April 6, 2016

God’s answer to our sin

This morning’s ‘read through the Bible’ chapters were about the sin of David with Bathsheba. As a new Christian, I was told that because of David’s wars, he could not build the temple, therefore because I had been divorced and remarried, I could not join the church.

Last year, I was told that David’s relationship with God and his usefulness in the kingdom were diminished after his sin with Bathsheba. This one makes me wonder how much a person has to sin before God writes them off and puts them on a shelf. The older I get, it seems the more I can see (and regret) all those times I did not obey God.

Both dismissals of David seem to have scriptural basis, but both accusations forget something: David may not have flourished in some ways because of sin, but he did get to write most of the Psalms!

Had David been born a few centuries later and after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, would he be fighting the same accusations? I know that many Christians are convinced of things like, “I am useless to God because of the way I’ve lived” or “My sin was too great and the consequences have ruined my life.” If we don’t think it of ourselves, like Job’s comforters, we may think others have sinned and are therefore in trouble with God.

These accusations also forget God’s grace. The Holy Spirit often reminds me of a passage in Revelation that reveals that grace and also where those accusations come from:

And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God . . . . (Revelation 12:9–10)

The next two verses give God’s message to those who are being accused:

“ . . . And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (Revelation 12:11–12)

His time may be short, but Satan still tells lies. He suggested to Eve that God didn’t really say that (command) and that He didn’t really want the best for her. This liar deceives the whole world with junk that makes us doubt the Bible, and doubt His great love for us. He accuses us before God and we hear those accusations in our minds, sometimes recognizing them, and sometimes feeling they are true and we and other people are ruined.

The victory is in the blood of the Lamb:

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24)

The victory is in the word of our testimony:

For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:10)

The victory is in not loving our lives even unto death:

Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)

The victory is in remembering that Jesus died for my sin so I can live for Him. I am healed from sin’s deadly blows. Every time that I proclaim it, I am strengthened. Every time I deny my fleshy self, the eternal life Jesus gave me wins a victory over the lies of the enemy.

Chambers says that the Cross is God’s superb triumph that shook the foundations of hell. There is nothing more certain in time or eternity than the redemption that took place there. The whole human race — sinners all of us — were given a way to be in a right relationship with God!

When Satan lies and accuses, the answer is Jesus, always Jesus – and the Cross – and His marvelous grace.

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