By Manny Mill 1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5; 2 Peter 3:7-16
How important to you is a reliable GPS when navigating unknown roads? I know people who can’t get around without them. Well, the Apostle Peter wants our GBS—Gospel Belief System—to have a trustworthy foundation, and he states this clearly for us in 1 Peter 3:18:
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just [Jesus] for the unjust [us sinner], that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the spirit….” This is a biblical truth that Christians must be willing to die for. Peter was willing; he was crucified upside down for it.
There is no Gospel or real justice without this doctrinal truth. When we become fully convicted by the Holy spirit that indeed Jesus became our substitutionary atonement, then our eyes will never deviate from Jesus Christ, nor our ears from His voice. Jesus will become our ALL IN ALL, the lover of our souls, as both Peter and Paul experienced.
Our gratitude for Christ’s atonement for our sins becomes the engine for our unwavering and tireless service, as we become creative in loving our neighbors in how they need us to love them, with the love of the Father, which provides us with fresh joy. The source of our provision and protection flows out of our relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ’s permanent atonement, empowered by the Holy Spirit so we can be healthy, vibrant, and consistent servants of His.
Today we see the government working overtime to shift our trust from Christ to the government by offering us all types of help and incentives to entice us to switch our allegiance, all driven by humanism rooted in lies. If there has ever been a time when we Christians must be actively aggressive, fearless, and intentional in presenting God’s truth of redemption correctly, it is NOW, when so many are confused and hopeless.
Please read the entire chapter 5 of Romans! It explains in much detail, power, and precision, historically and with convincing evidence, why Christ came and what He accomplished on behalf of His Father. Be sure to read it, but to help you see how central the substitutionary atonement of Christ is, and why 1 Peter 3:18 is an essential belief for Christians, here are a few phrases from Roman 5:
“(1) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (6) For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (9) …we shall be saved from wrath through Him (11) …through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (21) …so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I have developed a Roman Road exercise that I want to share with you to help us see in a practical way the implications and benefits of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. Here are the three steps to salvation from the justifiable wrath of God, our guilt, and the slavery of sin, as well as from eternal Hell, the world, and self:
- Confess your sins to God the Father. (Romans 10:9) Tell Him that you are a sinner in desperate need of His mercy and grace.
- Embrace Jesus, the fullness of truth and grace, your Savior and Lord, who hung on the cross to make permanent payment for your sins with His redemptive blood. (Romans 5:9)
- Believe in your heart that God the Father raised Jesus Christ from the dead and embrace Jesus’ bodily resurrection for your—our—eternal security and salvation. (Romans 10:9)
If you have not done this and experienced the blood-cleansing forgiveness of the Father through Jesus Christ, I urge you to do it NOW. Tomorrow is not promised to us.
If you have followed these simple steps, you are now sealed with the Holy Spirit and, you are our brother/sister in Christ. Romans 10:12-13 confirms this: “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
As we follow God’s GBS (Gospel Belief System) and live in obedience, we will find it our joyful duty to dedicate every ounce of energy to cultivate and live out, in loving, creative ways, our love for the Cross of Christ, through which we must love our neighbors with the love of the Father! We will victoriously find our way through this troubled world with His grace and guidance, our spiritual GPS!