In my sermon this past week I shared some notes that I had written during my study time on the atonement and grace of God. I've had a few people ask for copies of this, so thought I would share them with you all.
Satan loves to spiritualize guilt & condemnation – all other religions are based on this concept that we must atone for our sins through acts of penitence or karma or the repression of our desire…in my world religions class over & over as I read my student’s final papers they realized that it is this truth of grace – this truth of God’s love & Jesus’ sacrifice FOR us that sets our faith apart…It is this grace that brings life, joy, and true freedom.
AND YET, how many Christians have accepted the thought of Christ as their Lord & Savior yet don’t really live in His grace & love. They feel that they deserve punishment or they fixate on their past sins almost looking over their shoulder for the retribution that they feel they deserve. Or they limit their future – the plans that God places in their hearts all because they can’t fathom Him using them in their fallen state. When in fact, we are all fallen – we are all tainted – we have all sinned & we must all face the guilt that accompanies it.
But God says, STOP living with your guilt & receive my Son’s atonement His Grace for your sins. For you to say that you receive it but not live in it is literally to minimize what He has done for you. It is like your parents giving you a gift – a car - & you receive it…you are genuinely thankful for the gift but you never do anything with it. You never try to drive the car. It would sadden their hearts because they did not give you the gift for you to store it in the garage but they gave you the gift so that you could go somewhere – so that you could live your life & be productive! How much more does God say – here is the gift of my Son – it cost us everything & we are happy that you took the gift of His life, but you aren’t getting the purpose of our gift when you refuse to walk in His atonement. When you refuse to walk in joy and freedom & life it is as if you send the message that the gift isn’t enough…that the gift has no value in your life…but the gift was the LIFE of MY SON – it has more value than you realize…but you don’t know the power of a car until you drive it and you can’t know the power of walking in CHRIST & receiving His grace until you choose to walk in it.