“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
You may have heard the phrase, “A diamond in the rough.” Usually, it is talking about that bad guy or girl who has lots of potential but so many rough edges. Some people have an eye for diamonds-in-the-rough; others dismiss them. But most people don’t know exactly what to do with them to make their true potential come out. They see good in there, but how do you chip away all of the hardened, rough rock surrounding it?
God knows exactly how to make diamonds come forth. It is His specialty, in fact. If you look at all of the people in the Bible He chose to work with for His plan, you’ll see soon that they are a bunch of diamonds-in-the-rough. Moses, for one, was chosen to be a speaker when he was a criminal ex-patriot with a speech problem. David was chosen to be King, though he was the least valued in his family and just a little shepherd. Mary was chosen to carry the King of Kings, Jesus, though she was poor and unmarried.
Nobody thought much of these people. And maybe you feel that nobody thinks much of you. But God does. He is drawn to diamonds-in-the-rough—those who feel they don’t have a lot going on, who don’t have a lot of pretenses. The Bible says that God is drawn to those who are lowly. “Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar” (Psalm 138:6). Maybe you feel that you have too many issues for God. Maybe you have a rough past, or current addictions you can’t overcome. It’s not too hard for God.
The blood of Christ
Galatians 2:20, is presented as God’s normal for the Christian according to watchman Nee.
“I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Watchman Nee says,” In all His (Jesus-Christ), works with us; He takes us out of the picture and substitutes us with Christ.”
- A substitute on the cross who secures our forgiveness
- A substitute within who secures our victory
God answers all questions by one-way and by one-way only, by showing us his Son.
We have a twofold problem, 1. Sin
Romans chapter 1 to chapter 8, is dealt with as one unit.
|Scripture ref:||Subject||My Need||God’s Remedy|
|Rom 1:1-5:11||Sins||Forgiveness from Sin’s Penalty||Jesus’ Shed Blood|
|Rom 5:12-8:39||Sin||Deliverance from Sins Power||The Cross of Christ|
1. Romans 1:1 – 5:11 Sins
2. Romans 5:12 – 8:39 Sin
The first section deals with our sins, which are many, the second half deals with the question of the principle of sin working within us. No matter how many sins I commit, it is the question of the one Sin principle that leads to the many other sins that I commit that is the problem that I need to be dealt with.
I need forgiveness for my sins, but I also need deliverance from the power of sin.
The former touches my conscience. The latter touches my life.
I may receive forgiveness for all my sins, but if I do not receive deliverance from the power of sin then I have no lasting or abiding peace of mind.
- You see, when I initially receive forgiveness from my sins there is Joy, but then when I realize that there is still the propensity within me to sin and the power to sin, I realize that there is something very wrong within.
If I see a sign saying, “Keep off Grass,” the first thing I immediately want to do is to step onto the grass!
Now why is it that I want to step onto the grass, why is it that I want to break the law and what is within me that makes me want to sin and to rebel?
Simply put, there is a principle of the power of sin resident within me that makes me want to sin, to rebel and to break the law.
This is how the apostle Paul puts it, “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can’t help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things.
I know I am rotten through and through so far as my sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t. When I want to do good I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. But if I am doing what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing at; the sin within me is doing it.
It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God the answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: in my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”
(Romans 7:15 – 25)
The Apostle Paul states that we are by nature objects of God’s wrath!
There is an inward inclination within, a destructive nature, a power that draws us to sin!
When that power breaks out – I sin. I seek forgiveness and then I am at peace, but then whenever that power breaks out again, I sin once more!
So life goes on in a vicious circle of sinning, being forgiven and then sinning again!
I need forgiveness, but I also need something more than that – I need deliverance!
“I need forgiveness for what I have done, but I also need deliverance from what I am.”
Question: does God have a remedy?
Answer: YES , the blood and the cross.
So then, in the first eight chapters of Romans, two aspects of forgiveness are presented to us:
1. Our forgiveness of sins Romans 1:1 to 5:11
2. Our deliverance from sin Romans 5:12 to 8:39
In Romans 3:25, 5:9, we read about the blood of Jesus.
But in Romans 6:6, the concept changes, and we are said to have been crucified with Christ.
The first section of Romans deals with our justification and forgiveness from sin.
The second section of Romans deals with our union with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection.
This distinction is a valuable one because as we shall see, the blood deals with what we have done, whereas the cross deals with what we are.
The blood deals with our sins, whilst the cross strikes at the root of our capacity to sin.
Sin strikes three blows:
- Sin alienates God from me – by virtue of the fact that I have sinned and turned God’s Face and favour away from me, therefore…
- Sin alienates me from God
- It provides certain accusation regarding my sin before God, and accuses me, because when I feel guilty regarding sin, Satan is right there to reaffirm that I have sinned and to compound my guilt, not in order to bring me to repentance but to bring me misery and a sense of despair and defeat because he is the accuser of the brethren.
So to redeem us from these three positions, Jesus must do something about this:
About Sin, Guilt and Satan’s charges against us!
- Our sins have first to be dealt with, and this is affected by the precious blood of Christ.
- Our guilt has to be dealt with and our guilty conscience put to rest by showing us the value and sufficiency of Jesus blood
- The attack of the enemy has to be met and his accusations answered.
In the Scriptures the blood of Christ is shown to operate effectively in these three ways.
That is, the blood is effective
- God- Ward
- Man- Ward
We need to appropriate these three values of Christ’s blood if we are to go on to victory, maturity and fruitfulness as servants of Jesus Christ.
Watchman Nee says,
” for without this we can state that we have not even started upon our road.”
1. The blood is primarily for God
The blood is first of all for atonement and has to do with our standing before God.
God can only accept us because he sees the blood, in other words, His divine justice demands punishment. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die”.
Romans 6:23, “… the wages of sin is death,..”..
“God will by no means clear the guilty.”
God will not condone sin or excuse sin neither will he compromise his justice regarding sin.
The blood therefore is not there primarily for us but for God, from the point of view that before God can look upon you and me, before God can accept you and me, He demands justice.
Throughout the Old and New Testament the word blood is used in connection with the word Atonement.
The word Atonement is best understood if we break it up into three syllables.
We were meant to be at one with God, we were meant to be in a close relationship of peace, contentment, happiness and Love, but sin broke that fellowship and destroyed the relationship we should have had with God!
Now, God must restore the relationship, He must make a way for us to be brought back into fellowship and into a loving relationship with Himself, He must make a way whereby we can be reconciled again with Himself.
He does this through the cross!
Jesus-Christ, His sinless Son takes our punishment and becomes our substitute and takes God’s punishment for sin in our place and instead of us.
Because God wants atonement!
God loves us so much, He doesn’t leave us in our sin, instead, He provides a way back to Himself through the blood of the cross! What a Saviour!
Atonement is always for God
In the Old Testament calendar one day was vitally important for Israel, the Day of Atonement
Nothing else in Scripture will explain the matter of our sins in God’s eyes more clearly as the description of that very day.
In Leviticus 16 we are told that in order for fellowship with God to be maintained between Israel and God an animal had to be slaughtered as a sin offering on behalf of Israel’s sins. The blood was taken into the most holy place by the high priest and was sprinkled over the Mercy seat seven times before the Lord.
The only one who could perform this act was the High- Priest.
The high priest was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ and his work of Atonement. That is to say, the High-Priest represented some aspects of the person and work of Christ in the New Testament. The High-Priest in the Old Testament however, only offered before the Lord the shed blood of the slaughtered animal on the day of Atonement, but Jesus Christ as our great High-Priest offered up Himself as a perfect and final offering for our sins.
And every priest stands day after day serving and offering the same sacrifices again and again – sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, he sat down at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made a footstool for his feet. For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are made holy.
(Read, Hebrews 9:11 – 12).
The work of the high priest was done in private before God and in his presence, the work was done behind the veil, no one else was there only the high priest and the presence of God. The blood is essentially a work for God, he must see the blood first, then, he will be satisfied.
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week you will remember that Mary recognized him as her master, Jesus said to her” touch me not for I have not yet ascended to my father”,
Jesus must first go into heaven and present the blood to His Father on behalf of the sins of mankind, in this way, the blood must be presented to God first and foremost.
We have the same concept in Exodus 12, where the blood was applied on the door posts and on the lintel, (Exodus 12:13).
The children of Israel were on the inside of the house but God was on the outside, and when the angel of death passed over, he saw the blood and passed by not in death, or in judgment, but in Mercy. The blood is always first and foremost for God!
So, when God sees the blood He is satisfied.
Q. What does God say about the blood of his son Jesus Christ?
A.1 Peter 1:18 – 19.
” You know that from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors you were ransomed – not by perishable things like silver or gold, but by precious blood like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb, namely Christ “.
If God can accept the blood as the means of our forgiveness and redemption, then we can rest assured that the debt has been paid, and that we too can accept the blood because God has accepted the blood and values the blood of Jesus as precious and as payment for our redemption.
If God is satisfied with the blood, then the blood must be precious and is acceptable before Him. Our evaluation of the blood is only according to His valuation. And that is, it is precious and wholly acceptable in His sight.
A holy, just and righteous God has declared it so; the blood has fully satisfied His justice, therefore we can have peace with God (C.P. Romans 5:1).
“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- So, in conclusion we can say that the blood has satisfied God, because His righteous and holy justice has been satisfied. The penalty of sin was taken by Jesus-Christ and He took upon Himself God’s punishment for our sin.
- Secondly, you and I can be satisfied because God is satisfied and He values the blood that was shed for our sins, simply put, If God accepts the blood of His Son for our sin, then we can too.
- Thirdly, the blood answers all the accusations of Satan against us! He has nothing to say in regard to our sin!
Every time he accuses us of sin, God our Father simply points Satan to His Son and Satan is reminded that Jesus-Christ has dealt with our sins on Calvary when He became our substitute and dealt with the penalty and power of sin once and for all. Satan is silenced, we are justified and God is glorified!
8:31 What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 8:32 Indeed, he who 35 did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? 8:33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? 36 It is God who justifies. 8:34 Who is the one who will condemn? Christ 37 is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. 8:35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 38 8:36 As it is written, “For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 39 8:37 No, in all these things we have complete victory 40 through him 41 who loved us! 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, 42 nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
A Christian ministry focusing on helping orphans, widows, and others living in poverty in and around Nairobi, Kenya, Alliance Vision Education Centre has a heart for service. First and foremost, the focus is on serving Christ and saving His children from starvation, disease, and other dangers as the salvation of the One True Lord is taught to them.
Thanks to the leadership of Brother George Otieno and faithful staff members, whose sacrificial and dedicated giving make this possible, this work continues. Please visit the site of this partner ministry and see what they are up to. It is my honor to be affiliated with them, and to have named Brother George as Living Sacrifice Ministries’ Territory Liaison in Africa.
Serving Him through Serving Others,
Living Sacrifice Ministries