Tuesday, October 2, 2007
It Is Finished!
28Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." 29A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. 30When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
During a discussion the other day I came to the unfortunate realization that far to many who would call themselves Christians do not believe that the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross was enough to cover their sins, that it did not fully pay for their sins and that it needed something else.
What I specifically am talking about is the belief that salvation is something that could be lost at anytime. Believing that every time you sin you fall back into a position of needing your sins to be covered again.
The Bible does talk about confessing and turning from our sins:
1 John 1:5-10
5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
This message is a message of not living a life filled with repetitive daily sin, of not thinking that there is not a need for a changed life or that grace covers us or in this case Abraham to the Jew so that we will not need to have a changed life. These verses are about the importance of confession and repentance not of a loss of salvation.
It is unimaginable for me to think about the daily torment of not knowing if you are going to heaven or not. We would need to be in constant 24/7 confession and repentance never coming from our knees in fear that at that one moment our minds would overcome us and a sinful thought would enter our minds and just at that very moment we fell dead being cast into hell.
This very thing is what tormented Martin Luther to the point of madness until God revealed to him through his Word in the Bible that Christ only needs to pay for your sins once and not time and time again.
And that it is not about our perfection but the perfection that could only come from Christ Himself.
The death he (Jesus) died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.