Sinners forgiven

Image source: WikiMedia Commons
Image source: WikiMedia Commons

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Heb. 9:12

The redemption that Christ accomplishes is complete. There is nothing that we can do to add to what he has already done. No amount of fasting, or crying, or punishing yourself can add to the infinite value of our Lord’s saving work. If we think that we must do something to make us worthy of Christ, then we have misunderstood what he came to do. He did not come so that you could make yourself worthy for him. He came to take your unworthiness upon himself so that you could have his worthiness. For us to offer Christ our efforts toward repairing our fallen image is to mock what he has done. It is to question his finished work. Paul does not say that we have a partial redemption through his blood or that we have the forgiveness of most of our sins through Christ and that we have to make up for the rest. No, we have full redemption through his blood and the forgiveness of all our sins. It is because of this that the apostle can confidently say to the Romans, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ” (Rom. 8:1).

Christ is the only one in whom we have such redemption. The only way we can be saved, the only way we can obtain the forgiveness of our sins, is by being connected to the death that Jesus died upon the cross. There is no other way of salvation. If your sins are not forgiven on the basis of what Jesus did on the cross, then they are not forgiven. It is only as we are in him that we can be saved.

How then do we become connected to Christ? How is it that we come to be in him? Our Lord himself tells us in John 6:35, in response to those who asked him to give them the bread that comes down from heaven (see Jn. 6:32-34): “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” The way to be connected to our Lord the bread of life is to believe in him. Or, as the apostle Paul puts it so thoroughly in his epistle to the Romans, we are justified by faith. This of course means more than mere intellectual assent that he is Lord and Savior. The demons believe that. True faith (that which is the gift of God, Eph. 2:8) involves not only mental assent but also the trust of the will and the affection of the heart. It means that we understand our need of him, that we are sinners and that we cannot save ourselves. It means that we understand the depth of our need and that Christ is the only one who can save us. It means that we willingly place ourselves under his command, recognizing him as Lord as well as Savior. It means that we trust in him and follow him. Those who do so are given eternal life; they are saved. It is not about bringing anything to the table. It is about receiving what Christ has accomplished already on the cross. It is about resting in him and in his work, not in our own. According to the Scripture, those who do so are saved, once and for all, finally and completely. Praise God for the riches of his grace in Christ!

By: Jeremiah Bass