Jesus Christ the Sin Bearer
Dr. Charles Stanley
The cross is so common in our culture that most people don’t think twice when they see one on a church. But unfortunately, familiarity with the symbol can actually get in the way of understanding what it truly means. So let’s stop to consider how Jesus became the bearer of sin.
We begin with Scripture written long before Jesus was born. Genesis, the first book of the Bible, explains how man chose to disobey God. Because Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, their descendants are all born under the curse of death, having inherited a sinful “flesh” nature.
In Leviticus, God’s laws for the Jewish nation included observance of Yom Kippur, the day each year when the Israelites fasted, prayed, and sacrificed an animal to atone for sin. In essence, the goat would bear the wrongs done by the people and suffer the penalty that divine justice required.
Centuries later, Isaiah prophesied that a Savior would atone for transgression once and for all (Isa. 53:5, 8; Heb. 7:27). After another 700 years, John the Baptist identified Jesus as the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The Messiah had come, though He was totally different from what the people expected—so much so, in fact, that they rejected Him and requested His crucifixion.
In all, God gave 613 laws through Moses. But none of us can perfectly follow even the Ten Commandments. In fact, one reason He gave us these rules is to show us our need for a Savior (Ps. 19:7; Gal. 3:24). Meditate on those commands (Ex. 20:1-17), asking God to speak to your heart.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit http://www.intouch.org/.
What Child Is This - Bebo Norman
What Child is this who laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing
Haste, haste to bring Him laud
The Babe, the Son of Mary
So bring Him incense gold and myrrh
Come peasant king to own Him
The King of kings salvation brings
Let loving hearts enthrone Him
Raise, raise the song on high
The virgin sings her lullaby
Joy, joy for Christ is born
The Babe, the Son of Mary
Key to Effective Prayer—Endurance
The next key to effective prayer is the need to be patient. You need to be willing to endure.
Hebrews 6:11-15 says,
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, "Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you." And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
Do you realize that once God gave Abraham and Sarah the promise of having a child, it was 25 years before Isaac was born? There was some patient enduring that took place before they obtained the reality of God's promise in their lives. And so it must be with us.
Perhaps you have been praying for things in your life, and you are getting discouraged. You must remember that God does not always work things on our timetable. He works according to His.
I just want to encourage you today: Be patient. Patience is that long-lasting quality of your faith.
A number of years ago I heard one person say that faith is like your hand and patience is like your arm. When you exercise faith, it is like holding up your hand against the problem, and as you do, things are being worked out. But if you take your patience down, your faith comes down with it.
Patience is the thing that keeps your faith applied until the answer comes.
Patience is a critical key to effective prayer. Whatever you are praying for, patiently endure.
Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God