Thursday, August 9, 2018

When Paul wrote to the Galatians he stated,

For as many of you as were immersed into Christ have put on Christ.”  Galatians 3:26-27 (Emphases RH).

Paul told the Corinthians, “Now you are the body of Christ.”  1 Corinthians 12:27.

A Christian is one that God has added to the saved (Acts 2:46-47).  That added one is in the body of Jesus.  John tells us, “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”  1 John 1:7. One who is “in Christ” is totally washed clean in the blood of Jesus.  That blood continually cleanses him.  The question which is not settled by some is, what does “continually” cover?

Some believe when the Christian sins, the single act turns off the blood’s cleansing power to him.  In that moment the sin is committed, he is transfers out of the body of Jesus because sin cannot be found in Christ.  These actions are simultaneous because that one sinful act causes the guilty to be immediately lost.  Why?  Because he is no longer in the body of Christ.  He is immediately transferred to the kingdom of darkness.  He is lost.  He is a child of the devil.  Some disagree that he is no longer a child of God, but how can he be when he is no longer in the body of Christ?  Since the body of Christ is the same as the house or family of God, he is no longer part of that family (1 Timothy 3:15).  He now belongs to Satan.  He is his child.  However, this view makes this erring soul into a dual citizen of heaven and hell.  Being a “former” member of the saved, he has special privileges.  When or if he repents and asks God to forgive him, the Lord will allow that prayer to reinstate him!  Those who are in the kingdom of darkness, but not former members of the saved body must be immersed to be added.  With this special privilege, this individual can bypass that immersion and reenter through prayer!  He can be “re-immersed” into Christ without experiencing an immersion!  His former membership gives him that privilege.  This scenario is believed to be in your Bible in as much detail as I have given here.

When the sinner expresses the last syllable of his prayer, God turns the cleansing power of Jesus blood back on so this person’s past sin may be washed away.  Keep in mind that this “washing” is actually not a washing brought about through being immersed into Jesus’ death, but through a verbal symbolic one.  This “washing” permits him to reenter the saved.  He is now a child of God.  He is no longer in the kingdom of darkness; therefore he is no longer a child of the devil.  Notice, his prayer and pardon take place prior to readmittance.   Once cleansed of that past sin, Jesus’ blood is no longer needed in that person’s case until the next sin reaches that past tense stage!  However, when he sins again, the circular cycle repeats itself!  The blood works only when the person is in the kingdom of darkness!  It never is supplied for those who are in Christ Jesus.  It takes away past sins, never present ones!  In summing up this belief, it may be reduced to, “The saved sinner is safe in Jesus as long as he does not sin!”  If you sin, you are no longer in God’s safe place!

According to this teaching, when the sinner prays to get back into Christ, his past sin must be removed by Jesus blood before this happens.  This is the only time the blood of Jesus is active in the individual’s life.  After this, he is in good standing until his next sin.  This seems complicated but makes perfect sense to those who espouse it.  In this view, the blood of Jesus is limited to the remission of past sins only.  You must sin to activate it!  The removal happens prior to entering God’s holy place, which is the body of Christ.

Another view concerning the effectiveness of the blood of Jesus is the degree of its efficiency.   In that view, Jesus’ blood is good for 50% of one’s salvation.  When one hears the good news and is immersed, God adds 50% of salvation to the person’s account.  According to this view, God left us with a complete set of rules in the New Testament and the remaining 50% is our responsibility in saving ourselves through flawlessly keeping those rules.  Even then, our side of the chart doesn’t increase in a positive way unless we cross every “t” and dot every “i” without fault.  The only problem, reality tells us that “perfection is impossible.”  If we are responsible for 100% of the 50%, then 49.99% is a failure.  Whatever that gap is, small or large, wisdom informs us that we must have help filling it.  This view sees grace as the magic answer for a complete percentage!  Whatever percentage is needed to fill our gap, God’s grace will supposedly fill it at the judgment!  However, honesty questions the validity of that reasoning.  What IF God has a cut-off percentage and will not fill anyone’s gap if it goes over what He is responsible for?  This causes everyone to sweat out the results.  So, a person may follow the example of the “about three thousand,” and receive the percentage supplied by Jesus, but the personal part remains questionable (Acts 2:41).  The individual knows he was saved, but he doesn’t know if he will hear “Well done” when before Jesus!  The only sure way of knowing one is going to go to heaven is IF he is fortunate enough to die with a prayer on his lips!  If not, one will not know his eternal destiny until the judgment.  Some attempt to stack things in their favor by going beyond the average in doing good works.  You cannot buy your salvation with money nor works!  This view is just another system where the Christian believes he can buy his way into heaven.  Good works is our payment!  All it does is leave the person with frustration, uncertainty, discouragement, and doubt.  Some throw up their hands in surrender thinking “Why try?  I’m probably going to hell anyway!”

A third view is questioned by those who hold to the first two.  The person is immersed in Jesus’ blood which continually remits his sin (1 John 1:7).  According to verse 8, the person is a liar if he says he doesn’t sin.  Sin where?  In Christ!  He does not lose his citizenship because he remains in Jesus’ body.  Since Jesus blood remits sin continually, not sporadically, his sin is not counted!  Notice the Spirit’s teaching.  “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” Romans 4:8. Another translation renders it, “Happy is the man against whom no sin is recorded by the Lord.”  Isn’t this what continual cleansing of the blood of Jesus does?

How is it possible for a person’s sin to not be counted against him?  How is that possible?  It is done through continual cleansing in the blood of Jesus!  The person continues to retain his citizenship because of it.  God’s grace is a present gift that keeps on giving, making this salivation a 24/7 reality.  It shows God’s love in providing the way for us to be in fellowship with Him, even though we are not perfect.  This continual cleansing keeps God’s holiness from being compromised.  That is how powerful the blood of Jesus is!

Some disagree with this view because of their idea that we must earn our salvation through perfection.  However, what if God doesn’t kick us out?  What if we remain in Christ because God doesn’t count the sin against us.  What if the blood of Jesus removes those sins making it possible for us to continue in fellowship with Him?

The possibility of sinning is almost unlimited due to the flesh’s weakness.  Paul bemoaned this fact in Romans 7 in his efforts to keep the Law of Moses.  Notice, three times he stated that he did what was wrong because “flesh” took control (Romans 7:17, 20, 23).  He admits his failure in living a perfect life, asking who will save him from that body of death?  He couldn’t do it because he nor anyone else could keep the law without breaking it.  The only answer to our sin problem is Jesus who kept the Law without sin.  Jesus is the answer to Paul’s and our predicament (Verse 25).  Because of putting our faith in Jesus we can say with Paul, “there is no more condemnation” (Romans 8:1).  Did Paul conquer the flesh and never sin again as a follower of Jesus?  If that is what “no condemnation” means, Paul didn’t gain it.  Was Paul perfect in his obedience?  If he wasn’t, how could he remain in the body of Christ?  He admits to being imperfect.  Yet, Jesus’ blood kept him spotless and intact as a faithful member!  If a person cannot know he is saved until the judgment, then he cannot know whether he is a “true” Christian.  According to that theory, one sin bars him from the saved, returns him to the kingdom of darkness, and he isn’t restored until he repents and prays.  How can a person be a Christian when God has removed him from the saved?  In fact, if he is removed from the saved, he has been removed from the church each time he sins.  So, he is no longer a member of the church which Jesus is head of!

God’s love and grace isn’t identified as a windshield wiper faith.  Such a view has an individual trapped in the kingdom of darkness more than he spends time in the light of Jesus.  There is joy and peace in knowing where you stand with God.

We are washed in the blood of the Lamb.  That’s Good News!  Do you limit the power of that blood or rejoice in it?