Thursday, February 16, 2006

What can wash away our sins?

Man, thank God for Jesus. What a complete mess we're in, what a horrendous eternity we face without him. Romans 3:10 tells us that no one is righteous, not even one. No matter how good we think we are, how close to the Lord we feel, none of us is righteous. None of us meet the standard that God demands for us to enter into communion with Him. Jesus talks of Hell as a place where 'the worm does not die, and the fire does not go out.' In his famous sermon 'Sinners in the hands of an angry God', Jonathan Edwards puts it like this:

'God holds you over the pit of Hell, much as one holds a spider...abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked. His wrath towards you burns like the fire, He thinks you worthy of nothing else but that to be cast into the fire, He is of purer eyes than to bear have you in His sight, you are ten thousand times more abominable in His eyes than the vilest serpent is in ours. Nothing else but His hand stops you falling into the fire this very moment. There is no reason other than the very great mercy of God that stopped you falling into Hell since you closed your eyes so sleep last night, since you awoke this hang by a slender thread, flames flashing around you, ready every moment to singe and burn, and yet you have no interest in a mediator'

Heavy stuff. True stuff. As difficult as it is to read and hear and accept, we must accept that this is the truth of our position before God. But, and it's possibly the biggest but there could be, but because of God's love, mercy and passion for His own glory, there is a mediator. There is a way we can be rescued from this unimaginably horrible eternity. Jesus Christ. His blood that washes away our sins, that sets us free, that fulfills the law, that lets us enter into a relationship with the Father. Faith in Jesus is the only way out of this mess we have got ourselves into. In years to come people may well be arrested for saying that, but it doesn't make it any less true. Thats what the cross achieved, thats the power of the cross. That Jesus has overcome our sin, and washed us clean. That no longer do we live under the judgement of the law, but under the freedom of grace. The grace that brings us joy, that makes us deeply happy in our hearts. And this is the reason for our joy. That Jesus died and rose again that we might be rescued from this horror. And this is our motivation for evangelism. That people we know and love will soon fall under this judgement. That two of my housemates are walking across Hell's firey pit right this second on a rotten covering.

Praise Jesus for what He achieved on the cross. Thank the Father that His love for us, and concern for the glory of His name was so great that He sent Jesus to die in our place. That sort of response, when faced with this truth, is the only appropriate one.

Sinners in the hands of an angry God
The works of Jonathan Edwards

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