“He came to this low ground of sin, sickness, and sorrow. . .” Here is a beautiful slice of poetry which a brother incorporated into his prayer. Low ground . . . the world of man; “You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands.”(Heb. 2:7 / Ps.8:5-6) Low ground . . . Jesus’ world; “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” (Heb. 2:9) Though angels could dine with mortals (as when they met with Abraham at Mamre), they were not made lower than their station.
Author: Louis Garbi
Heb. 13:12 – 14 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. II Cor. 5:14-17 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
1Cor. 3:16 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” This, among other similar passages, teach us that the Spirit of God becomes a part of our lives in a unique and living way through salvation in Jesus Christ. Because the Holy Spirit is not of flesh, there is no way to sense His presence in us. It is through faith we know He is there.
Something about human nature loves rituals. A ritual is to step from the symbols ofalphabetical characters (which convey words unto ideas) to fabricating symbols out of gestures, designs (in fabric, glass, works of art, etc), set phrases, and any other sensual stimulus to support an idea being communicated. It is called a ceremony for civil activities. In the religious world there are a number of terms describing the same: liturgy, ceremony, and rite.
We are warned of a day when “Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city. .” (Rev.20:7-9) This prophecy appears to be a more focused view of “. . .the battle of that great day of God Almighty” – Armageddon. The religious world has a degree of interest in this. The range goes from active planning as to what and when Armageddon will be, to a belief that is it way in the past.
There is a belief which maintains God has given sanction to govern mankind in His name. Not to to be confused with governing in acknowledgement of His name, but His personal representation empowered for the sake of peace, prosperity, etc. Such a party of God may identify with Jesus Christ, or, the God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob, or Mohammed. Types like this do exist, don’t they? Or perhaps the party might be a Gaia type, blending eco-awareness with hope for the earth.
The offerings of animal sacrifice were preparatory for the coming of Christ. They at once demonstrated the need of blood to atone for sin, and the insufficiency of animal sacrifice to bring about the desired change in man’s condition.
For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.
For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.
But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. (Heb.10:1-3)
No one can escape the truth. We are, by nature, fashioned to understand and respond to the truth. Whether we want to admit or not, we know this is a good thing. It points to the high order of life which God has given us. “God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods.. . . I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.” (Ps.82:1&6) The 82nd Psalm was written as an admonition to the children of Israel. Man has divine origin not only because he is derived from God in creation, but because man shares in divinity. When man was created, he was made like God. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen.1:27)
Flesh can refer to the skin with its substrate of tissue, tendon and muscle, or it can be a synonym for the body as a whole. The Bible also uses the term for the being of mankind as in; “. . the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us . .”(John 1:4) Jesus did not become spirit. The Word was not made soul. Those expressions weren’t used because they are inadequate for a general description. Flesh defines us though we are body, soul, and spirit. It defines us because it is the most visible to us. The flesh requires a universe to inhabit; an earth with sky, dry land and seas, night and day, vegetation, insects, animals, fish, sun, moon and stars.
Many things converge in order to receive Jesus Christ. The gospel awakens us to possibilities beyond imagining. Influences of family and friends have a bearing on our conscience. Perhaps there is confrontation by someone who loved us enough to risk rejection. Finally, our spirit has to wrestle with the flesh. We may come to a point where we are sorry for our sins and earnestly desire a new life. Yet, this is not enough. Sincere belief in the Gospel brings us to the door, but we need to cross the threshold. Jesus said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9) We have to choose between our own manner of self-justification and entering the door: “My parents had me sprinkled when I was a baby.” “I asked Jesus to come into my heart.” “I’ve tried to live a good life.” Yet, it is the Lord who waits. It is for us to enter. For me, the biggest struggle had to do with the good intentions of my mother versus what was plainly written in the Bible.