Hello people I write again today, this time I write majorly from extracts of a video lecture from a Bible college that one of my brothers is currently attending. The lecture is a four part series and this post is Part-2 of “Grace Encounter for a New Beginning”. To make this post more engaging I will be speaking on behalf of the lecturer but as the first person.
Firstly, it is not possible to grasp the Gospel of Jesus Christ without understanding the Judgment of God & It is not possible to understand the Judgment of God without understanding the finished work of Jesus Christ; all these my friend go hand in hand. Let us read John 3:16-17.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
You know if you are reading this & you have something telling you that there is something about Jesus, which you allures you beyond fathom then you have a calling my friend. Let us get back; if we understand verse 17 in John 3 then we understand the basic concept of the grace of God in the Gospel. Believing in Jesus entails that you know that God is not out to get you, if he wanted to get you then he would have got you a long time ago. You are not at all hard to find.
To grasp the Gospel of Jesus, you need to think out of the box of religious indoctrination. We must understand that in Jesus we are free from all impending Judgment. Let us go through John 5:21.
21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,
From the verse 21 we can see what the Father can do the Son can too. Verse 22 requires you think from away from a religious perspective, it says that just as the Father judges no one in the same way (acting like the Father from verse 21 & taking support from John 3:17) the Son too judges no one but the Judgment referred to in verse 22 refers to the Judgment/Punishment of world that was focused entirely upon the Son of God. The reason I ask you not to think religiously is because a religious view is deceptive as its view of God is that of someone always out to get you and make you do what you do out of fear of punishment. A religious view of verse 22 will lead you to think that: Ok the Father will get me but he has now left that to Jesus.
Moving to verse 23 of John 5 (below) we see that the reason the Father focused all Judgment upon the Son was so that all creation may honour Jesus as much as they honour the Father & moving to verse 24 you can confirm the idea that he who believes in Jesus does not come up for Judgment.
23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”
From John 9:39, we see that Jesus came into the world for the Judgment of all creation was upon Him. It is in Jesus that belief is separated from unbelief, He is like a lightening rod that saves believers from the wrath of God, it is in trusting Jesus that people have peace.
Let’s read John 12:27-31.
John 12:27-31 (before Jesus’ death)
27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
From verses 28-30, you can see that it was that the whole thing of Jesus coming into the world was so that man could be saved but a religious perspective does not even make even the voice of God coherent. Jesus did not need to hear that voice, He knew His mission, He knew the predestined plan before creation even began. Verse 31 answers your question in verse 27 as to what was the “hour” for which Jesus came into the world. Jesus’ death was actually the hour of Judgment of the world. The Judgment of God was not when 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, the Judgment of God was not when the Tsunami killed hundreds of thousands in Asia, the Judgment of God has never been when catastrophe hit the world but the Judgment of the world was when Jesus endured death on the cross & it was then 2000 years ago that Satan (ruler of the world) was cast out, i.e. from that day Satan has no access or accusation against you before God. If you notice verse 32 below you will notice it starts with a conjunction ‘And’ that means there is more to complete the statement of verse 31 of John 12 mentioned above. Looking closely at verse 32, you will notice that the word “peoples” is in italics, indicating that that word was not present in the original scripture, it was added by the translators to make the scriptures readable as the translators could not fathom what was the “all” to be understood from that scripture, so they added the word “peoples” to it.
John 12:32 (NKJV)
32And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
Reading verses 31-33 of John 12 as originally intended, we have.
31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all (Judgment) to Myself.” 33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die.
In the light of the above, this infers that man will not be judged for sins committed but if man chooses the path of unbelief or that of rejecting Jesus or if man chooses to be religious with the “compulsory” praying, fasting & other rituals then in these he will be outside canopy of saving belief in Jesus and will bear the wrath of God for his own sin.
We see God unmerited favour (grace) in this act of sacrifice that we are put right with God in believing in Jesus. This grace however does not mean you are free to sin. Freedom is only freedom when you are free and you are only free when you trust in Jesus & it is when you trust in Jesus that your ‘want to s” change radically. A preacher who preaches grace does not worry about keeping people in line when it is faith that leaves it to God to keep people in line.
Let’s read James 1:12-15:
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
From verse 13 we can see, we can see that when you go through a trial, it is a blessing to know that your hardship does not come from God but from the decisions you have made in your life based on your lustful desires. Yes desires are God given but it is what you do with them that make it sinful. The desires He gives you are to be fulfilled as per His plan not by submitting to your weakness. If your desire is sex then God’s solution is marriage. If your desire is to be prosperous then the solution is tithes, study & work, business etc. It is in moving away from God’s plan that we mess up. When your lustful desire is conceived in your own power, then that gives birth to sin and one fine day that reaps it wages: death & then unlike whatever you may have been told and taught, God is not responsible for that condition you are in but he is still there caring for you and waiting that you may come to terms with His solution for your sin: Jesus; that He pull you out of that mess. Do you know that in Genesis 3:21, God being Good beyond anyone can come to terms with, provided Adam an Eve with clothes, for their sin of disobedience brought forth their nakedness & God showed His unmerited favour (grace) to them by providing for them even when they sinned against Him.
Many oppose the Gospel being gracious with the Acts 5 scripture; allow me to show you that.
1 But there was a man named Ananias, who with his wife Sapphira sold some property that belonged to them. 2 But with his wife’s agreement he kept part of the money for himself and handed the rest over to the apostles. 3 Peter said to him, “Ananias, why did you let Satan take control of you and make you lie to the Holy Spirit by keeping part of the money you received for the property? 4 Before you sold the property, it belonged to you; and after you sold it, the money was yours. Why, then, did you decide to do such a thing? You have not lied to human beings — you have lied to God!” 5 As soon as Ananias heard this, he fell down dead; and all who heard about it were terrified. 6 The young men came in, wrapped up his body, carried him out, and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife, not knowing what had happened, came in. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, was this the full amount you and your husband received for your property?”
“Yes,” she answered, “the full amount.”
9 So Peter said to her, “Why did you and your husband decide to put the Lord’s Spirit to the test? The men who buried your husband are now at the door, and they will carry you out too!” 10 At once she fell down at his feet and died. The young men came in and saw that she was dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
Verses 3, 4 & 9, are not words of condemnation but words of foreknowledge that was then gifted to the Apostle Peter by the Holy Spirit, the Bible clearly says in Matthew 12:32 that speaking against the Spirit is as much sinful as rejecting Jesus as Lord and Master (Jude 1:4). Ananias and Sapphira did not die because God killed them but because what Peter spoke was radically different from what they thought the outcome would be. It may interest you to know that in Africa, many people fall dead on the spot when they hear that a witch doctor has worked a curse on them. God did not kill Ananias and Sapphira as much as He did not kill Judas Iscariot, it was their guilt, a guilt that condemned themselves beyond they could not bear, a guilt that was so heavy that it cost them their own lives. Sin does not make God kill you but takes you away from the source of life which is God (Isaiah 59:2).