September 29, 2014

A Universal Remedy

There is no ‘best’ color for all people to wear, no ‘best’ brand of car to drive, no ‘best’ model of cell phone, because all of these things are based on preference or culture.

When it comes to an open wound, the ‘best’ options narrow. In some parts of the world, the wound would be treated with cow dung, or charms, or incantations, or herbs off a tree, depending on their beliefs and practices. Here we would keep it clean and apply antiseptic, which is probably much closer to being the ‘best’ method for healing.

When it comes to treating the problem of guilt before God, some cultures and individuals will use a form of self-flagellation. Others will go to a counselor. Some will use drugs or alcohol in an attempt to ease their painful feelings. Some will ignore it or bury it in work or other forms of busy. Others will grit their teeth and ‘try harder’ to make up for their shortfall.

But there is another way, one that works. It is the ‘best’ way for any culture, any people group, any form of guilt no matter the infarction. “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all . . .” (1 Timothy 2:5–6)

The words “one” and “all” make this a solitary solution. Other treatments will give a measure of relief for a time, but the Bible points to the only One that can erase the guilt. It says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7) When God forgives, the guilt goes away!

Masking it, beating ourselves up for it, and trying harder does not work. Instead, “Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38–39)

God forgives, yet He does more than that. “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13–14)

The ‘us’ in those verses is those who have accepted His forgiveness and been redeemed from the slavery of sin. No, we haven’t fully conquered it, but we are released from its penalty and that horrible weight of guilt. Jesus is not just the ‘best’ remedy for guilt — He is the only remedy.

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