"The Lamb of God" is the central theme of the Bible. John the Baptist said of Jesus, "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29) In the book of Revelation the Lamb of God appears 26 times. Rev. 5:9 says, "You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation." Rev. 5:12 says, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength, and honor and glory and blessing!" Rev. 13:6 says, the names of the saved are written in the Book of Life of "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." This is the topic of our study today.
1) Is it true that the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world because He was crucified to pay for our sins?
Answer: Yes, that is the Bible teaching. Jesus was crucified to save us from sin and death. As the Source of all Life, it was not possible for Christ to die. So He took human nature, in order to taste of death for every man. Hebrews 2:9,14 says, "We see Jesus, . . . for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. . . Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil."
2) Here it says that the devil had the power of death. I have thought that God has power to give and to take life. In what way does the devil have the power of death?
Answer: Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Satan is the author of sin and its wages, which is death. As Jesus took human nature, "He was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." Heb. 4:15. So Jesus gave a sinless body to be our sin offering. Before His birth, the angel said to Joseph regarding Mary, "She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins." Matt. 1:21. When Christ died on the cross, He received the wages of our sins, which is the second death, so we need not suffer it again. Thus Christ broke the power of the devil to destroy us. But all people except the translated ones of the last generation must still die the first death, after which they will rise again. Jesus said, "Do not marvel at this: for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves will hear His voice, and come forth---those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation." John 5:28,29. All who rise at the resurrection of life will not die again, but all who rise at the resurrection of condemnation will die the second death. Rev. 20:15 says, "Anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."
For this reason Christ called the first death a sleep, because all who die the first death are to wake up again.
3) Some have argued that it is not fair that we should die for Adam's sin. We are not responsible for his act, why should we suffer the consequences of his wrong?
Answer: Responsibility and consequence are two different things. Deut. 24:16 says, "Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin." This has to do with responsibility. But there are cases of one man bringing calamity on many people, which is a matter of consequence. For instance, parents who indulge in tobacco, wine and drugs bring ill health to their children, who are not responsible for it. In the same way our progenitor Adam sinned and brought universal calamity to his descendants, passing on a depraved human nature to us all, so that we are born selfish and inclined to sin. Romans 5:12 says, "Therefore just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned." That is a great tragedy, and if there is no way out, we can but wait for the end in despair. But the good news is that "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" Rev. 13:8. has opened a way of escape. Romans 5:18,19 says, "Therefore, as through one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous."
4) Am I correct in understanding that the twice-mentioned "one man" refers to Adam and Christ?
Answer: Yes. But note that the "many were made sinners" is unconditional, while "many will be made righteous" is conditional. Let me illustrate. We may liken Adam and Jesus Christ to two boat captains. Adam caused his boat to capsize, so we are all floundering on a sea of misery. Everybody is struggling in vain, unable to save himself, being unconditionally doomed to die, because after Adam sinned, all humanity became corrupt. We are born inclined to sin and at enmity with God. Now Christ comes with His boat of salvation. All who want to depart from sin and death must get on this boat. This is the condition of salvation. Hence we say, our plight in the sea of misery is unconditional; our salvation on Christ's boat is conditional. When the first boat capsized, its occupants had reason to blame Adam for causing all of them to be wrecked, but now that Christ has come with the boat of salvation, whoever refuses to board it and is lost, can no longer blame Adam, but has only himself to blame for rejecting the way of escape..
5) Now since we are born with sinful natures, does our nature undergo any change after we accept Christ?
Answer: Yes. Christ says, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. . . . That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again." John 3:3.-7 It is a radical change. 2 Cor. 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away,; behold, all things have become new."
But if a newborn child is not nourished, it will die. 1 Peter 2:2 says, "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby. The "pure milk of the word" is the Bible, which can radically change our human nature.
So the changing of our corrupt natures is conditional on our feeding on the Bible for nourishment to build the new nature.
6) What do we need to do in order to be born again and become new creatures?
Answer: To effect a spiritual change within us, we need to keep our eyes on Christ. John 1:29 says, "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" In John 12:32 Christ says, "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." In Isa. 45:22 He says, "Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other." Through Bible study we need constantly to look to Christ, who appears to us in the Scriptures.
7) Where i