Saturday, December 20, 2014

SERMON: Blotting out sin

By DAVID BILDERBACK, Special to The Ottawa Herald | 6/14/2013

A bit of sage advice that deserves consideration is as follows: “A good memory is fine but the ability to forget is the true test of greatness.” We all know individuals who have carried ill feelings and grudges through life even unto death. This is a terrible burden to bear one that God himself does not bear.

In Isaiah 43:25-26, God speaks to the prophet Isaiah concerning God’s mercy and Israel’s unfaithfulness, saying, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” God is a holy God and cannot sin Himself. When we sin, we defile our Creator. At the cross, God turned his face away from his beloved Son, Jesus, and the world was plunged into darkness, and my sins and yours were placed upon the true Lamb of God. This is what God meant when He said He blots out transgressions for His own sake.

A bit of sage advice that deserves consideration is as follows: “A good memory is fine but the ability to forget is the true test of greatness.” We all know individuals who have carried ill feelings and grudges through life even unto death. This is a terrible burden to bear one that God himself does not bear.

In Isaiah 43:25-26, God speaks to the prophet Isaiah concerning God’s mercy and Israel’s unfaithfulness, saying, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” God is a holy God and cannot sin Himself. When we sin, we defile our Creator. At the cross, God turned his face away from his beloved Son, Jesus, and the world was plunged into darkness, and my sins and yours were placed upon the true Lamb of God. This is what God meant when He said He blots out transgressions for His own sake.

When Jesus died on the cross, God was satisfied that sin, which originated in the Garden of Eden and exists today, was fully atoned for.

“The work of Christ reveals both the justice of God and the righteousness of God’s way of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. In dealing with Christ as sin-bearer and the human person as sinner, God does not compromise his own holiness, nor the necessity of sins being atoned for” (Reformation Study Bible).

In describing the righteousness of God through faith, the Apostle Paul states, “For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an acceptable atonement by his blood to be received by faith.”

God is a just God. He punished sin — mine and yours — in the person of His own Son, Jesus. God offers a way of salvation for you and for me by faith in Jesus. This makes God the “just and the justifier of one who has faith in Jesus.”

David Bilderback is a Greeley resident.

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