We must understand that the idea of repenting from our sins, and asking for forgiveness from God to be forgiven, is not a Christian concept but a Jewish concept. We must note that there is a difference between John the Baptist’s ministry and what God did for you on the cross, when He baptized into Jesus’ death.
Note Mark records for us that “4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.” Mark 1. See also Luke 3: 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
See also Matthew 3: 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. If you read the NIRV, the meaning becomes clearer. Here is how the verse in Mark is translated: “4 And so John came. He baptized people in the desert. He also preached that people should be baptized and turn away from their sins. Then God would forgive them.”
If you look at John’s ministry, forgiveness of sins is a conditional affair. You need to repent (continually) from sins and ask for forgiveness (continually) before you are forgiven. Note, it is recorded for us that “Then (only) God would forgive them….” It is conditional on our repentance of sins! That is what, a lot of mainstream is preaching. That however, is not the Gospel.
We are not called into John’s baptism.
See Luke 16:16 “Until John the Baptist, the law of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in.” We must realized that confession and repentance from sins is a ministry, that has come to an end. It was not the Good News of the Kingdom!
We are called into the baptism into Jesus.
See Romans 6:
5 By being baptized, we have been joined with him in his death. We will certainly also be joined with him in his resurrection. 6 We know that what we used to be was nailed to the cross with him. That happened so our sinful bodies would lose their power. We are no longer slaves of sin. 7 Those who have died have been set free from sin.
8 We died with Christ. So we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ was raised from the dead and will never die again. Death doesn’t control him anymore. 10 When he died, he died once and for all time as far as sin is concerned. Now that he lives, he lives as far as God is concerned.”
Notice the baptism of Jesus does not make reference to you repenting from sins. It says you actually died with Him. Paul then, in Romans 7 tells us that once a person is dead, his relationship with the law ends. ” 1 Brothers and sisters, I am speaking to you who know the law. Don’t you know that the law has authority over us only as long as we are alive?”
That is why we are NOT under law but grace. Because we died. With Christ. That is how sin loses its dominion over us.
We must understand there is a difference between John’s ministry and Jesus’ ministry. When Jesus died, the sins of the world are forgiven. Yes forgiven. His Father heard Jesus cry “Father forgive them!” As such no one goes to hell (After Jesus’ death) because of sin anymore. They go there because they reject Jesus and the forgiveness that sacrifice provides. See John 3: 17 “God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world. He sent his Son to save the world through him. 18 Anyone who believes in him is not judged. But anyone who does not believe is judged already. He has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
The NIV puts it this way: ” Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
As such after the Cross people go to hell because they refuse God’s forgiveness through His Son. Michael Card puts it this way “Before the cross, the opposite of sin is righteousness through works of the Law, after the Cross, the opposite of sin is faith in Jesus Christ”. As such, forgiveness is not condition on repentance from sins but upon your belief that God offered Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins.
In fact the book of Hebrews tells us our sins has been taken away once and for all. See Hebrews 10: “11 (onwards) Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process”.
This is how it is worded in TNIV “11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God”.
Notice 2 things. No. 1. Your sins are not ONLY forgiven. Your sins are not ONLY covered. They are taken away. How many times? The answer is once. Why? No. 2 Because He sat down. If the sacrifice worked, you need only do it once!
Notice Jesus sat down not because He was God’s son. He sat down because Jesus earned his place before the Father. He is the only person who merited his way to heaven. See Hebrews 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
He sat down because God said “he earned it!” He sat down because God was pleased with his obedience (Romans 5). He sat down because he provided purification for sins. The question is this “who did he purify?”
See the Amplified Bible: “When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high,” Ours. This means God honoured Jesus for his work in cleansing us of our sins and get rid of guilt. Did he do a complete job? Well he surely did. Sitting at the right hand of God is a very honoured place.
Many people are not aware where we really are. May of us still think we are on earth. No! The minute you believe in Jesus you are in Christ and you are in the heavenly realms. See Ephesians 2:
11But 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;
12Neither 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.
13For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
Note the following:
a) Jesus’s blood was offered in a tabernacle not made by human hands;
b) It was offered in an eternal tabernacle;
c) It was offered thru the eternal Spirit. (Ever wondered why it is the Holy Spirit who is the one in the Trinity, who testify that, God does not remember your sins anymore? This is because the blood was offered through him when Jesus said “into Your hands, I commit my Spirit.” That was His work on the Cross)
d) It is done once and for all in eternity. Is the future, eternal?
e) The answer is obviously yes! Hence the writer now tells you that you now have ETERNAL REDEMPTION. Yes even your sins committed in your future is forgiven in eternity.
Lastly do you know since the veil was torn in the earthly tabernacle, there is a renovation in the Eternal Tabernacle? See this:
Hebrews 10:19-20 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh.
The Message puts it this way ” 19-21So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.”
Hold on… I thought God tore down the veil because He doesn’t want us to be separated from Him… why then put a new curtain up? Relax. Remember what Paul says.
Romans 4:26 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Dear friends, God carried out renovation works when Jesus died. He tore down the old veil. The old veil had cherubs (angels of judgment) on them. It was built to keep you out from the Holy of Holies. He replaced it with a new veil. The new veil is the body of Jesus. The perfect man. Our representative, our perfect High Priest, where we are hidden.
You see we became sinners because of one man’s disobedience. But we were made righteous because of one man’s obedience. (Romans 5:15) It was based on a MAN’s obedience. This man STILL in His body now sits in heaven as your testimony and mine. He sits there as my righteousness, my High Priest and me. This is because I am crucified with Him and I am in Him. Paul tells us we are hidden in Him. See Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Paul tells us that this Man is his body was raised for our justification. When God sees this man he sees our justification (as we are hidden in Him). As such while the old veil was to keep out of from the Most Holy Place, this new curtain is to keep us IN the Most Holy Place. When God sees Jesus as our High Priest, He sees our justification. He sees me. I love this new piece of renovation work! It keeps me IN!
Let us now bow down and worship!