Tuesday, December 7, 2010
MEASURING THE ATONEMENT
For there is no distinction: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified by his grace as a gift. Romans 3:22b-24a
People who consider themselves 'good' believe on some level that they don't need as much grace to be saved. Do they need the cross? Yes, but not as much of it as the most degenerate of society. It's as if they measure out the blood of the atonement and believe that they only need five percent or twenty percent to be forgiven.
As Christians, it's easy to still practice a horizontal kind of comparison with others. We can look at someone else's sin and say to God, "But I didn't do that!" The pride of not seeing ourselves as sinners continues.
The truth is this: I need the same amount of atonement for my sin as the man accused of triple homicide on death row. We are both completely lost without Christ; both in need of His complete work on Calvary to be justified. Until I see myself as having completely missed the mark of God's glory, in the company of every other sinner on this earth, I do not really know and understand the Gospel.
The spirit of revenge and bitterness holds God's family in bondage. So few follow Jesus in the lifestyle of forgiveness. One of the reasons I can hold onto the pain of offenses is because I haven't received the radical forgiveness Christ offers to me. If I think I only needed a small amount of the blood Jesus shed in order to be saved, then I will offer others stingy amounts of forgiveness to others. I can't give away what I haven't first received. I consider the words of Jesus about the woman who washed His feet with her tears. "She loved much because she was forgiven much."
All have sinned. All are completely lost and condemned. Jesus blood flowed, all of it, for me. Until I see myself as lost, I will not dance for the joy of being found. A hopeless repentant makes a deliriously happy convert.
I am a beggar showing other beggars where to find bread. I am a justified sinner showing other sinners where to find forgiveness. Oh God, don't let me forget these truths. Amen
by Christine Wyrtzen
Labels: GOD SPEAKS