May 15, 2017, 10:35 AM
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west so far has he removed our transgressions (sins) from us.” (Psalm 103:11-12)
Have you observed that our adversary, Satan, every now and then would go and dig deep into your past, from way back when, some wrongdoing, failure or disobedience that you have effortlessly forgotten and flash it right before your eyes to remind you of them? That is his way of saying that your righteousness does not match up to God’s standards; that you are putting up a show or that your righteousness is just a front or smoke-screen. He will go as far as to whisper in your ears that you are unworthy, you do not qualify. Well, how would you react? Do you start confessing your sins all over again or do you allow Satan’s tricks to dampen your resolve to put your past behind you and reach out for God?
Do not listen to his accusations. Just cast them aside by declaring that you have been forgiven and not only that, but that your errors of the past, present and future have been forgiven and erased by a gracious and merciful God. Tell him to the face that now you are a new creation, made brand new. You see, when you break ranks with the devil you get into his bad books and he is the least happy for losing a member of his camp. He takes pleasure therefore in tormenting and mentally torturing you with your past deeds and failures.
You may brush it away but he may come at you again. Do not take it lightly, quote Scripture to him; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Satan is “the accuser of the brethren,” so if you were in his camp before, he thinks you must belong there forever. Thank God for our Saviour Jesus who came to snatch us from the hands of the evil one! “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10) Another quote; God said: “Their sins and lawless acts, I will remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:17) We are bound by a new covenant known as the covenant of grace. None of what God has done on our behalf is earned, merited or deserved. God has simply shown us mercy through the shed blood of his Son, Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Our righteousness is therefore not a function of what we do, have done or have not done. It is a gift that God has given to those who believe in the finished work of his Son, Jesus.
God knows how wayward we have been; how we think evil, speak evil and do evil all the time and how our thoughts are wicked. There is no one who does good - not even one! As a result, no one can claim to be righteous in his sight; so this righteousness he has clothed us with, is the righteousness of his Son, Jesus Christ; “Who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
The bottom line is that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) “We are justified freely by grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Hebrews 3:24) Simply put, we cannot save ourselves because all our good works are like ‘filthy rags’ ridden with sin. God, in his incomparable and infinite mercy, decided to take us back from the hands of Satan by killing his Son on the cross. He wants to bring us back to where we belong. For example, if during hard times you pawn some valuable property and find out you cannot redeem it after all, a wealthy relative can come and pay back the sum required so you can retrieve it. This is our story. Jesus stepped in to pay for our sins because we are unable to do so ourselves.
In buying us back, God had to punish his Son - literally put the world’s sin on him because the wages of sin is death. Jesus died in our place; so we do not have to die a second time for them. He was the perfect sacrifice; “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22)
God had to put his Son through a lot of suffering that we may be set free. What great relief! David summed it up thus: “Blessed are those whose transgressions (sins) are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” (Psalm 32: 1-2) ‘Blessed’ here means happy. Aren’t we happy for what God has done for humanity? The blood of bulls and goats cannot achieve this status for believers; the blood of Isaac neither. Blood cleanses; “... and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22b) “In him we have redemption (forgiveness) through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:17)
We cannot then be going about doing ‘business as usual.’ Emphatically no! Christ died that we might be saved from eternal damnation. You and I do not have to raise a finger, for it has already been done on our behalf. Saved! Not by our works (good deeds), so that nobody should boast. (Ephesians 2:9 ) Take a sigh of relief!
Receive your forgiveness and pardon in his name! The man Adam brought sin into this world, the man Jesus Christ through his obedience has made us righteous. (Romans 5:19)
Say ‘I’m covered by the blood of Jesus.’ Everything has been taken care of! Hallelujah!