WORDS OF OUR SALVATION – PART 6: PASTOR MENSA OTABIL – SUNDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER, 2021
SPECIAL SUNDAY SERVICE BY DR. MENSAH OTABIL (GENERAL OVERSEER INTERNATIONAL CENTRAL GOSPEL CHURCH (ICGC) CHRIST TEMPLE, ACCRA GHANA)
TOPIC: WORDS OF OUR SALVATION – PART 6.
DATE: 26TH SEPTEMBER, 2021
TEXT: LEVITICUS 16:15, 21-22.
Amen and Amen! Let’s keep Standing, as we make our DECLARATION OF FRUITFULNESS in this Year of Fruitfulness:
Are you ready? Well say with me:
The Eternal God is our Refuge. He opens Rivers in desolate Heights.The Lord makes the wilderness a Pool of water.
The LORD God is my Sun and Shield; The LORD gives Grace and Glory.
Therefore, I delight myself in Him. Those who are Planted in the House of the LORD shall be Fresh and Flourishing.
Though the Earth be shaken; the Name of the Lord is my Strong Tower. By Faith I affirm that: In Christ alone is my Salvation. In Him I live, and move and have my Being.
It is written: The Righteous are like trees Planted by the waters; bearing Fruits in its Season.
So I boldly declare: As for me, my God has made me Exceedingly Fruitful.
In this Season, my Spirit bears Fruits of Righteousness, my Talents make Way for me. With my hands, I will Plant, I will Build, I will Harvest – Day by Day, Step by Step.
In Jesus’ Name – Amen!
At the beginning of this Year I started a Series on (our Communion Sundays).
So today, I am doing WORDS OF OUR SALVATION – And this is Part 6 of Words of Our Salvation. And my subtitle is ATONEMENT.
DMC NOTES: We can get to access the Full Text of each of these Parts by clicking on these Links:
- BORN AGAIN
- NEW CREATION
And today, we are looking at the word: “ATONEMENT”.
Atonement is a very Powerful word that you would find in the Scripture.
Atonement basically, is the Process by which two (2) Parties that have been separated or enstranged are reconciled or made as one.
So, the word ATONE is an English word – when the word started it was two (2) different words as one. And over time the two (2) words were joined together; Producing the word ATONE.
Atonement basically is bringing People who are separated together.
And in the New Testament sometimes, it is called Reconciliation – Bringing People who were apart together.
But the word is found Primarily in the Old Testament.
… That is the exact word – Atonement.
In the New Testament you don’t find the word Atonement; but the idea is very Present in the New Testament.
And so I will go ahead to talk about the three (3) Main Important Ideas that the word Atonement refers to:
- First, Atonement means “TO COVER” – To cover something.
And when we use it Scripturally, it means when God hides our sin from His sight.
Through the Process of Atonement, God covers our sins; or hides our sin so He that doesn’t see it.
… That is the first meaning of Atonement – The covering of Sin.
- The Second meaning of Atonement means “TO REMOVE”.
Not only to Cover, but to remove something.
And that means that God doesn’t just cover our sin, but He takes away our sin.
So, in the Process of Atonement, there is a Covering of sin; there is also the Removal of sin.
Two (2) different things happen: The sin is COVERED, and the sin is REMOVED.
- And the third meaning of Atonement means “To AMEND” or “To MEND”.
… When God repairs our relationship with Him.
So as we look at the word Atonement, we should be mindful of these three (3) things:
- Sin that is Covered.
- Sin that is Removed.
- Relationship that is Repaired.
And these are the things that God does for us in the Process of Atonement – It is another word that describes Salvation in Christ.
Sometimes when you listen to Hymns, they would say: “My sins have been atoned for; or Christ has atoned for me; or I have received Atonement for my sin.
Atonement always requires Sacrifice – In the Bible; and in the Old Testament we see it very clearly.
We will look at Atonement in the Old Testament; and then we will later look at Atonement in the New Testament – Especially with Christ.
And if you have read your Bible (and I supposed that we all read our Bible).
If you have read it, you will find that much of the word is used from the Book of Exodus to Leviticus mostly. And sometimes in the Book of Numbers. And later in some of the Prophets, you find the word Atonement used.
There are many ways in which Atonement occurs in the Old Testament. But the height of Atonement in the Old Testament is what happened in what is called the “DAY OF ATONEMENT”.
And so I am going to focus on: “The Day Of Atonement in the brief time that I have.
“The Day of Atonement” occured once – Under the Old Testament it just occurred once. And on that Special Day, Special Sacrifices were made for the sins of the People of Israel.
And the Day of Atonement as recognised and is celebrated in Israel; this Year – The the day fell on the 16th September.
And the Day of Atonement normally falls in September or October.
On the Day of Atonement, a few things happen – And we will just walk through some of them and then I will specify them.
At the beginning of the Day of Atonement, the High Priest is normally the one who celebrates the Day of Atonement.
- And he has to first atone for his sin because the High Priest is seen not just like the People.
- So he atones for his sin, does another Sacrifice to atone for the Altar and for the Temple, and the utensils of the Temple, because they have been contaminated by sin. And then, after he has done that, he atones for the sin of the People.
Today, I am going to only focus on his Atonement for the sin of the People.
At the beginning of the Process of Atonement for the sin of the People, the High Priest will bring two (2) goats, and Present them before the Lord and he will cast a Lot.
Because the two (2) goats would do two (2) different things – One goat will be killed, and the other will be kept alive.
And those two (2) goat talk about two (2) different aspects of our Salvation.
… And I will take time to walk us through that.
- Let us look at what happens to the first goat that is used on the Day of Atonement – It is what is called the “GOAT OF THE SIN OFFERING”.
And it is in Leviticus 16:15, and it says:
“Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the People, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the Mercy Seat and before the Mercy Seat.
… It is not for the High Priest, not for the Temple; but for the People!
So this goat that was killed, its blood was taken by the High Priest; and the High Priest would go to a Place called “BEYOND THE VEIL”.
What does “BEYOND THE VEIL” mean?
Because, in the Old Testament Temple, there was a Place called the Holy Place. And then the Holy of Holies.
Between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, there is a Curtain and that curtain is what is called the Veil.
So the Priest would take the blood, and he will enter the Holy Place.
Now, the Holy Place is the Last Point where everybody gets to; the Holy of Holies you enter it only once and only one Person who can enter the Holy of Holies is the High Priest.
And he can only enter on the Day of Atonement – Outside of that Day, if he enters that Place, he is gone!
… Nobody else enters.
So on the Day of Atonement, he takes the blood of this goat that has been killed, and he goes Beyond the Veil – Into the Holy of Holies and he does it only once.
So, he goes into the Holy of Holies and then applies it to the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant.
… These are very, very important things that happened.
Now what does that mean?
- First, when the blood of that goat is applied, it covered the sins of the People.
The killing of the goat showed that the Price for sin has been Paid.
Why does that mean – The Price of sin has been Paid?
Because “The wages of sin is death.” And since God cannot kill all the People for sinning because if He has to kill them, then everybody must!
Remember, in the Book of Genesis, God said to Adam and Eve – “The day that you eat of this fruit you shall surely die.”
When Adam and Eve sinned, they didn’t die but an animal was killed because its skin was used as covering for Adam and Eve.
So, God requires that Man should die for his sin. But if He kills the Man, then that is the end of the Story – There is no repentance again.
Instead of the Man dying, somebody dies in the Place of the Man – And in this case, it is the goat!
So, the goat is killed – It showed that the Price of sin has been Paid.
So, its blood is used to cover the Mercy Seat – Showing that the sin of the People (in the time being) has been covered.
… That is the first thing!
- Secondly, it means that God has been reconciled to the People.
The blood of the goat reconciled the People to God.
Why? – Because that blood is applied to the Mercy Seat; and it means that God now has Mercy over His People.
And now, because the Priest has gone through the veil, it also means the Relationship between God (in the Holy of Holies) and the rest of the People has now been opened.
Because the door to the Holy of Holies has been opened, it brings reconciliation to the People.
So, on the Day of Atonement that is what happened:
- The first animal is killed, its blood Poured on the Mercy Seat – To show that the sin has been covered.
- And a way has been opened for Relationship between God (Who dwells in the Holy of Holies) and His People who are outside of the Holy of Holies.
The door has been opened because the Veil has been broken.
… So that is the Second thing that happened on the Day of Atonement of the sin of the People.
Then there is a Second Goat – This Goat is called a SCAPEGOAT.
And in Leviticus 16:21-22, we see the Offering of the Scapegoat; and I want you to Pay Particular attention to this.
21 Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.
22 The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.
So, remember: one goat has been killed! This one is not killed, it is alive. And the reason why it is alive – It is showing us that there are two (2) Sides of Atonement:
- One required that the Price for sin be Paid – That is why the first animal is killed.
- The Second Goat required that the sin must be Removed – And that is what the Life Goat stands for.
So, what happens?
The life goat carries the sin of the People – It is not killed; it does not Pay for the Price, it carries it!
And How does that Happen?
The High Priest would lay his two (2) hands on the living goat and confess all the sins of the People; concerning all their sins for the Past one (1) Year.
So, all the sins committed from the beginning of the Year up until that time are confessed – “We were liars, we were thieves, we were Adulterers; we did this, we did that; we cheated, we inflate Prices.”
So all of those things are put on the head of that goat.
This goat now represents the People: their sins have now been transferred on this goat – So you can say: “It is now carrying the sin of the People”.
The first goat died for the sin of the People; the Second goat carries the sin of the people.
… And it is very important!
Not only does it carry the sin of the People; it removes the sin of the People from God’s Presence.
So, when the sin has now been put on this goat, a Suitable Person is chosen. And the Person is asked to carry the goat and take it away from amongst the People; take it away from the Presence of God and from the People.
And so this Person takes this goat which is carrying the sin of the People; leaves the Presence of God (The Temple area), leaves the Habitation of the People (where the People live) and goes to a Place that is Uninhabited.
And when it gets to a Place that is Uninhabited, he releases the goat to go into the wilderness.
That means that: not only has the sin been forgiven; but the sin has been removed from the People and from the midst of the People.
And not only that, it means that God would not see the sin again.
Why? – Because the goat has carried all the sin out of the People.
So, in the Atonement, the sin of the People were forgiven; and the sin was also removed from the People; the People no longer carried sin because it has been removed!
And the Scapegoat – That is where we get the English Phrase: ‘Scapegoat”.
When we say somebody is a Scapegoat, it means that he is Punished for something somebody else has done.
And that is the Scapegoat – It carries the sin that it didn’t commit; and it is driven out into the wilderness.
Usually when that goat goes into the wilderness, it roams and roams and roams; and maybe a wild animal would find it and devour it.
But the Purpose of it is to remove the sin from The People – And when that happened, Israel will now say: “Our sins have been ATONED for!”
Because it has been forgiven, because it is gone from the Presence of God (covered); God has given us Mercy. And not only that, our sin has been removed from the Presence of God and from us – We no longer carry the sin any longer.
That means the sin that has been forgiven is not still with you – It has been forgiven. But it is not only that, it has been removed!
You know, many times when we talk about sin, we know our sin has been forgiven but we still think we are sinners.
But the Day of Atonement says: “Your sin has been forgiven, you are no longer a sinner”.
Why? – Because the sin has been removed – Not only forgiven, but removed.
Atonement is a Complete Package that FORGIVES sin and REMOVES sin from the People.
… That is the Old Testament!
Now let us come to the New Testament – ATONEMENT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
How does it Happen?
Atonement is what we call a Type or Shadow of things to come – So whatever is happening to the life goat and sacrificed goat; happened in the New Testament but in another form.
- The first thing we have to note is that, in the New Testament Jesus is the Lamb.
He represents those goats (both of them).
John 1:35-36 says: Again, the next day, John stood with two of His Disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
… Behold the Lamb of God!
Jesus is Portrayed in the New Testament as the Lamb of God.
So in the New Testament, Atonement is not with goat. But Atonement is through the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ when he offered himself once and for all.
In the New Testament, Atonement is fulfilled in Christ.
Now I want to walk us through a few things that Christ did for us through His Atonement:
- First, Jesus Cleansed our sins with His Blood.
… Just as it was done to the goat – But this time, to Jesus.
Hebrews 9:11-12 says: But Christ came as High Priest of the Good things to come, with the Greater and more Perfect Tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His Own Blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained Eternal Redemption.
I. Under the Old Testament, the High Priest was the one who entered the Veil and went to the Holy of Holies with the blood of a goat – To make Atonement for the People.
II. In the New Testament, Jesus is the High Priest, and He also entered the Holy of Holies.
But not with something else’s blood or another Person’s blood but He entered with His Own Blood. He went through the Veil with His Own Blood! And when He took His Blood to the Holy of Holies, He did for us what the goat couldn’t do – Because what the goat did survived only for one (1) Year!
But when Jesus entered the Holy of Holies, He didn’t Purchased a One-Year Relief; but He gave us what the Bible calls “ETERNAL REDEMPTION”.
He doesn’t die again, He doesn’t Sacrifice Himself again – His Blood has Purchased for us “Eternal Salvation”.
That is the first thing Jesus did – His Blood is Superior to the blood of goats and cows. He has forgiven us once and for all.
- And not only does His Blood cleanse our sin – But just as the Scapegoat carried sin, Jesus also carried our sins.
Not just forgive us, but He carried it. He carried our sins on Himself.
1 Peter 2:24 says: Who Himself bore our sins in His Own Body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for Righteousness; by whose Stripes you were healed.
… I am just excited about it.
In the Old Testament, the High Priest would put his two (2) hands on the goat and confess the sin of the People; transfer the sin of the People to the goat.
In the New Testament, the Father God Himself took our sin and put it on Jesus Christ.
So not only does He forgives our sin; but He takes our sin.
The Bible says: “He made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin.”
Jesus carried our sin – Your sin, my sin; was transferred from us and put on Jesus – So He became the Bearer of the sin of the People.
- And not only did He carry our sin – He took Away our sin.
John 1:29 says: The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
*… Now why did John say that?
John is thinking about the Scapegoat that takes away the sin of the world. And Jesus Himself also carried our sin and took it away.
So How did Jesus take away our sin?
I. Jesus, like the Scapegoat – Was sacrificed outside of Jerusalem; just like the Scapegoat would be taken away from Jerusalem, and taken out to be left in the wilderness.
II. Jesus was taken OUT – Outside of the City. And when He was leaving the City, He was leaving with the sin of the People; just like the Scapegoat was.
III. And when He was nailed to the Cross, our sin was nailed on the Cross. And God nailed our sins on the Cross.
And that is why Jesus, after all said – IT IS FINISHED!
The sin that has been forgiven has also been removed! When God forgives our sin we don’t continue to bear the sin. Why? Because the sin has been removed.
That is why when a Person becomes Born Again, not only does God forgive you of your sin, but He removes our sin – So that we can live in Righteousness. Because if He doesn’t remove the sin, we can’t live for Him.
… He removes the sin so we can live in Righteousness.
You know, sometimes People say: “As for me, we are all sinners.”
I can’t understand why somebody will say that because they sin even after being Born Again.
But in the sight of God, when Jesus takes your sin away, God doesn’t see you as a sinner; He sees you as the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
“How can God see me as Righteousness when I know I am not Perfect?” – Because on the Cross, my sin (Past, Present and Future) was laid on Jesus Christ. And He carried my sin away and gave me a New Relationship with God. So I can worship Him in Righteousness.
… My sin has been removed; not just forgiven, but removed!
- And the forth (4th) thing that happens at our Atonement is that Jesus MENDED our Relationship with God.
Colossians 1:19 20 says: For it Pleased the Father that in Him all the Fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on Earth or things in Heaven, having made Peace through the Blood of His Cross.
… On the Cross, we were reconciled to God.
The Old Testament Atonement lasted only for one (1) Year; it had warranty for one (1) year. After one (1) year, the warranty expired and it had to been renegotiated.
But on that day when Jesus hung on the Cross, He took our sin, put it upon Himself; Paid for the Price of our sin and also carried away our sin. He purchased something Eternal for us.
And the Bible says: Because of that, God has removed our sin from us – As far as the East is from the West. And that is why God can say: “Your sins and iniquities, I will not remember anymore”.
Why does He not Remember it?
Because it was taken away by the ‘Scapegoat.’ – JESUS Christ became a Scapegoat and took our sin away!
You remember your sin; you remember what you did; you remember all your sins – That is why you can’t forgive yourself.
If you could forgive yourself, then there would be no need of a Saviour. All God would have said is: “When you sin, forgive yourself’ and you are forgiven.
But the Human Being is not capable of forgiving himself.
Why? – Because we have a Memory! And because you have a Memory, you can’t forgive yourself.
Even when you say: ‘Okay, I have forgiven myself’; you can’t because you will remember what you did last Year about this time!
That is why God doesn’t rely on you for forgiveness – He relies on Jesus for forgiveness.
… Jesus Himself CARRIED our sin and TOOK it out of the way!
So although you may remember it in your head; in God’s Economy – HE HAS TAKEN IT AWAY.
And that is why we should live by Faith in the Finished Work of the Lord Jesus Christ – Hallelujah!!!!
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