Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It’s Empty. So?

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)

Sunday morning’s sermon was about Jesus’ trial before Pilate and the evening’s on His carrying His cross (and we carrying ours.) We haven’t reached the point in Pastor’s series of the crucifixion, but we will. We will be reminded, as we should each Sunday, that Christ endured the cross and is (not will be) set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For this remembrance, the tiny cross I wear on my necklace is empty.

What sins I commit now are not added to a savior who remains on a cross. The sins I commit now were upon Him then, for John told of His purpose:

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29 KJV)

So, the whole world is sin free? Nope. Once again I’m reminded that a single verse does not give you all the counsel of God (Acts 20:27) and it’s necessary to study to see if these things were so (Acts 17:11).

That’s why studying Paul’s writings to the Romans are so important in understanding why it takes an effort on our part to keep from sinfulness after we have accepted Christ as our savior. That acceptance frees us from the eternal consequences of our sin (but not from earthly consequences), but not give us permission to do so:

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. (Romans 6:15 KJV)

Paul was inspired to write information before this verse – and continued in that line of reasoning for quite some time. It is a valuable study regarding sin in our lives. I find this to be true in my life, and I expect it is true for all:

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (Romans 7:18-19 KJV)

The simple fact that Jesus died for my sins – His grace clears all of them – does not give me cause to commit more. Yet, I do. The best example I can give of my failure is based on Jesus’ “new” commandment:

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:35 KJV)

Isn’t that one of the hardest? To love the ones we deem “unlovable”, though He loved – and died – for them? I think – no scripture to back it up, but I do think – that when we reach the point of praying for and witnessing to the most unlovable, we will be known by others as His disciples.

With God’s mercy and His grace, we can make that so.

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