In Numbers 21, the Children of Israel were once again discourage and spoke against God and Moses, saying, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water and our soul loathes this worthless bread.” So God sent fiery serpents and they bit the people and many of them died. When they repented, God told Moses to make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole and whoever looked at it, would live. It wasn’t the bronze serpent that brought about healing. It was the people’s faith in God and his provision that brought healing.
John uses this Old Testament story as a metaphor for Jesus’ future crucifixion. Just as those in Moses’ day looked upon the bronze serpent and were healed, those who look in faith to Jesus who was lifted up on a cross to pay our sin debt will be healed of their sins and have eternal life. Just like it wasn’t the actual bronze serpent that brought healing and life, looking upon a crucifix will not save us from our sins. It was the people’s faith in God that healed them of the snake bites and it is our faith in Jesus that gives us eternal life.
Just as those in Moses’ day looked upon the bronze serpent and were healed, those who look in faith to Jesus who was lifted up on a cross to pay our sin debt will be healed of their sins and have eternal life. — click to tweet
This faith in Jesus starts with believing that He is who He said He is – the only begotten Son of God. As such Jesus is fully God. While He lived on earth, He was both 100% God and 100% man. The next step of faith is to realize that Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life while on earth, which makes it possible for Him to pay our sin debt. If He had sinned even once, then we would have no hope of salvation. The next step is to realize our lostness in sin. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” There is not one single person, other than Jesus, who has lived a sinless life. Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages or penalty for our sin is death but that the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. The gift God gave us was allowing His only Son to suffer the torture of being beaten, mocked, scourged, and crucified in our place. Jesus paid our sin debt. The next step of faith is to believe that Jesus did rise from the dead three days later. If Jesus were still in a tomb, then death and the grave is not defeated and there is no eternal life. Today, Jesus is alive and sits at the right hand of God waiting for the day that God tells Him to come to earth again – but this time as a triumphant king. The last step of faith is believing that the blood Jesus shed on the cross will cleanse you from all unrighteousness. There is absolutely nothing you can do to earn salvation. It is only by faith and through God’s gracious gift that salvation is possible. For those who accept these truths by faith and come to Jesus and confess they are a sinner and ask for His forgiveness and ask Him to be the Lord of their life, then that person will have eternal life. Jesus was lifted up for you – will you by faith accept the eternal life He offers you?
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars: This book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel
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Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities.