Jesus Did It!
By: Jack Kelly
'Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, 'Here I am'it is written about me in the scroll' I have come to do your will, O God.'' (Psalm 40:6-8, from the Septuagint translation. Attributed to Jesus in Hebrews 10:5-7).
don't think of the Bible as one message for everyone, but see the Old
Testament as the part for the Jews while the New testament is the part for
the Church miss out on a lot. They don't see that while the two parts of the
Book are obviously different, they are also tied together.
The Old Testament explained how the Israelites were supposed to behave while the New Testament takes some of those behavioral imperatives and presents them in the spiritual sense to show us what we're supposed to believe. If you look closely you'll find that things that obviously call for external, physical, and national behavior in the Old Testament often become internal, spiritual and personal beliefs in the New.
with the very foundation of
Now listen to
Paul in Romans 2:28-29.
A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision
merely outward and physical.
No, a man is a Jew if he is one
inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not
by the written code.
was an external, physical sign; an identifying mark that every male
Israelite had to take to be part of the nation.
The mark that replaced it in the New Testament is a spiritual one
that no man can see, and that God gives to us.
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He
anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our
hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Cor. 1:21-22)
And in Galatians 3:28-29 Paul wrote, 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.' Circumcision had become internal, spiritual, and personal.
became of all those laws, restrictions, and sacrifices? The endless
religious work that God required of all Jews?
According to the quote from Psalm 40:6-8, none of this
was pleasing to God.
purpose was to set aside the penalties due the Israelites for their sins
until the Redeemer came to pay those penalties on their behalf.
Jesus said He didn't come to abolish the Law but fulfill it (Matt.
asked him, 'What must we do to do the works God requires?'
External, physical, national behavior from the Old Testament had become an internal, spiritual, personal belief in the New.
was a day of rest, a holy day.
God had labored for six days in the Creation.
On the seventh day the work of creation was finished and He rested (Genesis
2:2-3). In memorial, He
commanded the Israelites to do the same (Exodus 20:8-11). Anyone
caught working on the Sabbath was to suffer physical death (Numbers
physical, national behavior.
worked on the Sabbath (John 8:14-16), and Paul wrote that while some
consider one day to be more sacred than another, others consider every day
to be alike. He said each one should be fully convinced in his own mind (Romans
14:5). Had the Sabbath
writer of Hebrews explained that the Sabbath Law was symbolic of the rest a
believer enters upon being saved.
Just as the Lord rested when the work of creation was done, we are to
rest in the Lord when we're saved because as soon as we accept the pardon He
purchased for us the work of salvation is done.
We're a new creation (Hebrews 4:9-11, 2 Cor. 5:17). Internal,
spiritual, personal belief.
Those who continue to work to either earn or keep their salvation are saying they aren't really saved yet. In effect they're relying on their own work and are not resting in the Lord's completed work on their behalf. Since their work can never be sufficient they will be scheduled for spiritual death.
Or how about
the manna God sent the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 16)?
Everyone had to go out and collect their own; no one could collect it
for anyone else, and everyone got just enough. It kept them alive in the
wilderness. External, physical,
Himself the bread from Heaven and said the manna symbolized Him.
Anyone partaking of Him would never go hungry (John 6:31-35).
But everyone has to get Him for themselves, no one can get him for
anyone else and everyone gets just enough to save them forever.
Internal, spiritual, personal belief.
There are more examples we could use but I think you get the idea. Hebrews 10:1 says the Law is only a shadow of the good things to come; not the realities themselves. The reality is Jesus and the whole Book speaks of Him.
were the best examples of proper Old Testament behavior ever, but Jesus said
our righteousness has to surpass theirs in order to enter the
He said this
because their obedience to the Law was an act of their own will and a matter
of self discipline rather than a changed heart. It was external, physical
behavior. They were not born again.
Their spirit was not one with the Spirit of God. They had trained
themselves to look good on the outside but on the inside they hadn't changed
themselves at all. They were not a new creation.
because no one can recreate themselves.
We're not sinners because we sin. We sin because we're sinners. It's
in our nature. We can only escape judgment because God sent His Son to pay
the penalty due us for our sins.
Our behavior alone will not suffice, no matter how exemplary.
Paul said no
one will be considered righteous by keeping the Law, but that a
righteousness apart from the Law has been made known.
It's a righteousness from God that comes through faith in Jesus
Christ to all who believe (Romans 3:21-22). Internal, spiritual,
if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has
come! God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might
become the righteousness of God
(2 Cor. 5:17,21).
perspective everyone who is born again has already become a new creation,
even though we still see ourselves the same old way.
Paul even went so far as to say that when he sinned, God looked at
him as though it wasn't really he who had sinned but the sin nature that
still lived within him (Romans 7:20).
He also said
that everything that was written in the past was written to teach us (Romans
15:4). In this case the lesson we're supposed to learn is that man's
best external, physical behavior falls hopelessly short of God's standards.
Only a new
heart will solve our problem, and this will only happen when our mortal,
perishable, corruptible bodies are changed. The wages of sin is death, Paul
wrote (Romans 6:23), and death will be the last enemy to be destroyed (1 Cor. 15:26).
As long as there are natural humans in the world there will be sin,
no matter what external circumstances exist.
with the rapture of the Church, Jesus will be focused on destroying this
enemy. He has to reign until
this is accomplished (1 Cor. 15:25). At the rapture we the living,
together with the dead in Christ, will be changed from mortal to immortal (1
Cor. 15:51-53). At the Second Coming Old Testament saints and
Tribulation believers who died for their faith will have a similar
experience (Daniel 12:1-2, Rev. 20:4). At the end of the Millennium
the same will happen for Millennial believers.
(Although the focus of the Great White Throne judgment is on
unbelievers of all ages, Rev. 20:15 gives us a hint that believers
from the Millennial Age will be spared.)
time Jesus will have destroyed all dominion, authority, and power that
conflicts with God's will (1 Cor. 15:24). The Greek word translated
destroyed means to deactivate or render
inoperable. The one for
dominion means origin.
Authority means agency, the ability to do as one chooses.
And power means strength. This means when we're perfected the Lord
will disable our power of choice. Whether our origin was angelic or human,
we'll no longer have either the desire or the strength to rebel against
Sin will be no
more. Death will have been conquered.
At that point all of God's Creation will finally be at peace, in perfect harmony with the will of our Creator forever. Hallelujah.
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PT Staff Note: This was such an excellant writing that I felt it needed additional exposure on the Internet, so that is why we have posted it. However - I'm not in agreement with brother Jack's statement above where he states that "the Lord will disable our power of choice." Rather, I believe we'll forever be allowed to have our power of choice, but we simply wouldn't choose to rebel because we couldn't stand to hurt God. It is also my belief that the greatest understanding (revelation) of God's love is choice. To have choice removed from the equation means that God's love never was, nor ever will be then ... choice. I realize I could be wrong, however, so we'll have to wait and see how the future unfolds regarding the matter.
Not that it matters, but I'm of the belief that when Jesus Christ was here on earth for his 33 years, He COULD have sinned, but He chose not to because His love for the Father was too great. I would even go so far as to say Jesus could sin right now in heaven, if He wanted to, because He's granted that right because He became like us while here on earth. But His love for righteousness and the Father and the Holy Spirit simply wouldn't allow Him to make a wrong choice. And because we are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, I believe in eternity we also will retain the same right that He was given -- the right (option) to choose to do wrong, but never choosing to do wrong.
Feel free to share your beliefs on the matter if you would like. It would be interesting to hear what others believe on this topic. - Norm Rasmussen, Director, Precious Testimonies
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