Faith’s Proper Direction: The Atonement

“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”  (Rom. 5:11)

Here are four questions for consideration.

Where is all your faith directed? Is it directed towards how much you can accomplish? Is it directed towards how much you can order your thoughts? Is it directed towards how much Scripture you can memorize?

Or is it directed towards Jesus?

Jesus paid it all. Jesus provided for it all. Jesus fulfilled all.

The Bible says in Matthew chapter seven and verse 14,

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:14)

We can compare our faith to an automobile.

Faith is the car. The key to start that car is belief in Jesus Christ. The battery to turn the engine over is the Holy Ghost. The fuel to keep the car going is the word of God.

The Bible says “straight is the gate” and “narrow is the way”. It’s a narrow road. As long as we have our car of faith pointed straight towards Jesus Christ we are not going to go off the road.

But the moment we direct our faith in some direction other than Jesus, we are going to run off the road and it is going to be disastrous. Our direction for faith has to be towards Jesus Christ.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2)

The Bible tells us that God has already blessed us with all spiritual blessings,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” (Eph. 1:3)

God wants to manifest the spiritual into the natural for our benefit.

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” (1Cor. 12:7)

Here in First Corinthians the Bible is talking about spiritual gifts, but in the same manner God wants to manifest spiritual blessings into the natural for our benefit.

It’s going to take two conditions for this manifestation to take effect. They are proper faith direction towards Jesus and our humbleness, submission, and love for God and others.

The Bible says in James chapter four verses six through eight that God resists the proud,

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:6-8)

We cannot be high-minded and prideful and expect to receive anything from God. The first and foremost prerequisite for receiving from God is humility and absence of pride. “God resisteth (he pushes against) the proud but giveth grace unto the humble.”

What does it mean when the Bible says God has given us spiritual blessings but they have not yet been manifested? One example of this would be salvation.

In John chapter one and verse 29, John the Baptist beheld Jesus and said,

“…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

John the Baptist didn’t lie. Jesus took away the sin of the world but before we can be sinless in the eyes of God we have to receive it by faith.

If we had died before we were born again and saved, although Jesus provided for the sin of the world to be taken away, we would have died in our sins, missed heaven, and gone to hell. Before we can experience the reality of the forgiveness and cleansing of our sins, we have to believe it and receive it by faith.

In the same fashion, God has already provided every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus but is up to us to receive them by faith before they can be manifested and enjoyed in our life.

God wants the manifestation of the spirit in our life so that every man can profit withal. Jesus fulfilled the Law but He rejected the blessings of the Law so that He might freely give them unto us in exchange for our sins through the cross of Calvary.

If we must believe before we can receive, then what are these blessings contained in the Law that Jesus earned by His obedience but are now held in reserve for us in Heavenly places? And how can we believe in them so that they can be manifested in our lives?

We can believe in them when we see them contained in the Law, and we can receive their manifestation when we see in the Scriptures how Jesus rejected them and took upon Himself the curses instead.

What were some of the blessings and the curses contained in the Law of Moses? Blessings were promised to those who fulfilled the Law and curses were promised to those who broke the Law. Curses were opposite of blessings.

In order that faith can gain hold in our hearts, we must say again that Jesus was the only one to keep the whole Law, yet He rejected the promised blessings and received the curses so that He might impart the promised blessings to us by faith.

God had promised in Exodus chapter 23 and verse 25 that if they would obey, then He would remove sickness out of the midst of Israel,

“And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” (Exodus 23:25)

Jesus fulfilled the Law in all points so He should have received this promise. Jesus as an Israelite, as the Son of Man obeyed the Law therefore sickness should have been taken out of His midst. He was entitled to this blessing.

However, we read in Matthew chapter eight and verses 16 and 17,

“When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (Mat 8:16-17)

Jesus took our infirmities and He bore our sicknesses. He took the curses of a sinful life to give us the blessings of a righteous and holy life.

Our health, our healing is not dependent upon how much we believe that we can be healed. Our healing is dependent upon how much we can believe in Jesus Christ fulfilling the Law, rejecting the blessing of promised healing, and exchanging that blessing of healing for our sicknesses and infirmities.

The Bible says that He took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses. Our faith has to be in Jesus being righteous and in His imparting that righteousness unto us. Therefore, we receive the fulfillment of the law and the promised blessing.

In Deuteronomy chapter 15 verses four and five, God says that He will take poverty out of our midst,

“Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it: Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day.” (Deut. 15:4-5)

Jesus should have obtained this promise by His righteousness. No poverty should have been in His midst. He should have had good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

However, we read in Matthew chapter eight and verse 20,

“And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matt. 8:20)

I have heard people preach that Jesus was a very prosperous and financially secure Prophet, that they had a headquarters, and that their ministry was run like a successful business.

All this might sound well and good and it is true that they did have a money bag and they distributed money to the poor. But here the Scripture tells us that Jesus rejected the blessings of the Law so that we could receive those blessings and He received the curses of the Law and therefore dwelt in the midst of poverty.

Jesus walked in obscure poverty. He walked the dusty streets. He did not have it pressed down, shaken together, and running over. He did not have a place to lay his head. Jesus took our sins and curses of disobedience.

In Deuteronomy chapter 28 verses 2 through 6 we read of the promised blessings of obedience,

“And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.

Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.

Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.” (Deut. 28:2-6)

Blessed, blessed, blessed.

Every blessing we just read in Deuteronomy should have belonged to Jesus because of His fulfillment of the Law. When God speaks, makes a covenant, or declares a promise then He will bring it to pass if the conditions are met.

The Bible says that “God is not a man that he should lie.”

When God made His covenant with Abraham’ seed, with David’s descendants, and with the nation of Israel through the Law of Moses, then whoever fulfills those covenants must receive the promises contained therein.

Jesus as the Son of Man, the Seed of Abraham, the descendant of David, and a child of Israel was the only One to ever fulfill man’s requirements in the covenants and thereby earn the promised blessings.

Yet He rejected those blessings when He went to Calvary and hung on the tree for it is written “Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree.”

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” (Gal. 3:13)

The Bible says that Jesus exchanged His blessings for our curses and His righteousness for our sins.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2Cor. 5:21)

This is called the atonement (the exchange).

“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Rom. 5:11)

God makes that exchange when an individual puts all of their faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Jesus was separated from His Father for our sins so we will never have to experience that separation because of our faith in Christ. There is no such thing as purgatory. There is no such thing as penance. We will never know separation from the Lord our God as long as we never reject the faith that we have in Jesus Christ.

Jesus as the Son of Man, without sin, pure, righteous, and obedient should have received on this earth, as a result of His righteousness, blessedness, long life, prosperity, healing, and no separation from God.

Man, on the other hand, with a sinful nature, a wicked heart, disobedient, and unrighteous should receive a cursed life, few days, poverty, sickness, and death with separation from God.

Through our faith in Christ’s atoning work on the cross of Calvary, Jesus transfers His blessed life through His obedience to us and He received all of the curses that rightfully should have been ours.

Jesus even descended into hell as the Son of Man but He ascended out of it victorious as the Son of God.

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” (Col. 1:19-23)

This is the fulfillment of all that we have talked about in Scripture.

We are reconciled today. Because of Jesus, we stand before God holy, unblameable, and unreprovable in his sight.

This is all dependent upon how much we believe in Jesus Christ and not in ourselves. Not in what we can do, not even in how much faith we can muster, but only in how much faith we put in Christ alone.

“If we continue in the faith and be not moved away.”

There is a big “if” in there.

Next- Faith’s Proper Direction: Eternal Life

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

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