Welcome to Church on the Hill, Glenavon, Sask, Canada

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Jesus’ Greatest Accomplishment

Scriptures: John 1:29, John 3:1-5, John 3:14-17, Matt 9:1-7,
John 8:3-11, Luke 23:34, 43, Acts 4:12, Hebrews 10:11-18

Pastor Lorne started Sunday’s message by reminding us that the previous Sundays had been about the life of Jesus and His control over the laws of nature and the elements, His ability to walk on the water, His authority over Satan’s demons and His power to not only perform miracles but to be able to withstand Satan’s temptation.

Pastor Lorne said today we were going to look at the most important aspect of Jesus’ life and the real reason that He came into this world. However, he said he wanted to see if there were any more testimonies because we’d all been so blessed by those given a couple weeks ago and some of the congregation had been missing that day. It is such a wonderful feeling to hear people explain how they found Christ and what made them realize that He was missing in their life.

When the testimonies were done, Pastor Lorne said that salvation was the greatest thing Jesus had ever done. He forgave sin and when He forgave sin, He gave you and I the power to live right. Pastor Lorne said that you can do something against me to upset me and I can forgive you but I wouldn’t have the power to change you. But when we ask Christ to forgive us, He has the power to change us by removing our sin. That is such a profound statement: He has the power to remove sin.

John 1:29 says, that when John the Baptist saw Jesus walking toward him, he said, "...Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

And in John 3:1-3 Jesus said to Nicodemus, a Pharisee, “...I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Nicodemus took the words literally and asked how someone could be born again since it was physically impossible to re-enter your mother’s womb. Jesus answered him in verse 5: "...I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”

Pastor Lorne referred us to John 3:14 which says “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.” Now at this point, I must admit that I missed out on what Pastor Lorne said about that verse. (I don’t think I was day-dreaming...) So, I’ll try to explain this verse myself...Jesus was lifted up on the Cross where he was crucified. He submitted Himself to the will of God and by that one act, bought redemption and eternal life for the rest of us. Because Jesus allowed Himself to be lifted up, we should now lift Him up in exaltation for what he did on the Cross for us.

Pastor Lorne says the scripture of John 3:16 tells us that if we believe in Jesus, we can have eternal life: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” So, Jesus was able to forgive sins. V17 goes on to say that God didn’t send Jesus down to condemn us but to save us...to give us eternal life.

Jesus is the only way to heaven which is eternal life.

Pastor Lorne said that so many people take things to be relative and say that there’s no one truth...that as long as you believe in something, you’ll be okay. But the scriptures don’t say that! The Bible says that believing in Jesus and only Him gives us eternal life.

Pastor Lorne furthered that by saying today we believe that if we lift up Jesus, we will be saved and it’s a wonderful thing to know. As Christians, we know that He is our Saviour.

Referring back to Matt 9:1-7 (covered in a past blog entry) and the miracle of the paralytic man, Jesus said, “...your sins are forgiven.” And the man got up and went home. Pastor Lorne said that Jesus was demonstrating His power to forgive sins but the nearby ‘teachers of the law’ objected to this so-called blasphemy. In return, Jesus asked them if it really made a difference if He said “...your sins are forgiven” or “...Get up and walk”?

John 8:3-11 tells another story of Jesus forgiving sin. It’s the story of the adulterous woman who was brought before Him to be tried. According to the law of Moses, such women were to be stoned but Jesus sensed that the only reason they brought her to Him was to trap Him. The Bible says “...But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger. When they kept on questioning him, He straightened up and said to them, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.” Now Pastor Lorne said he wondered why Jesus looked down but he figured it was because Jesus gave these fellows a way out when He bent down and looked in the dirt. This woman was ‘caught in the act’ and Jesus was able to forgive her sin right there and send her away as if she’d never done wrong.

“That’s the great thing with our Savior,” Pastor Lorne emphasized, “that He makes it like we’d never done wrong.”

In Luke 23:34, Jesus said, “...Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing...” Pastor Lorne said even on the cross, Jesus asked God to forgive His executioners and went on to say in v43: "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Again, it’s proof of Jesus’ ability to change lives and forgive sins.

In Acts 4:12, Pastor Lorne said that Peter is speaking to the people.and he says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

Pastor Lorne says that Hebrews 10:11-18 is a great scripture of promise and comfort because we know Jesus died on the cross and paid the penalty for our sins once and for all. The text refers to priests who stand and perform the same religious duties day after day, offering the same sacrifice (v11) “...which can never take away sins.” But v18 says “And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.” The writer of Hebrews is saying that when Jesus paid the ultimate price and made the sacrifice on the Cross, there’s nothing else we need to do to receive eternal life. It was totally done.

Pastor Lorne said that when we come before our great Saviour and accept Him and be forgiven by Him, He doesn’t remember our past. He said it’s written in the Bible that God doesn’t remember our sins any more. They’re in the past and we don’t need another sacrifice. He said you don’t have to keep going back to church or temple with sacrifices for your sins.

Jesus paid the sacrifice and no more need to be made. If we just accept Him, we will have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Pastor Lorne said it’s a great and wonderful promise. He said, “I encourage you to hang on to it. That when Satan comes and puts you down, remember salvation. That Jesus paid the price and if you accept Him, you are a child of God and you have the strength and freedom to live with Him without the fear that it’s not enough.”

If you would like to speak to Pastor Lorne about this, please email him.

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