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

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)

Plant and Watch It Grow

by Yewande Olamiju

Reading from my primary 5 science textbook that a bean seed will grow in just under three days was a science experiment I was eager, extremely eager to try out. The biggest downer was that I had to wait for three whole days. In addition to this torturous waiting  (as it seemed to a then nine year old) I had to maintain the right conditions to ensure growth. Continue reading