|We have been looking at the armour over the past two weeks. Tonight I want to bring all the bits and pieces together into a practical session.
I want to start off my looking at Jesus death on the cross. There where two distinct things that happened through His death. Matt 27:50-52. Firstly at His death the veil was torn in two and there was a great earth quake. Then at His resurrection other bodies came out of their graves.
This shows that both the death and the resurrection are important in there own right. I want to look at those two events in context of salvation and righteousness.
Salvation and Righteousness
Our whole existence as a Christian revolves around salvation and righteousness. Without salvation we are nothing, without our head we are also nothing. In battle protecting the head is of up most importance, so in our spiritual battle protecting our salvation is also paramount. (Get the picture) The next most important thing to protect in battle is your chest. You take a blow in your chest then you as good as dead. When I worked on for the Ambulance service I once picked up a man who had a small stab wound on his chest and there was no blood or even discomfort. I was chatting to him and we stopped for another patient. Then I turned around to see how he was, and he was dead.
The chest is worth protecting. It hold two important organs, the heart where you blood is circulated and we heard the other day that the life is in the blood so no blood circulation no life and it holds you chest where you breath. No air or more importantly no oxygen and you are also a goner.
I want to look at salvation and righteousness in terms of what am I protecting, how do I protect it and what are some of the common attacks of the enemy.
Our main scripture is
6But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
The cross where it began
A number of things happened on the cross that provides us salvation and righteousness.
The first part is the sacrifice of Jesus as the Passover lamb. This sacrifice brought us forgiveness of sins and righteousness. Righteousness is your right standing before God. Huh. When you are righteous before God it means that you can stand before the Creator and He will see you as completely right as in He can find no wrong in you.
Picture this you do something wrong at school and you get called into the Principles office. So off you go and stand in his office waiting for the punishment to be handed out. He hears the charge laid against you and you can see that you are guilty by far. Then all he says “I find no fault in him at all” you are free to go. That is how righteousness works, because again it does not depend on our performance, but on the fact that Jesus died for us.
Heb 9:22-28 – 10:11-14
Blood was need for remission or forgiveness of sins. Therefore in the old covenant they would sacrifice bull and lambs so that the sins of the people could be forgiven. Unfortunately although the blood of the animals could provide forgives of sin it could not provide a solution for sin.
Jesus became the Passover lamb and was offered for us. A number of things where accomplished by that act of sacrifice. Firstly Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law and offered one sacrifice forever. (Heb 9:28 + 10:12) so it is over with, done. He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified or set apart (Heb 10:14). He put away sin (Heb 9:26)
Romans 3: 21-26
So now there is righteousness that does not depend on the law. This righteousness is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. All that we are required to do is believe.
It took one mistake and one man to bring sin into the world it says that because of one mans disobedience many where made sinners, so through on Mans obedience many will be made righteous.
The second part to the crucifixion was the resurrection. The resurrection brought us salvation.
3Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.
Salvation is simply confessing that Jesus Christ died for you and was raised from the dead so that you can be set free from sin. It is that simple and easy.
Jesus Christ died for you and me so that we can be live in a relationship with the Father and do not have to live a life of sin. End of story, period, done, finished, it all over.
How does it work?
Verse 7 is the key verse here. “For he who has died has been freed from sin”. No one can argue that point. Once you are dead sin no longer has any grip on you. You are truly free, but there is a catch, we want to be free while we are alive.
So here is the answer. Verse 6 “that our old man was crucified with Him”. Why 1 that the body of sin might be done away with, 2 that we should no longer be slaves to sin. Then verse 3 “or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” It is through baptism what we where buried with Him into death. There Romans says that as we where united into His death so we are also in His resurrection.
Here is the crux of the matter, Jesus was raised from the dead into a new life therefore He cannot die again. He was not brought back to life; He went through death and conquered it. Therefore He cannot die again, He died to sin one for all. He died once on the cross broke the power of death and thus the power of sin for everyone for ever, job completed. The life He now lives He lives to God.
Therefore reckon yourself dead. Live as if you have died and therefore sin has no hold on you and live in newness of life unto God.
Verse 14 “Sin shall not have dominion over you” That is what Salvation is all about being able to live this life not being controlled by sin. Where the unsaved college or fellow student has not choice but to sin for they have not been set free from sin, we have a choice when it comes to sinning. We can never say “The devil made me do it” that does not work because we have been set free and sin is now our choice.
What can we conclude? Firstly that there is no Salvation without baptism, why do I say that, because it is through the baptism that we die with Christ and only when we have died with Christ can we be set free from the sin. End of story, Period.
You can receive forgives of sins and reconciliation with God and righteousness, but Salvation comes through baptism. I got “saved” at the age of 11 (1978) at a Scripture Union camp, and only baptised in 1997 19 years later, let me tell you that for 19 years I tried to conquer sin in my own strength, why because I was not set free