Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spiritual Debt: Are you free and clear?

Many have been heard in saying that they would go to church but it is just too much. They don’t really call themselves Christians because they don’t get into all that “stuff.” They just try to live a good life and do what is right. They figure that this should be enough and that God will cut them some slack. They don't see why they need to have Jesus in their lives. Statements like this grieve me to the core. There are some debts that will have to be paid.

Read Ezekiel 18.

God sends a clear message to Ezekiel. If a man turns from his sins and truly repents, then he will be forgiven. From that day forward he is to live the life of a righteous man. If he can do this, his previous sins will be forgotten and he will be judged based on his life beginning from that day. He also makes it clear that a righteous man who sins is in great peril. It is a sign that he has turned from the Lord and he will be judged as a wicked man. He will face the penalty for his sins. That penalty is death.
God has always offered his people the opportunity to turn from their wicked ways and repent. He does not desire to see us suffer in death. He is a God of second chances. The difference for us today is that we have Christ to be our advocate before the Father.
When we turn and repent, we are forgiven. That is a fact. It is also a fact that the standard does not change. God’s laws do not cease to exist. Before Christ, men would provide a sin offering. A burnt offering would be given up to the Lord to cover the sins that were confessed. Their past sins were forgiven, but every thought, word, and deed from that moment forward were still subject to His judgment. People would bring these sin offerings to the temple on a regular basis to purify themselves and have their sins forgiven. What would happen if they died in some way before making the next offering? None of us are truly righteous.

Romans 3:23

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

This sacrifice is no longer required. God has not changed the standard. Not one letter of the law has been changed. What is the difference then? The difference is that Christ became that sacrifice for us. He that knew no sin, bore our sins to the cross. Christ Jesus paid our debt and is an eternal offering. His blood has covered all of our sins past, present, and future. That is the difference.
We are still called to repent. We are still called to turn from sinful ways and follow God’s decrees. What has changed is that we have it better than those who lived before Christ. We are covered in his blood. We, have also been left with the presence of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing that a believer, covered in His blood and filled with His spirit cannot accomplish.
Remember this amazing reality. The world is still filled with obstacles and temptations just waiting to trip you up and weigh you down, yet we have nothing to fear. Our debt has been paid. We are living free and clear. Christ, the redeemer has conquered death and saved the day. Did you hear that in your heart? Death has been conquered. It is destroyed. Those who have faith in Christ cannot be touched by it. True, our bodies will wither and die. What is awesome is knowing that our souls will live on forever in the presence of the Lord.

2 Timothy 1:10

but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

2 Corinthians 5:8

We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Cover yourself in His blood. Live a life filled with the Holy Spirit. God does not delight in our death, but in our redemption. He wants to see us live and live abundantly for Him. Be encouraged. Stay the course. Keep the faith and you will not fail. Our heavenly home awaits.

That sounds like some “stuff” that everyone would want to get into.

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