By John Amoda
ON Calvary God effected the completion of the execution of the sentence of death passed on Noah’s generation.
Baptism in Jesus Name implies the death, burial and deliverance from the power sin of all mankind put in Christ Jesus by God on Calvary. The Law, its ordinances, its statutes and rituals had only one lesson to teach: namely that flesh and blood cannot be subject to the law of God.
Baptism in Jesus Name, therefore, denote the carrying out of the sentence of death according to the Law of God. The dead in Christ Jesus are all buried with Him by water immersion.
“Know ye not, that as many as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been planted (buried, baptized) together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died he died unto sin once, but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.” (Romans 6:3-10)
In these scriptures the two aspects of the Lord’s death on Calvary are portrayed. Before Calvary mankind was dead unto God and alive unto sin.
The Law could not deliver mankind from sin and sin’s reign’s was total. On Calvary our old man was crucified with Christ so that the body of sin could be destroyed, and in this way man was freed from the dominion of sin through death, for he that is dead is freed from sin.
Therefore any Gospel that brings mankind once again under the Law after Calvary brings man again under the condemnation of the Law and negates God’s incorporation of Man in Christ Jesus. The Gospel message is that we have been delivered from the power of sin. The Christian’s challenge is not atonement for sins but deliverance from sin, sin as the power in us opposed to God, and at work in our body. The New Testament declares:
“…Sin shall not have dominion over you for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin (transgress against the law) because we are not under the law, but under grace’. God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you.
Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh; for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye free were from righteousness.
What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:14-23). The salvation of sinners is well described in the scriptures quoted above. Before Calvary mankind:
-Were servants of sin and enemies of God
-On Calvary mankind was made free from sin and became friends of God.
-When men were the servants of sin, they were free from righteousness
-But now being made free from sin, men have become servants to God. God’s method of salvation is to effect mankind’s deliverance from the tyranny of sin through the death of sinners in Christ; And in that union of the Cross God makes us members of Christ and servants to God. The Law given to sinners is to lead us to Christ.
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ… And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:24, 27, 29). Justification is by faith, faith in God’s Deliverance Mission and Christ’s Salvation Ministry.
All of God’s demands on Fallen Man are His Laws and all are to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith through grace. Salvation of Sinners is God’s and Christ’s exclusive gift of grace. Gospels of works, no matter how pious are their aims are frustrations of the grace of God that announce that Christ is dead in vain(Galatians 2:21). This is the direct conclusion from the Gospel of Salvation by Grace and Some Work, even the work of tithes and offerings.
The third reason why even die-hard tithers should read these publications is that there is need to take the viewpoint of the Lord on His Second Coming. He is coming again. He is gone to prepare a mansion for each of God’s children, for as he gave witness to “in my Father’s house there are many mansions… I go to prepare a place for you that which I am there you may be also” (John 14:1-4). As He ascended into heaven with His disciples following his ascension with their gaze, two men in white apparel spoke these words of comfort to them.
“Men of Galilees, why do you stand up gazing into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up to heaven from you, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into Heaven” (Acts 1:11).
This same Jesus’ that ascended into heaven with eye witness to the fact. “The same Jesus” will soon come in like manner as He was seen going into Heaven. There is an interim and that interim is not to be filled with the devices of men heedless of the fact of the Lord’s imminent return. How long is the waiting period? 1 year, 1 million years, today or tomorrow?
The answer is any time from now, be the now the next moment! All the scripture tells us is the certainty of His Second Coming and in that interim He will send Another Comforter who will be with us to the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).
If the season, and the hour of the Lord’s coming knoweth no man and the scripture testifies that the coming of the Lord would be like the thief in the night, should we not ensure that we take heed to this warning and keep our “House” in order? Where denominational and sectarian divisions are rife amongst Christians that is a sure sign of the apostate crisis within the Body of Christians.
The letters to the Corinthian Church need to be read and read again. Christ is not divided, yet the Body of Christians is divided. This is now the hour to review our standing with the Lord. These publications are opportunities for such a critical review of our Christianity- if indeed we are disciples of Jesus.