Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday: Saved & Forgiven

A friend of mine made a fascinating observation recently as we chatted in a coffee-shop:
"It seems like a lot of people prefer to be forgiven for their sins, but they don't want to be saved from their sins."
Anyone who has been a Christian longer than -- oh, say, 15 or 20 minutes -- knows that we still struggle with sin. We also understand that we are viewed as holy & righteous because of Jesus, even as we are still growing in holiness:
"For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." (Hebrews 10:14)
Good Friday is the day that we stop to reflect on the death of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. We pause to remind ourselves again of the terrible anguish and pain that Jesus willingly embraced on our behalf. We ponder afresh the incredible love of God, who would willingly sacrifice part of Himself (the Son), to redeem anyone who would trust in Jesus.

And we will offer up prayers and songs of gratitude for the forgiveness of our sins, freely offered in Jesus.

But let us also remember that Jesus wants to save us from our sins, not just their consequences. The death of Jesus means that we are both forgiven for and saved from our sin.
"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:5-9)

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