by Shawn Brasseaux
In its 6,000 years of existence, our world and its peoples have seen countless wars. From world wars to wars within nations, they all have one common cause: sin (James 4:1,2). Did you know that over 65 million people died in World War II? No other war in human history took so many lives. Sin not only kills us in physical wars, but it kills us spiritually too!
On Memorial Day, we remember the sacrifice of those that lost limbs, lost loved ones, or even lost their own lives. Here in America, we enjoy the freedom that so many men and women died to obtain for us (although these liberties are currently threatened)! But, did you know that there is an invisible battle being fought today? It is the battle of good and evil. This war is not fought with carnal, physical weapons (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). God and Satan are at war today, the truth program and the lie program, respectively (Ephesians 6:11-18).
In this Bible study, we want to examine this battle between good and evil, and the Hero who will win it!
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Jesus Christ hung on Calvary’s cross, bones protruding, spit on His face, bloody and battered. The cross was awful, but Christ did it for us! As Jesus’ breaths became shallower, Satan jumps for joy! But, Christ smiled from the cross, saying, “Satan, I have defeated you at your own game of craftiness!” “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness” (1 Corinthians 3:19). God kept a secret, and not even Satan figured it out. Satan, originally thinking he defeated Christ, finally learned the secret… but it was too late by that time. Had Satan really understood all the things that Calvary would bring about, Satan would have never allowed Christ to be killed!
The Apostle Paul declares, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7,8 KJV).
Now, because the crosswork of Christ is done, and it never will be repeated, we can look at it from the Pauline perspective, and how exciting it is! Read Romans 6:3,4,10,11 KJV, and keep in mind this is not water baptism:
“3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him 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….
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
In Colossians 2:9-15 KJV, we read a companion passage:
“9 For in [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
All the power of the Godhead is found in the Lord Jesus Christ, so as members of the Church the Body of Christ, we are “complete in [Christ].” We lack nothing in Christ—everything that God can give you, He already gave it to you when your trusted Christ as your personal Saviour.
Our old sin nature has been circumcised (cut off) and put to death by God (Romans 6:6). When Christ died, we died; when He rose again the third day, we rose again to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). The Lord Jesus nailed the Mosaic Law to His cross, and He has already forgiven us of all our sins. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, we read: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new.” We have been “quickened [made alive] together with [Christ].” Our old sinful identity in Adam has been replaced by this new identity in Christ Jesus. We are no longer hell-bound sinners! This is the victory the Lord Jesus Christ has won… for us!
Galatians 3:13,14 KJV explain it like this: “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: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
The Mosaic Law condemned even the best of us. It cursed us because we could not live up to its righteous expectations (Galatians 3:10). Sinners always fall “short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But, God the Father made God the Son (Jesus Christ) “to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV). Christ has rescued us from the devil’s slave market of sin, and Christ’s finished work on Calvary has broken the devil’s power of death (Hebrews 2:14).
“…Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). When we believe the Gospel of Grace, our old sin nature dies with Christ on Calvary’s cross, and we get a new life…His life. The life of Christ is the only life that produces true good works, the only works that God can and will accept.
Go with me to 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 KJV: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
Notice where our victory lies: not in ourselves, and not in our own efforts because we are too weak in these sinful, mortal bodies. Our victory lies in the finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary! What we could not do, even on our best day, Christ came and did it for us simply because He loved us. He kept the Law, perfectly, to take it out of the way. Remember, it was because of His grace that He did it for us! Now, the perfect life of Jesus Christ can live in our lives when we take His Word by faith. We do not have to be defeated by sin, guilt, and self-pity.
Consider Hebrews 9:11,12 KJV: “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
In Exodus, if you recall, Moses built a tabernacle: God showed Moses the plan of the tabernacle in heaven, and God wanted Moses to build an earthly tabernacle just like it (Hebrews 8:5). This “tent,” as it were, was the place where JEHOVAH would come down and live in Israel’s midst. The tabernacle, later replaced by the Temple, was the focal point of Judaism. Each year, in the Old Testament Israeli economy, the high priest would sprinkle animal blood on the Mercy Seat, the lid of the Ark of the Covenant, to pay for his sins and the sins of Israel. But, animal blood could only provide a temporary atonement, and that blood had to be offered every year (Hebrews 9:6-9).
When Christ went to Calvary’s cross, He shed His blood, sinless and divine, to pay for our sins. When He went to His Father in Matthew 20:17, Jesus Christ went to the tabernacle in the third heaven and offered His own blood. His blood, unlike the blood of animals, took away sin forever, and now we have eternal redemption in Christ.
Until Satan is confined to his eternal prison, the lake of fire, he still runs free today as “the god of this world,” suppressing the Gospel of Grace using religious tradition (2 Corinthians 4:3,4). The devil does not want this information to spread, so he keeps lost people under his thumb, blinded from the liberty, salvation, peace, and joy found in Christ and His finished crosswork on Calvary! We as members of the Church the Body of Christ are no longer slaves of sin and Satan. We were sinners who were part of the rebellion against God. Today, we are saints of the Most High, living for God’s glory and zealous of good works. The Lord Jesus Christ went to Calvary’s cross for every person’s benefit, knowing that nearly everyone would disregard His efforts. Very few people will truly appreciate His grace and love, but He suffered for us anyway!
I never want to diminish the selflessness and the courage our veterans demonstrated: I am greatly appreciative and I thank them. However, if mortal men and women deserve honor and praise such as this, do you not think that the Lord Jesus Christ deserves more honor and praise? After all, when Christ went to the cross, He fought to save your spiritual body (soul), not just your physical body! Christ wanted you to enjoy spiritual freedom, and He is the only Person capable of providing that freedom. He wanted to set you free from the awful penalty of eternal hellfire!
The Greatest Hero died, but He lives evermore! Veterans who have since passed on are unable to hear us say “Thank you!” The Lord Jesus Christ is not dead, He is alive. He is able to hear your appreciation, and He is able to see it in your heart! THANK YOU LORD FOR YOUR SACRIFICE!
“6 [Christ] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:6-11 KJV).
The humble Jesus Christ of Nazareth died for you out of obedience to God His Father. Now, God the Father has placed God the Son above all things. One day, every creature will bow in reverence to Jesus Christ, confessing Him as Lord, to the glory of God the Father! Indeed, Christ is the GREATEST HERO!
“For God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 KJV).