Summary: “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit” 1 Pet. 3:18a.
Theme: Christ our example: Yield to Him
Text: Gen. 9:8-17; 1 Pet. 3:18-22; Mark 1:9-15
God is love and chose to create man in His own likeness and image to be the object of His love. He demonstrated His love by giving him authority and dominion over all His other creation. The Psalmist in Psalm 8 declares, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you visit him. For you made him a little lower than the angels, and you have crowned him with glory and honour. You have made him to have dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet.” Unfortunately, man disobeyed God and chose to make his own decisions. As one man noted, our forefathers, Adam and Eve ate us out of house and home. Luckily God’s love made Him go to great lengths to restore what was lost so that man could exercise his privileged position. We however, often take His love for granted. If someone pushed you out of the way of an oncoming car and saved your life, what would be your reaction? Would you just walk away and forget about the whole incident or would you just say thank you? Or would you feel indebted to that person? How do we feel toward Jesus Christ who saved us from certain death? Do we just walk away or say thank you and continue with our life? Or do we feel indebted to Him? If we really felt indebted to Him we would show our gratitude. We would try to understand why He saved us and honour Him by doing His will. The best possible way to honour Him is to yield to Him and follow His example.
God deals with man on the basis of a covenant. In the garden of Eden Adam and Eve would enjoy the presence of God but they had to believe Him and do His will. They chose to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil instead of the tree of life because they were deceived to doubt God’s love, honesty and authority. God’s judgement was immediate and this finally resulted in the flood that destroyed all mankind except Noah and His descendants. God entered into a covenant with Noah and promised He would not send another flood to destroy the earth. Man’s part was to believe in God and do His will. The seal of the covenant was the rainbow. The covenant with Noah and his descendants involved all of humanity but they failed to fulfil their part of the covenant. This led to the Covenant between God and Abraham and his descendants. This covenant was with the Jewish race. God gave them the land and the Jewish part was again to believe in God and do His will. The sign of the covenant was circumcision. They also failed to fulfil their part of the covenant which necessitated a new one. The previous covenants prepared the Jews and the whole of mankind for the New Covenant that would this time also empower them to fulfil their part of the covenant. This covenant was sealed with the eternal blood of Christ.
The Covenants always demanded that man believed in God and did His will. Satan often works among men and women by turning them from the truth and making them believe a lie. “Has God said” are the words the enemy often uses to change our way of thinking. It is a very subtle way to make us believe what is contrary to the word of God. When Jesus faced Satan in the wilderness He had just heard God’s words “This is my beloved Son”. Satan immediately wanted to change His way of thinking that would be contrary to God’s word with the words “If you are the Son of God”. Doubt and unbelief prevents us from believing God and doing His will. When man fell, God did not change His mind concerning His divine plan. He immediately set in motion a plan of redemption. God’s Son, as the Son of man, would regain for redeemed man the authority to govern again.
Sin made it impossible for man to know God and to know themselves. Jesus came to earth to reveal God, to reveal God’s view of man, and to restore man’s divine purpose. Jesus revealed the love, mercy and grace of God, the source of our redemption. Jesus also came to reveal man’s true nature. He demonstrated by His life the life that God had expected from us. He was tempted in all ways as we were yet did not sin. All His actions were in accordance with the Word of God. Jesus came to restore man to his God appointed status. Satan not only deceived others, but also deceived himself. He believed he had won a victory over both God and man. He knew that the price required for man’s sin would be the death of another man, a perfect man. What he could not even imagine was that God Himself would become that man. Christ won the final victory when He became the Son of man.