Christ, Our Sacrifice

Christ, Our Sacrifice

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:24, Isaiah 53:2-12, Hebrews 2:9
Date: 11/16/2013  Lesson: 7
"How do the concepts of death, sacrifice, and blood help to show us just how serious sin and its consequences are? How should this realization of the cost of sin help us to seek God's power to put sin out of our lives?"

Beyond Mercy: What is the Unpardonable Sin by Doug Batchelor

Beyond Mercy: What is the Unpardonable Sin by Doug Batchelor
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church. It's a sunny day here in Sacramento, California. We're so glad that you're tuning in, whether you're listening on the radio or watching live at our website right now, 'saccentral.org', or on the various television networks - however you are joining us we're just so glad that you join with us every week. Maybe this is your first time, so what we do is we sing your favorite requests that you send in and then we open up God's Word and we study together. So today we're going to sing one of my favorites, 'God of our fathers'.

If you have a hymnal at home, open it up to #645. This is a request from wilson in Canada, maisie and karl in France, silverwynn in thailand, ashook in trinidad and tobago and many more people around the world. We're going to sing all four stanzas - 'God of our fathers'. Wonderful. Thank you, handerson, for adding all that extra stuff that is not written in the hymnal.

I love it. If you have a favorite song that you would like to sing with us on an upcoming program, it is so simple. Just go to our website 'saccentral.org' and click on the 'contact us' link and you can send in your favorite song. If it's in the hymnal we will sing that for you. #78 Is our new song as we're continuing to work our way through the hymnal singing the songs we don't know.

We've learned a lot of new songs this year - well, it's been over a year since we started this, I think, and it's going to take about twelve years to finish singing through the hymnal so bear with us. #78 'For God so loved us'. We're going to sing all four stanzas. This is a request from ameidi in belize, leon in California, josefin in ireland, howard and diane in Mississippi, gilbert in the Philippines, and grace in tanzania and there were a few more people that requested this song. #78 - 'For God so loved us'.

God loves us and we are his children and he even loves me. Some of these songs, they have such lovely words to them. And you find, you know, a lot of the hymns - you read the stories on, you know, how - why they were written and what the experiences of the people were that wrote them. And there's always some of these - the majority of them - such amazing stories of experiences that people have gone through and it usually seems that a big experience - something that impacts you, usually makes these wonderful hymns the result of that experience. So we are so excited to be learning these and I hope you are too.

At this time let's bow our heads for prayer. Father in Heaven, thank you so much for loving us. And we are your children and sometimes we're very naughty but we know that you do love us. And we thank you so much for dying on the cross for us so that one day we can be in heaven with you, our loving, Heavenly Father. Thank you so much for bringing us together to open up Your Word and study together.

I pray that you'll be with each one here in the sanctuary and our extended family around the world. Thank you so much for each one. And I pray that we will receive the blessing that you have for us. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by pastor mike thompson.

He is our health and visitation pastor here at central church. Thank you very much choristers and handerson, thank you so much. That was a nice piece of music out there. Very relaxing. It's my pleasure today to be able to welcome you also to central study hour.

Before we begin we have our usual offer that I want to make available to those of you who are here and also the viewers. This is offer #102 and it's called 'three steps to heaven'. If you call the number -866-study-more or -866-788-3966 Amazing Facts will send this to you if you live in the continental united states of America. It's called 'three steps to heaven'. It's looking at three steps: confession, forgiveness, and conversion - the new birth.

And if we can experience these by faith, the door of heaven is open wide. Not that that door opens because of the things we do, there's actually - there's no virtue in our confession, the virtue is in the one who forgives us when we confess and that's Jesus. So today we're on lesson #7 in our quarterly book 'the sanctuary' and it's called today 'Christ our sacrifice'. So we're looking at that today and there's a memory text from 1 Peter chapter 2, verse 24 in the lesson. Speaking of Christ it said, "'he himself bore our sins' in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; 'by his wounds you have been healed.

'" We'll discuss this a little more in a moment, but in the introduction page in the lesson we read this - it's down near the bottom of the page - it says, 'this week we will study different aspects of Christ's ultimate sacrifice and see what his once-for-all death has provided for us.' He provided many things in this life but, ultimately, eternal life, which is waiting for us in the next. So Sunday is entitled 'Jesus in Isaiah 53'. I'd like to begin by kind of saying this: God has never gotten used to sin. He's never gotten used to it. He's witnessed it for much longer than we have in our few years of life.

He's been witnessing it for close to 6,000 years. He's never gotten used to it. We, unfortunately - and it's nothing to boast about - we're quite insensitive to evil. We're born as we are into a fallen world. We're born with fallen natures and the natural tendency is to take the down road.

So in a large degree we're quite desensitized to the offensiveness of sin. But again I say it's not so with God. God hates iniquity. And I've described it this way before: the moment we sin, God's wrath is immediately primed and prepared to go forth and meet our sin and us and consume the sin and us all at once, just like that - consume us until we are no more. That would be what we deserve, right? Yet, in spite of the multiplicity of our evils, we're all still here.

God has not consumed us. Why? Because - this is almost like the last lesson that I did here about three weeks ago. Almost the same thing - because for our God is a just God and he will surely punish sin. He's equally a merciful God - longsuffering, not willing that any should perish. It says in psalm 103:8 "the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

" Now this doesn't mean for one instant that God will ever excuse a sin. Every transgression is duly noted and primed to receive its just reward. Indeed God loathes it, he despises it, and he will never excuse one single violation of his law. It is all written down in the book. And yet, at the same time, he will freely forgive every single violation of his law no matter how great that transgression might be because, in his great mercy - this is why he can do this - and you know where I'm going - we're talking about Isaiah 53 - God gave Jesus to become guilty in our place and to be our substitute to suffer the sentence of execution - to suffer the wrath of God and the divine justice so that we could be spared from that.

And all this that we're talking about is very clearly prefigured in Isaiah 53 - written about 700 years before Jesus ever set foot upon this earth in human form. So, for this reason, this morning, we are called to, kind of - if we can, ask God to help you do this - de-clutter our minds from a thousand distractions - de-clutter our minds from a thousand distractions - be still, be silent - soberly, prayerfully consider and contemplate just what Jesus has done to effect for us this wonderful means whereby we can have eternal salvation. And also de-clutter our minds and focus so that we can also consider what he experienced in his human flesh in Gethsemane - well, actually, all through his life - all through his life. But especially - it reached a climax in Gethsemane and upon the cross. I want us to be able to consider today all that he went through - what it cost him in terms of suffering - physically, emotionally, mentally - that we again can be the recipients of such a priceless gift.

It's going to be hard to do that in about five or ten minutes I have just on this section, but let's - let's ask God to help us grasp it. Isaiah 53 and verse 3 tells us, "he was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." Jesus was acquainted with all the above. He knew what it was like to suffer rejection. If you've ever been rejected it's a whole world of pain just in itself. But you see, the sufferings of Christ, they're in layers and it's easy to just look at a cross and say, 'hey, he was nailed to a cross.

It was a hard time he had.' No, the physical pain he felt - bad as it was - was almost insignificant compared to the other flavors and shapes and forms of suffering that he went through in his mind and in his heart. So rejection was one thing, bad as it was, but Jesus suffered many other ways because of sin and I'm going to mention one now. Jesus suffered just by witnessing the commission of sin. There's a couple of statements I'd like to share with you. The first one is from Isaiah - sorry, from 'Desire of Ages' page 88, then another one from 'Desire of Ages' page 111.

The first one says, speaking of Jesus, he hated but one thing in this world and that was sin. He hated but one thing and that was sin. Now listen, Jesus "could not witness a wrong act without pain which it was impossible to disguise." In other words, he could be walking through the Marketplace, people jostling him, and you may see a father or a mother turn around on their child and just - just let the child have it - you know, children get impatient - and just curse their own child or slap the child. When Jesus saw things like that and even less, it caused him such pain that it was impossible for him to disguise. Next thing, from 'desire of ages' 111, "every sin, every discord, every defiling lust that transgression had brought, was torture to his spirit.

" Going back again to what I said: God has never gotten used to sin. We have. We have. But he was so sinless, so pure in his heart when he witnessed a wrong act or he heard a wrong tone of voice, it was torture to his spirit. So he suffered merely by witnessing sin.

Now, keep this in mind - keep this in mind, because I'm going to read Isaiah 53, verse 6 - keep this in mind that it was a torture just to witness sin - but keep this in mind now, as we consider the fact that he bore our sins so we can have a greater understanding and appreciation of the infinite magnitude of Christ's sufferings just being in the presence of sin. Isaiah 53:6 tells us, "all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." So follow me now, if it was infinitely painful for Jesus to witness sin, what was it like when he actually took upon him our sins? It adds a whole different dimension to the magnitude of his suffering. How great was his suffering when - the Bible tells us in Corinthians 'he became sin'. He never sinned - don't let anybody misunderstand me - he never sinned even by a thought. You can read that also in 'Desire of Ages'.

He was pristine, pure and sinless but he became - when he took our sins - he became the personification of evil and, therefore, the theologians tell us what Christ did not assume - he could not resolve for us - so unless he assumed our sins and made them his own personal property - though he never, never committed them, he could not resolve our issue of 'what can we do with our sins?' 'How can we get rid of these so we can be spared from eternal death?' So Christ assumed them. Not in some philosophical - not in some kind of theoretical way, but he took them. He became a part - they became a part of his actual being - his human flesh - such as we have. I hope you can follow me. So all the putrefying filth of the human race - all the corruption, all the defilement infused, as it were, his mortal flesh to become part of his own being.

We don't think about this as we should. Isaiah 53:5 says, "he was wounded for our transgressions," - if you have the King James there's a marginal reading there. For the word 'wounded' we have in the margin 'tormented'. He was tormented for our transgressions. Not just tormented through the physical pain, but the torment of finding himself so utterly defiled by the sin of every man, woman and child.

I tried to find words to describe this and, actually, they come out pretty graphic so I want to be careful, but it's as if he had clinging to him this vile, stenching slime that he longed to wash off - like he'd been thrown in a cesspit of human wickedness and he comes out and he's got this vile slime just all over him. You know how you'd feel? You want to get in the shower and wash it off - but he couldn't. He was invested with them. So that, in itself, was part of the sufferings of Jesus. And if you read Isaiah 53 it's right there if you'll ask God to reveal that to you in those quiet moments, which is often when God does this kind of thing.

And because there he was so defiled, in God's eyes God is righteous, right? Does God love sin? God loathes sin - he hates sin. And somebody had to pay the price for sin and God had a choice of either loathing us as we became the epitome of unrighteousness or loathing his own son when he took the sins for us and became sin personified. And so when Jesus hung on the cross invested with our sins, this was hard for God. This was his beloved son. It was part of his own being and yet God looked upon his own son as an offense in his own eyes when he took our iniquity upon him.

And Jesus knew that. Jesus knew that this wonderful Heavenly Father who had always been with him on his earthly sojourn and with whom he'd always been one from eternity - for Christ was not a created being from his divine side. This fellowship that Jesus had had for all eternity now - he sees his father turn his face away and there's that awful feeling that he's so offensive in his father's eyes. Have you ever been - have you ever had anxiety separation - or separation anxiety? You see puppies go through it. You see children go through it.

Jesus drank a cup of separation anxiety for the whole human race and yet, what did he do? He just quietly drunk it and suffered it. You see, it's all part of the layers that he was going through. We so often read Isaiah 53 and we read about Gethsemane and we think about the cross and, you know, we're so shallow and superficial. I mean, aren't we? I am. It's only in more serious moments I start to get this.

We see the cross and it's as if 'there's the cross. Bad thing for Jesus.' And we're gone. We need to spend time there and think about it because it's only as we do this - like God, we can learn to have a hatred for sin. Because unless, beloved, we learn to hate sin, we'll never have the incentive or desire to be separated from it. And God cannot take us to heaven if we have divided affections.

When we say, 'oh Lord, I love you.' But at the same time we've got some little things here that - the tendrils of our affection have wound around some secret vice. God says, 'I love you but I cannot take you.' You've got to sever them all. And it's only at the cross that we get the incentive to hate sin because then we see what it's done to Jesus and we say, 'oh, I want to quit this.' And God has the grace to help us do that. That's why I say he became the very personification of human wickedness all, if you like, distilled into one being. If you can try and image that.

There on the - and there on the cross, because he became the personification of all the wickedness of the world all distilled into one being and God looked at him - his son that he loved - and yet justice demanded that somebody pay the price. And so God looked and his own son became an offense in his own eyes. There on the cross Jesus provoked the righteous anger of God against all our evil which he bore for our sakes. And like a magnet - as Jesus hung there - like a magnet he drew forth upon himself the accumulated wrath of God which descended upon him without mercy. On a barren hill, nailed to a cross, Jesus, like a lightning rod, stuck up there in a dark, brooding and violent storm was unsparingly smitten from above - punished mercilessly - destroyed and wasted by his father's own hand.

All for us. It was him or it was us and as bad as it was for him, both the father and Jesus decided they'd rather stand - God would rather stand beside the side of his son's cross and watch him suffer than stand beside our cross and watch us suffer. 'Desire of Ages' 756, "he, the sin bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice and for thy sake becomes sin itself." Now some people may ask, 'you know, is sin really so bad that Jesus had to suffer so incredibly much from its consequences?' The answer is 'yes'. 'And is God so particular that he wouldn't even spare his own son when it came to expressing his displeasure toward sin?' The answer is 'yes'. God could not spare him.

In 'Desire of Ages' again, page there is a statement - the immediate context is Christ hanging on the cross - sorry, the immediate context is Gethsemane but you can equally apply this to both the cross as well and I think you'll understand this when I read it so we can see how offensive is sin to God. It says, "could mortals have viewed the amazement of the angelic host, as in silent grief they watched The Father separating his beams of light, love and glory from his beloved son" - it says 'if we could understand this, then' it says, "they" - we - we "would better understand how offensive in his sight is sin." In Isaiah 53 it's all there for us to contemplate and we need to read this chapter. We need to read it. 'Youth instructor' December 20, 1900, it says this about Isaiah 53 - it says, "this chapter should be studied. The entire chapter should be committed to memory.

" Why? Not just so you can win in some Bible quiz, but so you can contemplate what we're talking about this morning. So we can all contemplate it on our knees and asking God that we might grasp it and get it and so that sin will, indeed, be offensive and we'll hate the stuff. Continuing the statement, "those" - those - we're all very proud beings, aren't we? Aren't we just? I'm as proud as they come. I'll just come clean. Proud and vain - many a time God has to humble me.

I'm confessing this morning. You might be okay - I'm not - but if you struggle with pride you know where to go to get that darn stuff out of you and it's at the cross. You see it in Isaiah 53. Let me read this: "those who are lifted up with pride, whose souls are filled with vanity" - 'I want to be seen, Lord.' I'm a leader in the church, you know. I can be a pastor, I can be an elder, a deacon.

I might be the head deaconess or a Sabbath school teacher. I might be the minister of music. I might be the one in charge of the outreach. I might be all of these things, but you know, so often we so love an audience, don't we? And we're so good at covering it with this guise of humility. Charles dickens wrote a story once - David copperfield - and there was a man in that story called uriah heep and all he could say was, 'oh, we're ever so humble.

We're ever so humble.' And so as Christians we can be, 'oh, we're ever so humble.' But inside we can just have raging pride. We get pretty good at covering it. Little kids - what you see is what you get. They're selfish, they're mean, they're proud and it shows. But at least they aren't hypocrites.

We're so sophisticated and we're able to cover it. God sees it all and he wants it out. 'Those who are lifted up with pride whose souls are filled with vanity, should look upon this picture of their redeemer' - as in Isaiah 53 - 'and humble themselves in the dust. Its influence will subdue and humble the soul defiled by sin and uplifted by self-exaltation.' Who was lifted up by self-exaltation and started all this mess in the first place? Lucifer, yeah. And the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it? But we can have a different parent.

We can have God. We can have Jesus. So let us be humble and change as we look upon this picture of our suffering redeemer. We need to look and be changed. Now I'm not still done with this section and time's going, but I feel I have to proceed here.

It's sad to say there are many who will not take the time to take Isaiah 53 or other related passages and contemplate them and have a look at the sufferings of Christ and understand what he went through and, therefore, they count the sufferings of Christ almost as a light thing. Just, you know, nothing that serious. And they cling to the sins that bind them fast through their affections. But what a price of suffering such individuals will ultimately have to pay. Hebrews 10, verse 29, it says, "of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot The Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" If we don't care to consider Christ's sufferings and, as a consequence, allow that to be a catalyst that leads us to the foot of the cross to be forgiven and cleansed and delivered from sin, then one day the wrath that Jesus - the divine wrath that Jesus suffered for us, we will suffer it ourselves.

'Desire of Ages' 743, "God suffered his wrath against transgression to fall on his beloved son. Jesus was to be crucified for the sins of men." - Now listen - "what suffering then would the sinner bear who continued in sin? All the impenitent and unbelieving will know a sorrow and misery that language will fail to express." So do you want Jesus to have drunk that cup of suffering for you or do you want to drink it yourself? I know what I want. I want him to have drunk it for me and I want to have appreciated that so much that as I see his love I'll allow God to separate me from every evil. And when the judgments of God fall upon this earth after the close of probation, I'll have a shelter from his wrath. And at the end of the millennium, as I cling to Christ in this life, I won't be in any second resurrection, I'll have been in heaven for a thousand years.

And when the wicked come up in the second resurrection, there's the great white throne judgment as they stand around the new Jerusalem. And as their lives are played out before them, the books are open and they see their life plays out before them and they see the great scenes in the heavens above the new Jerusalem, they see it all played out - the scenes of lucifer's rebellion and then how he brought it to this earth and then how he wrought in the human race and in the coming of Jesus. And when he was in Gethsemane and on calvary and he drank that cup of suffering and they'll see the whole thing played out and they'll see how God, in their lives, he sought to get their attention through many little things. It'll all come back to them and they will realize that they are lost and they've got a cup of sorrow and wrath to drink that they wish they could be excused from but it will be brought home with such clarity they realize that they are without excuse. Now where do you want to be - inside the wall or outside the wall? Inside.

It's the only wise thing. It's the only right thing. So we must, even if we go through suffering, as we allow God to separate us from these evils, it's worth it. I'd rather go through the suffering of withdrawal pains from some little pet sin than go through the sufferings that will come upon those who count as little consequence the sufferings Jesus took for them so they wouldn't have to bear them themselves. We are dealing with serious issues here.

I hope we realize this. We are dealing with very, very serious issues here but let those who have fallen the lowest and have, as we just read here in Hebrews 10:29, let those who have fallen the lowest and have 'trodden underfoot The Son of God, and have counted the blood of the covenant an unholy thing' - that's a terrible thing to do - and have despised the Spirit of grace and grieved the holy spirit - let all such know that God, yes, to you, will even yet extend mercy and forgiveness if you will seek his face with a desire to sincerely turn from every wicked way. Isn't God good? Isaiah 55:6 and 7, "seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Oh, if we didn't have that what doom and gloom you would have heard this morning, right? This morning my daughter calls me - she says, 'dad, you're the doom and gloom pastor.' You know, I always try to bring a silver lining at the end because that's what Jesus does, right? That's what the Bible does. God, in no uncertain terms, through the prophets, paints no glorious picture - he paints our sins black and he tells us 'you do this, you get that. But if you'll turn to me I'll love you as a parent loves their only child.

And I want you to turn to me. I will forgive you no matter what.' God is good. God is good. If we didn't have that we'd sit here pretty depressed through the rest of this morning, I'm sure. But listen to this: 'youth instructor' January 20, 1900 - the same 'youth instructor' statement I was reading before - this is a bit more - Isaiah 53 - it says "'he was wounded for our transgressions.

He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes we are healed.'" - This is all part of this statement - "this penalty Christ bore for the sins of the transgressor. He has borne the punishment for every man and for this reason he can ransom every soul however fallen his condition." Jesus can ransom every soul ever fallen. Their condition: if they accept the law of God as their standard of righteousness. There's nothing to be afraid of.

Say, 'Lord, do I have to obey that law?' Listen, you just come and ask forgiveness. You ask him to come into your heart. That law will be there. But you know who will help you? Who will live out the principles of that law in your life if you let him? Jesus will. He did it in his humanity and he'll live it out in your humanity.

So why? Why should we think it such a fearful thing to want to obey God and do his will? It's a joy. And so now, while we're looking at this issue here of the question of forgiveness - as I said a moment ago, I want to kind of just skip ahead briefly to Thursday's section called 'the greatest danger'. I want to just look at two passages in the book of Hebrews very quickly because I want to get back into the earlier part of the week and look at some other things, but I think this is important we do this. Hebrews chapter 6 - I suppose I could say several times a year I have people call me or they take me aside and say, 'pastor mike, I just - I need to talk about something.' And you find out that these dear souls - they think they've committed the unpardonable sin. And, you know, for every six that may come to you in the year, you know there's probably a lot more that don't feel they can dare approach you and they're walking around with this - this feeling that they're lost.

First passage - Hebrews 6:4 through 6 - excuse me - it says, "for it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the holy ghost, and have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come," - these are people who are Christians. They've had a conversion experience even. Then verse 6 - "if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves The Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." The issue here, if you look at this passage - especially verse - the issue here is nothing to do with God being unwilling to forgive a person's sins however bad. The issue is that of the sinner being unwilling to repent or finding themselves unable to repent. Verse 6 again, "if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance.

" Again, it's not the issue of repentance from the human side - again, it's the issue of repentance from the human side, not the issue of forgiveness from God's side. That's what you should remember but, you know, the devil has a way - he's very good at doing bad stuff. He knows human nature. He knows psychology. And what he will do - he'll lead somebody into sin and tell them, 'go ahead.

It's okay.' Then they do it and he comes down, 'you've done it now! You've done it now!' And they're smitten with this fear that suddenly now the holy spirit has departed from them and they're lost. And you can be sure he does this time and time again with certain individuals. And they long to be forgiven but they daren't go to God. They just feel convinced that they can't even ask forgiveness. And so the tempter comes and he whispers in their ear and he accentuates the situation and he enlarges it and he whispers in their ear - he says, 'it's no use.

You've gone too far. You've grieved away the holy spirit. You've committed the unpardonable sin. God can no longer forgive you. You're lost and going to hell.

' So what do these people do? What would you do? Well, you might just as well go and get drunk. If that's been your sin in the first place, you might as well go back to the bottle of alcohol. You might just as well go and get - blow your mind on drugs to numb the pain and the fear that 'I'm lost and all I can look forward to is the wrath of God and the lake of fire.' Oh, the devil loves to instill that fear into people. He's a bully but he's a liar but so often he's believed. And so people - they do that.

They go drink themselves into oblivion or it's so bad, what do they do? They buy a gun and they - they blow their head off. These things happen friends. It happens. Well, I'm saying this in case there's somebody here this morning or somebody out there live on the internet or somebody who may watch this on hope channel or 3abn three weeks from now when it's edited and it goes up on the satellite. If there's one person out there in this predicament - in this darkness - in this fear - listen to me.

Listen to me please and ask yourself this question: as much as I am hopelessly entangled in sin - you're right in the midst of it still - as much as I am hopelessly entangled in sin and have willingly transgressed time and time again, would I still like God to forgive me? And if I had the strength would I like to live a better life? If you can say 'yes' to that question, I can tell you on the authority of God's sacred word, that you have not grieved away the Holy Spirit, you have not committed the unpardonable sin. You can still be saved. But you must act on that desire and you cannot waste any time. The Bible says, 'behold, today is the day of salvation.' So don't listen to the lie. Read the promise of God.

Now the next passage - Hebrews :26, "for if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there reMaineth no more sacrifice for sins." No more blood to atone - no more of the precious blood of Jesus that I've trampled underfoot. It doesn't avail for me anymore. What fear and dread such people have. Well let me give you - not to make light of the sin - not doing that, but let me read you this. This is from the seventh day adventist Bible commentary.

I can tell you myself but they've written it really good. It says, sin willfully - I quote now - that is, "continue to sin willfully" - so it's not a one off thing - "continue to sin" - where is it? - "Willfully". The reference here is not to single acts of sin committed in a full knowledge of their heinous character, but to the attitude of mind that prevails when a person deliberately renounces Christ and refuses salvation and rejects the holy spirit. This is deliberate, persistent, defiant sin. So the context of Hebrews 10:26 and the couple or three verses before - is not somebody who sinned once - in full light, yeah - bad? Yes, but it's talking about somebody that once had the experience and they have actually changed their - they now actually renounce Christ - say 'I re-' - I don't even want to say it, actually.

But they renounce the one who died for them on the cross and they deliberately refuse the gift of salvation. Now is there a difference between the two types of people I'm talking about? There's a - are you following me? Yeah, okay. You looked a little blank. But it is an attitude of mind that 'I don't want it - I don't want Jesus.' But if the attitude of mind is 'Lord, I've done wrong but I ask you to forgive me.' You've got it. Is God good? Yes he is.

Hebrews 7:25 - it says, "wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." So I want to move on - we've got eight minutes left and I'm wondering where I should go next. Oh, there are so many good things. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to go to Wednesday. I was going to finish on this but I will do this and if I've got time I'll go back somewhere else. But Wednesday's section 'spotless sacrifice' - there's a verse from Exodus 12:5 and it's speaking of the - going back to the sacrificial lamb or the little goat or whatever it was - each one had to be without blemish.

It had to be a perfect specimen because it symbolized Jesus, right? Perfect, sinless, without any blemish. Exodus 12:5 says - just the first part - it says, "your lamb shall be without blemish." So God says, 'when you bring a sacrifice - you've got a lamb you can take it out - the sheep - often the goats - but it's a young one so it's a lamb - must be without blemish. Of course, symbolic of Christ. Now the lesson - and it was this innocent victim whose blood was shed that atones for our sins. Now the lesson says this - this is actually on the lesson page of Wednesday - "this is the guarantee of our salvation" - the sinlessness of Jesus - "for only a sinless one could bear our sins for us, and it is his perfect righteousness that covers us, now and in the judgment that righteousness is our hope of salvation.

" And, indeed, it is only those who, by faith, have put on Christ's robe of righteousness that will be found worthy of eternal life and their lives and characters, when they come under scrutiny in the judgement because they have the righteousness of Christ, they will be found acceptable. This is why, if we abide in the righteousness of Jesus moment by moment, we don't have to be afraid of the judgment. We should be aware of it, but we don't have to be afraid. Some people have painted the picture of 'oh, those seventh day adventists, they're full of fear of the judgment. You know, they have this judgment doctrine and they're all full of fear.

They're all, you know, have this - they're not sure - they don't have assurance.' I tell you what - I have assurance. And I have it not because I'm smarter than anybody else or I figured it out, I just know that Jesus is my Savior. This morning I gave him my heart. It struggled a bit, you know, sometimes the old man doesn't want to die - he goes kicking and screaming to the - 'no, I don't want to go!' But you go. You get on your knees and you open your heart and say, 'Lord, I'm struggling right now and yeah I could go sin, but Lord what kind of an act of thankfulness and gratitude would that be to you when you've poured yourself out for me? I don't want to be such a selfish person Lord, but you're going to have to help me because I have this fallen nature that - it's such an affliction but I don't want it.

' So you open your heart and you talk it through with God and he changes you. And so Jesus, he came in this morning and I have peace. And if you ask me, 'Michael thompson, you're name is up next in the judgment. Are you scared to death?' No, I'm not. Not at all.

And I don't say that flippantly, but I have a friend and he's got my name written on the palms of his hands and I'm wearing his clothes and he'll take me before the throne of God and my name will come up and I'll stand there seriously, of course - we're in God's presence in a court of law. I'm not going to act silly, I'll stand there very solemnly and seriously, but with a sweet joy because I'll hear Jesus talking to The Father. He'll say, 'father, this is Michael. There's his book. There's some things written in there that we know that - but you see, he asked forgiveness and these scars on my hand are evidence that I atoned for them.

' I'll just stand there and Jesus will do all the talking. When it's all done, call for the verdict, and God will say, in his majestic voice, 'Jesus, if it's okay with you then it's okay with me.' And God will tell the recording angel 'keep Michael thompson's name in the book of life.' I'm not scared. Now I would be if I knew that heart was out there rebelling but Jesus has it and I'm safe. He takes care of us. We're just like little children, you know.

We can't take care of ourselves so we've got to have God take care of us. If you want something - those of you who teach the class - on Wednesday's section - I would suggest you go to 'Christ's object lessons' and the chapter called 'fit for a wedding' or 'the wedding garment' depending on which format of 'Christ's object lessons' you have. And this is one of the best treatises - if I can use that term - on righteousness by faith that you will ever read. And it's in such simple language. But we need the wedding garment.

This is page 310, "by the wedding garment in the parable is represented the pure spotless character which Christ's true followers will possess." - Moving on here - it says, "this robe, woven in the loom of heaven, has in it not one thread of human devising. Christ, in his humanity, wrought out a perfect character and this character he offers to impart in us." - And this last statement - I'm going to have to finish - "by his perfect obedience he has made it possible for every human being to obey God's commandments. When we submit ourselves to Christ the heart is united with his heart, the will is merged in his will, the mind becomes one with his mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to him. We live his life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of his righteousness.

Then as the Lord looks upon us he sees not the fig leaf garment, not the nakedness and deformity of sin, he sees his own robe of righteousness which is perfect obedience to the law of jehovah." In whose power? In Christ's. Our time has gone. I'm going to have to leave it there so I just want to remind you again send in for our free offer 'three steps to heaven' - offer #102 - three steps was - what were they? Confession, forgiveness, and the new birth. And the doors of heaven, through Christ's grace and righteousness, will open wide. If you want this, call 1-866-study-more - -866-788-3966.

Paul and Jesus both predict that the church of God becomes a force against God. The radical faith that Jesus taught had become the official religion of the empire that murdered him. The speed with which the early church tobogganed into apostasy will take your breath away.

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