Repentance

Numbers 15:26: And all the congregation of the people of Israel shall be forgiven, and the stranger who sojourns among them, because the whole population was involved in the mistake.

sad-219722_640There are sins that are common to different people groups and generations. Jesus called his generation faithless and perverse (Matthew 17:17).

The people of Israel who came from Egypt, whose journey was chronicled in the book of the focus verse, were noted for complaining. They found it hard to express trust in God. Stephen called them stiff-necked, always resisting the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51).

We also need to be aware of the errors prevailing in our generation so that we might be on guard. Jesus said that we should watch and pray so we do not fall into temptation (Matthew 26:41).

While all temptations are common to all generations, because it is the same devil, the way the temptations are presented differs. While sexual immorality may be a thing for many generation for this generation there is a special manifestation of it in pornography and homosexuality and paedophilia. There is sexual impropriety repackaged, enhanced, publicised, and made more appealing and the internet gives a new wing and reach to this evil.

This generation also have the problem of addiction. Idleness in many climes, due to time saving technologies that have been developed, and entertainment outlets designed, the mind lies fallow and the idle minds becomes the devil’s workshop.

There are many things to get addicted to, there are mind-altering substances that perpetuate dependence on it. All these are supposed to occupy the heart so that the love of God will not find a place.

There are sins peculiar to different families. Look at your life, are there not inherited sins from your parents? If your father is addicted to pornography, adulterous and full of anger, the very fact of being around him will ensure that you reflect all these. And the answer is Christ, through whom you have freedom from sin (Romans 7:24-25). The Holy Spirit opens our eyes to our need of him. And the bible says whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).

But the path to life is repentance.  Without repentance there is no openness to receive help. John the Baptist came to Israel preaching the message of repentance (Mark 1:4).  He carried the spirit and power of Elijah, who called Israel back to repentance to God in his time (1Kings 17).

The problem in the time of Elijah was idolatry, while in the time of John the Baptist, it was social injustice, dead conscience, disregard for God etc. John the Baptist brought about God-consciousness in Israel and the people were drawn to his message because they wanted to be part of the kingdom of God (Matthew 3:1-2).

Elijah called his generation back to God, and after the manifestation of God as fire on an altar he laid, the people confessed: the lord, he is God.

Via the gate of repentance people get to enter in an experience of God. Therefore repentance is for those desiring God, who chose to move away from their error to enter the presence of God (Psalm 15). They have been called to be all they can be with God. Those who are ready to go all the way with God are called to purge themselves of all evil works (2Timothy 2:21).

The bible says that the foundation of Christianity is repentance from dead works and faith towards God which are like two sides of the coin (Hebrews 6:1-3). Therefore without repentance, you cannot even start out as a Christian. And it is something you take with you along the journey to keep you on the straight and narrow way that leads to life (Matthew 7:14).

Repentance starts with the will, however there are components of the emotion and the mind (all components of the soul) involved.

Will

You have to make the decision to change. You cannot continue being sympathetic with the wrong acts or moving with the wrong group.

There is no true repentance until you change the group you move with. The man described as prosperous in the bible in psalm one did not walk with the wicked, sit with mocker or stand with sinners. He was careful to spend time with the word and away from the wrong group.  And Paul was firm when he said: bad companies corrupt good manners (1Corinthians 15:33).

John the Baptist told the people: “bring forth fruits meant for repentance (it is not just what you confess, but how you change that matters) and do not say that we have Abraham for our father. Perish the thought of being given a special treatment by God when it comes to sin, because God hates sin (Luke 3:7-8).” Your sins will find you out (Numbers 32:23). That means you have to take responsibility for your own change.

Jesus said that the people should not think that those who died in an incident are any worse than those listening to him, adding that if they do not repent they will likewise perish (Luke 13:1-5). Sin is sin regardless of who commits it.

Your will also has to do with the use of your time. When you fill your time with activities that are about seeking God, pursuing him, concentrating on him, sin will not find a place.

Emotion

The stirring of the emotion have something to do with wrong behaviours. So if I want to act right I will avoid situation that will stir my emotion in the wrong direction. The man that cannot control his emotion is like a city without fence (Proverbs 25:28). Self-control, a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), is being able to control your reactions in different situations.

Your emotion can get you into trouble if you do not recognise its flow and control it as appropriate. Everywhere in the bible we are told to be sober (Titus 2:6). That is not given to a life sun on the ebbs and flows of emotion, rather we should be committed to the truth of God. We should not be easily carried away.

When we are focused on appearance, they we are easily carried away emotionally. If what we seek is what makes us feel good, then we are not ready to pay the price for righteousness. Paul wrote that the one who lives for pleasure is dead even while still alive (1Timothy 5:6).

The emotions are inner motions, which may be holy or unholy. The only alternative against the unholy motion is to actively cultivate the holy motion which is passion for God, and love of him, zeal for his house. Jesus was “guilty” of running on excessive zeal, making a whip to clean up the house of his father (John 2:17). Get addicted to God like Jesus, and all other addictions will melt away in the fiery furnace of your passion for him.

Mind

Repentance really means change of mind, for a change of course. When we think differently we will live differently. If the spirit of our mind is not changed/renewed (4:17-27) then what we say, how we live cannot change. We can wear new cloths but until we wear new thoughts we will continue with our old lives, we would not change.

When we put the word of God concerning any area of struggle with sin in our heart, we are primed to think God thoughts in that area and therefore live God’s life, breaking that sin chain.

Jesus said: learn from me and you will find rest for your soul (Matthew 11:29). Learning is a thing of the mind. We are changed into the image of the one we are learning from. And Paul said, we should learned Christ. That is the end point of repentance.

God’s direction

Numbers 3:48: and give the money to Aaron and his sons as the redemption price for those who are over.”

man-489744_640The whole of the bible is a book of direction. The first specific direction God gave man about his life concerned what to eat (Genesis 2-3). God is still concerned about getting you fed, and still leads us to find pasture, being a good shepherd (Psalm 23).

God told Adam that he has been given all trees in the garden for food, except the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There you have “what to do” and “what not to do” as being the two components of God’s direction.

The temptation of the devil is targeted at getting us to do what God does not want us to do. It is not tempting if there is no element of breaking the word of God in it.

If we are preoccupied with the word of God, doing it, we would not give way to the temptation of the devil in our lives.

When we stand for truth, we at the same time reject lies. When we stand for what is right we reject what is wrong, when we stand in the light, we cannot be touched by darkness (Ephesians 5:8, 1Thessalonians 5:4-9). If we walk in the Spirit, there will be no room for the works of the flesh in our lives (Galatians 5:16). When we express passion for and commitment to Jesus, submitting to his lordship, we at the same time reject the rule of the devil.

There is no understanding of God beyond his word, and the ultimate expression of it is Jesus who is God the word. He said that he is the way, truth and life (John 14:6).

Way

This is about the practical word. The kind of guidance that has to do with living our life, relationships, developmental process, increasing in height, eating food.

It is Jesus as the way that makes it possible. He is the light that lightens everyman coming to the world (John 1:1-5), that means if as a man you are sensible/intelligible, it if because of Jesus, he gives the building block for your personality.

The fact that you are a person and not a rock or an animal is because of Jesus, he is the source of your self-consciousness and identity as a human being. He is the reason you can reason, even if like Stephen Hawking you say there is no God.

The fact that you can sit down in class and learn is because of Jesus. He gives the capacity to live in whatever level of existence that is. Know that everything was made by him and for him. In him we move live and have our being.

But beyond basic, he is the wisdom of God accessible only to the believers. Wisdom is knowing what to do to get the right result. And we can access the wisdom of God in Christ, is not the wisdom of this world, derived from the knowledge of good and evil, but from the knowledge of God.

The wisdom of God, is foolishness to man. But the bible says that the foolishness of God is wiser than men (1Corinthians 1:24). The church is the place where the wisdom/the way of God is taught, and the nations will come flowing into it (Isaiah 2:1-3).

Truth

There are three dimensions of truth. There is the truth about God, the truth about yourself and the truth about your environment.  The fall of man resulted from the falsification of these three dimensions of truth (Genesis 3).

The devil attacked the truth about God. He said that God was not truthful, that he does not want the best for Adam and Eve, and that he is hiding things from them because he is insecure.

The devil falsely presented himself as having their best interest at heart. So Eve did not know the truth about her environment especially as it relates to the serpent who was talking to her.

She did not know the truth about herself, because the devil confused her saying that she can have what God is not giving her. But the bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from God, from the father of lights, in whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning.

To follow God’s direction we need to come into the truth about ourselves, about God and about our environment, about the people around us, and the situation in which we find ourselves.

John the Baptist was asked by the emissaries of the Pharisees: what do you say about yourself, and he was able to say I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord (John 1:19-24). He did not confused himself with the Messiah, even though people thought he was.

Because he knew who he was, he was able to live accurately and fully in the will of God for him, because who you are is the basis of what you do. And God’s direction will not move you away from the truth of who God is or who you are in him, and would reflect an accurate understanding of your environment.

Life

Jesus is life and he gives meaning to it. God’s direction will always elevate Jesus. There is no life without him. He said that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus has come so that we may have abundant life (John 10:10). God’s direction is towards more and more life, towards victory, overcoming (2Corinthians 2:14, John 4:4, 5:4). He comes with his help to lead us away from death.

In the prayer that Jesus taught, he said we should pray: lead us not into temptation deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:9-13).

We receive from what Jesus is full of- grace, which he makes abundantly available for us (John 1:14-17). Of his fullness we have received grace for grace. We are given different levels of grace (divine ability) for our different levels of assignment. Paul said: I am what I am by the grace of God (1Corinthians 15:10). The grace of God empowers us for all the best in God and all the best of God, it empowers us to be above only and not beneath.

Change comes when we embrace the life of God. But that life comes with sacrifice. God leads us in the direction of making more sacrifice for his kingdom (Luke 14:26-33). He led Jesus to make the sacrifice on the cross and the result was his coming alive from the grave, as a life-giving spirit (1Corinthians 15:45). By losing his life he became one who can give life (John 12:23-27).

 

 

 

Revealing God

Leviticus 18:2: “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the LORD your God.

window-226901_640Our life is to be a revelation of who God is. As we shine as light we manifest who he is, and fulfil the plan of God for us.

When God made man it was to be a showcase of himself on the earth. God was coded in the genetic DNA of man (male and female) made as the image of God (Genesis 2-3).

If you wanted to imagine God, man should be it. He was specifically made in the image of God, and no other creation was like that. The angels were made with special powers, the plant and animal were made with certain finesse and beauty and agility, but man was made in the image of God. He was a physical revelation of an invisible God.

However, the first Adam fell to the wrong influence of the devil. So there was a need for another Adam (1Corinthians 15:45). And there comes Jesus. And in the making of the two Adams there are similarities.

The first Adam’s body was formed from the dust of the floor, and Jesus’ body form was derived from the ovum of Mary, representative of the earth, since Mary was made from the dust.

Adam had the breath of God come into his nostrils and he became a living soul, marking the beginning of his earthly existence.

What about Jesus?

Mary was told by angel Gabriel that the Spirit of the Lord will come upon her and that will lead to the conception of Jesus, the Son of the Highest, in her womb (Luke 1:27-39). Note that the first Adam was also called the son of God.

Gabriel explained the process of the formation of Jesus similar to the way Adam was formed. The breath of God the Holy Spirit will come upon the dust formed ovum of Eve, and there will manifest a unique human being who is divine.

He will walk the earth manifesting as God, because he was God from eternity past only manifested in time. John said: we beheld his glory as the glory of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth. Adam was also similarly filled, since he was filled with the breath of God, which is the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is also called the spirit of truth and the spirit of grace.

But regardless of that both the first and the second Adams were given similar opportunity to choose to obey God or not. They were made perfect, but they were given opportunity to be corrupted or not.

While sticking with the will of God for the first Adam has no foreseeable negative consequence before he fell into sin, for Jesus, choosing the will of God in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-8) or the garden of gethsemane has immediate negative consequence (Matthew 26:36-46).

Jesus was tempted by the devil to turn stone to bread, and not doing so means that he was going to remain hungry at least a few moment more having been fasting for forty days, eating nothing.

In the Garden of gethsemane, yielding go the will of God to go to the cross was going to cause him pain. He would lose his life, suffer disconnection from the father as the lamb bearing the sin of the world. For pulling through in obedience to the father, while the first Adam failed is the reason Jesus qualified to be called the faithful and true.

To reveal God you need to deny yourself, just as Jesus denied himself.

You cannot reveal God until you are submitted to him just as Jesus did.

His first act of submission was when he was baptised in water by John.  Here was the creator allowing himself to go into the water, allowing himself to be impacted by the ministry of John.

In that act Jesus associated with sinful humanity, and begun the journey to the cross as the ultimate Passover Lamb.  Remember that in the Old Testament the Passover lamb was kept for four days before it is sacrificed after it has been picked out (Exodus 12:2-11).

So from the day John the Baptist laid his hands on Jesus, he was picked out as the Lamb of God, identified as such: the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29-33). From the day John the Baptist laid hands on Jesus to the day he hung on the cross was about four years, matching the experience of the Passover lamb in the Old Testament, day for year.

And now as Spirit Jesus is revealing God in us by his presence there. Paul was emphatic when he said if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ he is none of his (Romans 8:9).

So you are on earth to reveal God, to be light in the world (Matthew 5:14), to manifest the knowledge of God wherever you go (2Corinthians 2:2-14). Paul said we have this treasure in earthen vessels so that the excellence of the power will not be of us, but of God, as we reveal him (2Corinthians 4:7). We are manifestly declared as the epistles of Christ, bold written not by the ink but by the Spirit of God (2Corinthians 3:3).

The Holy Spirit is important in the life Christians to facilitate our revealing God. The experience of receiving the Holy Spirit starts the journey of being conduits of the power and presence of God, of being his vessels.

But to receive we have to be opened, while unbelief is like a cover on us. Paul reminded the Galatia church that they received the Holy Spirit by the hearing of faith and not the work of the law (Galatians 3:5). Faith means we are opened to the reality of heaven. It is in the posture of faith that we receive the Holy Spirit and it is through steps of faith that we manifest the spiritual gifts have received from the father.

Paul told us that we should use our gift in proportion to our faith (Romans 12:1-8), in whatever capacity of gift we have.

The use of the gifts is in the context of being part of the body of Christ, who called himself the temple of God. So to the limit that we are in union with God, we express him. We express his wisdom, his power because the plan is that through the church there will be the manifestation of the manifold wisdom of God to principality and power in the heavenly places (Ephesians 3:20).

Spiritual washing

Leviticus 16:24: And he shall bathe his body in water in a holy place and put on his garments and come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people and make atonement for himself and for the people.

washing-404481_640The bible says that we need to be washed by the washing of water with the word (Ephesians 5:22-33). So when you hear the word of God, it is not just an audio-visual experience you are going through you are also involved in a spiritual washing experience.

Before his death, Jesus (the word [John 1:1-5]) stripped and took towel bent down to wash the feet of his disciples. He said if Peter did not allow him to wash his feet will not have part of him. It means if there is any area that we need to submit to Jesus, to the word, it is to experiencing his cleansing work in our life, cleaning us from sin (John 13:1-10).

The bible says that the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. The cleaning work of Jesus is to present to himself a glorious church. So while corruption will be increasing in the world, the glory of God will manifest in the church.

One thing Jesus does for us is to help us purity our motive. By pouring the Holy Spirit in our heart, he poured out the love of God there and that should be our driving motivation (Romans 5:5).

In the great epistle on love, John the apostle makes a case for us not to love the world not the things in the world (1John 2:15-17), so that we can have the love of the father in us. That should be our driving force.

Paul said that we should be motivated by the same thing that motivated Jesus. Jesus was motivated by the love of the father (Philippians 2:5-11).

Jesus told his disciples about his driving force, saying the son of man is not come to be served but to serve and give his life for many. His driving force was love (Matthew 20:28).

A general of the Syrian army Naaman had a problem of leprosy (2Kings 5:1-16). There was no natural remedy for him because if there were he was rich and powerful enough to get it. For solution an Israelite slave girl he had with him said he should go to Elisha a prophet in Israel. Elisha told him to go and wash in river Jordan, to be cleansed from his leprosy.

His expressed disdain at that suggestion. He presumed he could get clean on his own terms, and was expecting a show from the prophet to show how important he was as a client. He needed help but was still bound by his status, from receiving it.

Because the method was not what he was used to, he got angry. He needed help but still wanted to have his prestige recognised. He was prevailed upon by his servant to submit himself to the washing in Jordan. The result was more than he could ever imagine. His skin was restored to that of a baby.

This was similar to the ministry of John the Baptist as he called people out to be baptised in the same river Jordan in the time of Jesus, confessing their sin and receiving cleansing from it. The bible later recorded that the Pharisees rejected the will of God for them, not submitting to the baptism of John.

We cannot wash ourselves, and make ourselves clean, we need help. Just as Naaman we need help. We need to go in the direction of the word, to be cleansed from the unrighteousness, to have our minds cleansed from wrong thoughts, and our lives from wrong deeds. That is why David prayed: let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you oh God (Psalm 19:14).

When the words are cleaned up and the thoughts are cleaned up, then the man is cleaned up. A man may wear the best suit, be clean shaven, wear clean cloths, live in the best place in town but he could be as dirty in his thoughts and his practices, as any dog, in bondage to all manner of satanic habits.

Jesus said that people do not want to come to the light because then their evil works will be exposed (John 3:19-21). We should children of light not doing or condoning the works of darkness but rather exposing them, not doing carrying out shameful acts.

Paul said that for freedom Christ has set us free, but he warned that we should make that an excuse to be once again entangled in bondage (Galatians 5:1).

In the book of Hebrews we read that we should lay aside every weight and the sin that easily besets us, to run a race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1-5).

People want to run the race of life without experiencing cleansing from sin. They want to pursue objectives, leaving the primary objective of living free from sin, and when they make a little progress, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, strike the legs of the people and they fall. They do not know that if the heart is not right, the journey is risky.

Paul said I do not want to have preached to others to be a cast away, so I put my body under (1Corinthians 9:27). He recommended that we yield the members of our bodies to God, as instruments or righteousness (Romans 6).

He told Timothy: “flee youthful lusts (1Timothy 2:22), do not share in any man’s sin (1Timothy 5:22). A vessel unto honour purges itself (2Timothy 2:19-22).”

There is a no Christianity without a radical view of sin as something that we should separate from us being what Jesus came to save us from (Matthew 1:21). We are freed from sin by Jesus, and we cannot continue again in bondage to the same thing (Romans 6:1-5). If the chains are broken, we should not walk again into the prison of it.

On a daily basis we can receive the grace to walk with God (Hebrews 4:16) in his peace, joy, because the kingdom of God is righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:16). The kingdom is lived setting our eyes on the things of heaven and not on things on the earth. As we walk with God, move in his power, we are cleansed from powerlessness, and spiritual impotence, to carry the power of God to our generation.

God’s ideal

Leviticus 21:7: They shall not marry a prostitute or a woman who has been defiled, neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband, for the priest is holy to his God.

bird-197052_640Adam used to be God’s ideal man, before he was corrupted by sin.

With the coming of Jesus God has another ideal man.

He spoke from heaven about Jesus: this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17). This means he passes all the test. And therefore qualified be the representative of God on earth.

Jesus told Philip: if you have seen me you have seen the father (John 14:8-11).

We are meant to look to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 2:2).

Paul said that we are complete in him who is the head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10). There is no need that we have that is not met in Jesus. He is the wisdom and the power of God (1Corinthians 1:24).

The bible says that God was in Jesus reconciling the world to himself, not willing that anyone should perish but that all should come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). He is salvation for us.

Jesus represents God’s ideal in power, wisdom and also love. And God is love, and his is a caring father, and that is the image of God that Jesus wants to impress on us, after many years of limited or twisted understanding of God, promulgated by the devil.

But with Jesus God can fully present himself. Jesus expressed his thought, ways and life fully, being the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). He said no one comes to the father except through him, no one can connect to the father, by ignoring him. And if you do not respect the son you are in the risk of eternal judgement.

Because Jesus fully represent God’s ideal, in his opinion, thought, God has committed all judgement to his hand (John 5:22).

Adam fully represented the will of God when he was made. God asked him to name all the animals, a test he passed in flying colours (Genesis 2:19-20). But when he stopped doing the will of God, he stopped bearing the image of God because to the limit that you do God’s will, you represent him on the earth.

Jesus said that some people call him lord, lord without doing what he wants them to do (Luke 6:46). In another place he said that whoever does the will of the father in heaven is his mother, brother and sister (Mark 3:35). Therefore it is to the limit that you are carrying out the will of God that we are like Jesus, that you express similar spiritual genetics like his. It is to that extent we follow his ideal, being representatives of the will of God as he is.

Jesus expressed his mission saying it is to do the will of God (Hebrews 10:7).

God’s ideal is for us to continue to change. It is from glory to glory (2Corinthians 3:18), from faith to faith (Romans 1:17). This is because God himself is our idea, our destination.

He said that his ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts than our thoughts as the heaven is above the earth. The difference is infinite.

Therefore there is no getting to God on our own, we need Jesus. He is our “rocket ship” to heaven. John wrote that no one has seen God at any time but the only begotten of the father who is in the bosom of the father he (Jesus) has declared him (John 1:18).

Jesus came to bridge the gap in our wrong concept of God and who is really his. The twisted view man has about God began when the devil told Eve that God lied to her when he said they should not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and that if they did they will die. The devil contradicted the word of God. He said that they will not die (Genesis 3).

There was the liar saying God is a liar. It is in his interest to misrepresent God so that he can attract their (Adam and Eve) allegiance which was to God to himself.

Another way of looking at this topic is that there is an ideal you.

While there is an ideal man Jesus whom we are all supposed to follow, who seek to restore the right concepts of God in us. There is also an ideal you which is you fully in the plans and purpose of God for you. It is you victorious and in the full service of God. It is you shining in the glory of God.

Paul said that we are God’s workmanship made for good works which have been prepared for us to walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). The bible says that he who is called is meant to be glorified (Romans 8:30).

There is a dimension of the glory of God that we should manifest as members of the body of Christ.

There is the need for you to discover your place in the body of Christ, the abilities you derive from him and the assignment you have to carry out in him. We need to have that fully realised in our lives, as empowered by the Holy Spirit.

We are not saved to sit behind, we are meant to move forward as soldiers of Jesus Christ, who does not entangle himself with the affairs of this world so that we would please the one who enlisted us, as Paul told Timothy (2Timothy 2:1-4). Timothy was told he needed to be God’s ideal soldier not allowing anything to entangle him, not allowing anything to stop him from attaining the ideal him.

A prophet in the Old Testament was meant to be an ideal prophet. He was sent to confront the demonic enclave of king Jeroboam. He went with a special instruction (1Kings 13). But when he heeded the words of an old prophet he was distracted, and died before his time. And that was not God’s ideal for him.

Cleansing

Leviticus 14:19: The priest shall offer the sin offering, to make atonement for him who is to be cleansed from his uncleanness. And afterward he shall kill the burnt offering.

orchid-165218_640Are you clean enough in the eyes of God? Your answer will give an insight into your level of understanding.

Let us start with Adam and Eve. Why did you think they pulled away from the presence of God? Because of their disobedience, they felt corrupted and unworthy to see the holy God. They had betrayed his trust (Genesis 3). So man needed cleansing, and there is cleansing in the blood of Jesus (1John 1:7).

Back to the initial question. Do you feel clean? Before we explore that theme further, I will tell you an experience I had. I was in a meeting and the woman speaking asked: raise your hand if you are righteous? And I raised my hand. I do not really remember if others joined me to raise my hand, but the woman decided to vilify us, as if we were self-deceived to claim we are righteous.

But to claim otherwise is a disrespect to the word of God, it is to disrespect the work of Jesus for dying on the cross, through which he took away our sins and we assumed his righteous status (2Corinthians 5:21). It is an expression of undue self-focus which also means we focus away from Jesus. We are told to look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).

A story comes to my mind which is about the snake Moses raised at the instruction of God in the wilderness when the children of Israel, because they complained against God, were bitten by snakes. They needed to be cleansed from the poison, but the divine solution is not about any self-effort on their part, it had to do with looking to the snake that was hung on a tree and raised by Moses (John 3:14-16).

What does that have to do with you and your cleansing?

Everything.

Jesus associated himself with that event. Before his death, he said as Moses raised the serpent in the wilderness so he would be raised and any who look to him will be saved.

If you are wondering about what we would be saved from, you do not need to look further than the very name of Jesus (Matthew 1:21). He was so named because he will save us from their sins. Therefore just as the Israelites in the time of Moses needed cleansing from snake poison, we need cleansing from sin so that we can stand without shame before the holy God.

Looking unto Jesus saves us from sin. The poison in the body is all about the sin, the corrupting influence of sin, that we got bitten with from birth, since as David said: we are conceived in sin, we are all bitten by sin, and nothing will save us from inevitable death in sin, except looking to Jesus. Looking to Jesus is a statement of faith, and by grace we are saved through faith, it is not of works lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

One component of our body that needs to be cleansed is our eyes. Job said: I have make a covenant with my eyes, why should I look upon a maid (Job 31:1). If our eyes are not cleansed, as the bible described some people that they have eyes full of adultery (2Peter 2:14), we would not be free from sexual corruption.

Remember Jesus says that if our eyes causes us to sin, we should pluck it out (Matthew 18:9). That was to impress on us unto how serious our eyes, and what we see is important, and how we see things.

He said that if our eyes are single then our whole body will be full of light. Not only should our eyes be cleansed by the fire of the Holy Spirit from the corrupting influence of the sexual impropriety, but since our eyes also stands for how we see things, how make judgement, we also need the Holy Spirit to be for us the Spirit of revelation (Ephesians 1:15-18).  Jesus told the Pharisees, judge righteous judgement (John 7:24).

Jesus was described as having eyes of fire (such piercing eyes) in the book of Revelation (1:14). In his eyes you can see eternity. He views things with the eyes of eternity. He can see through many layers of times, space, intention, past and future, and the present. He can see through us, x-ray our thoughts and intents. We are called to have such an elevated perspective. It is not enough to see things as they are but as God sees them.

For the purpose of stopping people from believing the gospel, we have the devil blinding their eyes (2Corinthians 4:4). Jesus said that the church in Laodicea should come to him for eye salve so that they can see as they should (Revelation 3:18) because the physical eyes is not the only kind of eyes we need. We also need our inner eyes, referred to by Paul as the eyes of our understanding, the eyes of our heart.

When the light of the gospel shines on our heart, we experience a conversion experience, the life of God is introduced in us, and we are born of the spirit. Jesus told the Samaritan woman, that those who worship God must worship him in spirit and truth, since God is Spirit (John 4:24).

God seeks to move us into his own frame of mind, his own purpose and we can experience his presence. A psalmist prayed to God: open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things from your law (Psalm 119:18).

There are depths of divine knowledge that we can experience, that we can see, as we experience the illumination of the Holy Spirit. What we see also determines what we are convinced about. The Holy Spirit comes with the power to convince the world of sin and of righteousness.

Because he is the Spirit of truth he brings us into more and more depths of the truth of God (John 16:13). Truth is also about what we see. When God called Jeremiah to the prophetic role, he asked him, what do you see, and he said I see the branch of an almond tree (Jeremiah 1:11-12), and God said to him you see well. His eyes were cleansed to see into the realm of the spirit, cleansed from the limitation of the flesh.

The blood 

sheep-393366_640Leviticus 4:6: and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle part of the blood seven times before the LORD in front of the veil of the sanctuary.

There is no running away from the blood as the means of salvation. It does not matter what you feel about it, and how offensive you think that is.

There are three things about the blood of Jesus that makes it important. Where it is from, what it conveys, what it buys.

It is the blood of God (Acts 20:28). It is therefore an eternal statement of the commitment of God to humanity.  The impression you may get after God chased man out of the garden because of sin, may be that God wanted to wash his hands off the case of man, as he chased him out with words of judgement, the judgement of death. You may think that was the end, that the holy God has separated himself from man because of sin for good. But with the incarnation of Jesus and the shedding of his blood, the life of God, his acceptance and commitment to man were eternally accented, to make manifest to man.

God is love, and because of that he sets out to make a way for man to come back to him, opening the door, His Son (John 10:9-10, 14:6). And Jesus because he shed his blood became the way. And understanding the truth about the blood is nothing less than liberating.

The earth received life coming from the blood of Jesus (Genesis 9:4), heralding a new dawn for it. Whatever is in Jesus is made available to humanity, which the dust on the earth represented (Genesis 3:19), on which the blood of Jesus which was shed fell.

He had on him a crown of thorns, which those who are persecuting him thought was punishment but they did not know that he was being crowned king indirectly (John 19:3).

Note that the authority which put the crown on Jesus was the number one ruler on the earth at that time, based on the revelation of Daniel about the kingdoms that would dominate the earth, was the roman empire, the iron kingdom (Daniel 2:31-49). When the Roman Empire put a crown on Jesus, and its army bowed to him in mockery, they transferred rulership on the earth to him. What they did was a prophetic act though they were ignorant of that fact.

Pilate inscribed these words on the cross of Jesus: “the king of the Jews (John 19:19-22).” The Pharisees protested against this, but Pilate refused to budge.

You might think that it was just something written in the bible for the story interest, but everything written about Jesus, e.g. events surrounding his death, have prophetic purpose. It was not for fun.

As the “truth” everything about Jesus manifest truth. Even the inscription on the cross communicated truth. He was truly the king of the Jews and the king of the world.

In the book of Zechariah, the bible says that they children of Israel will realise in the future that they have crucified their promised king and they will weep in regret of their action (Zechariah 12:10).

So Jesus, at his lowest moment, nearing the time of death, was “declared” king. He became king by death. This is because the one from whom he wanted to take over at that time was not really the man who was the emperor in Rome, but the devil. He went into the grave, triumphing over the devil in the cross (Colossians 2:15), and came out to declare that all power in heaven and on earth is given to him (Matthew 28:18), because he shed his blood.

He shed his blood to take on another life, another identity. He became a life-giving Spirit (1Corinthians 15:45). He is the Lord of life, rescuing people from death and hell, from damnation.

We are redeemed by the blood of Jesus (Revelation 5:9). What exactly is the purchasing power of the blood of Jesus? It is unlimited, because it is the blood of God. Paul warned the leaders of the church to know how to handle the Christians because they have been purchased by God with his blood. The blood was the ransom paid for our release from the bondage of death. Since the rule of sin was via the dominion of death, offering his son to death, God exhausted the power of death on him (Hebrews 2:14), death was swallowed up (1Corinthians 15:54-55), making all of us free, delivered from the fear of death.

Death was spent on Jesus (displayed by the fact that he rose up from the dead), and now sin and death no longer have dominion over us, we therefore enter into life.

Jesus said that what shall it profit a man to win the whole world and lose his soul (Mark 8:36-37)? This means that the value soul of a man which is saved by the blood of Jesus cannot be quantified. That goes to show that the only kind of blood that can redeem the billions of people on the earth is the blood of Jesus. Jesus had to be God or else the redemption work was not going to work.

If a soul is really precious, how much value do we have in the blood that saves us?

Therefore we cannot sing enough about the blood of Jesus. How precious it is, its cleansing power, its limitless power. The writer of the book of Hebrews while describing the church says that we have come to mount Zion the city of the living God, to the blood of sprinkling which speaks better than the blood of Abel (Hebrews 12:24).

If the blood speaks anything, it is life, because life is in the blood, its life speaks power, because the spiritual power that led to our deliverance is packed in the blood. Jesus walked in the power of the Holy Spirit on earth to set people free from the oppression of the devil, but he needed to take his blood to heaven to buy up a place with his father. He has told his disciples that he was going to prepare a place for them so that where they are he may be also (Ephesians 2:13). The blood brings us to God.