Jan 14, 2016, 10:25 AM
Adam and Eve, our ancestors, failed the test of holiness and obedience when the evil one, disguised as a snake, misled them to act contrary to God’s instruction. “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16) Whilst that death was not physical, something very important died; the spiritual link was severed. God became separated from His creation.
Sin then is a separator and it brought about death. The human being became separated from God because God is too holy to look at sin. As the human being cannot save himself from this predicament, he needed a saviour badly to rescue him. So God in His infinite wisdom sent His Son. Only He could pay the price of sin. The Bible teaches that “the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23)
The sin question had to be settled before God could step in to redeem humanity. It would require a sinless person to save someone who has committed sin. That sinless person is none other than our Lord Jesus. The reason He came to this earth was “... because He will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) A songwriter renders it this way. “He only (Jesus) could unlock the gates of heaven and let us in.” He who lived a spotless life was the only one who could pay the price of sin. “He committed no sin and no deceit was found in His mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22) When John the Baptist beheld Jesus coming in his direction, he exclaimed: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! ” (John 1:29)
Until then sin was being covered through the sacrifice of a spotless lamb and other prescribed animals. The spotless lamb became our Lord Jesus who offered His life to save humanity. The shed blood of Isaac could not have sufficed; the ram that replaced him neither. The sin element that marred the relationship with God, the Creator, had to be washed clean and the blood of His Son was the appropriate ‘detergent’ to accomplish that. The prophet Isaiah had written “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
Every act of disobedience we commit comes with a penalty and that penalty is death – the reason why we die. Sin has corrupted the essence of our very being – the being of those who have been created in the image of God.
It was intended for us to live holy lives – in total obedience to the word of God. As it is, nothing can cleanse this body that has been contaminated by sin. There is nothing that we can do to improve on ourselves. No one, no matter however righteous you have been can enter heaven with this earthly body. This life we live in the flesh does not qualify for entry into haven. We need only look to Jesus – the Redeemer
Again, our Lord Jesus Himself taught; “You must be born again.” (John 3:8) We have to change our ways and our thought patterns and be ready to go through a complete transformation. Except this process is complete, we are not entitled to see God. “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy, without holiness no one will see God.” (Hebrews 12:14)
Holiness is sine qua none to getting closer to God. We cannot fake it. God sees through our every deed, every step and every motive in our lives. Nothing can be hidden from Him. We may deceive those who are around us - our friends and loved ones but not God. He knows everything.
God’s call to holiness is clear. “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44)
“Therefore, I urge you in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God…” (Romans 12:1)
“But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” (1 Peter 1.15)
The cleansing process is effective when we are washed by the water through the word. The water is the Holy Spirit and the Word is the Word of God, both the written word and the word made flesh that “made His dwelling among us.” (John 1:14) Only then shall we be fit to enter heaven.
Our Lord Jesus “loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5.25-26)
We must seek holiness in order to be able to stand before God’s throne of grace and be counted. Holiness is obtained when we submit to the word of God and when we listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit who is our Guide.
God in His plan has offered us a way out of sin and sinfulness. He told father Abraham “… walk before me and be blameless.” (Genesis 17:1) If He said it that means it is possible. Are you ready to walk before Him? No amount of giving alms and doing good can save us from sin. If it were so, many would live their lives anyhow and then purchase heaven.
Heaven is not for sale. Heaven requires sacrifice. That sacrifice has been made already through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ – the lamb of God – to atone for our sins. Bible teaches “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22)