by Dr. Charles Stanley
Wednesday March 9, 2005
The Foundation of Our Forgiveness
Man's attempt at obtaining God's forgiveness is to stop sinning and to try to improve. But hoping that our good deeds will outweigh the bad ignores reality - God's standard is perfection. Even a small stain makes a white tablecloth imperfect and inappropriate for a gift, no less than if it bore a large stain. Regardless of how high we think we can "jump," we all fall short of God's immeasurable glory.
Human conduct could never be good enough to earn divine forgiveness - our sin-stained flesh nature prevents us from reaching God's standard of perfection. A new spiritual nature would have to replace the old nature; that would be impossible unless our sin-debt was paid.
The problem required a divine solution. Like a judge who convicts a criminal but then removes his judicial robe and steps down to pay the offender's fine, God actually took our place and paid for our rebellion against Him. Jesus, God the Son, was the only one qualified: while fully divine, He was also fully human, a man "tempted in every way, just we are" but without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus was our "great high priest" whose intercession for us was so great that He Himself actually got up onto the altar as the sacrifice. All our guilt and the punishment for our sins were poured out on Him. As the righteous Lamb of God, Jesus died for the unrighteous, gaining our complete pardon.
Our forgiveness was not cheap; it was expensive beyond words. God did for us what we couldn't do ourselves. He Himself paid our sin-debt so we - the unrighteous - could be declared righteous.
Be sure to tell your teen about Teen Connection - the official teen outreach of In Touch Ministries. This cutting-edge web site is filled with practical content, including articles, interviews, a study guide, and devotionals, for teenagers of all spiritual maturity levels. The featured interview for March is best-selling band Caedmon's Call. Check out Teen Connection today!
Are you looking to take the next step in your spiritual walk? Enroll today in the Charles Stanley Institute for Christian Living - a free, virtual one-on-one mentoring program with Dr. Charles Stanley. Register online today at www.charlesstanleyinstitute.com.