Your conscience’s plan of salvation

Previous: God is not interested in your sin -- The Grace of God -- Next: Free from the law

The compulsion to try to make ourselves righteous through obeying the law and our own good works stems from a guilty conscience. Your conscience says, “You’ve done something wrong,” and the pressure of the guilt is so great that we just have to do something about it – either kill that thing (through drugs or alcohol) or do something to make it quiet. Being good and obeying the law seems to work, so we try that.

The trouble is, it will never work. It will never quite be enough. No amount of good works can ever make up or atone for a single evil act, and your conscience will make sure you know it.

Your conscience has a plan of salvation: punishment forever. All you have to do is bear your guilt and shame forever, and then you will have made up for your sin.

Your conscience knows something about sin: that it deserves eternal punishment. God hates sin more than we can imagine. Your cannot come close to hating your sin enough to make up for it. You cannot come close to hating yourself enough. If you want to go down that road, you will only end up with guilt and misery, because there is no way you can ever make up for your own sin.

God’s answer to the guilt of your sin is not to make you a better person, but to kill you. You have been “united with Jesus in his death” and “crucified with him” (Romans 6:5-6). That was you up there on the cross being punished for your sins. There is no more punishment coming to you because it has already happened, two thousand years ago.

1 John 1:9 says that God is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” The reason why it is justice for God to forgive us for our sins is because the punishment has already happened, and it would be unfair for him to punish us again for sins which he has already dealt with.

For reflection:

God is not pretending when he says that we are not guilty and Jesus took our guilt on himself. It would have been unjust for God to punish Jesus if he did not actually become guilty of our sins. Jesus became the worst sinner who ever lived: a thief, a liar, a rapist and a murderer – guilty of the sins of everyone who ever lived. And you are as innocent and clean and holy as the perfect and blameless Son of God.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Previous: God is not interested in your sin -- The Grace of God -- Next: Free from the law