Freedom from Past Guilt

We all have skeletons in our closet. Even for the best of us, there are some sins that seem to haunt us when our soul gets quiet and still. Our past failures tend to come back over and over again to remind us of just how much we fall short. For some of us, these memories make us feel worthless and empty. So often we get plagued by thoughts such as, “I will never be good enough for God to accept me” or thoughts like, “I’ve failed so many times, there is no way I can be saved!” Oh friend, if this is you, you are being deceived by the lies of the enemy. You have forgotten the beauty of the Gospel! You see, the Gospel breaks us free from the chains of past failures. Although we are all failures, and although we have committed horrendous sins, the Gospel is the good news that Jesus was righteous for you. The apostle Paul tells us that, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus took on your sins past, present, and future on the cross. If you believe in him, and trust in Jesus you are given the righteousness of Christ. You were once an enemy of God, but now you are adopted as a son or daughter.

Don’t be haunted by your past failures, the Gospel has freed you from guilt. In Christ, God sees you as valuable and righteous. You can never be good enough to earn God’s favor, but by God’s grace he has given you his favor through Jesus. Remind yourself of the Gospel daily. Preach it to yourself often, and counter attack the lies of the enemy with the truth. You are accepted and righteous before God not on your own merit, but on the merit of Jesus. What glorious news!

The Hollow of Death and the Victory of Jesus

At my church this past week it has been one full of tragedy, sickness, and death. It seemed like every few hours we would get a call at the church about someone who unexpectedly died or was heading to the hospital. It is in these moment where theology leaves the philosophical and becomes incredibly relevant. It is in those moments of sickness and death where our hearts groan, because we our hearts know that death is so unnatural. Death was not in the original blue prints when God created the world. We are created as eternal beings, but due to the corruption of our sin our bodies decay and die. In death, we become so much more keenly aware of this reality. The world is not as it should be. Sin has left its mark and the earth is in desperate need of restoration. It is in these moments where are souls long for this restoration. Not everyone is aware of this longing, but we know this world is broken. What hope is there as we sit in the cold hollow presence of death? It is in this moment where the Gospel provides such incredible hope! Before the foundations of the earth, God set forth a plan to restore this fallen and broken world. God sent his son Jesus to die in our place for our sin. He took on the curse of sin that was due to us. The perfect and sinless God-Man laid down his life as an atonement for sin. Because of Jesus' death, death's power is defeated! For those who trust in Christ we do not need to fear death because Christ has defeated it when he rose victoriously from the grave!

Now as we wait for his second coming we live in the tension between the already and not yet. Death is already defeated, but not yet destroyed for good. When Jesus returns those in Christ will be resurrected like our savior, and the curse of death will be removed forever!

As we lose our friends to death may we remember the horrific consequences of our sin. As we groan inwardly waiting to be restored, remember that Jesus has already won and praise him for His victory on the cross. For those of us who have placed our hope and faith in Jesus, we have a hope that will not fail! Take comfort in Christ and the promise of the Gospel!

What Hope Have I if Not in Christ?

Jesus I would ask and pray

That you would have your way

Piercing every hidden sin

With light, exposing wicked men

Sanctify this wicked heart

Bent on self and falling short

Always bowing to wood and stone

An idolater and Western drone

Sorrow feels like pressure boiling

Grief and troubles ever flowing

What Hope have I if not in Christ?

The Savior God who breathes out life.

For it is God who takes the most wicked men

And brings them back to Him again.