Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Before the advent of checkbook balancing software and websites provided by banks I used to dedicate one Saturday afternoon to reconciling my checkbook. This was the practice of lining up what I said we had in the account and what the bank said we had in the account. This was a frustrating and painful, head and neck ache pain from bending over the figures, experience that I joyfully no longer have endure.
We have an account with God. This account is always in deficit if we were to look at his requirements for our life and our fulfilling them. We are so far overdrawn we have no way to balance or reconcile the books. So what is to be done?
that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
(2 Corinthians 5:19 ESV)
Our Lord and Savior Jesus came and more than reconciled the books for our past and present sin. The books are reconciled for any and all future sins of which we will commit. This is for each and every person who has lived, is living now and will ever live. That is what the phrase "not counting their sins against them" means.
How did Christ accomplish this? Out of his deep and abiding love for his created humans Our Father sent Our Lord Jesus to share in our human nature. In obedience to his Father he fulfilled the law for us in order to reconcile us to God as far as the law's requirements. Then to pay for our guilt for past, present and future trespasses bore all our sin to the cross, suffered and died to set us free from the guilt. We are now justified by trusting in the innocent sufferings and death of Our Lord apart from our efforts.
Many object to this and say it will encourage people to sin. In the first place people are sinners and need no encouragement to sin. In the second place if someone is kind to you in spite of your poor treatment of them will you repay this with a desire to keep being nasty to him? Of course not! Out of love and thanksgiving we desire to act like Jesus acted toward his neighbor and his Father in Heaven. Not to repay him rather out of a grateful heart.
We will blow it and always fall short. But that matters not. For as a kind father, even though he is a sinner, will love and forgive his son or daughter how much more will a Gracious, Sovereign and Loving Heavenly Father love and forgive us.
This is fantastic!
Trust this good news and live in its peace. Amen†