God reveals Himself as the Holy One who cannot bear sins and condemns them. Most people, however, do not fear God. Their thinking and doing are focused on meeting their desires. Through this earthly, carnal mind, man has become unholy and an enemy of God:
"... they do not know the way of peace; the fear of God does not stand before them "(Romans 3: 17-18).
"... do not you know that the friendship with the world is enmity against God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. "(James 4: 4)
"Therefore that the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God ... those who are in the flesh can not please God. "(Romans 8: 7-8)
When God abstained an Israelite or punished him for his sin, it felt as if God had become an enemy to him (see Job 13:24, 19:11). But God promised not to be angry forever (Psalm 103: 9, Jeremiah 3:12). He made Himself, known as merciful and forgiving God, who knows that the flesh is weak (Exodus 34: 6-7, Psalm 78: 38-39). His work is therefore aimed at ending enmity between Him and people and making peace with those of good will:
"Honor to God in the highest (heavens), and peace on earth in people of good will" (Luke 2:14).
"Tribulation and distress (will come) over every living man who works evil ...; but glory, honor, and peace over all who work the good ... "(Romans 2: 9-10)
"Your faith has saved you, go in peace." (Luke 7:50, 8:48)
God works this peace by reconciling man with Himself. Reconciliation is the way He delivers us from sin. Under the Old Covenant, animal sacrifices for Israel were to make atonement, under the New Covenant God, presents the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ as a means of exhorting:
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified not by the redemption in Christ Jesus. Him has God presented as a means of remembrance through faith, in his blood ... "(Romans 3: 23-25)
"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atonement for our sins" (1 John 4:10).
"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." (Romans 5:10)
This reconciliation to peace with God is not only intended for the straying people of Israel, but for all people, whatever people they belong to, and in what time they live. God's love is universal:
"But among all the people who worship and work righteousness, please Him, according to the word that He has made to the children of Israel to proclaim peace through Jesus Christ." (Acts 10: 35-36)
"... Jesus Christ, the righteous one; and He is an atonement for our sins and not only for ours but also for those of the whole world." (1 John 2: 1-2)
Because until the coming of Christ, in His faithfulness to His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, spoke only to Israel, the preaching of the gospel by the apostles was a revelation to many in the Gentile world. The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus cleanses from sin and not only puts an end to the enmity of sinners with God but also to the separation between Jew and non-Jew.
"For it has pleased the whole fulness (God) to make Him (Christ) dwelling, and through Him, making peace through the cross-blood, to reconcile all things with Him, whether on earth or what in the heavens. You too, who were formerly alienated and hostile to your evil works, He has now reconciled, in his body of flesh, by death, to present you holy and unblemished and blameless. "(Colossians 1: 19- 22)
"For He (Christ) is our peace, which made the two one, and the separation wall that made separation, cut off enmity, by putting in its flesh the law of the commandments, existing in statutes, inoperative, to create in Himself, making peace, the two to one new man, and reconciling the two, connected to one body, with God through the cross, on which He has killed the enmity. And at his coming, He proclaimed peace to you who was far off, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have access to the Father in one Spirit. "(Ephesians 2: 14-16, see also Ephesians 6:15)
The law distinguishes between Jews and Gentiles, the faith in Christ Jesus connects them. The law teaches what sin and impurity are, so that man realizes God's holiness and fears Him. Christ Jesus is the perfect example of holiness, which the believers can keep in mind and follow. In Him, all partake of God's grace in which He reconciles them and gives them peace:
"Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have also gained access to this grace in which we stand." (Romans 5: 1)
The state of enmity between God and people, which came into being through the sin of the first man, has come to an end in Christ. This not only restored the situation in the pre-sin court but also achieved the purpose that God had in mind: to make a perfect and eternal living being in his image and as his likeness, capable of governing his creation and to preserve:
"So then who is in Christ is a new creation; the old has gone by, see, the new has come. And all this is from God, who through Christ has reconciled us to Himself and has given us the ministry of the atonement, which, after all, is that in Christ the Lord was reconciling the world to Himself, by not blaming them for their transgressions ... "(2 Corinthians 5: 17-19)
Question for consideration:
What does the Philippians say about the disposition of the flesh?
Great Day of Atonement
For the believer Israelite Day of Atonement was the greatest day of the year. The High Priest went with the blood of a sacrificial animal to the Covenant Park in the most sacred room of the Temple to clean people and objects. God thereby promised that He would take away all sin and iniquity that were confessed to Him (Leviticus 16; 23: 23-32; Hebrews 9: 6-7; 18-22). Then the High Priest came out with a blessing for the people (Numbers 6: 22-27). This is an image of God's saving work in Christ. He is the High Priest who has worked for eternal reconciliation (Hebrews 9: 8-10, 10: 1). He has sacrificed Himself once and is entering heaven with his own blood. From this, his followers expect Him with the blessing of eternal life (9: 11-15). His sacrifice is perfect and accepted by God for the sins of all people of all times, who expect Him as their Savior to be taken away real and forever (9: 24-26, 10: 11-14). Animal sacrifices were not possible.
Thanks for reading.
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