Word of the Month

Christ, our intercessor

April 2004

What would Easter be without the Lord's word, without God's grace, without the fellowship of the faithful at the holy altar? A day off work, maybe even a day of commemoration — assuming people still remember the events of Easter 2,000 years ago, that is. For God's children, however, Easter is a festive day on which they again delight in God's grace — because the risen Saviour sits at the right hand of God and intercedes for them there.

"Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." (Romans 8:33). These words of encouragement, once addressed by Apostle Paul to the congregation in Rome, also apply to God's people of today. What a comfort to know that those who have been elected and justified through God's grace can no longer be accused by any spirit — because the Son of God has paid off their debt with his sacrificial death.

Faith develops from the word of God that we continually hear in the sermon. And this faith justifies us. Already Noah and Abraham, whose faith was accounted to them for righteousness, were permitted to experience this. The spirits from beneath seek to tempt and to condemn us. It is important to resist them. Christ Himself made the statement: "He who believes and is baptised will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:16). Thus it is left up to each and every individual whether they want to be saved and redeemed. After all, without faith it is impossible to please God.

Because Jesus Christ died for us, rose from the dead, and ascended to the right hand of God — and because we continually partake of His sacrifice — all accusations that the Devil directs toward us have become irrelevant. The knowledge that the Son of God intercedes for us at the Father's throne strengthens us on our path of faith. He is our advocate in all weaknesses and imperfections — there is no greater defender than He is.

Of course, the prerequisite is our faith in His apostles, His resurrection and ascension, as well as His promised return. Let us not doubt these fundamental values of the gospel, bearing in mind Apostle Paul's admonition: "And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty." (c.f. 1 Corinthians 15:14). No, let us not allow ourselves to become confused, rather let us come to righteousness through our faith and grasp the grace out of Christ's sacrifice. Who can then accuse or condemn us? No one, because we have been justified, cleansed, and sanctified. It is because we believe this that our joy at Easter is perfect!

(From a service by the chief apostle)