I Am Clean
“… if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2
Wearing an oversized white t-shirt and handing out sharpies to a group of kids seemed like a bad idea. But sometimes words like justification, sanctification, and as today’s verse mentions, advocate and atoning sacrifice, are hard to clarify to children. I needed to explain the gospel on their level, so I had to get creative.
I told them they’d each have a turn to—using permanent ink—make a mark on my shirt to represent a sin which they said aloud. Their scribbles could be huge gashes or barely visible nicks on the pristinely white fabric.
By the end, my t-shirt wore blots of all different colors and sizes. I discussed that the sin-representing spot meant I was tainted and couldn’t enter into heaven with God. Even a small speck on the white t-shirt meant I couldn’t receive eternal life.
I then put on a new t-shirt over the stained one. The clean, stainless shirt represented what Jesus did. When we accept His offer of salvation, His death on the cross justifies us in God’s sight—meaning He sees us “just as if we’d never sinned.” Only He could live a perfect sinless life and stand in our place, washing our sins away. I thank God for this because I could never scrub away the permanent stains of sin I’ve accumulated, or even those I committed yesterday.
Let’s accept Jesus as our atoning sacrifice and live in freedom. Our marks vanish, and Heaven is our destination. Now, having been shown this grace, let’s turn away from sin and live a grace-filled life worthy of Him.
Kristen Terrette is passionate about storytelling and helping people take their next steps in their relationship with Jesus. She lives forty-five minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. She served as a Children's Ministry Director for many years, and with the support of her husband and two children, she now stays home writing Christian fiction and non-fiction. She also serves on the women's leadership team at her local church and writes for Crosswalk and Wholly Loved Ministries. You can check out her articles and novels at www.kristenterrette.com.
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