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THROUGH THE DOOR AND INTO HIS IMAGE

Rich Kelsey  

door

 

 

It is written,

"God is love." (1 John 4:8)

He has our best interests in mind.

The eternal paradise our Creator has in store for us is worth more than any suffering we may go through in life. To sense His character, all we need to do is look into our own hearts because we were created in His image. The loving relationship between a husband and wife is a model of the spiritual relationship[1] we will one day experience with God. With the devil out of the way and sin no longer hindering us and the curse we now suffer rescinded, mankind will one day experience the wonderful eternal life that God intended. For some of us, we need to do a little soul-searching and pray a simple prayer to ensure that we find this life.

In the Old Testament book of Isaiah the Father is pleading with us:

“‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool’” (Isa. 1:18).

God understands that

“all have sinned.”[2]

He wants us to understand our need for redemption. Look at the opening words to our text:

“Come now.”

What other option do we have? Our heavenly Father desires us to step into the legal position Christ’s sacrifice has made possible.

Jesus cried out,

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10:9).

Jesus himself never sinned, yet he allowed himself to be tortured and killed as a blood-atonement for us. He willingly went through that suffering for our redemption.[3] If we choose not to come through the door of Christ into the saving grace of God, we will remain in sin in a legal sense, bearing the weight of our own transgressions on the day of judgment. 

Without Christ,

“it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).

There is no work we can do to bring salvation to ourselves other than accept Jesus as Savior. He paid the price of our salvation when he was put to death on the cross. God may expect more from us after we have been weaned from the milk[4] of His Word.  When we are ready for stronger meat. However, the seed[5] must first be conceived—we must be born again before we can grow.[6] A simple prayer is all that is necessary for us to step from sure death into eternal life and have all of our sins washed away. With one prayer, we can have Christ’s righteousness imputed to us.

When we pray this salvation prayer, we step into the new covenant[7] in Christ’s blood. That gives us certain promises. One of these promises is that our sins will be removed as far from us as the east is from the west,[8] never to be mentioned again! Our transgressions (in a legal sense) were placed upon Jesus at the time of his death.

“Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” (Rom. 4:8).

Have faith in this promise.

In the book of Revelation, Jesus said,

“I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20).

If you aren’t sure that you have salvation—kneel at the cross and repent from your sins. Pray this simple prayer:

“Jesus, you gave your life to redeem me. My sins were laid upon you. You were crucified for my iniquity! I accept and receive your sacrifice. I claim salvation in the name of Jesus Christ.”

 Jesus Said,

 “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again’”(John 3:6–7).

The Beginning of Knowledge

Once we are redeemed through Christ’s atonement, we are sanctified; that is, we are set apart as a clean vessel fit for use in God’s house. As we seek the heart and mind of Christ, we become enlightened. We see the world in a new light. We have understanding that far surpasses the wicked—we possess true wisdom.

 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

 The fear of divine judgment[9] is the beginning of our journey.  Then, as we progress in our relationship with Christ, the love of God fills our hearts. Perfect love drives out fear.[10] If we fall into sin, we simply pray and ask God for grace. We pick ourselves up, turn ourselves around, and appropriate the grace (unmerited favor) we have found in Christ. The more trouble we have in our walk, the more grace God has to cover our transgressions. God knows that we are in a fallen state. God knows that our hearts are wicked. Nevertheless, He is asking us to mature spiritually and put away the deeds of the flesh.

Praying and confessing our shortcomings eases a troubled mind. It clears the path for an honest and open fellowship with Christ. A wise individual entering into a relationship with a spouse does not tear down their house with lack of trust and deceit; neither should the Christian with Jesus. Everything we need to walk righteously with God has been provided; if any man sins, we have a

“mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).


The Passover Lamb

The Passover Lamb from the Old Testament is a symbol representing Jesus Christ. God spoke unto Moses and instituted the Passover feast. Every household of Israel dwelling in the land of Egypt was commanded to take a lamb and roast it with fire and season the lamb with bitter herbs. This lamb was to be consumed entirely by the people. What they could not eat that night was to be burned. The blood of this lamb was to be put upon the doorposts of every house.

At the midnight hour, the angel of the LORD would pass through Egypt, and those children who had been faithful to God’s call would be saved from the plague that was to bring death in the land. The faithful children who had the lamb’s blood upon their doorposts and had fed upon the lamb in its entirety were sanctified. These children were set apart from the disobedient ones. This is what God is calling us to do figuratively: we are to feed upon the Lamb of God so we might be set apart from the children of disobedience.

Please notice that this sacrificial lamb was to be prepared with bitter herbs. In like manner Jesus Christ was a

“man of sorrows.”[11]

Jesus

“learned obedience from what he suffered.”[12]

A servant is not greater than his master is—

“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house” (Heb. 3:1–2).

Let us also be faithful in our calling.  

 Jesus Christ

 “offered himself unblemished to God”[13]

 because Christ’s life was a life devoted to holiness.

 That is what our Father desires from us: not an outward pretentious parade of holiness with ceremonial robes and images, but holiness that comes from the heart, manifested in our deeds.


The Purpose for Humans

God understood that to get genuine love back, He had to give His created children free will. He also knew that with this freedom of choice, some of the children—the disobedient ones—would not care for him. However, freedom is paramount in God’s plan and the key to the success of the whole program. Our faith must be tested, decisions must be made, and what we do must have real consequences in order for us to develop the desired value. That value is to love God out of sincere hearts, knowing He has our best interests in mind and to never question that fact again as we grow in God throughout eternity.

 

For more information on this subject:

■  The Feast Days — Now and Then

■  The Great Banquet and Beyond 

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ENDNOTES

[1]  "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Eph. 5:25 NIV

[2] Rom. 3:23 NIV

[3] “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Eph. 1:7 NIV).

[4] “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it” (1 Cor. 3:2 NIV).

[5] If we have sown spiritual seed among you . . .” (1 Cor. 9:11 NIV).

[6] “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” (1 Cor. 3:6 NIV).

[7] “By calling this covenant ‘new,’ he has made the first one obsolete” (Heb. 8:13 NIV).

[8] Ps. 103:12 NIV

[9] 2 Cor. 5:10–11 NIV

[10] 1 John 4:18 NIV

[11] Isa. 53:3 NIV

[12] Heb. 5:8 NIV

[13] Heb. 9:14 NIV