February 28, 2020
God is perfect in every way. This means He is perfect in His judgments, and will “by no means clear the guilty.” But He is also perfect in His mercy. He longs to forgive and cleanse us from our sins. But there are conditions for this to happen.
AN OLD TESTAMENT ILLUSTRATION
In the Old Testament, prior to the coming of Christ, God led the Israelites to make sacrifices to atone for their sin. It was not the sacrifice itself that accomplished the work. These sacrifices were a symbol representing the future coming of the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. They were looking forward to Christ to forgive them, just as we look backward for the same purpose.
Once a year, the High Priest would offer up a sacrifice that would atone for their sins.
THE CONDITIONS FOR THIS ATONEMENT
Notice what must be present in the lives of those who offered these sacrifices. They must HUMBLE themselves before God, recognizing that only He could save them, and they must TRUST in God to do what only God can do.
An arrogant man would never think he needed such forgiveness and would never come. A man who trusted in himself and his own goodness would never come to God. A humble man, though, would know that unless God would forgive him, no one could. He would be aware of his sins before a holy God. And, he would want this forgiveness and turn in faith to do what God said was necessary.
We are saved now by grace through faith. It is God’s mercy and grace that make it possible. It is our humble recognition of our sin and our faith in Christ to save us that brings forgiveness.
Father, thank You for Your perfect mercy. Thank You for providing a way for us to be forgiven and be right with You from the beginning of time. Help me to humbly recognize and admit my spiritual poverty before You. My sin and my need. And thank You that, as I have trusted in You, You have saved me completely!
March 29, 2023
As a pastor for the last 55 years, I have had the joy of being encouraged and blessed and prayed for by so many people. It is what carries you in your task of shepherding people. As I look back over five decades of ministry, their love has dramatically enriched my life.
But also, a pastor leads. And when anyone leads, there are almost always some who disagree.
March 28, 2023
March 27, 2023