FROM PASSOVER TO PASSOVER
What is grace, and why do we need it?
How does salvation work? It starts with repentance of your past sins. "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38
After you repent, you must be baptized to wash past sins away...and when you have begun to obey God, He gives you His Holy Spirit. "We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him." Acts 5:32 We have repented, been baptized and have been given God's Holy Spirit, so are we saved yet? The Bible says, not yet. "He that endures to the end shall be saved."
If we have done these three things, we are at the beginning of our salvation. But most importantly, we must "renew" our baptismal covenant with Christ at Passover from year to year. In other words, grace is not a blanket thing. "Once saved...always saved" is not how grace works. We receive grace from one Passover to the next. The year that one decides they will not keep Passover, they no longer have that grace from God. If Christ's blood is not applied to our spiritual doorpost, then we are not protected from the spiritual death angel.
How do we keep the spiritual Death Angel away from our door permanently? There is a way. As human beings, sin constantly assaults us. Paul said "Oh wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death." Paul wanted to keep the law with his mind, but he sinned, like we all do, because he was incapable of keeping the law perfectly. But, Christ has done it. God's grace is applied to us as unmerited pardon. We are sinless through Christ's sacrifice applied to us.
Only through Christ's blood, can we be sinless in God's sight. We receive God's grace because we keep Passover. (Until our death or until Christ comes back.) His blood is personally applied to us every year when we take in the Passover wine and unleavened bread. We receive this grace on a yearly basis. The year we stop placing the blood on our door post, (figuratively) we are no longer protected.
PASSOVER ALLOWS US TO "DWELL CONTINUALLY IN CHRIST"
We don't just keep Passover one time and forget about it. We do it once a year at the prescribed time. When Passover rolls around, we have the opportunity once again to cover ourselves with Christ's blood in a continuous time-line from our baptism to Passover. We "dwell continually in Christ." Every year when we take the wine and the bread symbolizing Christ's blood and body, we are sinless for another year forward. Baptism covers past sins, but only by keeping Passover do we have forward protection from sin and it's penalties.
At the original Passover, when the blood was painted on the doorposts to save them from the death angel, it protected them from death forwards, not backwards. They painted the blood on their doorposts for forward protection. It would have been useless to paint the blood after the firstborn were already dead. We too must paint the blood of Jesus Christ on our spiritual doorposts at Passover, to receive protection through the next year. We do not know when we will die, but we are ready, since Christ's sacrifice removes the penalty of the law for us.
It is easy to see why God called the first day of His plan of salvation "Pass-over." That is what happened. Death passed over those who obeyed the command to paint the blood. As converted people, ETERNAL DEATH PASSES US OVER.
Exodus 12:22-23 says, "And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you."
WE MUST BE SINLESS
The wages of sin is death, and we are not capable of being sinless ourselves. That is what it takes to be saved, otherwise, why would Christ have had to die. He had to die sinless, not only to save Himself, but to save us. We can only accomplish sinlessness through baptism and the continuous observance of Passover from year to year, until our death. If we do this, then Christ's death, burial and resurrection is applied to us continuously! And through this process, we can be "sinless" for many years straight in God's sight! This is the grace of God. But, some might say, well, lets' all sin, since we are covered by Christ's sacrifice anyway. But, that is treading on dangerous ground. Paul fought the concept of nullifying or "doing away with the law."
"Do we, then, nullify the law
by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law."
Paul again says, "What then? Shall we sin
because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!" Romans
How many times does he have to say it? The law has never been done away with, but the penalty for us breaking it has, through Christ's sacrifice. What Paul taught was a deep concept about grace and salvation, but it was twisted and used to foster the "licentious" or "lawless" approach of Gnostic "Christians", (I use the word loosely!) They say Christ's death did away with the entire law. Paul NEVER said that.
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (Commonly taught, then and now, but Paul says no.)
2 God forbid! How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
A YEAR OF GRACE...FROM PASSOVER TO PASSOVER
We must renew our baptismal contract every year at Passover when we take in the unleavened bread (sinless body of Christ) and the wine (His blood). Without that, we have no chance of eternal life.
Here is the crux of the matter. We need to update our list of requirements for salvation:
3. Receive the Holy Spirit
4. Observe the Passover from year to year
5. Keep the Law and get sin out of our lives.
6. Let Christ's character be formed in us, because He was sinless.
We need to continue to attempt to live without sin. In 1 Corinthians 5:7, during the Days of Unleavened Bread, Paul says, "Purge out therefore the old leaven, (sin) that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. (sinless) For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us." He admonished Christians to get rid of old sins, which is represented by the Days of Unleavened Bread. Ridding sin from our lives is also part of salvation, but why? It is because purposeful sin is a killer. Sinning willfully and with full knowledge removes the blessing of Christ's sacrifice. That is deadly!
26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongs unto me, I will recompense, says the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Put simply, God gives us one year of grace at a time. Never take lightly the importance of keeping Passover to your salvation. Those that are "sinless" when they die, will come up in the first resurrection to eternal life, the rest will come up in the Great White Throne Judgment. So we must not use God's grace as a license to sin. And most importantly, if we refuse to keep our next Passover, and we refuse to struggle against sin, then the deal is off with God. Christ's sacrifice will only cover us from one Passover to the next. By doing this we dwell continually in Christ, and He in us.
Article on Second Passover
Fallacy of Pauline Theology online streaming sermon