Taking Away Sins
A daily devotion for May 16th
4Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.
But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin (1 John 3:5).
Jesus Christ was manifested to take away sins. This is the great purpose of His coming into the world. Linked with that purpose is the great possibility that flows from it:
in him is no sin. This is the glorious gospel of hope. There is a way, but there is only one way. That is like saying that air is the only thing to breathe. We need only one way out of this human dilemma. There is only one way, because there is only one who has ever appeared in human history who can take away sins.
He does not do it by an act of magic. He does not wave a wand or utter some religious abracadabra and the problem is solved—poof! Suddenly you are free from sin, lawlessness is gone, and you will never have any problem with it again. If that is your idea of Christian faith, then you are badly mistaken. But as we have been seeing through this letter of John, the Lord Jesus Christ has appeared to take away sins. How does He do it? He does it by the impartation of life, by the turning on of light, by the awakening of love. These are the things that answer the manifestations of lawlessness. What is lawlessness? It is that which produces death, the destruction of life; darkness, the extinguishing of light; and hatred, the violation of love.
What does Jesus Christ give? He gives life in place of death, light in place of darkness, and love in place of hatred. When you receive Jesus Christ, that is only the beginning. The whole Christian life follows. As we have been learning, it is a process of growth, but the results are inevitably the same. There is the taking away of sin, there is the elimination of lawlessness, and there is the restoration to the human heart of order and peace. That has been the demonstration throughout human history. Repeatedly in every generation, the hardest cases have responded to this amazing remedy—homosexuals, alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts, murderers, and thieves. Even more difficult cases have surrendered—the proud, the intellectuals, the bitter, the cynical, the angry young men, the jaded old people. And always there have been the despairing, the wounded in spirit, the hopeless, the pathetic, the pitiful, and the lost, broken derelicts that float through life. No matter where or when people have lived, it has always been the same story, always the same deliverance, always the same results: the healing of lawlessness. The miracle occurs when people come to know Jesus Christ and receive Him into their lives. Then the sickness begins to heal.
Lord, may I have the privilege of being a part of this, the greatest cause of all, that I may see clearly that there is nothing greater that I could possibly give myself to than the thrusting forward of this mighty message of healing.
Life Application: What was the purpose of Jesus Christ being born in our world? How does the giving of His life affect the recurring death, darkness, and hatred that exists today?
From your friends at www.RayStedman.org
Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.