We're in the middle of a four-part series on what the Bible means when one of its authors, Peter, wrote, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life" (2 Peter 1:3, NIV).
What is everything? Last week it meant "power for inability", and the week before it meant "wisdom for foolishness".
Here's a third thing it can mean: "Having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross" (Colossians 2:13-14, ESV).
I don't know what your theology of the Cross is, so I want to make sure we get it right. When Jesus went to the Cross, He didn't purchase the "possibility of salvation" - as if, His death opened the door for people to walk through later in life, if they so chose. No, Jesus took names to the Cross.
This verse is picture of a physical list of names, and under each name is a list of every iniquity that name would ever commit. (It's a really long list, I can imagine!) And as the nails pierced Jesus' hands, all those specific debts were crossed off. Each listed sin, and each listed name, was nailed to the Cross through the Sacrificial Lamb.
What does that mean? For one, it means a future freedom. Your hostile heart was ransomed and given freedom forever in a moment. It means that you have a beautiful and unending eternity to look forward to, where freedom from pain and suffering and sin will define your existence.
But it also means that you can live in freedom today. You don't have to be trapped by guilt. You don't need to be burdened with the fear of being known. You can be free from riding the roller coaster of people's responses to you.
Sure, it's a good thing to be loved and respected and appreciated, but you have all the acceptance you need. This gives you freedom to live with honesty and courage, unafraid of your sins and weaknesses and failures.
I'm concerned that many Christians try to hide their sin from one another. There's nothing to hide! Everything you are tempted to hide was absolved 2,000 years ago.
When you live in this kind of freedom, your soul will find rest. And, you will be more susceptible to heart change, because you're willing to admit that your heart is still in need of help.
Paul David Tripp
- How can the understanding of eternal freedom affect the way you suffer today?
- How might you respond to pain and suffering if you forget about eternity?
- Why is it natural to seek acceptance and appreciation from others?
- How can that natural desire become a dangerous and destructive idol?
- Why might you be afraid to reveal your sin to others?