“Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;”
1 Peter 3:18
We are held in a state of death until we are resurrected in our souls, by the power of the Holy Spirit. We must come to Christ through the way of the cross. There is only one remedy our our sin, and that is the sacrificial death of Christ. There is no other Saviour, and on other way of salvation. There is no discussion on this fact, because it is plain from holy Scripture. Christ Jesus, the holy and righteous Son of God, suffered and died on a cross as a sin offering, that he might bring us to God.
Jesus did this as a payment to the law of God for our unjust and ungodly deeds, that we have carried out in disobedience to the law of God. We all stand condemned before Him as rampant sinners, until we are freely forgiven through repentance and faith. The death of Christ paid the awful price of our sin and set us free from it’s slavery and cleansed us from it’s guilt. We become free people, because of what our Saviour has done for or us.
Jesus died on the cross. His body died and was buried – His flesh died. But He rose as the conqueror and eternal Saviour, when He rose from the dead, through the power to the Spirit. His body died, but His Spirit went to God and He become our Saviour. His flesh was His outward body, that died, and His Spirit is the power of God that raised Him from the dead. Death was not the end, for He raised Himself in power to a new life. So also, He can raise us!
So also we die to the flesh and are raised to life in our spirits that we might be alive to God and dead to ourselves.
“…But now once at the end of the ages, he has been revealed to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
The reason Jesus came in to the world, was for this very purpose, to put away sin. He did this through His sacrifice for sin, which He made on the cross. He sacrificed His flesh to put away the sin in our flesh and to kill the deadening effects of sin on our souls. This He can do, because of who He is, and what he has done. He has come at the end of the age to put away sin, once and for all. A once for all sacrifice to once and for all, put away the deadening effects of sin and set us free.
All the Old Testament sacrifices pointed to this one event in the history of humankind. It is the fulcrum of everything, history, time and space. God has invaded our time and space and has intervened to bring salvation to sinful people, who believe and are saved from the punishment to come.
“But Christ having come as a high priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify to the cleanness of the flesh: how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
These old sacrifices were only shadows of what was to come. They could not take away the sin in the human heart, or save the soul from eternal death. Only the blood of Christ can do that. The Old Testament believer, looked forward to the coming Messiah, and believed on His name and were saved, just in the same way we look back and believe also.
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law and the deadening effect of our fallen conscience, and we can now serve the living God! We have been set free to do so, since the price for sin has been paid and we can now go free.
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,”
What our Lord Jesus suffered for our sake we cannot tell. He became the willing sacrifice for sin, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death and He became a curse for our sake. These are the reasons we love Him, because He loved us first. We would never come to Him, for we are dead and enslaved to sin, but Jesus can raise our souls to a new life and set us free from the power of sin over our flesh.
We therefore believe to the saving of our souls, and put on the new person who is alive to God. We put to death the things to do with the flesh, and we live to God in our souls. We sacrifice all we are on the altar of faith and love to our dear Saviour and serve Him with glad hearts and redeemed minds.
“Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry; for which things’ sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. You also once walked in those, when you lived in them; but now you also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and shameful speaking out of your mouth. Don’t lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his Creator, where there can’t be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondservant, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.”
This is the way we are to walk with the Lord. It is very straightforward. We put to death the deeds of the flesh, which is the sinful desire to do wrong against the Lord, and put on righteousness and holiness, which are from Christ. Every day we are renewed and everyday we grow in grace and goodness, for we are not yet made perfect. The pathway for every Christian is the same, and requires holiness, as God is holy. We put off the doings of the old person of unbelief, and put on the godliness of the new person, who has been redeemed from the slavery of sin, and given this new life.
“This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commandments. One who says, “I know him,” and doesn’t keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth isn’t in him. But whoever keeps his word, God’s love has most certainly been perfected in him. This is how we know that we are in him: he who says he remains in him ought himself also to walk just like he walked.”
1 John 2:3-6