The word salvation came from “save” or “escape.” Salvation was made to provide a permanent solution to humanity’s problem. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Bible also intensified, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Priest role was crucial to God and his people during Old Testament time. The priest offers animal sacrifices to atone for the sin of their people. A person who has committed a sin must provide an animal that the priest would offer on his behalf. No sin was forgiven in the Old Testament without a priest offering a sacrifice to God.
Besides the routine sacrifices of priests, God also designated a special person with the title of “Most High Priest” to yearly offer a sacrifice to plead for the collective sins of his people. The Most High Priest has an obligation to rightly perform his task otherwise, God would reject it, and the priest may die for his sacrifice error.
The priest’s activity of animal sacrifice (and other sacrifices) have been discontinued during New Testament era; however, the priesthood office remains in existence. Some individuals still operate in priesthood office today. These are people who minister to God’s children through prayers and other related services. The New Testament priests teach the word of God; they pray for people and perform other charitable activities.
Today’s priests are clergies, and they bear different titles based on their church denominations or affiliations. They sometimes answer the title, priest, bishop, reverend, pastor, and others. For example, Catholic clergy answers priest, but Protestant and Pentecostal clergies answer bishop, reverend, and pastor.
Unfamiliar Most High Priest
The priest of Old Testament and New Testament serve God to the best of their abilities, but they are short of perfection! They could mediate between God and people through prayer and sacrifices, but their services have limitations. God overlook human sins as a result of their sacrifices, but he did not destroy the power of sin through their efforts!
Jesus Christ was an unfamiliar priest to people of his time. They did not consider him as a priest, but indeed, he was one! His action proved that he was God’s preordained Most High Priest. The Bible declares,
“… By two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge would have strong encouragement and indwelling strength to hold tightly to the hope set before us. This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells], where Jesus has entered [in advance] as a forerunner for us, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:18-20 AMP)
Once and for all, Christ sacrificed his life for all human sins! Bible reported how he spiritually outperformed his predecessors as a special priest of God-the Most High Priest. Upon his death on the cross, Christ’s power torn the temple veil into two! Bible reported,
“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”… Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split” (Matthew 27:45-51 NKJV).
The Reasons Behind Jesus’ Priesthood Action
Jesus Christ, unlike any other priest, chose not to follow the cycle of offering bulls, lambs, goats, and other animals to sacrifice for human sins. Why? Animal sacrifice provided temporal relief since it only covers a sin, but did not remove it.
Also, animal sacrifice was expensive. A person who sacrificed an animal for his sin may soon find himself in the same sinful situation and be mandated to repeat the same process. In addition, a priest who carried out an animal sacrifice is also human, and may inadequately perform his service and render the whole exercise useless.
Besides, an animal sacrifice was not strong enough to destroy the power of sin. That is, God only pardoned a sin through an animal sacrifice, he did not destroy the power of sin for people.
With the complication process of animal sacrifice and its limitations, Jesus Christ chose to abolish the entire process and sought a permanent solution. Therefore, he offered himself as a sacrificed for human sins to earn them permanent forgiveness and freedom. Bible declares,
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, my God.’ ” (Hebrews 10:1-7 NIV).
Why Did Jesus Christ Sacrifice His Life?
Jesus’ decision to replace animal sacrifice with his own life was motivated by some special reasons. Why did Jesus sacrifice his life when other priests have not complained of their rituals?
The Old Testament priests did not care beyond ordinary for the people they served. They were comfortable at offering animal sacrifice to provide a temporary solution for people.
Jesus Christ cared for other people (the whole world); therefore, he was uncomfortable to provide a temporary solution for people. He sought to provide them a permanent solution.
On a normal day, an Old Testament priest would say, “Bring me an animal, and I will sacrifice it for your sin!” Jesus disdained the status quo. His practical action could be translated as if he stated, “Don’t bring me an animal, I will sacrifice my life for your sin!”
Jesus Christ took the matter of sin forgiveness seriously, and he was willing to pay an ultimate price that will earn people permanent forgiveness for their sins.
The sacrifice of Jesus’ life immediately provided five major benefits for people:
Opportunity to permanently receive forgiveness of sin.
Opportunity to repair and restore the broken relationship between God and man (and woman).
Humanity has an opportunity to permanently receive forgiveness of their sins.
A human can have a mutual relationship with God.
A human can also receive God’s strength to overcome the temptation of sin.
Anyone who believes Christ can obtain the gift of eternal life.
Anyone who believes Christ can live as an overcomer on earth!
It is important to testify that God crowned Jesus Christ with the highest honor in priesthood office after he sacrificed his life on the cross. God awarded him a title of the Most High Priest!
Perhaps, the best privilege that Christ-the Most High Priest earned for humanity is the fact that his followers will qualify for God’s kingdom! Anyone who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and accept him as his or her personal Lord and Savior will be raptured to heaven on the last day.
Everyone now has an opportunity to qualify for heaven through confession of faith in Jesus Christ. A person who confesses Jesus Christ as his or her personal Lord and Savior will not regret his decision. The person will receive God’s help in this life and also be blessed in heaven!
The gospel of Jesus Christ is free, and anyone can have it at anytime. Ideally, no one was worthy of salvation due to human sin, but Christ came to make free for all! Hence, everyone ought to maximize the opportunity to become a child of God. Meanwhile, the process of obtaining salvation is as simple as ABC. For anyone to be saved, he or she must confess Jesus Christ as Lord and believe. And that’s it! The scripture explained as quoted, “…That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:9-10). https://wp.me/p4aX3S-74Q
Believers must understand that Christianity requires steadfastness. The religion is free but it does not accommodate unfiltered practices. Whoever wants to serve God should do so with full devotion. Christians must not assume their fleshly characters measure up to God’s standard. Today’s Christians should learn from Paul’s letter to the Galatians who instructed they must not mismatch their faith with fleshly exercise. Paul emphasized, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26-29). https://wp.me/p4aX3S-74X
“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (James 2:8-9).
A Child of God to Avoid Segregation
A person who gives preferential treatment is an unjust person, and he would suffer consequences of his action from God if he (or she) does not repent.
God’s children must love all people and treat them equally – Without partiality.
No Christian is allowed to favor the rich at the expense of the poor. Also, a follower of Jesus Christ must not respect influential people and look down on common people.
No iota of partiality is with God! He sends rain in its season to benefit all people. God waters the whole earth to bring out its produce for everyone’s consumption.
In addition, believers must learn from Jesus Christ who demonstrated unbiased love to people of his time (while on earth).
He walked around the town doing good to all people without an element of partiality. Jesus even went out of his way to care for people that were rejected by the society. The Son of God fed poor people and gave hope to the hopeless!
Any Christian who violates the rule of openness and unbiased love will suffer consequences of his action – irrespective of his religious title and/or affiliation.
Every believer must have the mind of Jesus Christ. We must serve God with humility and truly represent Christ. Our openness and sincere interaction will preach better sermons than our speeches.
Children of God ought to pray for God’s grace to practice true love that glorifies Christ.
Believers from all walks of life should read their Bible and practice the teachings of Jesus Christ to the letter!
Our faithful services to Jesus Christ will motivate other people to come closer and receive his salvation. Also, our faithful services will result to our blessings!
The scripture described Satan as a traitor who wanted to usurp the position of his master. The traitor fell from grace, and Jehovah who is the master of all judged him immediately.
Satan the Lucifer will be permanently hurl to hell fire on the last day.
The scripture explained, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15).
Lesson to Learn from Satan Who Is Doomed for Hell Fire
Satan abused his position in heaven, and God promised to cast him to eternal damnation of hell fire.
Although the arch-enemy may still be causing uproar on earth, but his time is limited. He will not trouble the world forever!
When God’s appointed time come, Satan would be chained and cast into unquenchable fire of hell.
He will remain there permanently. However, it is unfortunate that the enemy might have some company in hell.
Those who fall for his deceits on earth will share hell fire with him (Matthew 25:41).
Meanwhile, everyone has a choice to either follow devil to hell or follow Jesus to heaven.
All it takes to go to heaven is confession of sins, and declaration of Jesus Christ as the true son of God.
Anyone who confesses Jesus as Lord and accept him as his/her personal Savior will be saved (Rom 10:9-10).
Prayer of Victory over Satan and Hell Fire
Dear God, I understand that Satan (devil) is bound to go to hell fire, but I do not want to follow him there.
I want to follow Jesus Christ to heaven. Therefore, I confess Jesus Christ as Lord, and I accept him as my personal Savior.
I believe he died on the cross for my sins, and I believe that he resurrected to give me eternal life.
I confess Jesus Christ as Lord today, and I will serve him forever! So help me God. Amen!
It is erroneous for any Christian to think that he was saved through his own work.
No one is saved by his efforts, but we are saved by grace through Jesus Christ.
The scripture emphasized, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9
Saved by Grace Lesson
Christians are fortunate to have someone who paid for the penalty of their sins. Since we have believe in Jesus Christ, Christ has gravitated us with God through his saving grace.
The Savior paid for our sins with his own life. He volunteered himself to suffer and die on our behalf as a sacrificial lamb.
We are no more indebted to paying penalty of sin.
Christ has paid our debts; he has saved us; he has cleansed us, and he has transformed us! Christ has made us become new, and we are no more the same old person in sin. Old has gone, new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
We Christians are the redeemed people of God, and crown of glory is awaiting us in heaven.
Meanwhile, none of all benefits of Christianity is awarded to us through hard work or self righteousness.
We are saved and blessed by God – through Jesus Christ. Glory be to his holy name!
Prayer on Salvation By Grace
Dear God, I praise you for saving me through your beloved Son Jesus Christ.
I understand that you have not saved me as a result of my personal works, but you have saved me by grace.
Therefore, my life will remain dedicated to praising your name!
I will praise you always for saving me by grace.
Please, I ask for more grace to remain faithful to you.
Do not let me abuse my salvation with sin, but help me to live a sanctified life that will remain fit for your kingdom.
Empower me through your Holy Spirit to keep focus and remain serving you until the end of my life, so that I can meet you in heaven.
For in the name of Jesus Christ I make my requests. Amen.
Christians are required to proclaim gospel of Jesus Christ. We must do it without hesitation to populate God’s kingdom.
Christians must inform people about Jesus’ gift of salvation. They must also remind people of God’s punishment that will befall them if they refuse to repent from their sins.
The scripture stated,
“Blow the trumpet on Zion. Shout a warning on my holy mountain.
Let all the people who live in the land shake with fear. The Lord’s special day is coming; it is near” (Joel 2:1).
Lesson on Gospel Sharing
This present world will remain a temporal home for all people. Everyone will migrate from here to his or her permanent destination.
The permanent destination will either be heaven or hell.
Not everyone will end up in the same destination. Some people will end their earthly race in heaven, while others end up in hell.
People who will qualify for heaven are those who have believed in Jesus Christ. They must have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord, and accepted him as their personal Savior.
Unbelievers will end up in hell fire where there will be everlasting torment.
The scripture declared,
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).
Anyone who is yet to establish a good relationship with Jesus Christ should not hesitate to do so – before it is too late.
Prayer of Grace to Faithfully Spread the Gospel
Dear God, please give me strength to proclaim your gospel and populate your kingdom.
Let the fire of evangelism burn in me to proclaim your good news.
Empower me to ceaselessly proclaim your gospel so that unbelievers can come to the knowledge of your Son Jesus Christ.
Please give sinners a change of mind so that they can escape the punishment of hell, and qualify for your kingdom.
Also, please keep your children throughout the world to remain steadfast in their faith of your Son Jesus Christ.
Please keep your children ever fit for your eternal kingdom.
For in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.