Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Finality of The Cross P7 (08-23-21)
Love motivated God to Provide All We Need for Life and Godliness
I believe everyone knows they have a need for forgiveness. But what the world is confused or ignorant about is how we can have forgiveness. There is this idea the world has of on-going forgiveness, that when I sin then I need to do something to get that sin removed, whether it would be going to a confessional booth, confessing your sins to a priest, or doing your 1 John 1:9 of going direct to God to get your sins erased, as a means to get cleansed of your sin, or in the case of an Israelite, in the times of the Old Testament, of going back to the day of atonement, sacrificing a bull and a goat. The problem with all of these systems, they are man-made ideas of how man can do something to have right standing before God. Although the animal sacrifice was required by God under an Old Covenant system, it could cover sin but it could never take sins away and only make a man conscious of sin. Man could never be made perfect before God by means of the law. Only God can make man perfect.
Many a person understands he is a sinner, otherwise why would he come up with systems to deal with his sin. However, he needs to realize that the work of taking away the sins of man forever from the eyes of God has been done by the shed blood of Jesus on a cross over 2000 years ago. God is no longer dealing with the issue of sin and forgiveness any more. Man does not need to do anything nor can he to get his sins forgiven. The sins are already forgiven, whether you are lost or saved. With the cause of our death, which is sin, taken out of the away, you are now free to come to Christ to receive what He came to give you. You are dead and in need of life. Forgiveness cannot give you life. Only someone who has eternal life in Himself can give you the life you really need, His life, the ability to communicate with the living God, without fear of punishment or fear of death when you sin, but to experience what life is really about, to experience love, joy, peace, patience and that fruit of the Spirit that only the Spirit can produce in and through you (Galatians 5:22-23).
So the real question is, have you come to Christ to receive Him, His life? If you have, then in that life is the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7). The forgiveness of sins that was provided then on a cross is received in Him (Romans 5:21). In addition to the forgiveness of sins, you have eternal life. You have the Spirit of God living in you, the mind to discern the things of God, the ability to walk in a new way of thinking and living (1 Corinthians 2:16). Indeed, you have been given everything you need for life and godliness because the one who is life is placed in you, the Spirit of God He has given you (2 Peter 1:3).
So instead of trying to seek more of God through all kinds of man-made spiritual practices to be made closer to God, we need to rest in the finality of the cross and of being made complete in Christ. The heart of natural man is restless, full of worries and fears and striving. Cease all your striving. You do not need to impress God, trying to get him to accept you or love you. Only your faith is what pleases God. In Christ, you can cease thinking that God is mad at you or disappointed in you. Get rid of those feelings of being distant from God for He has promised to never leave you or forsake you. That thinking of the old flesh is not based on truth, of who God is, and God is love.
Jesus is God in the flesh, sent from God, who is full of grace and truth. Love is the motivation of God to provide for us what we need, and that while we were yet a sinner, not evening seeking Him, or thinking we even needed to, for no one really seeks God. The Spirit draws us unto Himself. Indeed, it is through His loving kindness that we even come to repentance (Romans 2:3-4), to change our mind about who God is, and what sin and righteousness is (John 16:7-9).
The life of a born again Christian is to rest in Him, to access what He has freely given you. You are not going to get more of the Spirit than you already have. Growth is from the renewal of your mind, to get to know the one who saved you, to realize all that He has freely given you, to learn to trust Him, who has provided everything for you, your sins being taken away and new life given to you as a gift, to walk by faith in all that He has already given you by the Spirit who lives in you, guiding you into all truth so that truth can set you free. Rest in the fact that there is no longer something missing in your life now that the Spirit of God lives in you. Until we are able to rest in what He said is finished, then we will never experience rest.
When thinking about when the forgiveness of sins took place at a cross, ponder over these passages of scriptures: Hebrews 9:16-17, Hebrews 9:22, Hebrews 9:26, Hebrews 10:2, and Hebrews 10:14. What can you conclude about what Jesus provided for us? What is the work that Jesus finished? What did His death on a cross accomplish for us? So if Christ, who said our sins and lawless acts I will remember no more and where these have been forgiven there is no longer any sacrifice for sins, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness, where the shedding of blood is a sacrifice, and He said this is finished, there is no more sacrifice, then we have to conclude that if there was any further forgiveness to be executed on God’s behalf for us, then He would have to come and die again and again. But, He is not going to die again, as these passages also testify. The work of the cross is complete. The only sin ever going to be attributed to man is the sin of unbelief in Jesus. That is the only sin that can be repented of. This is the meaning of the totality of the cross. His death took away the sins of the entire world, requiring no more sacrifice, for the wages of sin is death has been paid in full for us, and so was a necessary preparation, and is what made it possible, for eternal life to be given, once Jesus rose from the dead and ascended back to His Father, as a gift to received by faith.
When thinking about man’s need for the cross, ponder over these passages: Hebrews 10:1-4, Hebrews 7:18-19, Hebrews 10:8-9, and Hebrews 10:10-14. What can you conclude from this? Man’s needs for the cross is because you are dead. When you are dead, what you need is life. That man is lost. If you are lost then you need to be saved. You need salvation. So man is destitute and was destitute, totally incapable of providing those things on His own. Therefore, God in love provided everything for us we could never provide on our own.
As stated earlier, God is love. Knowing man is dead and in need of life, that he is not just in need of forgiveness, but new life, love is what motivated God to do what He did to restore fallen man back to the original design of man in creation, with the Spirit of God living in him. We do not understand this kind of love, that loves someone who is not worthy of love, who sinned against you and who is your enemy. Surely someone might dare to die for a good man, but your enemy? Why would Jesus say while dying on a cross, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do”?
Ponder over those scriptures that demonstrates God’s love for us: John 3:16, 1 John 4:8-9, Romans 5:7-8, 1 John 4:18 and Genesis 3:8. As you read the scriptures concerning the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, we see God reaching out in love to them, providing clothing for them after they sinned in the garden. Then, we see God ever so patient and long-suffering with all the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, under an Old Covenant, under the leadership of Moses, as a tutor to them, and leaving their sins committed beforehand unpunished until He can go to the cross and become sin for them and us. How stiff-necked and rebellious they were, and we are no different. We invent our own systems of sacrifice in defiance of God who said it is finished through Jesus’ shed blood on a cross. It is like we are sewing our own fig leaves as if that will make us presentable to God, yet hiding from God. And we read of a coming day, when the people of Israel will rebuild a temple to resume those old animal sacrifices. What a defiance of the promised Messiah who said to them, “It is finished“. Yet God has fulfilled all that He has promised concerning all of us, Jew and Gentile, to make one new body of the two, making peace to us through the cross and has promised to complete the work He began in us until the day of the redemption of our bodies. He leaves the choice to us, as to whether we will receive all that He has freely provided for us in Christ Jesus, at great cost to Himself, the shed blood of His own Son, so we might have life in His name. What amazing love is this! Who can comprehend it?