Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Deliverance from sin is through Jesus.

13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[c] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:13-17)

Jesus continues in His explanation to Nicodemus, because Nicodemus is expecting the Messiah to come into the world on a white war horse and defeat the Romans with His fiery sword, and this followed by a big celebration. Nicodemus ignored, as so many of his time did, the need for salvation and the judgment of sin. So Jesus continues in verse 17. God did not send His Son into the world this first time to judge the world, but to save it, and here is the problem with Nicodemus. He is expecting the second advent rather than the first advent. He has lost the point of the judgment of sin and the death and resurrection of the Messiah, and the victory over Satan which is required before there can be any eternal life for anyone.
Sin saturates the world, and we all are guilty of sin. Therefore judgment is our reward. But Christ went to collect on that reward in our place. None of us could withstand the judgment for a single sin, let alone all our sins. The question of sin has to be dealt with before the question of eternity can be addressed. Therefore the first advent and the Cross.
So Nicodemus is receiving the explanation he did not want, but in terms he can clearly understand, and from knowledge which he clearly has possession of. He is a teacher of scripture, yet he does not understand the lessons he teaches. He rejects the need for salvation, or the work of God on the Cross. Jesus has identified Himself as the Son of Man, a title for the Messiah. Jesus has identified Himself as God, having been the only one who has been in heaven. Jesus has described the only means of salvation, believing in the Son of God, Himself. Jesus has explained the purpose of this first advent of God, which is not to judge, but to save. Nicodemus is expecting the judgment of the Romans, not Christ on the Cross. And last, Jesus states that this deliverance is through Himself. Not the Law, not through good works, but only through Christ comes deliverance from sin and death.

Peace and love,


"Then Jesus said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". (Luke 9:23)

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