Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"Burned To Oblivion"

The "deleted items" email file that I assume we all have on our email programs seems to me to be contradictory. Unless itself emptied, the files are all there, and are just as available as they were before we hit the delete button. Also, my understanding is that even if you empty the deleted repository, the files still exist somewhere in our computers and can be accessed by those with the knowledge and skill to recover them.

This reminds me of the temptation we have to disbelieve the extent of our Heavenly Father's forgiveness, as provided in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because we do sometimes experience lingering consequences resulting from waywardness, we may feel as if Divine disapproval and even rejection linger also. This is not true, and in fact, any disapproval and rejection on God's part regarding our sins is directed toward them, and not toward we ourselves. Our salvation in the Lord Jesus is so wonderfully redemptive that God will not even place our sins on our account, having imputed them all to our Savior when He died on the cross.

"Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord will not impute sin" (Romans 4:8).

In the lives of born again believers, God deals with sin not as a punitive judge, but as a loving and true Father. He chastens as necessary, and such corrective measures can be severe if we do not respond to the Holy Spirit's reproof and correction. Of wandering believers, the writer of Hebrews declared that "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). Indeed, our Father loves us enough to hurt us if necessary, and no Christian who rightly knows and interprets his Bible can take the possibility of loving chastening lightly. "Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth" (Hebrews 12:6).

Nevertheless, such correction is not punitive, and in no way affects the full acceptance of our person as justified in the Lord Jesus. We are "accepted in the Beloved," and all punitive measures of wrath and rejection were meted out against our Savior in the fires and darkness of Calvary (Ephesians 1:6; I Peter 2:24). There, in His untold sorrow, agony, loneliness, and death, the Lord Jesus became the repository of our sins to the degree that "He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin" (II Corinthians 5:21). In the sight of our Heavenly Father, such redemption was so perfect in measure and mode that all who enter into Christ by faith are "made the righteousness of God in Him." The Lord Jesus is "made unto us righteousness," and our Father forevermore views our personhood in terms not of sinner, but of saint (I Corinthians 1:30).

We must join Him in such a high view of the atoning work of His beloved Son, and our beloved Savior. Love, worship, appreciation, gratitude, and devotion will grow in us as we do, and our expression will become far more reflective of our essence. "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25). There is no deleted items file concerning our sins in the heart and mind of God. No, they were rather burned to oblivion in the wrath poured out on the sin of Calvary. Let us bow in worship as we remember that it was our Lord Himself who was made to be that sin, and that in direct proportion to such horror, we are now and forevermore "the righteousness of God in Him."

"Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."
(Hebrews 10:17)

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