NOTE TO THE READER: Recently, I set down to study the Bible and history of the Christian Church. Interestingly, I began to notice several things that I felt ordinary believers need to know. I have never claimed to be an expert in anything, but as a minister of the Gospel, my desire is to educate the church with the whole counsel of God. I think every sincere minister should be striving to nourish the flock with true biblical education that guarantees a proper biblical worldview and philosophy in life which leads to Christ-like thinking and correct behavior that reflects Christ-in-us. If our intended goal and purpose in studying God’s word and his acts in the past, does not lead us to conform to the image of Christ, then all our learning is useless, a chasing after the wind. Many people in the church do not know fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, the reasons why we firmly believe what we believe.
The following thoughts are a synopsis from my upcoming book The Amazing Story of Redemption. Several articles might follow if time and chance permits under this topic, but I do not propose to deliberate more on this. I will as I always do, give a quick summary or survey of what’s coming in the next book. My desire is for every Christian to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Feel free to give comments and thoughts.
The biblical writers lived at a time when they witnessed great movements of God and His Spirit in their midst in both testaments. God had brought the nation of Israel out of Egypt with an outstretched arm, with marvelous signs and wonders that he did in the land of Ham. They had entered into a covenant with Him, a covenant that would make them His priests and messengers to the nations and they had promised Him that everything He said, they would do. As long as the Israelites obeyed God fully, they enjoyed the sweet fellowship and blessing that comes from a right relationship with God.
However, such glorious seasons did not usually last that long because of sin, and, as a result of such severance from God’s presence, they experienced great times of distress, anguish and pain. It’s amazing to see that the biblical books portrays such great failures and sin of God’s people in great and strong words, teaching us that God’s judgments begin first in his house. If God is so strict in judging his saints, the world of wickedness and sin cannot expect any lesser judgment, but to await the fierceness of the indignation of Him who sits upon the throne forever and ever.
Howbeit, this God is not only a just God seeking for vengeance with a consuming fire. He loves humanity that he has created, the sinner and the saint. He called to the people whom He had created in His own image and chosen them to be his priests, to come back to Him and reason with Him so that their sins will be forgiven them and that times of refreshing would come from the presence of the Lord.
Thus, repentance and salvation were preached to the nation of Israel as well as Gentile nations. God raised prophets, priests and other righteous believers who sought to turn sinful men from their wicked ways. These righteous saints would normally retreat to prayer and in their meetings with God, they were strengthened with His mighty and carried a fearful “Thus says the Lord”. The prophets admonished the people to come to the Lord with torn hearts and not outward rituals of sackcloth and mere fasting that were devoid of mercy, justice and compassion.
They warned and called people back to the Lord. They made the people to understand that God’s ways were higher than theirs and that God had forsaken His people because they had first forsaken Him, despite all his calls and warnings to come back to Him. God wanted a peculiar people for himself, and he kept calling those whom He had chosen to be His representatives to let their light shine so that others would see the light of salvation. But they were disobedient and chose to please other gods, gods of stone, wood and clay, gods of war, sin, pleasure and carnal gratification. His heart was pained, and several times he destroyed them, and only a remnant was left.
However, in His great love and mercy, He saved those that turned to Him and spared the cities should he find a reasonable number of righteous people. At times, he would not even find a man who could stand in the gap since the religious leaders will have been drunk with sin, greedy and all forms of vile that they failed to hear God’s voice. Some were reproved by animals, and some were reproved by natural desires. Yet, God wanted to be among men and dwell among them. He yearned for their fellowship but they let God down and tested Him by trying His patience.
They brought animal sacrifices to Him and thought they could buy back their way with God. They were no longer concerned with their relationship with Him. They neither loved the Creator, neither were they grateful to Him for every good thing that He had given. They despised him and forsook His laws and grieved His Spirit. Mankind was disobedient right from the start. The first man sinned because of His willful disobedience to the Creator, likewise, the woman had a confederacy with the enemy, and both teamed up in a spirit of rebellion against God. Ever since then, all the offspring of man have been disobedient and rebellious against God.
Yet, God foresaw a day when he would judge the world in righteousness. He would first bring salvation to humanity that had no power over sin and death that had been the result of their progeny’s disobedience. The promise of salvation would be mankind’s only hope. The Gospel was then first preached to Adam and Eve in the garden in the presence of the enemy, who went on a killing spree, killing all righteous people he thought of as the Messiah. But for thousands of years, he seemed to have won for the Savior of the world had not yet appeared.
However, God’s messengers and spokesmen spoke about the day when the Son of God would come to save humanity from sin. He will be the Emmanuel, God with us, who tabernacle among men; the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. Even though He had created the world, yet when God brought Him forth into the world, the world did not recognize Him. Instead, it hated Him, betrayed Him and nailed Him to the Cross. Thus, Jesus was crucified not because of His own sins or any evil thing he had committed, but false witnesses unjustly condemned Him to his death.
The devil rejoiced to see Him suffer. He thought he was giving a deadly blow to the Messiah, yet, He did not know that the prince of life cannot be killed. He had a command from the Father to lay down His life and take it whenever He wanted. In His death, he dealt a devastating blow to Satan and His cohorts, for it was for this reason that the Son of Man was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil. He bore our sins, our grief, our sorrows, our pains, our sicknesses in His own body when they nailed Him to the tree.
In dying, He defeated death and liberated the sons of Adam who were subject to its domain, and he rose with the keys of hell and death. He satisfied God’s wrath and anger on the cross and his shed blood became the cleansing and washing agent for sin. Now repentance could be preached and remission of sin would be proclaimed to everyone who could listen and make a decision to turn to the Lord and be saved. He rose from the dead, the proof that He was indeed God’s Son and the prince of life. God exalted Him and gave him the throne of His father David, and he is now King of Kings and Lords of Lords with everything having been placed under Him up to the time when He will deliver the kingdom back to the father.
To be continued…