OK, now that I’ve sent back my pastor credentials … there is something that I have to get off my chest. Sin doesn’t separate us from Jesus … the law does!! WHEW!!! That wasn’t so bad. That felt good!
Galatians 5:4 (NIV) “You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from GRACE.”
At the cross, His own flesh became sin – not just some sin or part sin – but all sin past, present, and future (2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 2:13-14; Hebrews 9:26-28; Hebrews 10:12-14). In fact, according to Hebrews 10:20, His own body became THE TEMPLE CURTAIN on the cross. Now, with His finished work, we have direct access to a new and living way through His broken body – because of the cleansing blood.
Well, what stood between God and man (or the priest) IN the Most Holy Place of the Temple? The curtain and our sin – and our Jesus became both! Yes, Jesus has become the TWO very things (temple curtain and sin) that stood between mankind and the Father. Why? So now WE as the PRIESTS or believers can have access to Him (1 Peter 2:5-9).
With His finished work on the cross, Jesus dealt with the sin issue ONCE! One time! All of my sin … yesterday, today, and tomorrow was upon His flesh at the cross! Jesus doesn’t jump on and off the cross and in and out of heaven … His work with sin is complete. Yes, He put sin away forever … yes, done away with and remembered no more (Jer 31:34).
Yes, there is a real hell … and despite the position of legalists … it isn’t reserved for those that have seen the horse of biblical grace!
Yet, still … hell is NOT reserved for those who SIN … sin was dealt with ONCE! One time! Simply, hell is reserved for those that have rejected Jesus as Messiah. Their SIN doesn’t damn them, their sin had been PAID for TOO! Unfortunately, what damns them is their personal rejection of the blood that has already COVERED their sin!
The Father doesn’t see your sin … He sees the blood of His Son that COVERS your sin!!!
Again, sin – as a barrier to God and His presence – was dealt with – ONCE! For those in Christ, our sin is dealt with by God as DISOBEDIENCE … corrected the same way a loving parent disciplines a child (Proverbs 3:12, Hebrews 12:6). And, yes we confess our disobedience and short comings so we can grow relationally with Him. Otherwise the continued sin behavior blocks our relationship. Why? When disobedience gets in the way, God has to keep working on our faulty behavior!
Yet, our sin does not stand as a point of SEPARATION or GAP between us and the Father because Jesus became that very separation FOR us – He BECAME what had boldly stood between us!
Do we repent? Yes! But it isn’t to change God, it is to change us! He is unchanging and loves us unconditionally … no questions asked.
Repentance is nothing more than a change of mind (Greek: metanoia). And like the prodigal son, is simply a point of turning away from poor choices. Repentance is getting ourselves and our will aligned with Him and His will. It is simply a restoration of the relationship and a return home to the loving Father!
For many repentance becomes a point of confession saying, “Father, I need to stop doing ABC – I know this part of my life isn’t right and I need to change. Lord, I can’t do this on my own – the ABC or XYZ right now in my life seems so much bigger than you. Jesus, I need your help in getting rid of this ABC or XYZ.”
Your repentance does not cleanse you, bring you forgiveness, or remove the gap between us … the blood did that 2,000 years ago!
How does the law CONTINUE to separate us from GRACE? Anything in the legalized form of YOU … should, ought, better, must, or have to … is LAW! Frankly, these are commands and expectations by and for others! Anything wrapped around traditions, that’s how we do things, or things that I must do to please God and to stay clean … is LAW! Don’t let anything formed by man stand between you and God … YOU are in relationship with His Grace! And, WHO is Grace? Jesus!!!
Galatians 5:4 (NIV)
4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.