The basics of our calling- repentance and baptism- are the factors that form our relationship and covenant with God. Our covenant with God, is what He considers as He lovingly extends His profound blessings. The basics bring us to conversion and baptism. Baptism is the start of our covenant with God, and Passover is the renewing of that covenant. A review of the basics helps us to have the proper Passover attitude which is pleasing to God.
Reviewing the Basics Will Help Us Prepare for Passover
Given by Jim Morgan 16 Mar 2019
(All Scriptures are from the King James Version)
Today I’m going to cover the basics that bring us up to the Passover and then explain two things: why it was that Christ went through what He did, that there was no other way.
You know, the Passover makes us really concentrate on things that really matter the most, what life is all about and what makes life even possible. Eternal life, at least. So when did our walk with God begin?
John 6:44 John 6:44No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
American King James Version×No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
That was the beginning of why we are here today. God called, selected each of us to be here. And in that calling, we learn why we live, we learn why we die. We learn that we have broken God’s Laws; therefore we deserve to die. Eternal life cannot live in sin. And the ways of those sins that we have commuted is sin.
Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
American King James Version×For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God had to come up with some means to resolve that problem. So He created a plan whereby He could build a family of individuals with the potential to become like Him: holy, sinless and eternal.
By our involvement in this plan, we make a covenant with God, which is the start of actually becoming a child of God. It’s a covenant of mutual agreement between that person and God commencing at baptism.
It’s not a contract. A contract is just an agreement between two parties for a specific reason to get something done. But a contract requires no personal involvement. No personal relationship between the two is necessary. A covenant, on the other hand, ALWAYS requires a personal relationship between those two parties; it’s just like a marriage.
This covenant that we agree to is the start of our journey to become holy as God is holy. It makes a personal relationship with God possible. And the sacrifice of Christ to atone for our past sins allows this to happen. That process is called conversion.
Conversion itself is not complete without a covenant. The covenant is what makes it important. And it is the continual honoring of this covenant with God that will assure our resurrection to life.
The Passover was instituted for this very reason. To keep this in mind as a yearly event, we focus on this purpose of life for us to honor and renew our covenant with God and our Saviour Jesus Christ on a yearly basis.
It is the covenant with God that we each have personally that makes us holy people. We are God’s offspring. Now holiness is not a condition that is available to buy; holiness is an attained status that can only be imputed, not earned, imputed by God Himself. It’s the gift of the Holy Spirit given at baptism which is God’s contribution to this covenant that makes us holy people; and we maintain this holiness by keeping God’s Laws, obeying Him, drawing closer to Him. Holiness is something that is not static; it’s like the Spirit Itself, it has to be maintained and fought for.
And it’s God’s Laws, it’s His holiness, His righteousness that we strive to attain but we cannot earn it, rather it’s a gift that we have to work for. The better we do God’s will, the better we become. It’s repentance, the Holy Spirit and this ensuing holiness that are all gifts from God. Repentance is a gift; the Holy Spirit is a gift.
God even imputes holiness to our children; and He does that necessarily because we are the parents who have His Holy Spirit. He imputes His Holy Spirit for us to use and it’s necessary for that to happen or else we would not be able to become like God. It is only with the power of God that we can become like Him. And becoming like God is how we become members of His Family.
Holiness is first imputed to us, but it’s meant to be nurtured and cared for; and that happens as we overcome our faults, and builds the very character that God wants us to build to become like Him. You become like God; that phrase should bring us up short. Turn to Romans 7:14 Romans 7:14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
American King James Version×. These laws that we keep are spiritual laws.
Paul is saying that he is carnal, but the law itself is spiritual. Now let’s tie that verse in with Romans 13 verse 10.
Romans 13:10 Romans 13:10Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
American King James Version×Love worketh no ill (evil) to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Now when you tie those two scriptures together it is saying the law itself is Holy and for us to keep the Holy Law through love, that love itself has to be holy, has to be spiritual. You can’t keep a spiritual law with an unspiritual essence. Because it’s holy, because it’s spiritual it has to come from God. Even the love has to come from God. Now look at Romans 5:5 Romans 5:5And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.
American King James Version×.
Romans 5:5 Romans 5:5And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.
American King James Version×And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint;) because the love of God is shed abroad (poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.
How so? By the Holy Spirit that was given to us. A spiritual law is fulfilled by spiritual love through the power of a spiritual Holy Spirit. It is God’s love in us that flows out to others as a result of our having His Holy Spirit. And that Spirit is only given to those who obey the Law.
Acts 5:32 Acts 5:32And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God has given to them that obey him.
American King James Version×And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
Now this gift of the Holy Spirit acts as a mediator between God and us, allowing communication and a relationship to form; it’s done through the Spirit. It’s an awesome privilege to have this Spirit and to have this capacity to commune with God. And that’s possible because of our Spiritual mediator, Jesus Christ and what He did for us through His death. Carnality is enmity towards God.
Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
American King James Version×Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
It cannot, it’s impossible for carnality to produce the love of God. It takes the literal power from God to convert human carnality into a holiness that’s acceptable to God. Big change.
That is the power by which we walk, by which we serve and please God. Now this agreement to obey God and follow the Spirit is really what forms the basis of our covenant with God. He gives us a portion of the Spirit at the act of baptism and having hands laid on us by one of His ministers; and that starts His covenant agreement. Then we obey, we further seek God’s will dedicating our life into His service and in return He gives us eternal life. Not earned; another gift. All of this is only possible because of what Jesus Christ did for us that we could not, in any way do for ourselves. He gave His very life as payment for the sins that took our life away that we could not redeem; only through a holiness and a righteousness that only God could impute.
It’s remarkable that this was all laid out from the very beginning, before Adam and Eve were even created. God the Father and Jesus Christ, the only two Gods at that time, sat down and said, “One of us is going to have to die for the people that we’re going to create so that they can learn about sin and avoid it.”
Important point: Turn to first Peter, chapter 1, verse 16.
1 Peter 1:16-21 1 Peter 1:16-21  Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy.
 And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
 For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
 Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
American King James Version×Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (17) And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear (awe, reverence): (18) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible tings, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (empty manner of life) received by tradition from your fathers; (19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest (revealed) in these last times for you, (21) Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and give him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
God the Father raised Jesus Christ from the dead through the power of the Holy Spirit. If we possess the Holy Spirit it is by that same means that God and Jesus Christ will resurrect us, by that Spirit.
Those are the basics. How we got here. Now let’s make it personal. (13:09.0)
Remember how Jesus prayed to the Father, “If there’s any other way let this cup pass from me”? But His Father’s answer was “There is no other way. You’ve got to go through what you have to go through.”
There are two main reasons why it had to happen the way that it did. The first, of course, was very obvious. There had to be a means or method for God the Father to forgive the sins of all mankind. That was the paramount purpose and reasoning why it took something as great as the life of God Himself to pay for those sins.
Some atoning sacrifice that the Father could look upon and justify “OK, I’ll accept my Son’s death” being established from the beginning.
Revelation 13:8 Revelation 13:8And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
American King James Version×And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
God looks on things as they already are, as they are already being accomplished. The sins of the Old Testament were forgiven prior to the sacrifice that allowed all those sins to pass.
The second reason Christ had to go through what He did is what it takes to convert a corrupted heart; a heart that’s been vandalized, a heart that’s been hidden captive, a heart that’s been perverted, causing sin. Forgiving a sin is one thing, but forgiving and changing a whole life that has been centered around sin, controlled by Satan for who knows how long, that is a whole different ballgame. And how Christ sacrificed and carried out had a profound impact on each one of us during conversion. I can forgive somebody for harming me or some insult, but can we understand how God uses His own Son’s death as payment for the sins of others. It takes a fundamental change of heart to bring about conversion. That is a process that can only be accomplished in a two-fold process.
When God calls a person we become very aware that we deserve death because we’ve sinned, making us unholy, unworthy of eternal life. We acknowledge that those sins have killed us. We come face-to-face with the ensuring reality that we’re going to die forever; and there’s some means that were put in place, some redeeming factor, that we can look to and adhere to, and mercifully apply for, that we might be spared this eternal death.
There’s no other way out of our sins; there’s no other way to live and not die other than accepting what Jesus Christ has done for us because of it. Once we see the death consequence of sin, being convicted, our only hope of survival at that point is to accept what Christ has done for us, throw ourselves at God’s mercy for Him to apply the blood of Jesus Christ on our behalf, allowing his horrendous scourging and crucifixion to pay for those sins.
That situation has an impact on the heart especially when God is calling and using the Holy Spirit to fundamentally change the mental and emotional make-up of that person. It crushes the heart and that’s when our conversion begins. It leads us to repentance and repentance has to be there before conversion can happen. It’s a fundamental change of heart and direction in life that can only happen with the power of the Holy Spirit from God working powerfully within that individual. (18:25.0)
When we recognize and acknowledge the suffering of Christ, we are humbled and chagrined at what we’ve done, at what we’ve caused to happen. It gets very personal. And knowing and understanding that has a mollifying and softening affect on the heart which helps to be truly repentant. There’s no other way to reach a corrupted heart. That’s why God had to go through extreme measures to reach a carnal mind.
What Christ did for us is a supreme example of kindness and of love poured out toward us. Even a simple act of kindness can touch people. It’s been proven that you can take a little puppy and put him in the cell with a hardened criminal, a lifer, and that little puppy will have an effect, and emotional effect on that prisoner. That little puppy exudes happiness, friendliness, it’s forgiving and it’s loyal. God designed that little puppy to have that kind of effect on people.
How much more, by turning His Son over to the Bulls of Bashan? The Bulls of Bashan were the Roman soldiers that crucified Christ. The Romans were only there because the Jews had rebelled. They wanted to be back in Rome with their families. They did not like the Jews. They didn’t have any qualms about torturing Jewish people.
Let’s turn to Psalms 22; we’ll start in verse 11, when Christ is on the cross
Psalms 22:11 Psalms 22:11Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
American King James Version×Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. (12) Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. (13) They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. (14) I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. (15) My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. (16) For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. (17) I may tell (count) all my bones: they look and stare upon me. (18) They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. (19) But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
God knows that having been under the influence of Satan for a long time; having a carnal heart He would have to set the strongest example possible for us to be touched by heart leading us to conversion and repentance. And Christ had done just that, going to great lengths as He possible can to help condition our heart to bring us to that repentant state. Not respecting that, not honoring that would be a horrible, horrible thing. I think it would be absurd not to have a deep reverence and respect for that.
It takes a lot to change a carnal heart into a God-fearing, worshipping person that loves God. The gift of repentance has that form, a fundamental culmination to change our heart, to convert it. But even after all of that conversion alone will not guarantee salvation. It’s the necessary start, of course, to obtain salvation, but it’s only through our continual effort year after year, even through the difficult times, that we endure to the end. And then by that we are able to gain the spiritual growth needed for salvation.
And that lays the groundwork for where we’re at, at this season through Passover. We have the time to focus on what God allows, how God imputes holiness to us, and it’s a holiness that can only be allowed because of what our very Creator did for us in our stead. (23:36.0)
He accomplished for us what we are totally unable to accomplish for ourselves. And without understanding that and appreciating all that our efforts are in vain. Your and my salvation hinges on that respectful attitude that we have for God and what He has done for us to remove this death penalty.
We’ll wrap this up in 1st Corinthians 11, classic scriptures for this time of year. Let’s start in verse 23.
1 Corinthians 11:23-29 1 Corinthians 11:23-29  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
 And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do you, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of me.
 For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come.
 Why whoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
 For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
American King James Version× For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: (24) And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
In remembrance, remember what happened – meditate on that.
(25) After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. (26) For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
We recognize that God died.
(27) Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
How could you do it unworthily, we’re not worthy to be there, but if we don’t show respect, have honor and appreciation for what’s been done for us then we don’t deserve it.
(28) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. (29) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation (judgment) to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
Now that word, discerning, what does it mean to discern the Lord’s body? The definition of the word discern means to separate thoroughly, to pick it apart, to analyze it, to comprehend and understand it, meditate on what Christ went through for us. This is not just some kind gesture; on His part it took the utmost determination and was the deepest expression of love possible for the very people He sacrificed for.
Verse 30 For this cause (reason) many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (31) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (32) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
There is a condemnation for those who do not respect what has been done for them. Proper self-examination will deliver us from that; recognize these things, rededicate our lives into God’s hands.
Christ wants us to respect and honor what He did for us. That’s only reasonable. He deserves to be worshipped for what He is and for what He has done for us. Pray for the mollifying effects of the Holy Spirit to soften our hearts, to soften our attitudes. Pray the same thing for other people. When you pray for other people, God is more likely and to more powerfully apply it to you as well.
It is that attitude that makes us worthy to participate in and benefit from the Passover Service. That benefit is being forgiven. Our slate is wiped clean. We are holy and pure in God’s sight.
Knowing what God and Christ has done for us should humble us and deflate any ego or self-exalting measure.
Conversion, submission, salvation they are all matters of the heart. That’s where it forms. Jesus had to do what He did. It was needed and necessary for that carnal heart to be reached, to be changed, to repent and appreciate what was done for us. He will continue to do everything that He can to help us get there.
But the ball really is in our court. It’s up to us how we handle this. It’s up to us how we play the hand that’s been given to us. But brethren, play it wisely, play it humbly, play it properly with respect, humility and honor towards our God and Saviour. And then we can rejoice and we can take the Passover and glean the benefits from it all.
Have a happy Passover Season, Brethren.