Okay, here’s the setup: you messed up somewhere. You did something you knew good and well you shouldn’t have done (or it could be you didn’t do something you knew good and well you should’ve [James 4:17]). Or you cut loose and gave someone ‘a piece of your mind’ – as if any of us have all that much of it to spare. Maybe you talked about somebody behind their back, or cheated on your taxes (c’mon, just a tee-nine-chi bit), or perhaps you told one of those ‘little white lies’ (whatever they are). Whatever form it took, whatever size it came in (the small ‘it won’t hurt anyone’ portion, or the jumbo ‘more Bang for the buck’ heaping helping), it amounts to the same thing: you did wrong, you sinned, you transgressed – in other words, you “missed the mark” (Philippians 3:14; 1 John 5:18).
It happens to all of us. It continues to happen to all of us. Indeed, if the truth be told, it happens to us so much that it’s rather depressing to even think about. And yet, we’re still here. Still breathing, still moving, still smiling (and if you’re not, you should be); even though, by rights, we probably all should’ve checked out of here – if not booted out – long, long ago. So, if that’s the case, if the wages of sin really is death (as Romans 6:23 states), how come we ain’t dead??
Well, thankfully for us, that’s just about the easiest question that could ever be asked. As a matter of fact, that very same verse in Romans gives us the whole answer, from start to finish: “For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord” (AMP). It’s because of God’s gift to us, His grace toward us, that we haven’t already packed it in and moved on away from here. You can’t talk about God’s gift without speaking of His grace; because those two concepts are rooted in the same Greek word charis, which literally means ‘graciousness,’ and refers to both the ‘manner or mindset’ and to the actual ‘act’ of graciousness (i.e., a gift). And, a gift is something that isn’t worked for, paid for or in any way deserved – it’s just given.
The precious shed blood of Jesus not only washed us clean and made us right in God’s sight the day we received Him as Lord and Savior, it also continues to cleanse us from the sins we commit today, and the ones we happen to get tripped up by tomorrow (Romans 8:33; 1 John 1:9; Jude 24). All we have to do is confess them to our Father and repent of them (repent literally means to ‘think differently’ or ‘change the mind about’ something; in other words, to turn from them), and then believe that Jesus’ blood has done the job it was meant for, and accept it…and then move on. No need to waste one second of time wallowing in that ‘self-condemnation’ sand trap (Romans 8:1-2); because the Blood doesn’t just cover our sin, it takes it completely away – so completely, in fact, that, as far as God’s concerned, it never existed in the first place (Isaiah 43:25; Hebrews 8:12, 10:17). And that’s exactly how He treats us (Psalm 103:10).
You know, that probably burns the devil up – in addition to the hell fire, I guess. There’s absolutely nothing he can do with or about the blood of Jesus that redeems us, surrounds us, covers us and cleanses us. Nothing! That’s why he tries so hard to get us to condemn ourselves when we mess things up, because he doesn’t even have access to God to accuse or condemn us before Him anymore (Luke 10:18; Revelation 12:8-10). He’s gotta be screaming each and every day of his existence, “That’s not fair! It’s not fair! It’s not FAIR!!” And, to be quite honest, this is probably the only thing he’s ever been right about. It’s not fair.
It’s not fair that Someone went to the Cross so you and I wouldn’t have to. It’s not fair that Someone went to Hell so we wouldn’t have to suffer through eternity there. It’s not fair that Someone, the only perfect Man ever to walk around down here, gave His perfection (and the fruits of it) to us and received our utter imperfection (and its fruits) unto Himself. There’s absolutely nothing that could be more unfair.
And that’s the whole point. Pure Love doesn’t consider what you deserve. It doesn’t take into account that you’ve made every mistake in the book – and twelve that aren’t. Pure Love doesn’t throw up His hands in disgust and say, “Forget it! I’m starting over with someone else!” Pure Love doesn’t do that, because He’s not fair like that (1 John 4:8, 16). It’s not fair. And it’s not supposed to be…because it’s Grace.
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