Jesus-The Defense Attorney

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Jesus- The Defense Attorney

​In Deuteronomy 18:15 Moses told the children of Israel that God would raise up a prophet from them like Moses himself. This prophet was Jesus Christ who would save the world of their sins. Moses and Christ were alike in several respects, and a brief survey of Exodus will evidence this parallel.
Moses was a mediator between God and Israel just as Jesus is the mediator between God and man today. Understand before reading any further: a mediator is a negotiator who lobbies with an authority for the sake of another. Now consider Exodus 20:19. This passage follows the event of Moses descending from Mt. Sinai with the 10 commandments when God’s magnificent power and glory descended on the mountain. The passage reads, “Then they said to Moses, ‘You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.’” Because the Israelites knew they had been unfaithful to God and felt unworthy to be in God’s presence, they asked Moses to be the mediator between themselves and God. In like manner 1 Timothy 2:5 says Jesus is our mediator and for good reason. Jesus became our sin sacrifice on the cross, and now whenever we sin and ask for forgiveness, Jesus goes before God to lobby for our forgiveness. Think of Jesus as the defense attorney in the court room, God being the Supreme Court justice, and the sinner being the guilty party on trial. The attorney lobbies to the judge on behalf of the guilty party with the end goal of forgiveness. Another Biblical example would be that of Abraham lobbying with God on account of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham negotiated with God, bringing the magic number for destruction down to 10 righteous people in Genesis 18.
Today, no man on earth or angel in heaven has this unique authority as defense attorney besides Jesus Christ. We may intercede for our brethren and sisters in prayer, requesting for forgiveness, healing, or blessing on their behalf; however, this is not the same as negotiating back and forth with the Father. Only Jesus has this privilege, because only Jesus is both man and God at the same time, able to equally represent both parties in the courtroom of forgiveness. Think about this heavenly scene ongoing in the highest of Supreme Courts the next time you ask for forgiveness.

Aaron Battey

http://www.oldpathsadvocate.org

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Cornelius and the Holy Spirit:More Than a Feeling

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Cornelius and the Holy Spirit: More Than a Feeling

Notwithstanding the numerous biblical accounts of baptism for the remission of sins, the book of Acts contains the greatest historical record of conversions to Christianity. The Jews experienced the power of the first gospel sermon in Acts 2, realizing that it convicted them to their very core (vs. 37).

When the Jews recognized the grave error of crucifying the Messiah they long awaited, they responded to Peter’s charge – repentance followed by baptism for the remission of sins (vs. 38). The Bible records some 3,000 souls were added to “them” (vs. 41), which is clearly defined as the church in verse 47 of the same chapter.

The Holy Spirit’s descent upon the Apostles who waited for the “Helper” in Jerusalem as commanded by Jesus (John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:7) caused unlearned Galileans to speak in native tongues from countries and regions they never visited. The thousands of Jews who were required to be in Jerusalem for the Day of Pentecost noticed this miracle. They realized the Apostles’ power displayed, and the kingdom of God was now open for all who would obey.

The special case in consideration is Cornelius and his household. In Acts 10, we learn of a man who was “a devout man”, “feared God”, “gave alms”, and “prayed to God always” (10:2).

In short, Peter receives a vision (vs. 9-15) that revealed a new people welcome into the kingdom of God – Gentiles. In verse 28, Peter acknowledges the prior sentiments Jews felt towards Gentiles by stating, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any many common or unclean.” This is in direct reference to the vision Peter received.

When Peter is delivering the gospel to Cornelius, another miraculous event occurs. The Holy Spirit descends upon Cornelius and all who were there (vs. 44). The Jews even recognized the gravity of this event, for we read in verse 45, “And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.”

We then find Peter upon the condition of Cornelius’ salvation speak, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” (vs. 47). The next verse is key. “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.” (vs. 48).

Why is this important? There is one main reason: The Holy Spirit descending upon Cornelius was not a salvation event. The Holy Spirit was a sign for all to recognize that the kingdom was open for all races for all time. Peter commanded baptism, for he knew this was the only way for Cornelius to receive the remission of sins.

The belief that you must have the Holy Spirit descend upon your heart and mind to cause you to feel different, think different, and act different, as a proof of salvation is absolutely ridiculous given the fact that Peter commanded Cornelius to be baptized. The Holy Spirit’s purpose was to not save Cornelius. If the Holy Spirit’s power was to save on the descent, then the sermon at Pentecost was not necessary for the Jews, for they would’ve received the same power.

Let us never feel like we must experience a good feeling in our stomach without obedient acts to the gospel as those shown at the Day of Pentecost and the event at Cornelius’ household. Let us always have a good feeling for obeying that “form of doctrine” (Rom. 6:17) which leads to our salvation – belief (Mark 16:16), repentance (Luke 13:3), confession (Matt. 10:32, Acts 8:37), and baptism (Acts 2:38, I Pet. 3:21). Without such, we should have a stomach ache.

Drew Mauldin

http://www.oldpathsadvocate.org

Out of Plumb

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“Out of Plumb”
Amos 7:7-8
The book of Amos is classified as one of the minor prophetic books, all of which prophesied about the approaching fall of the people of Israel. The people of Israel were once God’s chosen people, but for hundreds of years now had forsaken the God of Heaven who had delivered them out of their original Egyptian bondage. By the time Amos was called to prophesy to the people in turning them away from sin, Israel was on thin ice with God. When we arrive at this textual passage in chapter 7 of Amos, God uses an interesting example to make the chosen people understand the most basic knowledge that a person has is that every group of people on earth has a set of rules, which govern them. Whether these rules are strict or lax, liberal or conservative, every civilization of mankind that has existed on this earth since man was created has lived by some understanding of right and wrong. This passage in Amos is interesting because it can be easily understood even in this modern day. God again pleads with his chosen group of erring people warning them that He would allow them to be taken into bondage once again if they would not repent! Amos sees a vision that the Lord showed him in which the Almighty God himself stood upon a wall “made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in His hand.” What is a plumbline? Some may not be familiar with this terminology but a plumbline is a mechanism used to determine whether something is exactly vertical or straight. In God’s example, He is using the “plumbline in his hand” metaphorically. The plumbline represents God’s laws & commands. God’s laws and commands include both religious (worship) and moral (everyday life) laws. Our Heavenly Father would use it to measure the people of Israel and determine how far to either side the people had deviated. When a wall or structure did not line up with a plumbline, it was said to be “out of plumb!” Israel was most definitely out of plumb & God said at the end of verse 8 in our text that he would no longer overlook Israel’s progressive path away from the plumbline!

Now let’s all understand something. There are no new sins that have arisen in our society, but instead there is a rapid growth in apathy toward God’s moral law. What are morals? The English dictionary defines morals as the “behavior of a person in matters of right and wrong.” How a person behaves when faced with certain choices or circumstances tells us what that person’s morals are based upon. Any child of God will have morals that line up with the Father’s plumbline (God’s written Word). May God’s people always stay true to the morals written in His Word and never be found “out of plumb.”

Colby Culbertson

http://www.oldpathsadvocate.org