Bible Society of South Africa

Jesus – Day 19

Jesus: High Priest and Mediator.

Bible text(s)

Christ our Helper

1I am writing this to you, my children, so that you will not sin; but if anyone does sin, we have someone who pleads with the Father on our behalf — Jesus Christ, the righteous one. 2And Christ himself is the means by which our sins are forgiven, and not our sins only, but also the sins of everyone.

3If we obey God's commands, then we are sure that we know him.

1 John 2:1-3GNBOpen in Bible reader

23For sin pays its wage — death; but God's free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23GNBOpen in Bible reader

8In conclusion, my brothers and sisters, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honourable.

Philippians 4:8GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Old Life and the New

5You must put to death, then, the earthly desires at work in you, such as sexual immorality, indecency, lust, evil passions, and greed (for greed is a form of idolatry).

Colossians 3:5GNBOpen in Bible reader

8But now you must get rid of all these things: anger, passion, and hateful feelings. No insults or obscene talk must ever come from your lips. 9Do not lie to one another, for you have taken off the old self with its habits

Colossians 3:8-9GNBOpen in Bible reader

38Good and evil alike take place at his command.

39Why should we ever complain when we are punished for our sin?

Lamentations 3:38-39GNBOpen in Bible reader

9But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing.

1 John 1:9GNBOpen in Bible reader

Yesterday we spoke of our need of redemption and the reality of the human situation: there is nobody who is good, blameless and without sin. With redemption through Christ Jesus come freedom from sin and the ability to obey God’s commands. By this we can check that we have truly come to know Him, however it is still our responsibility to actively resist evil and wrong, and to choose to keep on the right road.  We learn, as we mature spiritually, that to lie is sin, and to murder is sin, and although we probably imagine that to tell lies is better than to commit murder, we discover that as sin, they are both equally unacceptable to God, and the “wages of sin is death”. (Romans 6:23)

God consistently shows us His standards in His Word: In Philippians 4:8 we read “… whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Do we honestly try to live this teaching? Or: “Put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5) “… you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other …” (Colossians 3:8-9)

We all fall prey to sin in different ways. As the stranglehold tightens, the heaviness of the burden grows, and, like a drug addict, we sinners go back for more, increasing the burden and compounding the problem. All kinds of illness of body, mind and spirit result. Sin will rob us of joy in living, because even in its least serious form, it destroys peace. Sometimes God allows something to happen in our lives that arrests us and shows us that we have strayed from the path that leads to life. Even when God forgives sin, there may still be consequences that ensue because of former actions, which some may interpret as God punishing them.

For example, a mother who has used harmful substances during pregnancy may give birth to a deformed infant, or lose her baby soon after birth, even though she repents and asks God’s forgiveness. God forgives true repentance but doesn’t always take away the results of the sin. “Is it not from the mouth of the Highest that both calamities and good things come? Why should any living man complain when punished for his sins?” (Lamentations 3:38-39) How we respond to this discipline is key. What can we do when we realize that we have sinned?

We need to remember that Jesus Christ is our High Priest and Mediator who has lived on this earth, suffered temptation, yet remained sinless. He will present our case and enable us to stand before God sinless, cleansed by His blood. To God we must “confess our sins (and) he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Have you confessed your need of Him?

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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