Isaiah 22:23 And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house.
In today’s churchese, we hear a lot of decisional salvation, decisional regeneration, being preached from the pulpit of many churches. If salvation was decisional, then those who chose to accept Him, have in essence, become their own saviour. I am not trying to sound harsh, but if you choosing Christ is the clincher, then you clinched salvation for yourself. In this model, you have made Christ a possible Saviour, and not an actual Saviour. I will, with His help, attempt to show you that Christ is the Starter AND Finisher of His salavtion that He bestows to His sheep.
Jeremiah 50:20 In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.
Now, look at this verse. It says the iniquity of Israel and the sins of Judah shall be sought for and shall not be found, and He will them who He has reserved. Why is it that their sins and iniquities can not be found? Because Christ took them and carried them on His flesh when He was nailed to the cross. He condemned their sin in the flesh, and they shall never be found in His sheep, being their Sinbearer. He took their/our punishment for us. He took the shame, the anquish, the death that we every one deserved and did it for us. It says in Ephesians 5:25b that Christ died for the church. He, by becoming our Sinbearer, became our High Priest once and for all, in atoning for our sins.
In Leviticus 16, you can read the following; “And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness”(Leviticus 16:21,22). Here is another picture of Christ being our Sinbearer. He took all the sins and iniquities of Israel and bore them on the cross. He was our Fit man that took them to a place uninhabited. He took our sins and cast them as far from us as the east is the west(Psalms 103:12), has cast them behind His Back(Isaiah 38:17), has blotted them out with His shed blood(Isaiah 44:22). Isarel of the OT was a picture, a type, of the NT church. Before you say the scapegoat atoned for all of Isarel, let me show you what this really means. In Romans 9, you can read this; “Romans 9, “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed(1-8). The true Isarel of God in the OT was the remnant according to the election of Grace(Romans 9:11 & 11:5). God chose Israel as the means by which the church’s Messiah would come. The remnant has always followed God, and the others were blinded(Romans 11:7). If not for this very small remnant, this world would be as Sodom and Gomorrah(Isaiah 1:9).
To have salvation, one must have faith. Now, if faith is inherent within man, then man could conceiveably justify himself, seeing that God has chosen to jusitfy the heathen(nations) by faith. But where does faith come from? Let’s appeal to the scriptures and see where it comes from:
Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Hebrews 12:2 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.
Here are three verses that show God is the One who gives us faith to believe in Him. It is He that gives the measure of faith, He also Authors it and finishes it within us. Man, left in his fallen state, does not have the faith necessary to be saved. It states in Hebrews 11:6 that without faith, it is impossible to please Him. For we must believe that He is and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. However, how many seek Him? Here is what Psalms 14 says; “Psalm 14 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord. There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous. Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge. Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.” And then in Romans 3, Apostle Paul reitierates what Psalms 14 say and drives the point home, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.” There are NONE that seek after God. There are none wanting to come to Him and drink. Except God first move upon them, they are content with their sinful lifestyle. If God doesn’t make a change in them first, they will have no desire to come to Him. But those who Christ was nailed to the cross for, He was their “Nail in a sure place”, He was/is the Surety of salvation.
All those that Christ died and atoned for, God will come to them and regenerate them, call them, convert them, justify them, adopt them, sanctify them, and finally, on resurrection day, glorify them.
I pray that this is a blessing to all that read it.
Willis Fletcher, Jr.