DEVOTIONAL – JUNE 5
SAVED BY GRACE
Leslie M. John
“Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” (Acts 15:10)
Apostle Peter rose up in the council at Jerusalem to ask a question as to why a great burden was being laid on men to believe God that certain rituals need to be observed to receive salvation. This situation occurred when some obstructionists entered into Christianity and said mere faith in Jesus was not enough to be saved but circumcision was necessary.
It was a time in the first century AD when Gospel of Jesus Christ was being proclaimed with great vigor, first in Jerusalem, and then in Judea and Samaria, and then in the uttermost parts of the world.
There were stringent laws and the obligations laid down in the Old Testament for offering sacrifices and oblations in order for one’s sins to be covered. There was no remission of sins, but only covering of the sins, during the Old Testament period.
God was so unapproachable that it was only High Priest, who went into the “Holy of Holies” in the Tabernacle, once a year, and he alone could intercede with the LORD on behalf of people. It was at the “Mercy Seat” that God spoke to Moses and Aaron.
The High priest sprinkled the blood of the sacrificed animal, on behalf of the entire congregation, upon the “Mercy Seat”, and it was accepted by the LORD as an atonement of sins of the people. The high priest went out and confessed the sins upon the ‘scapegoat’ which was, then sent out into the wilderness, never to return again. This provided temporary covering of the sins of the people but not remission of sins altogether.
There was a time period to complete, and after all these things were done, God sent His only Son, in due time, into this world to become propitiation for us. The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one God in Trinity; and they are not three Gods. Lord Jesus Christ relinquished His glory with the Father and incarnated as man to bear the sin of mankind, and provide a perfect sacrifice. He became sacrifice on behalf of us and provided way to obtain salvation. The sacrifices offered in the Old Testament period, were the shadows of the things that were to be fulfilled in Lord Jesus Christ.
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Galatians 4:4)
There is no remission of sins unless blood was shed and that demand is fulfilled by Lord Jesus Christ on behalf of us, bearing our shame, our iniquity, and our sin upon Him, and becoming sin for our sake. He was without sin. He was holy and had no blemish in His life. He bore our sin on behalf of us, in order that we may be saved by confessing our sins to Him, and acknowledge with mouth that He is the Lord, and believe in heart that God raised Him from the dead.
There are no strings attached to it, and we do not need to do any additional good work to receive salvation. He paid it all by His precious blood. It is not by silver or gold, or by visiting any holy shrine that we receive salvation but by accepting the fact that Jesus died and rose again on behalf of us. Good works follow the salvation; they do not precede salvation. No one can be saved by doing good works. It is all by grace through faith that we receive salvation and everlasting life.
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19)