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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

No More Sacrifices

Romans 10: 1 - 4, Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. NKJV

Only Jesus Christ can offer the world true salvation. When Jesus died upon the cross at Calvary, the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom. The writer of Hebrews tells us that we have a High Priest, Jesus, who has gone before us and poured out His blood on the mercy seat in heaven. Now we can enter that holy place through faith and find help in times of trouble.

Consequently, what does all this mean for the person who places their faith in Christ? Our salvation is complete in Christ! We don't have to sacrifice animals and believe in Christ. We don't have to add works of the flesh and have faith in Christ. When we accept Jesus, the Father accepts us freely and pardoned.

Does this mean that we are perfect when Christ enters our hearts? No, it doesn't. Now that we have received Christ, we must become Christ-like. The church of Galatia was filled with Jews, who had come to faith in Christ. However, soon after they believed, they were tricked by unbelieving Jews to add the works of the law to what Christ had done for them. You see. We all struggle with feelings of inadequacy and insecurity in our souls, even after we come to faith in Jesus. This is why we're told in Romans and Hebrews that the JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH. 

Now that you're in Christ, you must continue to walk by faith, even though your salvation is complete in Christ. As we obey by faith, we are then transformed from being carnally minded people into becoming spiritually minded Christians. Even though we are saved in Christ, we haven't been made perfect in love. Let's look at this process in a different light. When a baby is born and begins its new life, the parents soon realize that their bundle of joy has many demands that must be taken care of by them. As you and I begin our new life in Christ, we also discover that there are many needs, which can cause us to look outside our obedience to God in order to obtain them. Paul tells us in Galatians 3: 1 that we are to obey the truth. As Christians, we obey the truth by adhering to the doctrines and commands found in the Word of God and by obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit. As we obey the truth and leave the religion of works behind, the Father can change our hearts and to mature us to become His sons and daughters. 

Does this mean we won't have any more challenges as believers? No it doesn't. Even so, through the knowledge of the truth, we will learn how to go to God and trust Him to bring us successfully through all of life's problems and situations. Christ teaches us to rely on our heavenly Father... not on our own abilities. This is true faith.

Worshiping God with My Whole Heart,
Pastor Asa Dockery 

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