Sunday, December 30, 2007
There is so much more to the Gospel, than just the Cross!!
For most of my Christian life I lived believing that the Gospel was about believing that Jesus died on the cross to satisfy God's wrath for sin, so that I could have a way to be in a relationship with God. God being a just God, a holy God, had to have sin punished - so He sent His only son Jesus to live and to die for me, so that I could come to God and be cleared of my sin and have a relationship with Him and one day go to heaven. So to me salvation meant I was saved from my sin so I could now be free from God's wrath and one day I would get to go to heaven. Essentially, that is what I believed and what I thought summed up the Gospel. However, this version of the gospel left me in a confused state as to what do I do in the meantime. I mean it's great that Jesus saved me from going to hell, which was what I thought God's wrath represented, and that I would be with him in heaven for all eternity, but what about now...now what do I do, what does life me for me now??? Well, as you know I have shared what my life was like for many years, trials, confusion, struggles, striving, condemnation.....but no Victory, no peace, you know that deep inner peace that I was supposed to have. Well, thankfully, there is more to the gospel than what I had understood. SOO much more...I won't even be able to really scratch the surface in this post, but I will try. What I didn't understand, in my heart, although I had heard it here and there, was that God's wrath that was satisfied, didn't just mean I was rescued from hell. It means that God poured out all his wrath for all sin on Jesus and it was fully satisfied...allowing Him to forget my sin, and see it no more..it is gone, as far as the east is from the west...and God made a promise, through the prophet Isaiah (see Is. 54) to never be angry with me again! Wow!!! I do not have to fear that I am not in right standing with God anymore! Also, I learned that when Jesus died He became sin for us, so we could become the perfect righteousness of Christ....this is a supernatural exchange....and by Faith I believe it, not that I look like the perfect righteousness to anyone else, but that is how God sees me, and this is true because I, in the spiritual sense died, my spirit that is, with Christ and rose again and now I am a new creation in Christ, I now have the very life of Christ in me.....wow....So I died to sin, myself...and one more thing....the Law...I am not under the curse of the Law, the tutorship of the law in my life is now over....I know have it written on my heart, and I have the gift of righteousness along with the Holy Spirit, my helper and I have and indwelling Christ......I also want to say, the cross is important, but Jesus rose again...ascended to Heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father, He is alive and we can serve a risen Lord.....these are amazing truths that unfortunately get glossed over because as Christians we don't get it....we don't feel righteous, we don't necessarily look righteous so we think we still have a sin problem...yes, we will sin a bit......but if we lay claim to these truths and take them by FAITH and trust that God isn't lying to us, because this is all in His Word...we can then begin to see victory and we can have a peace deep in the very core of our being..because that's where Christ lives and we begin to KNOW it, really KNOW it, not Know about it...but sense it ....I suppose I could go on there is so much more to speak of.....I just want to say also, our feelings aren't the greatest thing to rely on when it comes to believing this, and other people's opinions and wary words do not change the fact that this is true....after all it is clear in the Scripture!!!!