Apples of Gold

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Where is the blessedness?

'Where is the blessedness ye spake of?'

Galatians 4:15

This is an interesting question that we can all ask ourselves. I will never forget the blessedness I knew when first I met the Lord. I had had such a fear of dying in my sins and going to a lost eternity that my life was absolutely miserable. But the moment when I managed to grasp that Christ had actually died for ME on that cross at Calvary - brought with it joy unspeakable!

The weight of sin and the burden of guilt that I had been carrying around for so long had finally been lifted from me! I saw clearly that God had taken my sins and placed them all upon Christ. Christ bore the punishment that was due to me in His own body upon the tree. God accepted His sacrifice and forgave me my sin.

I had languished with a multitude of others in the valley of dry bones. His Spirit brought these dry bones to life and He gave me a heart of flesh.

Forgiveness of sin was a new thing for me then. I had never experienced such a blessing before. The wonder, the splendour of amazing grace at that time took my breath away. I rejoiced and found that I could not keep this Good News to myself. I could not but speak of the things which I had seen and heard.

I told as many folk as I could about Godís wonderful way of salvation. I could not understand why they did not accept this offer as I had. How could such an offer be refused?

However, if we do something often enough in this life, it becomes routine. A new house or a new car will hold our attention and pride for many a day, yet over time we become used to them and they no longer seem to have the same sparkle or importance that they used to.

The Beefeaters who guard the Crown Jewels view these wonderful gems each day of their lives, and they do not hold the same attraction for them as they do for the first- time viewer.

Does the Good News of the Gospel fall into the category of familiarity for you and I?

There are tasks that the Christian must do on a daily basis if zeal is to remain. But possibly we have become mechanical in doing them? Are we just Ďgoing through the motions?í If we are, then the blessedness we knew will no longer be there. What was once a joy will become a dreary task or worse still a heavy labour.

Confessing our sins will have become a legalistic necessity, where faith is no longer in exercise. The result will be a soothing of the conscience for a little while for having carried out the task, yet no joy at knowing sins forgiven.

For many of us - and I mentioned this recently - the problem lies with sinning against Light. It was easy for us to believe that our sins were forgiven when we were ĎBorn Again,í as we were then taken from darkness into light. It was a new experience for us.

But now we find that we are constantly sinning against that same Light! We confess our sins and perhaps believe that the sins of today and yesterday have been forgiven yet we remain in bondage as we think of the sins that we will commit in the coming seconds, minutes, hours, days etc.
We may even be aware of a certain pollution attached to our request for forgiveness.

In a sermon recently, the preacher spoke on this very topic. He said that we have difficulty in believing that the sins we are about to commit or future sins will be forgiven. He brought a very valid point to mind on this matter. He said that at the time when Christ died ALL OUR SINS WERE IN THE FUTURE!

Sometimes a look from a different angle can help us grasp this truth. The Lord has given us so many examples in the Old Testament for that very purpose.
Remember the day of Atonement and the scapegoat?

The High Priest was normally clothed with fine, rich garments and an ephod covered with precious stones. On the day of atonement he had to divest these rich garments and put on plain white linen. Our Lord divested Himself of the glory He knew and took upon Himself our nature.

The sacrifices having been slain, the High Priest, with two hands upon the head of the scapegoat, made confession of sins. Then the goat was taken by the hand of a fit man away from the camp into the wilderness - never to be seen again. In commanding this to be done, God was clearly signifying the remission of sin. They were gone, never to be brought before the people again.

God laid on Christ our Great High Priest the iniquity of us all. The altar was the cross, blood was shed, and remission was secured for all those who believe.

Christ suffered what we should have suffered. He took our sins and paid the penalty that the law required. He nailed our sins to the cross.

If the punishment has been paid and the penalty met, what else is required?

Confession is to be made of our sin and faith must accept fully all that our High Priest has done for us. Faith must accept that these sins have been removed out of sight forever. If we do not believe this then we do not believe God.

This I believe is the greatest sin of all!
Them that honour me, I will honour.

This way of salvation is not manís invention - it is Godís chosen way. Is this way not good enough for us? Can you think of a better way? Can you or I add to this atonement? Is there need for a further sacrifice?

When we ask ourselves these questions we soon realize that Godís way is best and that it is unbelief that is preventing us from enjoying the liberty that God freely offers us.

It was only the High Priest that was allowed into the Holy of Holies. Even that was only once a year and not without blood. Christ however, having offered Himself once, a sacrifice for many, has opened a way for us to enter within the veil. We may now come with boldness unto the throne of grace whereby we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Today my friend we can each experience the blessedness we knew when first we met our Lord. We can come to Him confessing our sins and seeing these same sins taken from us never to be seen again. Washed in the precious blood of the Lamb.

We through simple faith accept Godís pardon and forgiveness. Until we do this, there will be a barrier between us and our God, a barrier thicker than any veil. Let us today, however, honour Him by accepting fully His way of salvation, His forgiveness, and His blessing.

When the High Priest had completed his work, he took off the linen garments and put on his rich clothes. We today can divest ourselves of our filthy garments and, having accepted the finished work of our Great High Priest, will be found clothed with His beautiful garments.

The robe of His righteousness was purchased with blood. The price has been met in full. Jesus the Son of God covers our nakedness with this robe.Now we may all enjoy the blessedness of the Lord! See Psalm 32. One final thought: How far has God removed our sins from us? His answer - as far as East is distant from the West!

Author : Iain Mackenzie   Edited by : Pastor Al Moak