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Part 3

November 13, 2016

BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).

Salvation is not a human undertaking. It didn’t originate in this sin-cursed world. It is of God. To be saved you have to see yourself as God sees you and adapt yourself to the Divine principles of another realm. These principles have been faithfully revealed in the written Word of God. A man of faith is one who adapts himself to God’s Word.  This is why studying under your right Pastor-Teacher is so important!

It was this Divine assessment of humanity – described by the words "lost," "perish," "condemned," "under the wrath of God," "blind," "in the powers of darkness," "dead in trespasses and sins" – which brought The Savior from heaven to earth. It was this dark picture that motivated Him to give His life as a ransom for many. His Saving Work was a practical accomplishment. It provided every needed cure that could be demanded by the Infinite Purity and Holiness of God.

The Epistle to the Hebrews opens with a reference to the messages of God which have widened the possible scope of man's understanding and action from the limitations of the things of this world. God has spoken. The effect of the message has been far-reaching. Men generally believe in certain facts the knowledge of which could come only from the Scriptures of Truth; but men do not always pause to consider all of God's message and its personal application to them with its necessary demands upon their faith. They believe in the heaven mentioned in the Bible, but do not carefully consider the only condition the Bible teaches us can get us into heaven. They believe in sin, but seem to care little for the priceless cure for it – The Work of Jesus Christ on The Cross! They believe there is a Holy God and that men are sinners, but do not estimate what problems were involved in bringing about a possible reconciliation between that God and the sinner. How faithfully God has spoken on all of these issues! But it isn’t enough to believe generally that God has spoken. What He has said must be carefully weighed and personally applied. You’re wasting a great deal of time and effort going to Bible study and/or reading the Trees of life if you aren’t applying what you learn to your life!

God’s message is like a shaft of light from above, shining into a world where sin's darkness and blindness are supreme. Happy indeed is the man who humbly receives every word God has spoken both of sin and Salvation. Happy is the man who is able to look into the realms of glory along this radiant shaft of Divine revelation. Happy is the man who knows the depth of the Work of Our Lord on The Cross.

There are at least three messages from God revealed by His Son through His Work on The Cross. The first is LOVE. In JOH 1:18 we read:  No one has [fully] seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. The sentence -  “No man has (fully) seen God at any time" indicates that while His Power and Wisdom had been revealed to some extent by the things He created, the complete revelation had not been given. The phrase "in the bosom" in this verse conveys the eternal intimate communion between the Father and Son.

Every moment of Jesus’ life on earth was a manifestation of God's love, but one event in His ministry is especially designated as the means by which the bosom of God was unveiled. Let’s look at 1JOH 4:9-10: By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  First, propitiation means satisfaction; God the Father is satisfied with the Sacrificial Ministry of Our Lord on The Cross.  Propitiation is the Work of Christ on The Cross that deals with the Integrity of God. Propitiation means that our Lord satisfied God the Father. In propitiation the Justice of God judges our sins and the Integrity of God is satisfied with that judgment. Propitiation frees the Justice of God to immediately give anyone who believes in Christ one-half of divine integrity, the righteousness of God.  This is the down payment on our salvation.

Through The Cross, God has declared His love. And this declaration is addressed as a personal message to every individual. When that Divine message really reaches someone that individual will become conscious of a fact far beyond the range of human knowledge and so far-reaching in its value that it transcends all other issues in life and death.

Look at what the apostle Paul wrote in GAL 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. As you can see, this is intensely personal for Paul. That knowledge-surpassing love is proven and expressed to Paul by the fact that Our Lord gave Himself for Paul, personally. The vital question at once becomes, what did He do for "me"? The Scriptures make it plain that He did enough to demonstrate finally and perfectly the infinite Love of God.

When we read in 1JOH 3:16 that “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us… we see that this is more than a moral example! It is a distinct service given on so vast a scale that it adequately expresses the deepest message from the Father's bosom. The message must be understood by those to whom it is addressed, but not necessarily by the processes of human reason. The Cross of Christ was the final answer to the great necessities and problems which sin had imposed on the very Heart of God. This is revealed and is known to us only to the extent to which God has spoken.

Human philosophy and blind unbelief have tended to obscure God's plain message. The conditions which moved the God’s Heart exist in the higher realm and have no comparisons or counterparts in the range of human knowledge. Human reason is not sufficient to judge or challenge what God has seen fit to reveal. Anything which adequately represents His Infinite Love will hardly be compressed into the limitations of man's wisdom.

It is most probable that eternity itself will prove to be but a ceaseless unfolding of that fathomless expression of boundless love. Now that’s a beautiful way to view eternity!

{to be continued}

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