so much:  Romans 8:31-39 (KJV):  31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?  33Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.  34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Merry Christmas to all, I wish all the blessings of God upon you over this Christmas time and for the new year of 2012!

With love from, Marion, DH, little baby, Shumi, KT and Nandi!

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A year ago I didn’t even realize what Jesus’ atonement meant, until I started to listen to An.drew Wom.mack’s teachings and at first I heard him mention it a couple of times, and then I started to wonder, “but what is this atonement and how does it affect me?”  I recently listened to the teaching of An.drew Wom.mack, “God wants you well (part 1)” again.  The title of this specific teaching is Healing is in Christ’s Atonement and I want to quote a bit out of it for you:

“Healing is not just an add on, it’s not just an added benefit that only happens sometimes, but it is an essential part of what Jesus came to do.  Jesus died for our forgiveness of sins and He died for the physical healing of our body.  Another way of saying this is that Jesus purchased healing for us, just as He purchased forgiveness of sins.  It’s all a part of Christ’s atonement.

I know that, that is not a main stream doctrine today, but that is one of the reasons that so very few people operate in healing, because they look at it as, “certainly, God could heal if He wanted to,” but they don’t see that God has already redeemed us from sickness and disease.  They look at it as something He can do, but they don’t know for sure that it’s His will.  If you recognize that healing is a part of the atonement, then you recognize that the Lord has already healed us, He’s already purchased that, the power has already been generated, healing is a done deal and it is available to us exactly the same as forgiveness of sins is.

Now again, I know these are radical statements but let me show me some things that will prove that.  The Greek word that was translated, “save” and “saved”, a kind of all encompassing word for “salvation,” you know, hundreds of times in the New Testament is the Greek word “sozo”.  It literally means to, “save,” that is “deliver or protect literally or figuratively.”  But when you look at the way the word was translated it’s very obvious that this deliverance and saving is not only from sin, but it’s also from physical problems.

Like for instance in Galatians 1:4 (KJV):  4Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world…”  Not just the world to come, but this present evil world.  That is a tremendous statement.  Again, many people see what Jesus produced as only affecting the spiritual eternal realm and because of that we come up with songs like, “when we all get to heaven, what a day that will be…”, and even though I’m not diminishing that it is going to be glorious in heaven, Jesus also came to deliver us from this present evil world not just the one to come.   The word “save” here isn’t only talking about “saved us from hell,” He saved us from our sins and future punishment but Jesus also came to save, deliver and protect us in this physical world.

There are 38 times that the word “sozo” was translated “save” in reference to the forgiveness of sins, I’m not going to take time to list all of those but you can search this out and find it.  Some examples are Matthew 1:21; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Hebrews 7:25, there are just a lot of them.  There are also 53 times that this same Greek word “sozo” was translated “saved,” past tense, referring to forgiveness of sins, but there were also times when this exact same word was translated “healed.”

For instance in Mark 5:23, where it was talking about Jairus’ daughter, Jairus was the ruler who came to Jesus and asked Jesus to come heal his daughter, and it says in Mark 5:23 (KJV):  23And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.”  That word “healed” right there is this Greek word “sozo”, and it’s referring to physical healing, it’s obvious, and the story goes on that the little girl actually died and Jesus raised her from the dead and that was referring to physical healing, physical resurrection from the dead.

Also in Luke 8:36 (KJV) it says:  36They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed.”  Now, this is talking about the man who was commonly called the Gadarene demoniac, who was bound with chains, and nobody could hold him, he’d just break the chains, Jesus set him free and it says here in scripture, Luke 8:36 that “he that was possessed of the devils was healed.”  That word is “sozo”, again the word that is used for forgiveness of sins, but that exact same word is also applied to physical healing.  That’s the second instance I’ve given you.

The third is in Acts 14:9 (KJV), this is talking about a cripple, that Paul healed when he prayed for him, 9The same heard Paul speak: who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,” this is talking about Paul “Beheld this man,” who was going to be healed and he perceived that he had faith to be healed, that word healed there is the Greek word “sozo”,  the same word that was used talking about forgiveness of our sins.

The same word was also translated “save” in reference to healing and the save here was definitely talking about more than forgiveness of sins, it was talking about “healing”.  A classic example is James 5:15 (KJV) and it says there 15And the prayer of faith shall save,” that is “sozo”, “the sick,” the same word that used for the forgiveness of sins, “and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have ommitted sins, they shall be forgiven him.”  So this is another reference talking about how the word for salvation, “save,” is talking about more than just forgiveness of sins but rather it is talking about healing of your body.

It goes on to say in Luke 6:9 (KJV):  9Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?”  Now He was talking about healing a person on the Sabbath day, and when He was referring to healing this man, he says, “is it right for me to save this life? And He wasn’t just talking about forgiveness of sin, but He was talking about healing of the body.

This same word was translated “made whole” in reference to healing.  In Matthew 9:21 (KJV) it says:  21For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.”  That was the woman who had the issue of blood and came up to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment and she used this word “sozo”, which was synonymous with forgiveness of sins, she also applied that same word
to being healed physically.  The same thing is said in Mark 5:28 (KJV):  28For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.”  This is the same instance recorded in Mark’s gospel, again that same word was used, it was translated “made whole” eight times in scripture.

Matthew 9:22 (KJV) says, 22But Jesus turned him about,” this is that same instance with the woman with the issue of blood, “and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.”  The word for “whole” in this instance is “sozo,” the same word that is used for forgiveness of sins showing that all of this Greek word is not limited to forgiveness of sin.

The same thing is done in Mark 6:56 (KJV) where it says:  56And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.”  That’s that Greek word “sozo”.

The point I’m making through this is that the word for salvation does not only mean forgiveness of sins, it literally means “forgiveness of sins, healing of your body, those are the scriptures I’ve emphasized, but if you were to study it on out, it also is translated deliverance in Acts 13, and it also means financial prosperity.  So the Greek word for salvation does not refer only to forgiveness of sins, that’s the way it’s been interpreted and presented by the modern day church but that is a misrepresentation of what Jesus did.

Jesus did not only die for the forgiveness of our sins, it included that and that is certainly a center piece of what He did, I’m not minimizing the forgiveness of our sins but I’m saying at the same time that He bought and purchased our redemption from sin, He also freed us from sickness, He also freed us from depression, deliverance from the devil, and He also freed us from poverty.  2 Corinthians 8:9 (KJV) says that, 9For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

This is where the denomination called the “Four Square Gospel” comes from.  They literally went to the Greek word “sozo” that was translated “save, saved, salvation,” all of these different ways, and they looked at what the word literally means, and it means forgiveness of sins, healing of your body, deliverance from all kinds of demonic oppression, depression, and financial blessing and prosperity.”

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What I’m going to say in this post is very hard to say.  I’m being honest here about stuff that I sometimes don’t even want to admit to myself, let alone all of you reading this, but I feel I need to get it out there so that you can get a better picture of who I am and what we have been through and what we are still going through.

This past weekend was bad.  I was in a really foul mood, I snapped at poor DH a lot, but he was not the only victim and I’m ashamed of myself…  I thought the first few weeks after the miscarriage would be the worst, but I haven’t come through it yet like I thought I would.  I think I was in shock, and that reality is only now sinking in…

These last few days I haven’t felt like eating, or seeing anyone, or doing anything, except maybe sleeping.  I know I’m getting depressed again.  I’m also worrying about a lot of things, but mainly about finances.  Can we afford another IVF, and how long should we try, or should we maybe just give up altogether?  So far I’ve avoided talking about finances as I thought it would not be appropriate, but it’s becoming an issue now and I would not be truthful if I did not discuss it.

Throughout our married life we have never been well off – both DH and I do not have any experience that ensure a job that will pay a comfortable salary, and since DH was let go from the Police for post traumatic stress disorder it’s been even tougher. (That’s the reason we are not even considering adoption – who would give a baby to someone that suffered from post traumatic stress disorder?)  My poor DH has tried his best to provide financially for us, but he just cannot get a job – any job. (Mostly due to lack of qualifications, but also due to employment equity)  The only qualification he has that is worth anything is one he got 12 years ago for being a SAP consultant, but nobody has ever wanted to give him a job in that field so he has no experience – and what are the chances after 12 years?  Even though nobody wants to employ him he has tried his best to provide for us by being self employed – he is on to his 3rd business by now, but it’s going slow (due to the current economic climate).  I worked at a major SA bank for 14 years and it was almost always very stressful with very long working hours, for a relatively small salary.    So three years ago DH and I decided that I can quit so that we can try in earnest to get pregnant.  It had to be done like that as I would never have been able to get time off for FS appointments.  Definitely not for more than one month in a row, and the biological clock was ticking. (Here’s perfect proof that relaxing does not help to get you pregnant!)

The only reason this was even remotely possible was due to the fact that we sold our farm for quite a bit of profit.  We didn’t buy another property and have since been renting.  So we have been using those profits to fund our fertility treatments and have also been living of it.  Unfortunately it’s not a bottomless pit, and even though we have been living frugally, it has diminished considerably.  Yes, I know, not the wisest decision we’ve ever made, but we did not anticipate the credit crunch and we had faith that DH’s business would have taken off by now. 

We have made so many sacrifices to try and get pregnant – we don’t drive any fancy cars, and have never done so since we got married.  We have not spent a lot on furniture (we are still borrowing a couch from my parents and have never bought one since we got married, and it seems we won’t be able to do so for quite some time yet), we only buy clothes whenever necessary and then on sale or at the cheapest shops, we don’t go out often and we just buy the necessities when we buy groceries.   The only thing we have splurged on was a vacation to Mauritius two years ago, but if you take into account that we went camping on our honeymoon, I think we deserved it (we also got it on a special deal with a lot of discount!)  Even our wedding was a low budget affair – where we paid for almost everything as our parents could not really contribute. 

So it seemed to me that we just cannot get a break:  Most of our married life I was terribly unhappy in my job and DH has been screwed over by our lovely government as his case still hasn’t been settled by the compensation commissioner and it does not look like it ever will be (so we cannot even rely on a small pension). When we tried to make a better future for ourselves we spent R40 000 twelve years ago on his SAP qualification (it costs more than R200 000 now) but nobody wanted to take him seriously because he was a policeman or take a chance on hiring him (No one has much respect for policemen here in SA, even though they have the worst jobs ever: they put their lives on the line, they have to watch their buddies getting killed in action, they have to work in terrible circumstances and get to deal with corpses daily in cases of murders, suicide, and even digging dead babies out of trashcans) My DH has even offered to work for free as a SAP consultant for 3 months just to get some experience, but even that was not accepted… It feels like the only good things that have happened was that we met each other and got married and that we bought 2 properties for very low prices and managed to improve those and sell them off at a decent profit.  But since I quit my job, we cannot show a reliable income so we cannot buy another… 

You all know our TTC history by now, so you know that we have not had much success there either…  It made me despondent and it feels like we are taking a huge gamble by doing another IVF.  The success rates are rather low for the amount you are spending on it – If it was for something else we would not be so keen to pay any money towards it, especially if you take all the past failures into account.  I’m tempted to think that the next IVF will result in another pregnancy, but I’ve read too many true life stories to know that it doesn’t always happen like that… And I’ve learnt the hard way that a pregnancy does not guarantee a baby…

Sometimes it all just gets too much to handle, and then I just feel like giving up, that there is not much point in my life and that’s it’s not worth living… The only reason I have not given up hope completely is because of my dearest, darling husband.  I love him so much – he is such a loving, caring, patient person who tries his best to look after us and provide for us, in spite of all the adversities, and then he puts up with all my crap as well.  So yesterday afternoon I decided that I had to do something about my mood.  I spent the whole afternoon in Bible study, looking for comforting pieces to read on the internet and later just praying…  I did find some comfort, but I could just not settle down.

I feel so guilty, because I know that although I think we have it tough it is still nothing compared to other people’s struggles.  At least we have our health, food to eat, clothes to wear, a roof over our heads and the support of our families.  I’m still very fortunate to have been able to go for fertility treatments and for so many of them as well… If I close my eyes I see all the hungry people queuing for food at the feeding scheme I volunteer at, and how cold they are now in the winter time.  A lot of them are also homeless and they carry all that they own everywhere with them, and that is not much…

This morning during my Bible study I finally got comfort in the following scripture:  2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV):  16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

I forget very often what it is all about – it’s not about our lives here on earth and how much money we have or how many kids we get, but it’s about our salvation and where we will be spending eternity.  I often take my eyes of the big picture and think only of the smaller picture.  I get selfish and I want to satisfy my own desires and think of nothing else, and when I don’t get my way I wallow in self pity.  I’m not proud of that, but I’m glad that I finally feel a bit better and I cannot wait to meet my darling babies in heaven…

Ps.  Read this if you have lost a baby and are not sure whether your baby is in heaven.

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I want to share this from my Reference Bible, because it’s such an important message that we don’t always understand.  So often we want to do everything for ourselves and earn God’s love or salvation, but it’s just not possible to earn it in any way.  It’s just by the grace of God that we receive anything from Him:

Romans 4:4-8 (NIV):  4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.      5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.  6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:  7 Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

“Paul’s argument in these verses is this:  You are rewarded when you work.  When you do a good job you get money for it.  If you do a bad job and your boss suffers a loss because of you, you will not get paid, and you end up in debt with your boss.  In the previous verses (Romans 1:18-3:31) Paul proved that our own efforts to earn rewards from God based on good deeds only plunges us deeper into debt with Him.   Paul quotes from Psalm 32:1-2 to prove the truth about what he says here.

A lot of people are afraid that they will not be saved, because they think their faith is not strong enough.  Those people make a good deed out of their faith.  They act like they must earn salvation with strong faith.   Your faith is not the reason God saves you, but it’s the way you accept that salvation and make it your own.

David did not try to hide his terrible sin, or to try and cancel it out with good deeds.  When he realised the fact that he did sin, he did not try and deny it, but he confessed his sin, he accepted forgiveness gladly, so that Paul could quote these words from him.  If you are someone who feels guilty about past sins in your life, follow David’s example and ask God:  Psalm 51:10-11 (NIV):  10Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.”  You will experience the joy of total forgiveness.”

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Luke 18:9-14 (NIV):  The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.  9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:  10 Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men— robbers, evildoers, adulterers— or even like this tax collector.  12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’  13 But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’  14 I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Luke 16:14-15 (NIV):  14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.  15 He said to them, You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.”

There was a time that I considered myself religious and I was proud of it.  That was at a time in my life when I did not understand that religion is not what God wants from us.  Religion to me was about going to church, because that was what I was supposed to do, participating in the rituals and traditions which meant little to me.  I would be religious on a Sunday and then I did just as I wanted for the rest of the week.  Sometimes it was somewhat of a social gathering, or a form of entertainment.  I am sad to say that to many “Christians” this is exactly what they are doing from week to week.

I have been reading the Bible through different eyes in the past few years.  Unfortunately I see a lot of Pharisees and Sadducees in Christian churches.   It seems that of all the people that call themselves Christians a lot of them are far from it.  No wonder so many people are disillusioned with their Christian faith and fall away and want nothing to do with the church.  No wonder that to world in general Christians have somewhat of a bad name.  People see through the act – they can see that a religious person does not act the way a Christian is supposed to act, and sometimes they think that is what all Christians are like.  If they are hurt by a so called “Christian” they want nothing to do with any form of Christianity.  Please note it is not my intention to criticise any specific church or denomination, but I believe there are religious persons in probably every church on earth.  Religion is something that is man-made. 

1 John 4:7-8 (NIV):  God’s Love and Ours.  7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.   8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Matthew 22:34-40 (NIV):  The Greatest Commandment.   34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.  35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:  36 Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?  37 Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  38 This is the first and greatest commandment.  39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’  40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

A personal relationship with Jesus comes from God, not from us.  The moment God touches your heart through grace with help from the Holy Spirit, things seem different.  At first I was totally overwhelmed with a feeling of love – I felt the love God had for me.  I wanted more, and I started to look for more messages.  I started watching programmes on TV, I wanted to go to church to receive a spirit filled message, I wanted to get books and read up on the subject. 

After a while I realized that I had to do something in return.  Not to get what I wanted from God, but because I was so grateful for all that He has done for me.  I got the message:  “What are you doing for your neighbour?”  I realised that I might be going to heaven one day because I’m saved, but that I did not really worry about the salvation of others or the needs of others and that was so wrong of me.  God is Love – He loves all of us so much, and we must not only love Him back, but also love everybody else.  I became aware of the needs of others – sometimes somebody just needs a kind word or somebody to listen to them, other times you will meet someone that is hungry, or doesn’t have a place to live.  Sometimes it is easy to meet their need, other times not so easy, but we cannot ignore it if we have love for others. 

So how do I know what I believe is true?  Of all the religions in the world Christianity is the only one where you cannot get salvation by good works alone.  It is not up to us – we are all sinners and not worthy of being in God’s presence.  But He loved us so much that He made a plan, so that we have a chance at salvation.  He also made us with free will, so we have a choice, He does not want to force us into accepting Him.  God is who He is – we love to change Him in our minds into what we want to believe – but that does not make a difference to who He is.  The only way to heaven is to repent of your sins and to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour.  You have to be born-again, to be filled by the Holy Spirit, because it is only with the help of the Holy Spirit that you will start to change your life.
John 14:6 (NIV):  6 Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 1:14 (NIV):  14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 3:5-6 (NIV):  5 Jesus answered, I tell you the truth, no-one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.  6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”

You might wonder how you get born-again.  I started to look for God in different places, like I said earlier.  I learnt so much and I wanted more.  I felt convicted by the sin in my life, and I asked for forgiveness.  Eventually I begged God to have mercy on me, to fill me with the Holy Spirit, and He did.  I cannot tell you how much my life has changed – so many things have happened, and I have changed so much, that I cannot believe that I did it all on my own.  It can only be God that has done all these things in my life!  Please just remember that like everything in life this takes time, effort and dedication from your side – your life won’t change magically from one day to the next.

Do you want a personal relationship with Jesus? Are you feeling convicted?  Do you want to invite God into your life?  Please pray the following sinner’s prayer: 

 “Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

 (I got this from sinner-prayer.com)

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I’m discussing the power of the blood of Jesus Christ today – the third and final part of the book:  “The Wo.rd, the Na.me, the Bl.ood” by Joy.ce Mey.er.  I’m quoting directly from the book again:

Hebrews 9:19-20 (NIV):  19 When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people.    20 He said, This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.”

“The word of God holds no power for the believer who has no understanding concerning the blood. Hebrews 9:19-20 verifies this need in people’s lives.  Under the Old Covenant when the book of the Law was read, it was sprinkled with blood and so were the people.  This was a way of sealing and ratifying the testament or covenant between God and Israel.”

“The New Covenant always offers a better way, a new living way.  Under the New Covenant we do not have to sprinkle the blood of animals on the Bible and ourselves before reading, but we do need an understanding about the blood of Jesus that has been poured out for us which has sealed and ratified the New Covenant that we now have with God.”

Ephesians 1:7 (NIV):  7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”

“God wants to restore you and me to the place of authority that is ours.  He has already made all the arrangements; we might say He has “sealed the deal.”  The purchase price has been paid in full.  We have been purchased with a price, the precious blood of Jesus.”

“We are delivered from sin and all the “death” it brings with it.  Worry, anxiety and fear are forms of death.  Strife, bitterness and resentment are forms of death.  Sickness and disease are forms of death.  All of these are “portions of death” that are a result of sin on this earth.”

“But God purchased back the crowning glory of His creation.  He bought us with the blood of His own Son – the precious blood of Jesus!  Oh, the blood! What a precious treasure it is!  Why did it have to be the blood that purchased our salvation?  Because the life is in the blood, and life is the only antidote for death.”

1 Peter 1:19 (NIV):  19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

“Jesus’ blood is precious before the Father and should be precious to us.  Precious means valuable.  A precious thing is something we protect, something we are careful with, something we do not want to part with.  The blood of Jesus is precious and should be honoured and respected.  One of the ways we can honour the blood is by singing about it, talking about it, studying about it and meditating on it.”

Colossians 2:15 (NIV):  15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

Colossians 1:20 (NIV):  20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

“These scriptures clearly reveal to us why Satan is afraid of the blood of the Cross – because it was by the blood that he was defeated!  If Satan had known what he was doing when he crucified the Lord of glory, he would have never done it.  He thought the crucifixion was his greatest victory, but actually it was his ultimate defeat.  No wonder Satan hates the blood. No wonder he is afraid of the blood.  If he had known what he was doing, he would never have shed that innocent blood.  But it was done “once and for all,” and it can never be undone.”

“Satan could not have touched Jesus had the Father not allowed it.  But He did allow it because He had a glorious plan, a mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to us in Jesus Christ.”

“So often in our lives, Satan thinks he is doing something terrible to us that will finish us off, and yet God has another plan entirely.  He intends to take what Satan means for our harm and work it not only for our good, but for the good of many to whom we will minister.”

“Let me say here that Satan certainly wants to accuse us; as a matter of fact, he is called “the accuser of our brethren” (Rev 12:10).  Our only defense is the blood of Jesus.  We cannot offer our own righteousness or perfect record of good behavior, but we can offer the blood of Jesus.  In truth we dare not offer anything but the blood!”

“When I pray, using the name of Jesus, or pleading the blood of Jesus, I am merely exercising my legal rights.  I am setting forth my case that Jesus shed His blood and died for me; therefore, Satan has no right to rule me, accuse me, condemn me or do anything that belongs to me.”

Can you see that there is power in God’s word, in Jesus’ name and in the blood that he shed for us?  It is there available for us to use and apply it in our lives.  We must just make use of it.  It will be our own loss if we do not use it…

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I’ve been reading the story of Jesus’ crucifixion in the Gospel of Luke these past few days and somehow it seems that it always works out that way that I get to this amazing story around Easter time. When I was a child I remember our preacher coming to visit once and asking my sister and me what our favorite Bible stories were. Mine was the story of Joseph, but my sister’s was the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. At first I was shocked – how can anybody say that is their favorite story – but then the preacher explained it all to me. Now it is also my favorite story, but it’s part of a larger picture, let me try to explain it all:

Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden when they ate from the tree of good and evil, but God loved them so much that he immediately worked out a plan of salvation for mankind. God had to punish sin because He is holy. God doesn’t want to punish (Ezekiel 18:23(AMP): 23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked? says the Lord, and not rather that he should turn from his evil way and return [to his God] and live?”), (2 Peter 3:9 (AMP):9 The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.”), He wants to save because He loves (John 3:16 (AMP):16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.”) no matter how bad our sin is. God wants to forgive so that our relationship with Him can be restored.

God gave the 10 commandments at Mount Sinai for 3 reasons: 1. it acts as a mirror and exposes the sin in our lives and shows us that we are lost, 2. to let us realize that we need salvation through Jesus Christ and 3. to reveal to believers what the meaning is of practical love. In the Old Testament the Israelites had to give a sin offering to get forgiveness of their sins, and some animal had to die in the offering (Exodus 29:10-14). Sin causes a breakdown in the relationship between God and us and that leads to problems in all aspects of life, and the offering was a way for their sins to be forgiven. Unfortunately we keep on sinning, so they had to give offers continually.

God sent his Son to earth to be born as a baby. God impregnated the Virgin Mary with the help of the Holy Spirit. That is why Jesus is God, but also man. Jesus humbled Himself and gave up his place in Heaven to come and live on earth and he was tempted in the desert by the devil, but He never gave in to temptation nor sinned. Jesus was unfairly accused (Luke 23:2 (AMP):2 And they began to accuse Him, asserting, We found this Man perverting (misleading, corrupting, and turning away) our nation and forbidding to pay tribute to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), a King!”), he was ridiculed (Luke 22:63-65 (AMP): 63 Now the men who had Jesus in custody treated Him with contempt and scoffed at and ridiculed Him and beat Him; 64 They blindfolded Him also and asked Him, Prophesy! Who is it that struck You? 65 And they said many other evil and slanderous and insulting words against Him, reviling Him.”), Jesus was whipped and beaten (John19:1 (AMP):1 SO THEN Pilate took Jesus and scourged (flogged, whipped) Him.”) and a crown of thorns was put onto His head (John 19:2 (AMP):2 And the soldiers, having twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and threw a purple cloak around Him.”)

Neither Herod nor Pilate could find Jesus guilty (Luke 23: 15-16 (AMP):15 No, nor indeed did Herod, for he sent Him back to us; behold, He has done nothing deserving of death. 16 I will therefore chastise Him and deliver Him amended (reformed, taught His lesson) and release Him.” (Luke 23: 20-22 (AMP):20 Once more Pilate called to them, wishing to release Jesus; 21 But they kept shouting out, Crucify, crucify Him! 22 A third time he said to them, Why? What wrong has He done? I have found [no offense or crime or guilt] in Him nothing deserving of death; I will therefore chastise Him [in order to teach Him better] and release Him.” The people wanted to hear nothing of it and demanded that Barabbas be released instead. (Luke 23: 18 (AMP):18 But they all together raised a deep cry [from the depths of their throats], saying: Away with this Man! Release to us Barabbas!” The irony is that Barabbas was guilty of the crime that Jesus was accused of, but set free. He incited a riot against the Romans, and he was therefore very popular amongst the Jews. The meaning of Barabbas: the Greek form of the name Bar-Abba, which means the son of Abba (Abba = father), thus the son of the father. It is even more ironic that the human, sinful son of the father could go free (even when he was guilty), but the innocent Son of the Father was found guilty and given the death penalty.

Jesus had to carry the crossbar himself, but because he was too weak from the flogging he received earlier (which was sometimes enough to kill a man) they made Simon of Cyrene carry it for Him. (Luke 23:26). In those days crucifixion was the worst death penalty given to the worst criminals. Can you imagine how dreadful it must have been for Jesus, because He was innocent? It was not easy for Him to go through it all (Luke 22:42-44 (AMP):42 Saying, Father: if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done. 43 And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him in spirit. 44 And being in an agony [of mind], He prayed [all the] more earnestly and intently, and His sweat became like great clots of blood dropping down upon the ground.” (This is a real medical condition called Hematidrosis by the way, which occurs when a person is suffering extreme levels of stress).

The crucifixion was incredibly cruel – Nails (6-8 inches long) were driven into His wrists, tearing a tendon that extends to the shoulder. Both his feet were nailed together and that forced Jesus to alternatively support Himself by arching His back or supporting Himself on the single nail that went through his feet just so that He could breathe. Jesus endured this for more than 3 hours…

There were two criminals on crosses on either side of Jesus. One repented and asked Jesus to remember him (Luke 23:40-44 (AMP):40 But the other one reproved him, saying, Do you not even fear God, seeing you yourself are under the same sentence of condemnation and suffering the same penalty? 41 And we indeed suffer it justly, receiving the due reward of our actions; but this Man has done nothing out of the way [nothing strange or eccentric or perverse or unreasonable]. 42 Then he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingly glory! 43 And He answered him: Truly I tell you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”) The fact that Jesus said that the criminal will be in Paradise is proof that one cannot get into heaven with good deeds alone, but only through faith in Jesus Christ. Even when Jesus was enduring this incredible suffering, he was still merciful to this criminal. This criminal’s faith was greater than the faith of the disciples, because most of them were in hiding at that stage. Jesus was abandoned by those closest to Him when He was in His greatest need.

The crucifixion of Jesus happened during Passover and that was no coincidence. (Mark 14:1-2 (AMP):1 It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the chief priests and the scribes were all the while seeking to arrest [Jesus] by secrecy and deceit and put [Him] to death, 2 For they kept saying, It must not be during the Feast, for fear that there might be a riot of the people.”) Passover was celebrated because God helped the Israelites out of Egypt many years earlier. They had to offer up a lamb and paint their doorposts with its blood so that the angel of death would pass them over and not kill the oldest son in their households. At Passover God offered up His only Son for our sin…

Jesus was the final and complete offer for our sins. (John 19:30 (AMP):30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, It is finished! And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” Jesus came to finish God’s plan of salvation – it was finished with His death. From a Christian perspective His death ended the need for offers – because the ultimate offer was already made. Luke 23:44-46 (AMP):44 It was now about the sixth hour (midday), and darkness enveloped the whole land and earth until the ninth hour (about three o’clock in the afternoon), 45 While the sun’s light faded or was darkened; and the curtain [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was torn in two. 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, Father: into Your hands I commit My spirit! And with these words, He expired.” The curtain tearing into 2 pieces symbolizes that we can now freely approach God, through Jesus Christ, because of His offer.

To me it is obvious that Jesus gave it all up, so that we all have a chance at salvation. He did not hold anything back. Isn’t that the ultimate, perfect love?

*My source for this post was my reference Bible “Die Bybel in Praktyk”.

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