Atonement

1 John 2:2 “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

To make ‘Atonement‘ is to make reparation for wrong or injury. If someone wrongs someone, they make an offense against them. The rights of every human being are not separated by class or color of skin, they are inherent because of who we are, not what we have become.

It is easy to look down upon certain classes of individuals, in other words, classifying people based off ethnicity, age, origin, or status. I don’t say race…we are all one human race, we may have different tones of skin but that doesn’t change who we are, it only reflects the regions of our distant heritage.

America has a long history of classifying people and then allowing the social status of different classifications to look down upon others, as if they were greater in status than others. The more entrenched these biases became, the more accepted they became within subsequent generations. Eventually, slave labor became so common that plantation owners deemed it necessary for survival.

A brief look back in history gives some perspective:

Beginning of Slavery

Historically, hundreds of thousands of Africans, both free and enslaved, aided the establishment and survival of colonies in the Americas and the New World. However, many consider a significant starting point to slavery in America began in 1619, when the privateer, The White Lion brought 20 African slaves ashore in the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia. The crew had seized the Africans from the Portuguese slave ship Sao Jao Bautista. 

This plague against basic human rights has extended far into the history of the United States and the country is still feeling the effects today. Treating people as substandard has extended also into the realm of the unborn.

Since 1973, there have been nearly 62 million abortions in the United States. New York leads the way with nearly 33% of all pregnancies ending in abortion. The human life that is growing in what is traditionally the safety of the womb is treated as invaluable to those who choose to end the life of their child through abortion.

What is it that leads people to treat others with such disdain?

Is it greed, hate, pride, selfishness or just fallen people that think only of themselves and what they can gain from others misfortune?

In my mind, the lowest person on earth is the practicing abortionist. The heartlessness that a person has to embody to brutally slaughter the innocent of society is a modern day genocide beyond any proportion in history. Planned Parenthood is the monster enterprise that aids in the factory process of ending one life after another. Everywhere in the world the numbers are between 40-50 million children that are aborted each year.

What atonement could ever be made for those who choose to lower themselves to such a shameful position?

Romans 3:25 “God presented Him as the atoning sacrifice through faith in His blood, in order to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had passed over the sins committed beforehand.”

Fullness of Grace

Sin is a violation of God’s law. If we do anything contrary to God’s law, we sin against God Himself.

The 6th commandment is very clear, “You shall not Kill”. Whether you kill someone outright or simply show hatred for your brother, the intent of the heart is what brings condemnation, not just the act.

1 John 2:1-2 “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

The perfection of Christ was an established righteousness that only God could attain. A righteousness that invokes perfection, the necessary sacrifice for all who would receive God’s grace.

How can atonement me made for sinners? Is there any sin so egregious that God’s grace is insufficient?

The sin would have to be greater than God for it to be disqualified. If I believe the bible, I have to accept the conclusion that is made regarding my sins.

Romans 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Whether it is the slave trader or the abortionist, Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all.

Consequences

Sin has a natural order of destruction. The darkness that envelopes those who dwell within a state of sin is one of spiritual blindness. The trail of tears for those who are affected by sin is a continual path of devastation.

  • The effects of sin do not negate God’s grace.

Just because there is loss or hurt, does not mean that God’s grace was inadequate, we all understand the destructive nature of walking contrary to God’s nature, every person on earth recognizes the hopeless of rebellion.

We must move on from living in a state of defeat, into the position as victors in Christ.

If we look back, we look back on lessons learned, not as a reminder of what we were but who we are now.

If we look back with yearning, our hearts of sin never left.

When the Lord was about to bring destruction upon Sodom and Gomorrah, there we specific instructions given to Lot, the nephew of Abraham and his wife.

Genesis 19:15-17 “When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”

The mercy of God was shown to Lot and his family, the rebellion of that region had become so widespread that except for this small family, all had become corrupt. As they were fleeing for their lives, the heart of lot’s wife was revealed.

Genesis 19:23-26 “The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar.  Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens.  So He  overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.

But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

When the Lord takes you out of sin, never look back. Remember the devastation that sin brought with it, remember the hopeless, but don’t look back with a sense to return…..nothing waits for you there that is good.

Acceptance

Being able to accept God’s love is as important to acknowledging your weaknesses. The first step is humility, the second follows close behind, contrition.

A contrite spirit is a spirit of repentance.

The perfect sacrifice has been given, if you have accepted it, your position before God is made complete and new.

Walk in the freedom of salvation and be victorious…it is now your right.

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