Due Praise

Realize that all the joys we have as Christians came because of the agony, and the death, and the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture: Ephesians 1:7-10, Exodus 12:3, Romans 3


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Well, yes, of course, I wait for you to answer, what did you think? [chuckle] My father always said, “Boy, when you ask a question, give a person time to answer.” [chuckle] Nice to be back with you. And we look now at Ephesians, because that’s the book that we’re studying in right now. We look at Ephesians Chapter 1, Verse 7, “In Him, in Christ, we have redemption through His blood. The forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” The doctrine of redemption through shed blood runs all through Scripture, as you know. It’s called the Scarlet Thread of Redemption. Someone has pointed out, that for God to clothe Adam and Eve in skins, after they fell into sin, and their nakedness now, became a shame to them.

It says, “God clothed them with coats of skins.” Well, that meant that some animal had to die, in order to give up its hide, to clothe the naked bodies of Adam and of Eve. You find the sacrifice of the Passover lamb, for example, to skip over a good many chapters. Going on then, into the book of Exodus, and you find the Passover, where the doctrine was, “Take, every family, a lamb.” And it is one lamb for one household. “And you shall kill the lamb,” it says, “And take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin. Strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin, and none of you shall go out of the door of his house, until the morning. Because the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians.” So there you have blood sacrifice.

And then, all through the book of Leviticus, for example, and elsewhere in the Pentateuch, you have the various offerings, most of which included the giving of a life of a bird or an animal, in order, symbolically, to foreshadow, and to pre-picture the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. So that later on, Paul could write, “Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us.” And you go on through the Bible, and finally, you look in the Book of the Revelation, and you find John saying, “I beheld a lamb, as it had been slain.” The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s Lamb, God’s redemptive, Passover, sacrificial, redeeming Lamb. And all of the sacrifices of the Old Testament were simply pictures, looking forward to that day when the Son of God would give His life, a ransom for many. And His blood then, would be the final propitiation, in whom we have redemption through His blood. The blood of Christ would be the propitiation of God’s wrath, and outraged holiness, and you and I then, could be forgiven. “That God,” Paul says in Romans 3, “That He might be just, and at the same time, the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” Now, the key point of all of this is to realize that you and I are lost without the Lord Jesus Christ.

Someone sent me a clipping from the Alliance Witness magazine, which is a reprint of a message that Dr. AW Tozer, who is now with the Lord, wrote back in 1946. I’m gonna take the liberty of reading a couple of excerpts from his words. He says, “There’s come into a popular use, a new cross. It’s like the old cross, but different. This new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christan life. The language is the same, but the content is not the same. The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam’s proud flesh, it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect the sentence imposed by the Law of Sinai. The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it’s a friendly pal, and understood aright, it’s the source of oceans of good, clean fun. It lets Adam live without interference. The accent is on enjoyment, although, the fun is on a higher plane morally, if not intellectually.”

“The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts, but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands, rather it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. The new cross does not slay,” here’s the point he’s making, “The new cross does not slay the sinner, it simply redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living, and saves his self-respect. To the self-assertive, it says, ‘Come and assert yourself for Christ.’ To the egotist, it says, ‘Come and do your boasting in the Lord.’ To the thrill seeker, it says, ‘Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship.’ The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue, in order to make it acceptable to the public.”

Now, he says, “The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere, but its sincerity does not save it from being false. The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up His cross and started down the road, had already said goodbye to his friends. He was not coming back. He was not going out to have his life redirected. He was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing. It was the end of the man. Now, the race of Adam is under a death sentence. There’s no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. We who preach the Gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish goodwill between Christ and the world. God offers life, but of not an improved old life. He offers life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross.”

Well, hey, that’s great writing, isn’t it? What should the man do, who would find life in Christ? “Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins, and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God’s stern displeasure, and acknowledge himself as worthy to die. And having done this, let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen Savior. And from Him, the Savior, will come life, and rebirth, and cleansing, and power.” Well, thanks to whoever sent me that clipping from the Alliance Witness. And I read that, simply, to remind all of us that, when we read a verse like Ephesians 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” You work backward through that verse and you start with the word ‘grace.’

Grace is unmerited favor. Someone has said that, “Everything outside the lake of fire is pure grace. Everything outside of hell is pure grace, because all that you and I deserve, as poor, guilty sinners, is the judgment of God.” Isn’t it so? And so you start with the concept of God’s grace. God offers to save you from your sins by His grace. You and I deserve nothing but judgment, but, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Then, you work backwards through that verse and you have the phrase, “The forgiveness of sins.” The key experience of salvation, so far as you and I are concerned, leading to what we call the new birth, is that our sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake. The Lord Jesus died for all our sins. He paid for them all.

“God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” That word ‘for,’ I think is the Greek word ‘huper,’ which means up over, instead, in our stead. He took our place. He paid our penalty. The penalty for sin is all paid and, therefore, God can be just, and at the same time, the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. But I have to face the fact of my sin, I can’t simply say, “Well, I wanna do better. I’m not such a bad guy after all and I wanna do a little better.” That isn’t the approach that saves. The approach that saves is to realize that all I deserve is God’s judgment, and that all that I’m capable of is still more failure. And that I need a force, and a power stronger than I, to rescue me from my sins, and to forgive me, and to make me a new creature, and the only one who can do that is our blessed Lord. He does it as the Holy Spirit of God begins to work in your life, when you trust the Lord Jesus as Savior. The change is made, the sins are forgiven, and you are adopted into the family of God.

We’ve been predestinated. It’s says in Verse 5 of this same chapter, “Unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself,” so the forgiveness of sins. Then, you have the concept, “In whom we have redemption through His blood.” This word ‘redeems’ means to buy in the market, to buy out of the market, and to take forever out of the market, and set free. There’s different meanings to that word, which is translated with the one English word ‘redeem’ or ‘redemption.’ What the Lord Jesus Christ actually did was to go into the slave market of sin, so to speak, and to pay the price for your freedom, and then to take you and me by the hand, to lead us out of the slave market, and say, “You’re free. You’re free now, because you’re mine.” Oh, free to belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, instead of to be the slave of sin. “In whom we have redemption.” Now, what’s the price of it? “In whom we have redemption through His blood.”

Stop here long enough to realize that all the joys we have as Christians came because of the agony, and the death, and the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is an awesome thing to see a human being die. As a minister, I have been present a good many times when people were breathing their last. And also, as a minister, I’ve been called to accident scenes, where people were horribly injured, and where their life was ebbing out. But somehow or other, we have glossed over, because we are so familiar with these terms, we’ve glossed over the real meaning of them.

And when Paul the Apostle, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says, “We have redemption through Christ’s blood,” what he’s actually saying is, “There was a man, a God man, one day, whom they nailed to a cross. And having lifted that Roman gibbet up toward the sky, they let it fall with a thud into the hole in the rock that had been hewn out for it. And there He hung, suspended with every muscle, and nerve, and sinew screaming in agony, and with His body having been lacerated by the scourging, and the skin of His scalp torn by the huge thorns, that were part of the crown of thorns upon His head. And with all of the woe, and misery, and agony of becoming sin, He was the spotless Son of God. And now, God had placed all of our iniquities…” “The Lord hath laid upon Him, the iniquity of us all,” says Isaiah.

The awful, holy nausea of a Holy God. The Lord Jesus Christ, bearing our sins, and then the shedding of His blood, and the expiring of that human life, in order that He might, again, take it in the resurrection, and become forever our risen Savior. When you read those words, “Redemption through His blood,” remember, there was a human being, who was also God, the God man, the Lord Jesus Christ died that way for you. Oh, lift your heart in praise and thank Him for it, even today, will you?

Dear Father today, help us to appreciate the shed blood of Christ. I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen. Amen. God bless you, dear friend, every step of the way.

That’s all for now, until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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