Summary: The fourth in a series of messages about the complete sufficiency of the Gospel.
Let’s be honest about our struggles, but let’s also be clear about what the cross accomplished.
Protestants may claim they’re more biblical than their Catholic peers, since the epistles contain no grounds for confessing sins to a priest in order to be forgiven. Some Protestants may even laugh at the idea of a confession booth or the ritual of going to Mass in order to obtain forgiveness. But these same Protestants may ritualistically apply 1 John 1:9 as their spiritual bar of soap. Is one view of forgiveness really any better than the other?
The Catholic goes to a priest, and the Protestant thinks he does better by appealing directly to God. But any system that doesn’t factor in once-for-all forgiveness is intrinsically flawed.
God doesn’t want us to think that human priests apportion forgiveness to us. Nor does he want us to envision his doling out forgiveness from heaven on a "first come, first serve" basis! Instead, he wants us to ascribe real meaning to Jesus’ declaration, "It is finished."
Only then will we turn from sins for the right reason. Our motivation shouldn’t be to obtain forgiveness in return. We’re already forgiven and cleansed children of the living God. Our motivation should be the fulfillment that comes from truly being ourselves.
This sermon is from The Naked Gospel: The Truth You May Never Hear in Church (Zondervan, 2009). For more, visit www.TheNakedGospel.com