“I was reading in the apostle John’s first letter earlier this morning,” Stan commented, “and I saw a statement about Jesus that the Holy Spirit immediately turned into a question.”
“A statement turned into a question by the Holy Spirit?” I said. “How’d that happen?”
“Well,” Stan replied, “let’s first take a look at the statement and then go from there.”
“Okay,” I said. “What was the statement?”
“That Jesus appeared in order to take away sins,” Stan replied.
“The basic statement of John 3:16,” I said. “That God the Father gave Jesus, His only begotten Son, to take away the sins of the world. Jesus who was without sin became sin by being the sacrificial lamb.”
“That’s right,” Stan replied. “So that all who believe can have life eternally with God because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross.”
“So,” I said, “if that’s the statement, what was the question that the Holy Spirit asked you?”
“Why,” Stan replied, “do I hold on to what Jesus came to take away?”
“You hold on to sin?” I asked.
“I do,” Stan replied. “I think we all do, and, again, the question is ‘Why?’”
“If that’s the question, what’s the answer?”
“I can only answer for myself,” Stan replied, “and it’s the same old story. That’s what I choose to do, sometimes without even recognizing it. I choose to do what I want to do apart from God, I choose to not do what He has for me to do, and I choose not to follow as He wants to lead.”
“What you just said,” I commented, “sounds a lot like the three steps of discipleship. Do you think being a disciple will help a person not hold onto what Jesus came to take away?”
“That’s certainly something to think about,” Stan replied.
Bible verses to consider:
And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins. 1 John 3:5.
The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8.
The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving Jesus for Him to go to the cross for my sins so I will spend eternity in your presence. I confess that even though I know you see me as righteous because of the finished work of the cross, I sin. I do that even though Jesus came to take away sin, and I do it because that’s what I choose to do. Please forgive that foolish way of living this life. Help me to follow every step of your lead in living this life just as you intend. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious provision of the Cross of Christ so you know you will spend eternity in His presence? If no, why? What is keeping you from that? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with sin in your life? Are you allowing Jesus to do what He came to do — take away sin? If you sense the need for change, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?
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