Ozzie was faithful to remind me of God's grace this morning in pointing out that:
We trample the blood of the Son of God underfoot if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins. The only reason for the forgiveness of our sins by God, and the infinite depth of His promise to forget them, is the death of Jesus Christ. Our repentance is merely the result of our personal realization of the atonement by the Cross of Christ, which He has provided for us. “. . . Christ Jesus . . . became for us wisdom from God–and righteousness and sanctification and redemption . . .” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Once we realize that Christ has become all this for us, the limitless joy of God begins in us. And wherever the joy of God is not present, the death sentence is still in effect.
No matter who or what we are, God restores us to right standing with Himself only by means of the death of Jesus Christ. God does this, not because Jesus pleads with Him to do so but because He died. It cannot be earned, just accepted. All the pleading for salvation which deliberately ignores the Cross of Christ is useless. It is knocking at a door other than the one which Jesus has already opened. We protest by saying, “But I don’t want to come that way. It is too humiliating to be received as a sinner.” God’s response, through Peter, is, “. . . there is no other name . . . by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). What at first appears to be heartlessness on God’s part is actually the true expression of His heart. There is unlimited entrance His way. “In Him we have redemption through His blood . . .” (Ephesians 1:7). To identify with the death of Jesus Christ means that we must die to everything that was never a part of Him.
God is just in saving bad people only as He makes them good. Our Lord does not pretend we are all right when we are all wrong. The atonement by the Cross of Christ is the propitiation God uses to make unholy people holy.
God does not wink at sin. And thank God for it. God does not forsake His Son is saying you are "good enough." He does not turn His back on His Son's life and death. He does not overlook the value and worth of His sacrifice on our behalf. For God to forgive us in any other way than the Cross of Christ would be for Him to forfeit the glory of Jesus displayed and earned in accomplishing the perfect sacrificial life. Furthermore it would dimiinish and tarnish the glory of the resurrection and the validation of Jesus' atonement.
If there is any other way to survive His wrath, He was cruel to ignore His Son's pleas.
But there was NO other way and Jesus IS that worthy of our praise.
Because He died, we live to God.
Because He lives, we die to sin.