Jesus said: Your sins are forgiven….Go in peace….I do not condemn you….Go now and leave your life of sin. (Luke 7:48,50; John 8:11)
Even solid Christians sometimes lack assurance of salvation. Martin Luther, John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, and C. S. Lewis struggled with doubts. True believers can worry and wonder if God is really reconciled to us. The Lord told us, “Rejoice that your names are written in Heaven,”1 but we can still feel unloved, unforgiven, rejected, and condemned sometimes. Christians can feel this way when we repeatedly stumble and fall in following Jesus. We feel we’ve exhausted God’s patience with our sinful thoughts, words, and deeds. We know that we’ve done wrong and neglected Christ-like living and the Holy Spirit convicts us.
Dr. Sam Storms suggests that Christians often do not live with overflowing joy, peace, and satisfaction in our relationship with the Lord because we don’t really believe what God Himself says He has done with our sins. We focus on our failings, instead of gratefully focusing on what Jesus has done with our failings. So we need to keep on repenting and running back to Christ all our life. Putting all our hope, confidence, and dependence on God’s Son who lived the life we should have lived, who died the death we deserve, and who rose from the grave for our justification. God has fully and finally dealt with our sin in Christ. Hallelujah!
Dear reader, if you do not yet trust and follow Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then ask Christ to save you. The truths below should comfort and encourage Christians and convince non-Christians to keep coming to the Lord for deliverance and abundant life and to lead us in His paths of righteousness.
Here are some (not all) the ways Christ Deals with Our Sins Completely, if we are His disciples. I number them for ease of discussion.
1. God Lays Our Sins on Christ, His Son.
Scripture: Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 52:13–53:12 is the fourth and longest of Isaiah’s four Servant Songs. It is frequently quoted in the New Testament and is referred to as the “Gospel of Isaiah.” The Old Testament priest laid his hands on the scapegoat and symbolically transferred Israel’s sins onto it to be taken out of sight.2 Likewise, God the Father transferred His people’s sin onto Jesus His Righteous Son and gave Jesus the punishment we deserved.
We sing with Isaac Watts: Alas, and did my Savior bleed, and did my Sovereign die? Would He devote His sacred head for such a worm as I? Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! Grace unknown! And love beyond degree!
In 2006, Warren Buffet, the world’s second-richest man at the time, announced that he would donate 85 percent of his $44 billion fortune to charitable foundations. Buffet said: “There is more than one way to get to heaven, but this is a great way.” Buffet is wrong. Christ’s atonement is the only way to peace with God and healing for our souls. The Lord says, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”3
God lays our wrongs on Christ, His Son, and says to all His followers: Take heart; don’t be afraid; your sins are forgiven. The penalty is paid, your guilt is removed, and you are declared to be in right standing with God.4 Since Jesus has settled the biggest and baddest issue (our sin problem) and reconciled us to His Father, we can trust Him to take care of all the other problems that plague us. Praise Him!
2. Christ Takes Our Sins Away.
Scripture: John 1:29 Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
The Greek word for Lamb here is amnos, a word for sacrifice. Christ is called the Lamb twenty times in the Book of Revelation. Back in the first century, John was speaking to a mostly Jewish audience who had been prepared by God with this idea of a sacrificial lamb. Jesus was sinless and perfectly qualified to be the perfect substitute so that men, women, girls, and boys who trust Him don’t have to die the second death in Hell, but instead are pardoned and purified by God.
We sing: There is a green hill far away, outside a city wall, Where our dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all. There was no other good enough, to pay the price of sin; Christ Jesus only could unlock the gate of Heaven and let us in.5
Pastor Jack Miller said: Cheer up; on your own you are worse off than you think you are. But connected to Jesus (trusting Him), you’re far more loved than you could ever imagine. You are loved with God’s everlasting love, that’s what the Bible says, and underneath you are Christ’s everlasting arms.6 Wonderful news for all Christ’s followers!
God gets rid of our guilt and sin’s penalty when He justifies us. And Jesus removes sin’s power when He regenerates and sanctifies us. And the Lord will take us away from sin’s presence altogether when He comes to rescue us on the last day. Jesus’ Second Coming is mentioned on average once every 25 verses in the New Testament.7 Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again!
Another hymn says: Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me; Buried, He carried my sins far away; Rising, He justified freely forever. One day He’s coming—O glorious day!8
Scripture says, “When Jesus appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. All who have this hope in Christ purify themselves (by the Holy Spirit’s power), just as Jesus is pure.”9
Prayer: Father, help us to love and practice holiness because you are holy, and Christ is our holiness, and the God the Holy Spirit lives in us. Help us to turn from all that is wrong out of grateful love for you. Enable us to follow Jesus in righteousness, peace, and joy. Help us not to settle for half-hearted discipleship. Help us to cling to you and stay close to you, because your powerful arm supports us. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
To be continued.
Notes (various translations used): 1 Luke 10:20. 2 Lev 16:20–22. 3 Prov 28:13. 4 Matt 9:2. 5 Part of hymn by C. Frances Alexander (1818-1895). 6 Jer 31:3; Deut 33:27. 7 Per Leon L. Morris. 8 From the hymn: “One Day When Heaven Was Filled with His Praises” by John W. Chapman (1859-1918). 9 1 John 3:2-3.