The freedom the cross brings. Romans 6

As an aspect of my rebellious nature, I wrote this post and included my Pastor’s name. I, as a joke, tried to redact it, but that did not work, so I either eliminated it or put dots where his name had been. In the long run, this elimination of his name is probably wiser, although I have inserted information that could potentially lead you to find out what his name is. Don’t waste your time because it is not that important. What is important is that you become more skillful in the Word of God. This by no means is demanding that you memorize scriptures, I can’t, and I gave up trying years ago, but I do lean heavily upon the Holy Spirit bringing things back to my remembrance. So when your Pastor says something that is in opposition to the Word of God, then you will know it. Now, what you do with that information depends upon how much of the bridge you want to burn. I have burned a couple of them and now wish I hadn’t.

On a recent Sunday morning, I was listening to my Pastor teach on Romans 6. The scripture reading this morning began with Romans 6:12.

Romans 6:12-14 NASB “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, (13) and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (14) For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

The pastor admitted that we probably would not make it out of verse 12, which, as you can see above, instructs us to NOT let sin reign in our mortal bodies so that we obey its lusts.

Considering that we all have an inborn desire to lust, I equate it to a damaged chromosomal chain in our DNA, which is common throughout all humanity. Theoretically, science looks at human DNA and sees a dark spot in the exact location on all of them. Without the original schematics, which would show that the plans called for something else, they have no alternative but to declare that this dark spot is standard in humankind and, therefore, the baseline that defines all humanity.

If that is true, how do we avoid this desire to want what we cannot or should not have?

That is where Romans 6:14 steps up to bat because it says sin, lust, or faithlessness shall not be master over you. 

If sin does NOT master us, why not?

Because you are not under the law but under grace.

Ah, here is where some take the hairpin curve on the mountain road too fast and go over the edge; because they think we have no law to guide us. Those that choose to abuse the law of grace do not seem to realize that God’s law is written upon their hearts.

“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, A people in whose heart is My law; Do not fear the reproach of man, Nor be dismayed at their revilings.”
(Isaiah 51:7 NASB)

Paul, to the church in Corinth, wrote:

You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; (3) being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3 NASB)

So the law that we think we are free from is written upon our hearts, and it still guides and controls our very being.

But there is another thing that gives us freedom from the death associated with sin: the cross.

Some will say, I saw the movie, The Passion. It was bloody, vile, and nightmarish, but how does that change my life? 

Well, the cross was no less than the bronze serpent that God had Moses place upon the crossed poles that would have ordinarily held a banner so that all who looked upon the serpent would live. 

“The people spoke against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.” The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people so that many people of Israel died. So the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses interceded for the people. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten when he looks at it, he will live.”
Numbers 21:5-8 NASB)

If you noticed, looking upon the serpent on the pole did not make the “sin” go away, nor did it remove the pain associated with being bit. Instead, it allowed them to live. The Apostle Paul told us to fix our eyes upon Jesus – who, by the way, is no longer on the cross.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 NASB)

If Jesus, as a part of that journey from the cross to the throne, paid for our redemption, purchasing us back from Satan’s ownership with His own blood, then we are free from the penalties required for the “sin” that so easily besets us.

So here is where my problem with the Pastor’s assertion came into play.

In trying to make some point associated with the study on Romans, there was a part that I admittedly missed that led to the Pastor saying the price Jesus paid on the cross wasn’t enough, and that is why Jesus now sits as mediator.

So let’s walk through this statement and see if it’s true. 

The author of the Hebrews tells us that Jesus endured the cross because He saw the joy set before Him. ( Hebrews 12:2.) That joy included the knowledge that people like you and me would join the family as we came into fellowship with God. The joy also included the pain He would suffer; the loss of His relationship with the Father, even if for a short time, and the resolution of this sacrificial journey from the cross to the throne because He knew that He would soon be sitting in His rightful place, on the right hand of the Father, where this story began all those years ago. 

However monumental as these assertions are, they do not prove the sufficiency of Christ; that piece of evidence that demonstrated, for me, that He was enough began to ring true here in Hebrews 9. Hebrews 9:13-15 tells us that He sprinkled His bloodas the high priest, in the heavenly temple to purify not only the Heavenly temple, but He acted there on our behalf also. In other words, He covered our sins as well.

We are told in Hebrews 9:23 that everything on earth, in terms of the temple, the utensils, and the functional pattern that the priests went through to cover the sins of the people, was first established in the heavenly temple.

That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.” (Hebrews 9:23 NLT)

A portion of the Hebrews 9:13-15 reads like this,

For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God.”

That cleansing blood was almost beaten out of Him by the Roman scourge; the nails on the cross and the spear in His side could have depleted it all, and yet there was enough blood to apply to not only Himself but us as well; cleansing us from ALL sins, and bringing about our permanent forgiveness.

Here is where many will part company, as I referred to, a forgiveness that is endless, and yes, I am saying that all sin is forgiven. If you can’t handle this scriptural truth, then you need to realize that your religious traditions have blinded you to the truth of the gospel.

So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.” (Hebrews 9:11-12 NLT)

To put it bluntly, Jesus is never going back on the cross, not even if you keep messing up multiple times a day.

Why not?

Because the sacrifice He made WAS enough, adequate, and sufficient, so I, unless I am unlearned or seriously misled, should NEVER imply to anyone that Jesus and the price He paid on that cross was never enough.

But there was another aspect of this presumed inadequacy, and that was that Jesus was now sitting on the right hand of the Father, mediating for us, because His work on the cross was not good enough and therefore must constantly pitch our case before the Father. Here is a piece of twisted logic for you to chew on.

If you feel as though you can say that Jesus was not enough, then why would you possibly think that He could mediate on your behalf?

You wouldn’t, and you know that. To think in this manner tends to mean that you are purposefully disregarding the supremacy of Jesus, God’s Son. Jesus voluntarily submitted to the cross on our behalf; and then, as the high priest, submitted His own blood and splashed it upon the altar and mercy seat in the heavenly temple.

Hebrews 7:15-25 NASB (I have used the NASB with the exception of verse 25 as it states the situation more clearly. I also added some commentary which I have italicized.)

(15) “And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek [That priest was Jesus], 

(16) who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement but according to the power of an indestructible life.[Why introduce the idea of indestructibility unless He first had to be destructible? He told Pilot that he could do nothing unless He allowed it; that means that Jesus allowed all this to happen.]

(17) For it is attested of Him, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” [Melchizedek seemed to show up out of nowhere in a land where a priest should not have existed, especially since there was no Aaronic line that provided the priests. “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.” (Genesis 14:18 NASB)]

(18) For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness [So, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Old Covenant was set aside for another.]

(19) (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand, there is a bringing in of a better hopethrough which we draw near to God.

(20) And inasmuch as it was not without an oath

(21) (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, “THE LORD HAS SWORN AND WILL NOT CHANGE HIS MIND, ‘YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER‘”);

(22) so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. (23) The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing,

(24) but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues foreverholds His priesthood permanently.

(25) And so he is able, now and always, to save those who come to God through him, because he lives forever to plead with God for them. (GNB)

Again we find evidence for the supremacy of Christ in Hebrews 1:3, which tells us that having completed these things, He sat down in victory, NOT defeat.

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (Hebrews 1:3 NASB)

How did He get those keys unless He went to hell itself?

Psalm 16 shows us David speaking prophetically about Jesus and how He knew that the Father would not allow Him to suffer or see the corruption associated with hell.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope.  (10)  For you will not leave my soul in hell; neither will you suffer your Holy One to see corruption.” (Psalms 16:9-10 KJV [thees and thous were changed for readability by me].)

We modern-day Christians assume that the words we see on the pages of our Bibles are correct and not to be challenged. It was Dr. Chuck Missler who pointed out that every translation has issues, but the KJV’s are well documented, so we can make proper adaptions to our studies. So with that said, let’s look at the word corruption.

Corruption is the Hebrew word shachath and means pit (especially as a trap); figuratively destruction: – corruption, destruction, ditch, grave, pit.

The Apostle Paul must have understood that Jesus went to hell, even if momentarily because he tells us that He ascended on high. I can take this two ways: I can see the superiority of Jesus as the Father tells Him, “today you are my Son,” come and sit in your seat once again, or I can say that this is merely referring to Jesus when he rose up and disappeared in the clouds, while an audience of witnesses watched.

Although, if you can admit that He rose in the clouds, as He said He would, then wouldn’t you tacitly be admitting to the validity and Lordship of Jesus Christ? 

(Ephesians 4:8 NASB)

Look at our introduction to Jesus in Revelation 1, where it says that He was dead and now alive..

When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One, and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” (Revelation 1:17-18 NASB)

If I can grasp the supremacy of Jesus and why then I should comprehend that He is the finest of mediators between man and God.

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.”
(1 Timothy 2:5-6 NASB)

It was Pastor … that made the statement that inspired this post; and he is the one that made a statement during a recent conference called” Futures,” how that when it comes to the reality of our lives and the mistaken idea that we are free from effects of sin. Pastor … says, we are sin positive. Think about those who have heard the words; you are HIV positive. It used to come across as a death pronouncement until the pharmaceutical companies introduced treatments for HIV. As a follower of Christ, the pronouncement that we are sin positive is a pronouncement of life because of His love and acceptance; and though we may stumble frequently, we still get back up because we have a mediator, Jesus, the victorious Son of God. And, He is perpetually looking out for us.

And since Satan is actively looking for some failure, in which he can protest that we must be destroyed in hell, as he will be constantly.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.” (Revelation 12:10 NASB)

If Satan thinks he has a full-time job accusing, then I suppose Jesus, too, has a full-time job defending us against his accusations.

We are covered by the blood of a victorious Jesus.

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