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AN AMAZING FACT: Around the year 1927, in Ghana, West Africa, a blood specimen was taken from a native man named Asibi, who was very sick with yellow fever. From that blood sample, a strain of the yellow fever virus, now known as the Asibi strain, was identified. After years of testing and experimentation with monkeys, mice, and chick embryos, that mild strain of yellow fever was developed into a vaccine. Asibi recovered, but all the vaccine manufactured since 1927 derives from the original strain of virus obtained from this humble native. Carried down to the present day from one laboratory to another, through repeated cultures, and exponential multiplication, it has offered yellow fever immunity to millions of people around the world. Through the creative imagination of science, the blood of one man in West Africa has been made to prolong and improve life among the whole human race.
However, in order to receive a benefit from a vaccine, a person must personally take the vaccine shot. They can acknowledge the existence of the vaccine, understand how it works, rejoice in the marvel of its provision, and praise the man who provided it, but unless an individual actually receives it, it will be of no personal benefit.
Immunity from the penalty of sin works in a very similar manner. The blood of just one Man, Jesus, provides salvation to every person: “through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life” (Romans 5:18). We can acknowledge that God exists, understand the finer points of doctrine, be amazed at God’s
provision, and praise Jesus for it, but unless we actually accept it by faith, it will do us no good. On the other hand, while vaccine supplies may at times run low, the grace of God is unlimited—everyone who asks for salvation can be sure of receiving it! Moreover, while it was infinitely expensive to obtain, it is provided free of cost: “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). In addition, the only side effect of God’s vaccine is a new life in Christ! Won’t you accept His heavenly immunity?
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.