“AND THEY SANG a new song, saying,

‘Worthy art thou to take the scroll

and to open its seals,

for thou wast slain and by thy blood

didst ransom men for God

from every tribe and tongue and

people and nation’ ”

(Rev. 5:9, RSV).

The redemption of mankind was accomplished by the blood of the Son of God, shed on Calvary’s cross. This is affirmed many times in the New Testament, and the blood sacrifices of the Old Testament pointed toward the death of the Lamb of God, who would take away the sin of the world.

Man’s insistent question, “Why did God have to die for me?,” can be answered only when he understands the nature and depth of sin in the human heart. He must, by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, have some understanding of human depravity before he can appreciate that the cure could be effected only by the death of God’s Son on his behalf.

During forty years of practicing medicine, I repeatedly saw patients who showed, symptoms of great distress but whose sickness could be determined only after X-rays and extensive laboratory tests. To have treated symptoms without seeking out their cause would have made me guilty of quackery, while failure to treat the cause when discovered would have been malpractice.

In the spiritual realm there is an analagous situation. All around, one can see the symptoms of a sick society—that is, the elongated shadow of sin-sick individuals: bitterness, conflicts, crime, broken homes, delinquency (juvenile and adult), trouble and sorrow of every kind. We see a social order sick unto death—and we set up courts of inquiry, commissions, antipoverty programs, and a thousand and one agencies and institutions to treat the symptoms. Even the Church often joins in promoting secular programs while ignoring the one ...

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