1 COR 6:9-11
INTRO: We are told at Rom 3:23 that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Now, for people who have no concern for God or godliness that may not mean much. Still, humanity as a whole has historically been concerned about a life beyond this physical existence and about being pleasing to Deity. So, here in one short statement is the fact of mans spiritual inadequacy. Standing alone, this inadequacy would mean that humanity has no hope beyond this life. A relevant question is am I doomed to eternal condemnation? Is there not something which can wash away my sins, my guilt?
I. THE EARLIEST SACRIFICE
A. Gen 4:3-5 The sacrifices of Cain and Abel
1. had there been sacrifice before this time? No Biblical record - my guess would be, Yes - sin had entered the picture, and atonement was certainly relevant
2. at Heb 11:4 we are reminded that Abel offered by faith - that tells me there had been previous instruction
B. The accepted sacrifice? A sin offering?
1. in the Levitical system sin offerings were of the cattle, herd or flock - Lev 1:2
2. my conviction is that Abel offered a sacrifice for atonement, for his sins, in keeping with instruction revealed from God - offered by faith out of concern for his sin (note in Heb 11:4 that Abels sacrifice and his being declared righteous are joined in this passage)
II. THE LEVITICAL SYSTEM (MOSAIC COVENANT)
A. The consciousness of sin...
1. through the law sin (trespass against God) was clearly made known
2. Rom 7:7 - here is one of the purposes of God in the Law of Moses
3. consciousness, understanding of sin brought home to an individual the need for atonement ... for dealing with sin
B. The provision for atonement?
1. Lev 4:27-31 - for an individual
2. Lev 16:7-10 - for the nation on the annual day of atonement
3. Lev 17:10,11 - a vital explanation ... it is the blood that maketh an atonement - we now see the significance of a blood offering - Heb 9:22 tells us clearly that remission of sin (atonement) requires the shedding of blood!
C. But the ancient system of sacrifices had a serious weakness, failing...
1. Heb 10:1-3 - ...can never...make the comers thereunto perfect
2. sacrifices were made over, and over, and over ... and the day of atonement was an every year event
3. we are still wondering what can wash away my sins!!!
III. THE BLOOD OF CHRIST ... CALVARY!!
A. Do you remember what Jesus said at the passover just before His crucifixion?
1. Mt 26:26-28 - a sacrificial body and shed blood!
2. return to Heb 10:4-10 - the blood of bulls and goats could not take away (and stress the away) sins
3. but the body and blood of Jesus sanctified once, for all - so, Heb 10:18
B. Here was the perfect sacrifice which could finally make perfect atonement
1. the sacrifices of the Levitical system ended ... and further sacrifices for sin were neither necessary nor possible (Heb 10:26)
2. the end of sacrifices answers what is noted at Heb 10:2
3. now all of what we have said thus far is informational ... seeking our answer
C. What does it mean to me as an individual?
1. it means that my sin, which separates me from God, can be cleansed!
2. Rev 1:5 - John is referring to Christian people and to their having been washed, cleansed from sins by the blood of Jesus
3. but, as an individual, when does this cleansing occur for me?
D. Acts 22:16 - ...be baptized, and wash away thy sins...
1. the cleansing by the blood of Jesus occurs for me, an individual, in baptism
2. Rom 6:3 - our baptism is into the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ ... we cannot enter the benefits of His death, His blood in any other way
3. without the benefits of His blood applied in the instructed way we continue to live in our sins ... estranged, condemned
CLOSE: What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. When by faith you are baptized, the Lord will declare you justified in His sight. Do you need to make a decision based on faith this morning? a decision to be baptized into the death of Jesus ... to be cleansed by His blood?
Cecil A. Hutson
20 April 2003
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)