Thursday, April 26, 2007


i don't know what it was like for you. I remember sitting at the end of my bed, in my attic room at my parents, with a copy of 'the shock of your life' next to me. I remember thinking that i was a sinner, and God was Holy, and that was a real problem. A serious problem. A problem that would see me end up in hell. That wasn't a risk i was willing to take on the off chance that the Gospel wasn't true. Too big a chance.

I do remember being so so thankful that Jesus had died in my place. That Christ, the blameless Holy Lamb of God had died to take away the sin of the world. I remember being so glad that Jesus had died in my place, that He had taken the punishment i deserved. I remember that giving me tremendous peace and happiness. I didn't know that the cross was as much about the glory of God and my eternal enjoyment of Him as it was the forgiveness of my sins, but i knew enough.

It certainly never occured to me that this doctrine would come under attack. Like Cat, i was more than surprised the first time i heard of someone attacking the teaching that Jesus had been punished in my place. I wasn't repulsed by this teaching, i didn't consider it to be barbaric. I thought it was wonderful. Totally wonderful. It meant i could live forever, it meant i could live now, it meant i could pray right there and then and know that the Father, my Father, could hear me. It was great.

1 John 2:2 is simply great news. Great News. No other Bible teaching beats it. It is, as i've said, the very heart of the Gospel. It's not all that took place on the cross, but i would say it was the most important thing that happened at the cross. I really believe that. In 1 John the apostle is knocking down gnostic arguments that some people don't sin. That some people were sinless within the church that John was writing to. John wants his readers to know that if and, more to the point, when, they do sin, all is not lost. They have an advocate before the Father. There is someone there. Jesus Christ the righteous. John could not be clearer. He says 'He is the propitiation for our sins'. John's argument seems to be: ' we all sin, this is bad. Jesus is the propitiation for our sins'. I think thats why he goes there when he does. Thats why he uses the word propitiation.

John puts that forward as our only hope. None of us our sinless. If we say we are, then we make Christ to be a liar. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All of us. What does John present as God's answer? What does he want his 'little children' to know about? The propitiatory death of Jesus Christ on the cross. That's the only answer.

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