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What Does Jesus Mean By Saying “Follow Me?

A Christ-Follower

 I believe it is better to refer to believers as “Christ-followers” than it is to refer to them as Christians. To be a Christian is to be labeled as a believer, but this word is so generic today almost anyone can claim to be a Christian.  To be a Christ-follower is much different because we do more than claim to be a Christian, we claim to follow Christ wherever He leads, and He may lead us into some difficult places and circumstances.

Jesus never came up to anyone and said, “Let me into your heart,” or “accept Me,” but rather He wants us to show our love for Him and our obedience as He says, Follow Me” (Matt 4:19) and them follow Him.

There are not scriptural references where Jesus or any of the other apostles said, “Accept Jesus,” “Let Him into your heart,” or “Pray this (sinners) prayer.” No one is ever born again or saved by walking down the aisle and coming forward, or filling out a “decision card” or repeating a prayer that someone else leads them in, but rather, a person is born again when God repent and they yield their life to following Christ. We don’t put our trust in a decision card, or going to the altar, or in “accepting Jesus.” Regeneration to new life in Jesus is fully a work of God and so God, rightly so, receives 100% of the glory. That’s how a person is born again or born from above (John 3:3-7). It is an act of God that is part of the will of God.

 Follow Me

 There are dozens of times that Jesus comes up to those He has called and tells them, “Follow Me.” One such example is when He was choosing His disciples and “While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” (Matt 4:18-20). There is no hint of these men stopping to count the cost or talking it over with one another, it simply says, “Immediately they left their nets and followed Him (Matt 4:20). They left their job security, the only living they had known, to go with Jesus and follow Him and really had no idea about what they were getting into. Later in the Gospel of Matthew, “Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ And he rose and followed Him (Matt 9:9). Again, there is no indication that Matthew had to stop and think about what he was doing. Being a tax collector for the Roman’s was a very lucrative position to have but Matthew didn’t think about all he was going to lose or leave behind. It only says, “And he rose and followed Him (Matt 9:9b). That is what it means to follow Christ. It is a radical change of lifestyle where we seek the kingdom above all things (Matt 6:33) and it will be painful and cost us, but as Jesus told the Apostle Peter who had just said he had forsaken all, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt 10:28).

Counting the Cost

 Those who follow Christ were told by Christ to count the cost before they followed Him. Jesus said, “which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it” (Luke 14:28)? Further, He says that “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life” (Matt 19:29). This type of love for Christ is so intense that it appears to look like hate toward our own family members. Even so, hear what Jesus will say to those who have done for the least of these, His people, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt 25:34). Notice that this inheritance is not for this world or anything in this world, but for the world to come. God has prepared a kingdom for us and He plans to use us for His glory in the coming kingdom. That is, if we have counted the cost and forsaken all others to follow Him. It’s not easy; it’s painful and expensive, but the inheritance to come is beyond comprehension.

Putting Christ First

 Jesus said that “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26), but as I mentioned earlier, we’re told to love others but the love we display for Christ is so much greater that if you compare the love we have for Jesus and the love we have for family, it would almost look like hate. Jesus is not telling us to hate our family but to love Him as if it looks that way. That’s because “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt 10:37), so “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25), but if we love our lives more than Christ, He warns us that we “cannot be [His] disciple” (Luke 14:26b).

 Conclusion

We must count the cost of following Christ and this means we must die to ourselves and our own interests and live for Christ. Jesus tells everyone who desires to be saved that “whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of me” (Matt 10:38) and even more specifically, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matt 16:24). One final warning that is very sobering comes from Jesus’ own lips as He said about the Day of Judgment, “On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matt 7:22-23). Did you catch that? “Many” will come to Him thinking they are saved but they loved their lives and lost it, they didn’t count the cost but followed their own desires, and so they were not worthy of Him. Jesus doesn’t say, “I didn’t know you well enough,” or “I wished I had known you better,” but instead, He says, “I never knew you.” If Jesus doesn’t know you, it doesn’t matter what you do for Him; but if you follow Him wherever He leads you and die to yourself and not love anyone or anything more than Him (including your own family), then Jesus says Welcome into the joys of your Master.”

WHAT REALLY IS CHURCH GROWTH?

CHURCH GROWTH VERSES KINGDOM EXPANSION – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

CHURCH GROWTH WILL BE THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL PAGE IN THIS BLOG BECAUSE IT WILL SEEM TO ATTACK A “SACRED COW” IN OUR RELIGIOUS SYSTEM !!

God is not interested in Church growth that is building large congregations or large super-churches. His plan is to birth people into His family all over the earth and to enable them to grow to maturity in union with Him. He is not limited to building a facility in which to house Himself and develop what we call a congregation, or a church. He will not make a building His home on this earth; He did that only in the Old Covenant. We live under a New Covenant in which God’s home is inside of people that have been born again. When we spend our time, efforts, and energies inside a building we call “the church” we fundamentally lose our influence on those who do not know Jesus. The “Church” that Jesus said He would build does not need Sunday morning meetings, or Sunday night meetings, or midweek meetings, or youth ministries, or children’s ministries, or men’s and women’s ministries, or great singing, or great speeches to the same people week after week. These type of activities do not create the Church growth Jesus wants. What God wants is people to live like a family and love one another and relate to one another and do about 30 one another’s as recorded in Scripture.

God has a plan for reaching and redeeming all the people’s on this planet. The amazing fact is that if we do it God’s way, it could be done in less than a generation. If this statement is true, then why hasn’t it already been done? Let’s start looking and see if we can the answer to that question.

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In order to properly think about what growth in the Church really is we need to define the term “growth”. Growth can be viewed in two ways:

  1. Growing in numbers in the congregation, or
  2. Growing in spiritual attributes, character, and understanding.

I believe the primary emphasis that I have seen in the church world over the past 43 years when talking about growth has been, ‘How do we get more members in the congregation?’ We talk about growing spiritually, but the real emphasis in our churches seems to be on getting the numbers, doesn’t it? If this is the primary emphasis for church growth, then we need to examine the motives behind this quest.

The simplest answer to the question in this pages title is “MOTIVE”.

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WHAT IS THE MOTIVE FOR CHURCH GROWTH?

Let’s start by defining what a motive is. It can simply be defined as “why” we do what we do. In other words, or why do we want what we want?

The next issue is the “who” behind the growth question. Who is it that is really concerned about the congregational growth?

Let’s look at the first issue — the “who”.

As a member of a local congregation are you currently doing everything in your ability to bring more people to the church meetings, or are you simply happy if someone else does all the work?

Are you trying to bring people “to church”, or are you actively involved with people working to introduce them to your greatest friend, Jesus?

Is increasing children in God’s family important to you or is the membership of the congregation really something that is priority for you?

Are you simply wanting to increase membership of your church, or children in God’s family?

My experience with this issue finds that the person most desirous of growing the Church is the pastor. The pastor is the one who primarily focuses on growing the congregation because it is “his” church. Have you ever noticed that when people refer to a church group many times they refer to that group as Pastor Bumfellow’s’s church, or Pastor Bloom’s church, or Reverend Brown’s church? Or when you see the church sign it says “so and so church” along with the pastor’s name as though it is his/hers? I was always under the impression that the Church belonged to Jesus, not a pastor. After all, who is the main draw in any congregation? Jesus, or the pastor?

I believe the issue of Church growth has to do with a wrong motive in many cases. Let me explain.

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“Why” do we want church growth?

Most people I know are not really concerned about church growth as long as they are comfortable in their local congregation. If you have friends in the group you go to, and you are involved in a few activities, you’re not really concerned if it grows much. But if you are the pastor, you want the congregation to grow because that is a sign, or measure, of success. If the group is small in numbers the pastor does not feel successful and many times begins to prod the congregation to invite people to “come to church”, or to have special activities to draw visitors.

The meetings of the Church are not a place to invite visitors, it is a place for “the Church” (the “ekklesia – called out ones) to meet. Introduce your visitors to Jesus in your homes, then you can bring them to meetings of the Church because they now are the Church. This is what creates Church growth.

Have you every seen signs out in front of church facilities saying things like “Come grow with us”? Jesus never asked us to invite people to come to a meeting of the Church in order to hear a pastor deliver a speech. He has given us personal responsibility as His ambassadors in fulfilling some very specific commands concerning the growth of His Church.

If the congregation is large, then normally the pastor takes on a role similar to a CEO of a company. He’s busy with a staff to oversee the congregation, and to coordinate the church calendar, and to be involved in district functions, and to be involved in building bigger buildings, etc. I know this because I have been there and done that. The motive for Church growth becomes misplaced when we see growth in this manner.

Our focus or motive for church growth is wrong. We think that we are responsible for the church growing. That is not true. We are responsible to be in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ and simply do what He tells us to do. If we do what we have been instructed to do, He will cause people to be added to His Church.

After all, isn’t it His Church and not our church?

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GOD’S VIEW OF CHURCH GROWTH IS MUCH DIFFERENT THAN OURS

To understand God’s view of growth we first need to understand what is the “Church” as far as He is concerned. I believe He sees the Church in a much different way than we do.

What is the “ekklesia“?

* Those called out of the kingdom of darkness and are born again

What are the main functions of the Church from God’s point of view?

  1. Develop community
  2. Equip the saints to do the work of the ministry
  3. Reach out to those in the kingdom of darkness

You see, it’s a matter of changing our perspective and seeing things from God’s point of view. How do we do this?

Two things are involved:

  1. See what the Bible, or God’s Word, has to say, and
  2. Let the Holy Spirit “open the eyes of our understanding” to see the kingdom of God.

Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me.”

He also said, “We are seek first the kingdom of God”.

Jesus also said, “I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

He also said, “…unless one is truly born again, he CANNOT SEE the kingdom of God.”And, “…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he CANNOT ENTER the kingdom of God.”

In Acts 2:47 when the Church was performing its three main functions “the Lord was adding to their numbers day by day those who were being saved.” In other words, when the Church was doing what it supposed to do it grows because the Lord God is adding people to it in His designed way. The followers of Jesus are enthusiastically enjoying their LIFE relationship” with Jesus and anything that has “LIFE” grows. Does it not? If your church is not growing, you need to see if there is life in that congregation of people and then see what you’re not doing that is stopping the growth from happening.

I don’t think it gets any clearer than this:

  1. If we lift up Jesus
  2. seek first the kingdom of God
  3. and do the three main functions of the Church
  4. then Jesus simply adds to His Church and the Church grows

There is a big difference between what we add to our churches and what Jesus adds to His Church! It starts with understanding the difference between the Church and the kingdom.

The Signs of Our Times

The Covenant Life Blog - A Blog About Living With Jesus Today

I realize that this post is not an edifying post and it does not make us feel good, but my heart is heavy by what I see taking place and I know that the body of Christ MUST rise up and war against these demonicly inspired realities taking place.  Please read, make it a matter of prayer, and give me any comments you wish.

A Person’s Morality Dictates Their Theology and the Level of Sexual Perversion in Society is a Measure of the Demonic Activity in That Society

Those who are obsessed with unnatural practices by definition are perverted.  Sexual perversion in a society is the number one predictor of impending judgment. The most severe judgments in scripture were preceded by homosexual perversions and sexual assaults. The judgments did not come just because of sexual perversion alone. Sexual perversion is a pretty good barometer of demonic activity and of the…

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IS THE CHURCH RELEVANT TODAY?

Friends, I have recently been listening to many you-tube presentations, TV programs, website presentations, and emails I have received from many Christian pastors and teachers and one thing I have seen is that we Christians communicate in our own special language I call Christianeze.   We speak in terms that Church goers speak with, but the main populations of our world would not normally understand.  Our cultures have not been raised in Christian church environments and they speak a totally different language than we do.  When we try to witness to a non-Christian we need to use terms they can understand, not our Christianeze terms.

Jesus has given each of us a commission to penetrate the culture the unsaved lives in and that culture is the kingdom of darkness.  Jesus never asked us to try to make converts, He told us to declare the gospel, or good news, and make disciples not converts.  The gospel, or good news, that Jesus declared and the early Church declared was “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand”.   Do you understand how to say that to the world you live today without coming across as a religious bigot?  Can we communicate to the unsaved without using our religious terms and messaging so that they can truly understand what you are talking about?  Are we actually relevant in our cultures today, or are we a religious relic that has no impact on our cultures?

I have a new training course that will be coming out soon that will help you in this matter.  Stay tuned for upcoming notices.

Doing Your Own Thing?

When we proclaim ourselves to be followers of Jesus and that He is our Lord and yet we live our lives choosing to do, say, or think whatever we want to do we are manifesting the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil —  SIN NATURE.

We have chosen to set OURSELVES up as the determiner of what is good or evil, right or wrong, beneficial to ME or not beneficial to Me. That is the essence of the SIN NATURE.  Refusing to allow God to be God in our lives.

We mostly don’t even ask the Lord what He would have us do in any given situation — we just do whatever WE WANT TO DO.

That, my friends, is the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Luke 6:46 “And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”

We are to live by faith: 2 Corinthians 5:17 –“for we walk by faith, not by sight”;

Romans 1:17 “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”;

and we are to be led by the Spirit: Galatians 5:25 “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”;

Romans 8:14 “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.”

Jesus was our great example of how the person who is in relationship with God is to live. He lived, spoke, and acted in obedience to the will of the Father, not His own will.

John 5:19 “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son does in like manner.”

John 5:30 “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of He who sent Me.”

John 8:28“I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father has taught Me.”

John 12:49 “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment , what to say, and what to speak.

John 14:10 “The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.”
To conclude: “BE IMITATORS OF GOD, AS BELOVED CHILDREN,” Ephesians 5:1.

Our Goal is to Know the Lord of the Book

The Bible is definitely a precious and wonderful gift from the Lord to His people, but the Bible was never meant to take the place of the Lord Himself, nor the Holy Spirit whom He sent to us. The Bible is a means, not an end. Knowing the Book of the Lord is not our goal; our goal is to know the Lord of the Book. The Bible is intended to be a tool the Holy Spirit uses to help reveal Jesus to us, not to take His place.

ARE YOU IN A STATE OF ETERNAL CHILDHOOD?

Hebrews 5:11-6:2“Concerning Him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith towards God, of instructions about washings, and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.”

The purpose of pastors and leaders is not to maintain, but to equip and perfect the saints for the ministry.

We have to overcome the hindrances to growth. We have to be concerned with being like Jesus, and help others to become like Him also. See Ephesians 4:11-16 and 1 Corinthians 3:1-9. Paul’s idea of the Church is a body with life within that never stops growing. It is not like a baseball that, though it is thrown strongly, after a while comes to a stop. That is what happens when the Church becomes too institutionalized. An institution is ruled by its constitution and bylaws. Usually, if there is any life in it, institutionalism kills it. This is not to say that institutions are wrong, but that we have to be very careful and aware of this peril. History is the witness. Groups that started with life, ended like a baseball when the inertia had ended.

CHILDHOOD: WHAT IS IT?

1. For Paul, the evidence of childhood in Corinth was their division. In Galatia it was their legalism. To the writer to the Hebrews the evidence of babyhood was that they always needed milk and never became spiritual fathers. Apparently, in a large segment of the church today we have the same situations.

2. Today we have divisions worse than the Corinthians. Denominationalism, jealousy, disputes, dissentions, and factions are common; not only between church and church, but also within the same church or denomination. We see many people in the church world who are adamant about following after certain teachers or ministries even to the dividing of friendships. We are witnesses of many local congregations that divide and keep dividing themselves endlessly. Therefore, the problem is not denominational differences only, but childhood. Belonging to the same denomination is not a guarantee that there is not going to be division. Division, enmities, jealousy, strife, etc., are called “the works of the flesh” in the epistle to the Galatians. The church today looks like a large kindergarten. Perhaps we don’t fight because we are rebellious, but because we are children.

3. Legalism: Children must be ruled by laws. As children naturally grow older and become more mature, they no longer are ruled by laws, they become ruled by their inner knowledge of right and wrong. Example: children usually do not understand why parents tell them not to play with scissors. All they hear is the commandment “thou shall not play with scissors.” They do not understand why they can’t cross the road by themselves. All they know is the commandment “thou shall not cross the street alone.” This rule by commandment is because the child has not developed the skills’ or knowledge, or maturity to make the proper decisions because of immaturity. But as the child grows, its skills, knowledge, and maturity increase and they now are capable of doing those things without constant supervision because they are maturing. As a matter of fact, we expect them to grow up and become mature enough to be guided by their inner decision making ability and if they don’t we consider them to be abnormal or even retarded in their normal development. As they grow up, they become free from the laws we establish for them as children or babies. This is the meaning of Galatians 5:18, “…..but if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” To grow is to get freed from legalism, because our inner life in Jesus guides us “into all truth” and “teaches us all things” (I John 2:27). Paul is one living example: I Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23. It seems that for an adult nothing is forbidden, but his inner common sense will tell him what is good and expedient and what is not. The adult person is no longer under the law “thou shall not touch the scissors”, but he won’t be playing with the scissors. The fact there is so much legalism in churches and groups is another evidence of our childhood.

THINK ABOUT THESE THOUGHTS AND GIVE ME YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS.

“It Is Finished”

John 19:30

30   So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

Several weeks ago we  celebrated the passion of Jesus as we celebrated Good Friday through Easter when we remembered the things that happened to Jesus over 2000 years ago and we need to remember what He accomplished for you and me.  That week was the culmination of the reason He came to Earth and was born.  He was born to die!

What He suffered Thursday through Sunday was to complete His mission and having restored everything that had been lost in the garden of Eden He had established a “new covenant” in His blood and He cried out “IT IS FINISHED !”

Imagine looking at Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre museum. Would you think of adding more brush strokes to it? Of course not! It was done by a master, so what could you possibly add to the painting to improve it?

In the same way, that is how we are to look at the work of Jesus on the cross. He cried out, “It is finished!” You cannot complete a completed work. You cannot finish a finished work. Our salvation is won – it is a finished work. Our sins are all forgiven – that too is a finished work. We are made forever righteous by His blood – this too is a finished work. Christ paid completely and perfectly for our total forgiveness, righteousness and every blessing!

In fact, these three words, “It is finished”, come from one Greek word “teleo”. In the days of Jesus, a servant would use it when reporting to his master: “I have completed the work assigned to me.” (John 17:4) The word means, “It is finished, it stands finished and it will always be finished!” Perhaps the most significant meaning of “teleo” is how it is used by merchants: “The debt is paid in full!” When Jesus gave Himself on the cross, He met fully the righteous demands of the law. He paid our debts in full!

Today, it is not our works that will bring us the blessings. It is Christ’s finished work. Christian living is not about doing, but believing in His finished work. Under the law, we must do. Under grace, it is done!

Maybe you are faced with overwhelming odds today. Jesus promises, “It is finished!” You are not going to be delivered because you have already been delivered. You are not going to be healed because you are already the healed! God healed you 2,000 years ago! Isaiah 53:5 declares, “By His stripes you are healed!” You are already pregnant with healing. Keep resting in His finished work and it will manifest!

My friend, the work is finished. The victory is won. Our blessings have been bought by His blood! Live life knowing that there is nothing for you to do — only believe! It is finished!

THE MOST AMAZING TRUTH EVER RECORDED IN HISTORY

Jesus-crucifiction.jpeg
We just passed the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus with a day we call Easter Sunday which is probably the most celebrated of the religion called Christianity.  Yet most people have no real understanding of what that day truly represents to us.  Actually, for the Christian, and even more important day to celebrate and bring to remembrance would be the previous Friday that we call Good Friday.  Why would I say that, because on that day the most amazing truth ever recorded in history occurred and most preople do not really undeerstand what occurred on THAT day. THAT day was the day Jesus cut and established the blood covenant that we humans could enter into by faith.  Let me take a few minutes of your time to explain what I mean so that you can see this amazing truth.

Romans 6:23“For the wages of sin is death.”

Hebrews 9:22“And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.”

John 1:29 — “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world.”

There were actually two parts to the substitution that Jesus performed on the cross.

PART I — HE PAID THE PRICE FOR OUR SIN

No matter how much we have difficulty believing it, God’s penalty for sin is death, or seperation from God,  yet every human being commits sins because of our fallen sin nature. We have inherited the  sin nature of our forefather, Adam. Sin, in essense is the rebellion against God’s right to rule in our lives.  Adam’s nature was corrupted when because of his rebellion he severed himself from the life of God and by living in Satan’s kingdom of darkness he deteriorated and devolved into a being like his new master, Satan. Because of this every human born after Adam and Eve inherited this sin nature. Remember the scripture says in Romans that we are slaves to whoever it is we obey – either Satan or God.

Romans 6:23“For the wages of sin is death.”

God knew this and because of His great love toward mankind He did make a way for this sin problem to be dealt with — cover it with blood so He didn’t see it.

Remember that under the Old Covenant Law they had the Atonement in which an animal would be killed in place of a human and that blood was a substitute for the humans that had the sin. Instead of someone dying to pay the penalty for the sin a lamb was substituted so that the human could go free.

It was the job of the High Priest to, once a year on the Day of Atonement, take the blood of a lamb for the people and present that blood to God as a sacrifice to cover, or pay for, the penalty of sin. The people were required to bring a sacrificial lamb as perfect as possible to be killed as a substitute in their place.

When John saw Jesus in the scripture above he called Him the Lamb of God that had been prepared to shed His blood as the sacrificial lamb of God for the human family. He was to be our substitute to pay the penalty for man’s sin. Keep in mind that Jesus did not just “bear our sin” on the cross, He BECAME SIN and that caused the Father to actually turn His back on Jesus and reject Him from fellowship.

2 Corinthians 5:21“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Matthew 27:46“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

This had to be the most painful event any individual has ever experienced throughout all of eternity. It literally broke the heart of Jesus so that He had to cry out in agony.

How could anyone love so much as to give up his life in such a gruesome death as the crucifixion for someone like the human race that hated him so much? That demonstrates the incredible love that God has for us.

Romans 5:8“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

1 John 3:16“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us;”

PART II — THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT

The second part of the reason for Jesus’ death on the cross was the actual cutting of the blood covenant. The spilled blood of Jesus is called the “blood of the everlasting covenant”.

The new covenant that was made on the cross was a little different than the covenants prior to it because there was only one person involved — Jesus. Let me explain because this is incredible.

When making a blood covenant there were always two two individuals that were “representatives” or “covenant heads” that actually made the covenant on behalf of themselves, or as a “substitute” on the behalf of a group of others. This is amazing because it was the reason Satan could not understand what was happening on the cross because it was a “mystery” to him. If he had known what was happening he would never had Jesus crucified. He would have tried to kill all the people who were trying to kill Jesus so that Jesus could not have shed His blood, but Satan didn’t know what was actually happening on that cross.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8“but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;”

In Scripture, Jesus was called both the Son of Man and the Son of God. He was born of a virgin birth to a human mother — so He was human. He was also the Word of God that was sent to be wrapped in flesh — so He was God.

John 1:1“In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

John 1:14“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Luke 1:26-38 — the foretelling to Mary of the divine conception of her son Jesus

THEREFORE, JESUS WAS THE “REPRESENTATIVE” AND THE “SUBSTITUTE” OF BOTH THE HUMAN FAMILY AND GOD IN THE SAME BODY.

He was fully man and He was fully God.

When the blood of Jesus was spilled on the cross the blood of the human family and the blood of God were spilled and mingled together establishing the everlasting new covenant in His blood. It sealed the covenant between two formerly hostile parties: God and the human race.

No other event in the history of the universe has had the significance of this event.

For more understanding of what really occurred for us on Good Friday and Easter get my book at Amazon:  http://www.the-covenant-kingdom.com/#link_2694945

GOD WANTS YOU TO REST

What the people of this world are seeking more than any other thing is the very thing that God wants to give us more than anything else —  REST.

Matthew 11:28 —  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you REST.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”          

This world is filled with fears, anxieties, depression, sickness, disease, poverty and lack.  These are the reasons the people on the left are demonstrating this past week.  They are bound in the darkness and are consumned by the above characteristics. People spend the vast majority of their lives seeking solutions to these issues of life.

There is a solution to all of their insecurities, fears, and anxieties; but it seems the church  that man is building is not declaring the message of King Jesus to these troubled people:  repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.”

Here is a picture of a life of REST that King Jesus offers:  Psalm 23 – The Lord Jesus is Our Shepherd.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul;

He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil;

For Thou art with me;  

Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

Thou hast anointed my head with oil;

My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”