Summary: “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:15-16)
This is the first Sunday of the year 2020 offering us the opportunity of a new beginning. The best way to begin the new year is to come to Christ if you have not yet been saved, and if you have been saved to know how God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. God always makes provision for us to make sure our needs are taken care of. Before He created man, He made provision to meet all his needs but man rejected His provisions and opted for the one thing that would destroy him. In the same way, God made provision to meet all the needs of those who are saved but just like the first time we are rejecting His provisions and opting for the things that will destroy us. When Christ delivers us all the provisions of the new Covenant sealed in His blood is available to every believer. Let 2020 be a year of rejoicing as we accept and take hold of all the provisions of Christ for those He has delivered from bondage to sin and to Satan.
Step One: Sin led man into captivity
a) Man created in the image of God
God created man in His own image and likeness to manifest His glory. It was Lucifer’s pride and desire for God’s glory that led to his fall and eviction from heaven. He knew how much God loved man and hated to see them manifesting God’s glory. His hatred towards God was now directed at man and he succeeded in deceiving them to sin.
b) The wages of sin is death
The wages of sin is death and when Adam yielded to sin, he lost the glory of God that clothed him and could no longer appear before a Holy God. All of us have inherited Adams sinful nature for in Adam “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).
c) Sin leads to captivity
Sin separates us from God, the source of our life, and leads us into captivity to sin and Satan. Man created in the image and likeness of God with authority and dominion over all creation, including Satan, became a captive and a slave to Satan.
Satan knew how much God loved man and hoped that in an effort to save man He would compromise His divine justice. Since “Righteousness and justice are the foundations of His throne”, (Psalm 89:14) He would destroy the foundation of His rule. But God, who is all knowing, did what surprised all creation. The Word became flesh, dwelt among us, and fully paid the price for man’s redemption without compromising His righteousness and justice.
God humbled Himself and became a man to pay the full penalty for sin. He came to deliver man from the kingdom of darkness and translate him into the kingdom of light and become a partaker of God’s divine nature.
Step Two: The deliverance of the Lord
a) The Law of Moses
Man came under the judgement of a righteous God due to the sin of disobedience. God gave man His righteous requirements in the Law of Moses. The only way to escape judgement and be delivered was to fulfil the Law, which was holy and perfect. God, however, knowing the limits of the Law instituted a system of animal sacrifices to atone for their sins and the Law served as a schoolteacher to point to the ultimate deliverance through the shed blood of Christ, the only One who could fulfil the requirements of the Law.
b) The death of Christ
Jesus Christ, born without a sin nature, and who was tempted in all ways as we are, yet without sin, gave His life for our redemption and to free us from captivity. Christ restored our godly nature so “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16)
c) The grace of God
Our salvation does not depend on anything we have done but on what Christ has done for “By grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God”. (Eph. 2:8)
The sacrifice of Christ gives life for “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive”. (1Co 15:22) Salvation is only a free gift because Jesus Christ paid the full price for sin. It does not cost us anything but it cost God all He had, His only Son. Jesus Christ took our place and bore the full judgement of God on sin so that we could take His place. He became our sacrifice for the sin offering. Under the Old Covenant the sacrifice for the sin offering had to be repeated over and over again because the judgement of God on sin was far greater than the sacrifice. It pointed to the need for a better sacrifice, a perfect sacrifice that would not have to be repeated. It pointed to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. There Jesus Christ after He had exhausted all the judgement of God on sin cried out “It is finished”. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was far greater than the judgement therefore there is no longer any need for a sacrifice.