I John 3:4-6 (NLT)
Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.
“I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that Cross.” You may recognize this verse from the popular worship song, “Here I Am to Worship” by Michael W. Smith. Definitely an oldie, but goodie. As I sang these words in a youth service last night, the impact was significant at the realization that a single sin nailed Jesus to the Cross, so I will never know the cost of the multitude of sins I have committed and will commit in my lifetime. Perhaps, since I am saved, you are wondering why think about that now. After all, the Grace of God is sufficient and the Blood of Christ complete. It is indeed. However, I do not believe for a moment that we can every stop thinking about sin. It is the darkness that longs to permeate our heart and drag us back into slavery long after we have been washed in the Blood. It is commonplace in the modern church to not discuss the details of the Cross anymore or imagine the stream of bright red blood flowing from it. We open our doors to everyone just as God suggested but leave them unchanged because the church is unchanged. Wearing filthy rags of religious works, sometimes we forget to maintain our white robes of righteousness. We will never be completely free of sin until we are raised with Jesus Christ. When you consider that every sin committed in our life, even those that seem less significant than others, cost Jesus His Life – it should make a difference in what we do, how we think and the way we live.
When our son was undergoing cancer treatment, over and over again, the doctors would warn us prior to each round of the horrible side effects that he would have from the poison being pumped into his body. Horrific but necessary to save his life. Well, we prayed with each infusion and trusted the Lord to protect him and keep him through treatment. I can testify today that this kid did not endure half of what they promised. Yes, it was tough. His body went through a lot. But not everything they promised happened. He continued to attend school when not in the hospital which is unheard of. He did not have all the setbacks. I have praised God on many occasions for His Miraculous Protection of our son through this ordeal as all the doctors and nurses scratched their heads as to why he did not have these problems. On one such occasion, the reality hit me that our son did not go through all these things because Jesus bore them on the Cross. I was immediately brought to my knees with the impact of this revelation. Every sickness and disease was born by our Savior on the Cross. Just imagine it in the natural…a man hanging on a cross dying a death for every single sin every committed while bearing the brunt of sickness and disease in the process. A single sin cost Jesus His Entire Life which makes me the culprit…
Romans 3:23-26 (NLT)
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
During the process of a bone marrow transplant, they asked my son if would like to be an organ donor. As we talked about it, he laughed at the thought they could still use his body parts but absolutely would give to others anything usable. For some reason, this was very hard for me. I am an organ donor. My adult children have all chosen to do the same. The reality of death on one’s doorstep changes one’s perspective for sure. The thought of harvesting organs to save someone’s life seems like the right thing to do… until it is your child’s body being considered. Yet Jesus in His Complete Perfection stepped down from Heaven and freely gave His Life for us. God consented and allowed the sacrifice of His Son for all mankind despite its sinful betrayal and full rebellion against their Creator.
We are all guilty. Grace does not change the sequence of events that brought us to the Lord. Grace does not make them allowable due to human weakness. Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s Glorious Standard of Living. I cannot get caught up in comparison to think that just because I am able to avoid some sins better than others that I in any way was not as responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. I was totally responsible. I owe Him my life.
Romans 6:19-23 (NLT)
Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
The wages of sin is death. It was from the beginning and will be to the end. I have joked many times if you see me running – you should run to because something is chasing me. The mentality of many is that I just need to be one step ahead of the next guy not to get by whatever is chasing me. The truth is that life is not a footrace against others but a race against sin. We must endure to the end to be saved. What are we enduring – the battle against sin! Jesus has a firm hold on us. His Love will never fail us. He will never ever let go. The question is whether or not I will. Jesus broke every chain that keeps us from following Him and living a life in right standing with God. Too bad we choose religion as our comfort zone rather than embracing God in a righteous relationship. A relationship with God means refusal of sin. He loves us. We love Him. Sin gets in the way. I love my husband. He loves me. Another lover would definitely end our marriage. Salvation is free, but never cheap and easy. To fully accept the Gift of God that is eternal life is to walk away from sin. We must “take up our Cross” and follow Him. We cannot pay the price for our sin. Jesus paid it all. We can be responsible to walk in complete recognition and respect for His Sacrifice each and every day. We do this when we avoid sin and love Him more.
John 3:16-20 (NLT)
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.”
Jesus did not come to judge the world. Mankind was already condemned by sin. With nothing to lose, sin grows rampant and love grows cold around us today more than ever. God doesn’t get mad at me when I sin just keeps pointing me to Jesus. He wants me to be saved. I cannot live out my salvation covered in sin. One sin makes a difference in my life. God’s Glorious Standard of Living is fully achieved by avoiding sin at all costs. Will I be sinless? No, of course not. I can try though. To live in God’s Word, listen to His Spirit, communicate with Him daily and do what He says will change my life now and forever. Sin will always cost me something but not my life. No, now sin keeps me from having what Jesus died for me to have. When I allow darkness to seep into my heart, it takes the place of the Light of His Love. I cannot love and embrace wrongdoing and Jesus at the same time. I have to make a choice. Many choices every single day to have the life that God has promised me. If you are living in the favor and blessings promised by God, it is not a God problem. It is a “me” problem. It is a “you” problem. It is an “us” problem. We will never have the life that God promised and we desire living in the darkness because it is only found in the Light of His Amazing Love. The kind of love that would give their whole life for a single white lie, a thoughtless act, or random distraction. See Jesus didn’t die just for the murderers, thieves, pedophiles, rapists, gangbangers, or the like…He died for me. I have never murdered anyone with my hands but I have in my heart. I have not openly taken advantage of another but have thought it in my head. I am not the member of a gang, but have been a part of a religion before. But today I am reminded that I didn’t have to do anything heinous or illegal to need the Blood of Jesus or become a part of the Cross – I just had to sin one time to be a part of the crucifixion and death of an innocent man. It was my sin that killed Jesus. Just one of them demanded His All. I am humbled by the thought today. It changes everything all over again. “So here I am to worship…here I am to bow down… here I am to say that You’re my God!”
I John 4:16-18 (NLT)
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
I am reminded today of God’s Perfect Love. I am reminded of how much God Loves Me as I think about the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus for me. To live in God means that our love for Him grows more perfect. To love God means to hate sin – all sin. There is no such thing as justifiable sin just forgiven ones. We must daily come to the Cross and carry it as a reminder of how much love was given us that day. We will never know just how much it cost to see our sin on the Cross. I have to live in that thought every single day to see the significance of sin in my life whether hidden or openly entertained. It is only then that I will allow the Light of His Love to overtake the darkness there and lead me deeper into His Everlasting Love. To fully trust the Love of God and do things His Way is to believe that this world has nothing for me. So God, here I am to worship! Show me anything that offends you in my life today so I can nail it to the Cross and be faithful again.
Philippians 3:7-9 (NLT)
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.[a]For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.