The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(pardon the French in today's title. I love the phrase "raison d'etre." It means "the issue" or "the reason" and it perfectly expresses the theme of today's message)
"The Raison D'etre"
"A righteous God cannot simply forgive sin based solely on desire or inclination. He must remain true to Himself as He pardons iniquity."
The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ exists as the only spiritual or religious proposal that makes a viable offer of forgiveness to guilty human beings.
"God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:32).
"For Christ's sake." As much as He loves to forgive - "He delighteth in mercy" - a righteous God cannot simply forgive sin based solely on desire or inclination (Micah 7:18). He must remain true to Himself as He pardons iniquity, "that He might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:26). This our Heavenly Father does by pardoning sin through the Person and work of the Lord Jesus on His behalf, and our behalf. The Apostles Peter and Paul unite to reveal the solemn nature of the substitutionary, atoning work of Christ:
"Christ… bore our sins in His own body on the tree: (I Peter 2:21; 24).
"He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).
Through the mystery of our sins borne by the Lord Jesus on the cross, and the greater mystery of His being made to be sin for us, a holy God made a way to forgive our iniquities through the redeeming Person and work of His Son . God does not overlook or ignore iniquity as He bestows pardon on those who believe this, the purest essence of the Gospel. He rather accounts a debt fully paid, again, not by mere inclination on His part, but by the atoning work of the Lord Jesus as a perfectly satisfactory substitute. "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:5-6).
Again, no "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" can be found in any other religion (John 1:29). Thus, the very first thing God must do for the repentant sinner remains unfulfilled apart from the Lord Jesus. Our Heavenly Father must pardon our iniquities before He can righteously relate to us and bestow upon us the infinite wonders of "the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8). We do well to communicate this when sharing the Gospel with unbelievers. "Have your sins been forgiven? If so, how?" If the hearer does not respond with the affirmation, "Christ died for my sins, and bore God's wrath so that I might bear my Savior's righteousness," a blessed opportunity lies before us. Our Father blesses us to proclaim that which shines as the first light and the purest essence of Christ's "good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people" (Luke 2:10). "We have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:14).
The Lord Jesus Himself starkly promised, and warned - "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18). Thereby, He divided the human race into two populations, the forgiven and the unforgiven. He furthermore made Himself the raison d'ê·tre of the issue. Either our sins are forgiven "for Christ's sake" through our faith therein. Or they are not. The Gospel alone provides God's forgiveness, based on Someone have suffered the necessary Divine execution of justice and righteousness. No one else exists who has done so. Nor can anyone else can make possible our pardon. The Lord Jesus stated the matter plainly in a pronouncement often pilloried, but nevertheless vital to every human heart because we must be forgiven through the only way God can pardon sin, which remaining true to Himself…
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
"The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works…. This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent."
(Psalm 145:17; John 6:29)
Weekly Memory Verse
When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.