by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
I. THIS REMISSION OF SIN IS TO BE FOUND AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS.
There is forgiveness to be had through Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed. We owe to God a debt of punishment for our sin. If the law was right, the penalty ought to be applied. If the penalty was too severe, and the law inaccurate, then God made a mistake. But it is blasphemy to suppose that. Then, since the law of God is a righteous law, and the penalty is fair and right, will God do anything unfair? Really, it will be an unjust and unfair thing for him not to carry out the penalty. Do you want him to be unjust or unfair? He had declared that the soul that sinned should die; so would you want God to be a liar? Should he eat his words to save his creatures? The Bible says, "Let God be true, and every man a liar."
The law's sentence must be carried out. It was inevitable that if God is Holy, he must punish the sins that men have committed. Then how was he going to save us? Take a look at the plan! His dear Son, the Lord of glory, takes upon himself human nature, stands in our place, and when the sentence of justice has been proclaimed, the Son of God says to the Father, "Strike me, and let my people go." He was punished for sins he didn’t commit and his blood was shed. His blood wasn’t only the blood of a man; it was the blood of the eternal Son of God, who was able to offer up himself without spot unto God, in a way which gave infinite value to his sufferings. He was able to offer atonement to God of infinite, boundless, inconceivable value. There’s no way we can tell how much He suffered. But I am sure of this: I wouldn’t underestimate his physical sufferings--the tortures he endured in his body--but I am equally sure that we can’t exaggerate or over-value the sufferings that He went through. They are beyond all understanding. "Yet it pleased the Father to bruise him..."
Now, as a result, God is able to forgive sin. He has punished Christ for the sin of all people, for all time. It is justice, as well as mercy, that God should blot out those debts which have been paid. It would be unjust on the part of our heavenly Father, for Him to charge me with a single sin which was charged to my Substitute. If my Savior took my sin, he released me, and I am clear. Who will charge me with any crime against God or man when Christ has had all my crimes laid to his charge, answered for them, and made amends for them.
It’s a great consolation contained in the words of Paul: "Without shedding of blood there is no remission." But where there is the blood-shedding, there is remission. All who come to Christ are saved, so they can say from the heart: -- my sin is gone.
The last thing I want to say is this. Martin Luther used to say that every sermon should have the doctrine of salvation by faith alone. I agree, but it should also have the doctrine of atonement in it. God said, "The blood is the life thereof." "When I see the blood, I will pass over you." Christ giving up his life by pouring out his blood brings pardon and peace to everyone. Those that believe in him, are pardoned now, completely pardoned, and pardon for ever.
Look away from all the other ways that men say will give you forgiveness, and rely upon the sufferings and the death of the Son of God, who has gone into the heavens, and who lives today to plead before his Father's throne, the value of the blood which, on Calvary, he poured out for sinners. Let us all hope that all of us will meet on that great day when Christ comes in all His glory, the King, and Lord of all. I pray to God that when I meet you there, you will be covered in the one atonement, clothed in the one righteousness, and accepted in the one Savior, and then together we will sing, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain and hath redeemed us to God by his blood to receive honor, and power, and dominion for ever and ever." Amen.
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