by pastor david
1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Are you aware that the human mind was never created nor intended to deal with guilt? Yet, guilt is a fundamental problem of mankind and, without a remedy, guilt will ultimately destroy one’s mental and moral wellbeing. This is true of the non-Christian and the Christian alike.
The central message of the Bible concerns God’s Grace for our Guilt. This is the reason God sent His Son into the world to die on Calvary’s Cross. This is why our Church is busy preaching the gospel and witnessing to the lost.
Yes, God provides His amazing grace for our guilt. The classic definition of “grace” is “God’s unmerited favor”. Through God’s marvelous grace, sinners are delivered from their sins and brought into a saving relationship with a holy God by the work of Christ on their behalf - completely free of charge.
However, God is not just the “author”, but also the “finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). He not only saves us, He also sustains us. Based on Philippians 2:13, someone has defined grace as, “the desire and the power to do God’s will”. (Philippians 2:13 NLT) “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him”.
Perhaps one of the most succinct statements concerning the remedy for guilt can be found in our text. Here is a crucial factor we must discover about God’s Grace for our Guilt.
The Divine Provision Has Been Made.
(1:7) “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us…”
Such is the radical problem of guilt that it necessitated the sacrifice of God’s only Son, in order to provide an adequate antidote.
(Heb. 9:22b) “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission (no forgiveness or cleansing for sin).
The shedding of Christ’s precious blood means that…
The word “vicarious” simply means “representative”. Paul tells us that the essential message of the Gospel is that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures”. (1 Corinthians 15:3)
Provision was made for a divine exchange.
•My unrighteousness for His righteousness
•My rags for His robe
•My sinfulness for His holiness
•My guilt for His grace
This is the wonder and the mystery of the Gospel. As the hymn says,
“Because my sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
And God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me”[i]
Although the death of Christ on the Cross was a single event in history, its effect is eternal. It “cleanses” – “goes on cleansing”. Now, in the power of that endless life, the Lord Jesus goes on cleansing all who have received Him by simple faith! In every true believer, Jesus Christ lives in all His sanctifying grace and glory. As a result, there is a constant cleansing – not only from the guilt of sin but also from the grip of sin.
The Psalmist, David wrote, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” (Psalm 32:1)
How wonderful to know that “the blood of Jesus Christ (God’s) Son cleanses us from ALL sin.” (1:7) It does not matter what your sin is or how many, God’s grace can deal both with the guilt of sin and with the grip of sin in your life.
In the words of the old hymn, “Oh For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”,
“He breaks the power of cancelled sin
And sets the prisoner free”.[ii]
Christ not only died as our Sin-Bearer, He now lives as our Advocate, and as such, He pleads the merits of His own finished work before the Father.
(1 John 2:1-2) “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation (covering) for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world”
On the Island of Trinidad, there is a crater in an extinct volcano that is completely filled with pitch. This asphalt is hard enough to walk on, even though, here and there, gas escapes in bubbles from its surface. For over 100 years, men have been digging great chunks from this tar-like lake and loading train cars full of it to pave the roads of the world. It is said, however, that no matter how large a hole is made in this Pitch Lake, no cavity will remain after 72 hours, for it immediately fills up from down below.
Such is the grace of God. No matter how great the sin, it cannot exhaust God’s grace nor extinguish God’s love. His grace is sufficient for all our sin – past sins, present sins, and future sins. Amen!?
[i]Keith Getty | Stuart Townend © 2001 Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Used by permission: CCLI #11177648
[ii]Oh For a Thousand Tongues to Sing, John Wesley and James Ward, Public Domain
“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”
It has been my privilege to be engaged in full-time, vocational ministry since 1975. After I served for eight years in Youth Ministry, my Pastor and mentor sensed the call of God to start a new church in Phoenix, Arizona. So on January 1, 1983, at the age of 31, I began to serve as the Senior Pastor of my home church – the church in which I grew up.
Being new to the role of Senior Pastor, I realized I needed to develop a Biblical Philosophy of Ministry that would stand the test of time and the challenges that a changing culture would most naturally bring. Consequently, I spent a great deal of time searching the Scriptures, discovering exactly what a Church ought to be and what a Pastor ought to be and do.
The result of my studies was a multi-page document, which has served as a guideline for my ministry all these years. It begins as follows:
“The expectations held by a congregation of its Pastor are often rather obscure and vary from member to member and from Church to Church. Therefore, I have undertaken the task of outlining the Scriptural goals and principles upon which I intend to serve this great Church.”
What followed was a list of thirteen principles that serve as a roadmap for ministry. Here is the first.
1. I will seek in my entire ministry to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and to promote loyalty to Him before seeking loyalty for Church, Denomination, or self (Colossians 1:18).
As I read that again, after all these years, I must ask myself, “Is this still true of me? Am I still seeking to exalt Christ in all my ministry and that above everything else? Is Christ still preeminent in ‘all things’?”
I am reminded of Matthew 6:33, where Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”. Am I seeking His kingdom or mine? Am I trying to build His kingdom or my kingdom?
The Greek word translated “preeminence” in Colossians 1:18 is, “prōteuōn”, which means, “holding the first place”.
It was the great missionary to China, Hudson Taylor, who said, “Christ is either Lord of all, or is not Lord at all”.
I hope you will do as I have been doing today and search your heart. Is there anything outside of the Lordship of Christ and His Kingdom? Is Christ preeminent in all your life? Do you love Him supremely? Are you loyal to Him and Him alone? If the answer to these questions is yes, then rejoice and give God the glory for the opportunity you have to surrender to Him.
Pastor David Boggs
I hope these occasional posts will encourage and challenge you as we grow in Christ together.
All Bible Christmas Church Membership Discipleship Doctrine Faith Forgiveness Hope Identity Isolated Jesus Life Local Church Love Lust Prayer Purity Repentance Revival Salvation Sin Sovereignty Spiritual Growth Stress Surrender Tolerance Trials Worry Worship