The Ultimate Power of Jesus' Cross|
In his book, Just Walk Across The Room, author Bill Hybels summarizes what most people believe:
"Most people think of Christianity as a scale. All of the bad things you've ever done sit on one side, and all your good on the other. Life's goal becomes working to load as many good things as possible on your scale so that by the time you die, things lean in the right direction. Most people think they'll wind up sitting pretty in the next world, as long as they can get those scales tilted right.
"While this may seem right, the Bible teaches that this view is wrong. God says that we could never tilt the scales enough to be found acceptable by him. But because he loves us so much, he didn't leave us without hope. God says that we can accept what his Son did in dying on a cross for our sin, paying for every bad deed we have ever committed and will ever commit. Then, by the power of his love, we'll be accepted by him and spend all of eternity by his side."
Think about this just a minute longer.
Jesus paid it all. All your sins for all time have been dealt with on the cross. Every sin you have committed in the past or will ever commit in the future has been dealt with on the cross. All of God's wrath and punishment for your sins was inflicted on Jesus. You have no penalty left to pay. You are free of guilt, free of any wrath, free of the law. All the rules and regulations were fulfilled by Jesus during his life. Every sin – even those you haven’t committed yet—are already dealt with on the cross.
Wow! Does that mean you can do anything you want, just keep on sinning because God's grace will cover it? Shall we go on sinning? By no means. Listen to what the Apostle Paul says in Romans 6 (The Message):
"If we've left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn't you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!
"That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we're going in our new grace-sovereign country.
"Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin's every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That's what Jesus did.
"That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don't give it the time of day. Don't even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you've been raised from the dead!—into God's way of doing things. Sin can't tell you how to live. After all, you're not living under that old
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