Why Did Jesus Die?

The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is not one of many options to the Father… it’s the only way.

Why go through a gruesome death if He’s just one of many options? Why allow men, He created, revile and mock Him? Why humble Himself even unto death?

Jesus is not a liar. Every word He says is pure (Prov 30:5). He said I am the way…no man comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).

I am amazed that you are turning away so soon from God who, in his love and mercy, invited you to share the eternal life he gives through Christ; you are already following a different “way to heaven,” which really doesn’t go to heaven at all. For there is no other way than the one we showed you; you are being fooled by those who twist and change the truth concerning Christ (Gal 1:6-7)

I know very well how foolish it sounds to those who are lost, when they hear that Jesus died to save them. But we who are saved recognize this message as the very power of God (1 Cor 1:18 LB)

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is God’s powerful method of bringing all who believe it to heaven. This message was preached first to the Jews alone, but now everyone is invited to come to God in this same way (Rom 1:16 LB)

You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence…There is no other Message—just this one. (Col 1:21-23 MSG).

You were dead in sins, and your sinful desires were not yet cut away. Then he gave you a share in the very life of Christ, for he forgave all your sins, and blotted out the charges proved against you, the list of his commandments which you had not obeyed. He took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. In this way God took away Satan’s power to accuse you of sin, and God openly displayed to the whole world Christ’s triumph at the cross where your sins were all taken away (Col 2:13-15 LB)

By his deathNow all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles, may come to God the Father with the Holy Spirit’s help because of what Christ has done for us (Eph 2:15,16,18 LB)

It was through what his Son did that God cleared a path for everything to come to him—all things in heaven and on earth—for Christ’s death on the cross has made peace with God for all by his blood. This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies and hated him and were separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends. He has done this through the death on the cross of his own human body, and now as a result Christ has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are standing there before him with nothing left against you—nothing left that he could even chide you for; the only condition is that you fully believe the Truth, standing in it steadfast and firm, strong in the Lord, convinced of the Good News that Jesus died for you, and never shifting from trusting him to save you. This is the wonderful news that came to each of you and is now spreading all over the world. And I, Paul, have the joy of telling it to others (Col 1:20-23 LB)

What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent to this great salvation announced by the Lord Jesus himself and passed on to us by those who heard him speak? (Heb 2:3 LB)

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom 6:23)

Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection (Rom 6:6- MSG)

He died under God’s judgment against our sins so that he could rescue us from constant falling into sin and make us his very own people, with cleansed hearts and real enthusiasm for doing kind things for others (Titus 2:14)

So also Christ died only once as an offering for the sins of many people; and he will come again, but not to deal again with our sins. This time he will come bringing salvation to all those who are eagerly and patiently waiting for him (Heb 9:28 LB)

Further Reading

1 Thes 5: 9-10;Gal 3:13;Rom 6:7,18;Col 2:13-15;1 Pet 1:18-19

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Not One Jot, Not One Tittle

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved (Matt 5:18 NLT).

Time does not change, overrun or overcome what God has said. God is not a man, that he should lie…hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (Num 23:19)

In the days of Joshua God said that Jericho should not be rebuilt..years later a man ventured to build Jericho in defiance and did it at the cost of his sons’ lives.

At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before the Lord is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: “At the cost of his firstborn son he will lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest he will set up its gates” (Josh 6:26 NIV).

In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua son of Nun (1 Kings 16:34 NIV).

This is not the time to scoff saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

Remember that the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord WILL come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up (2 Pet 3:4,9,10).

Listen to God

In Exod the Israelites told Moses, “You speak to us and we’ll listen, but don’t have God speak to us or we’ll die” (Exod 20:19).

Today we have people who want their pastors to hear from God on their behalf. People wait in line after service just to ask their pastor, “Do you have a word for me?” Such people may soon end up in delusion because some men posing as servants of the Most High God are like Jeroboam I, with their own agenda.

Jeroboam made a fort at Shechem in the hills of Ephraim, and made that his headquarters. He also built a fort at Penuel. But then Jeroboam thought, “It won’t be long before the kingdom is reunited under David. As soon as these people resume worship at The Temple of GOD in Jerusalem, they’ll start thinking of Rehoboam king of Judah as their ruler. They’ll then kill me and go back to King Rehoboam.”

So the king came up with a plan: He made two golden calves. Then he announced, “It’s too much trouble for you to go to Jerusalem to worship. Look at these—the gods who brought you out of Egypt!” He put one calf in Bethel; the other he placed in Dan. This was blatant sin. Think of it—people traveling all the way to Dan to worship a calf! And that wasn’t the end of it. Jeroboam built forbidden shrines all over the place and recruited priests from wherever he could find them, regardless of whether they were fit for the job or not.

To top it off, he created a holy New Year festival to be held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month to replace the one in Judah, complete with worship offered on the Altar at Bethel and sacrificing before the calves he had set up there. He staffed Bethel with priests from the local shrines he had made. This was strictly his own idea to compete with the feast in Judah; and he carried it off with flair, a festival exclusively for Israel, Jeroboam himself leading the worship at the Altar   (1 Kings 12:25-33 MSG).

No man of God should take the place of the Holy Spirit in your life. Deuteronomy 4:33 shows that people survive encounters with God.

God is inviting you to come into His presence. He’s willing and ready to teach you His will. The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you” (Psa 32:8 NLT).

Spend time with God today. He’s expecting you.

Discernment

Jesus said of the devil, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

In Matthew 4, Satan quoted from Psalm 91 when he tempted Jesus, but whatever he had to say was not God-breathed (inspired). Take heed how and what you hear. Even when what Satan says appears correct…Jesus says he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own.

In Acts 16, the girl possessed with the spirit of divination said these men are the servants of the Most High yet Paul was grieved. Why? What she said was correct – they were the servants of the Most High God.

God commands us to test every spirit. Prove all things. Take heed what and how you hear (1 John 4:1; 1Thess 5:21; Mark 4:24; Luke 8:18)

The gift of suspicion is not the gift of discerning of spirits. Everyone has the first only the Holy Spirit gives the latter.

The Abuse of Grace

adapted from a message by Pastor Dele Oyeleru

Where purpose is not know, abuse is inevitable. A believer who describes grace as merely unmerited favour will at a point in life inadvertently misuse grace because this definition does not include the purpose of grace. Grace  is unmerited favour, forgiveness of sin … and also empowerment, enablement for man to do what he could not do on his own to please a holy God.

Abuse is defined as  to use badly or improperly.

If we do not know the purpose of God’s grace we will abuse grace. God’s purpose for grace is stated in Titus 2:11-13

For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind. It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world (Titus 2:11-12 AMP).

How is grace misused?
1)Turning God’s grace into a license to sin
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 4).

If you think grace is just unmerited favour then you’ll treat it like free-for-all-rain water that can be put to just about any use. You’ll sin with the mentality that “I can sin as much as I want. All I need to do is plead the blood of Jesus and voila God has no choice but to forgive me.”

2) By not growing in grace or not multiplying grace But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18).

When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God  (Acts 13:43 NIV).

In John 8:31, Jesus says continue in My word. There is no vacuum in nature. You can’t give the excuse that you’ve remained on the same spot. If you are not advancing or progressing then you’re actually regressing. Put grace to work in your life by using it.

3) By not receiving grace Grace is always given so it must be received. If you don’t come to the throne of grace then you don’t receive grace. You are the one who needs grace so you must connect to God’s grace. God says come because grace is available (Hab 4:16)…God brings grace to you the way He wants, He is not bound to bring grace the way you want. People who are focused on nothing except Jesus are the ones who connect to God’s grace anywhere, any how and any time it shows up.

Sometimes God’s grace is released through His word by preachers or people we do not like. Forget the fact that you do not like the preacher and connect to God.

4) Not sharing grace with others Paul shared freely so we could be partakers of God’s grace (Phil 1:7; Acts 20:20). Freely have you received so freely should you give (Matt 10:8, 1 Cor 9:18). As a part of the body of Christ you are a joint which supplies (Eph 4:16), a saint speaking to another (Mal 4:16) and you are admonished to exhort one another daily (Hebrews 3:13).

but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—  from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love (Eph 4:14-16 NIV).

You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house (Acts 20:20 NIV).

5) Receiving grace in vain As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain (2 Cor 6:1 NIV).   Is there anything to show that you have received the grace of God?

Do you lightly esteem the grace of God like Esau who lightly esteemed his birthright? Do you refuse to give value to the grace of God by a continuous life of sin? Properly estimate the cost of God’s grace. It cost the life of His Son, Jesus.

6) By frustrating the grace of God I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Gal 2:21, Gal 3:1-3).

Your assurance of salvation should not rest on your works outside of a relationship with Christ but on the work of Christ on the cross. You could do no good works until the good work on the cross had been done. Your righteousness outside of this is filthy rags. The work of Christ on the cross makes you do good works. (Titus 2:11, Eph 2:8)

Is It True?

summary of a message preached by Pastor Dele Oyeleru of TCBC, Ejigbo

Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so (Acts 17:11 NASB).

It’s your responsibility and right to check what if what a preacher says is what God has said in His word. Don’t believe the heresy that you can’t question or verify a sermon you heard in church. Continue reading

Faithfulness and Fruitfulness: Are you indeed faithful and fruitful?

By God’s Icon

About a decade ago, my family and I moved into our new property with all the fun and adventure that comes with relocating. Three years before we moved into the house, my dad had instructed the gardener to plant some three little coconuts palms in different positions of the vast land. After being subjected to the same nutrients, soil, rainfall et atmospheric conditions over three years; one of the coconut trees later had dried off, the other was stunted in growth, while the last grew and blossomed, yielding large coconuts. Continue reading

Discipline That Prepares Us

by God’s Icon

It was George Washington who remarked “Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.”

When Jesus Christ began in ministry, He set out by picking twelve disciples whom He took through the discipline of being taught His words and doctrine, His ways and manner of living. My interest actually lies in the root word for disciples, which is DISCIPLINE. Continue reading

God’s Recall Notice

Adapted from John McTernan

Ezekiel 36:25-27 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Urgent Recall Notice

The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code-named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.

This defect has been identified as “Sub-sequential Internal Non-morality,” more commonly known as “S.I.N.”, as it is primarily expressed.

Some of the symptoms include: Continue reading

Life Lessons from the Parable of the Talents

By God’s Icon

As Believers, we must be attuned intermittently to the truth that one day when all of our time on earth is done, we all as pilgrims would stand before the God of heaven and earth and give stewardship of our times here on earth.

In our study, we’d find that the parable of the talent brings to light several key points that point us in the direction of what to expect as the return of the King draws nigh.

Let’s examine the scripture from Matt 25 vs. 14 through to 30 critically. Continue reading