This past Sunday at Cornerstone, we began a series for the month September around the theme of forgiveness. I started out with the obvious one – God’s forgiveness of us. And I jumped into a passage I love, looking at 1 John 1:1-2:2.
It’s quite amazing to know that God is not only faithful, but also completely righteous to forgive us through the blood of Jesus.
Yes, that’s what it says – faithful AND righteous.
But what does it mean that he is righteous to forgive us?
Are you ready for it?
If God were to not forgive those who are in Christ, those who have believed upon his work at the cross, then he would move into being identifiable as un-righteous. Either Christ is the sacrifice or we are. Either Christ is the payment or we are. It cannot and shall not ever be both.
For God to punish Christ on our behalf, and for us to appropriate that work in our lives by our faith in Christ’s work, then it means we are fully absolved of any payment and punishment. Hence why if God made us also pay, in any way, he would be unrighteous.
The rightness and goodness of God has been satisfied in cross of Jesus (1 John 1:9).
And speaking of satisfied, there is another well known verse just a few statements later: He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
Some other versions utilise the mammoth theological word propitiation. And while all of these terms are possibly helpful, even the phrase atoning sacrifice taking us back into the old Hebrew Scriptures and the blood of the sacrifices being sprinkled upon the altar, I believe there is one word that is most profitable in understanding what John is getting at in his letter.
He is the satisfaction for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
When Christ shouted at the cross, ‘IT……IS……FINISHED!’ The Father responded by saying, ‘I……AM……SATISFIED.’
Therefore, the Father looks at us and says, ‘I am satisfied. You no longer have to subscribe to particular laws and diets and feasts. You no longer have to sit in the darkness of soul weighed down by both your sin and the consequence of sin, that being death. I am satisfied with you.’
Scott, I’m satisfied with you…because I’m satisfied with my Son.
That does something deep in my heart, deep in our hearts, to hear this good pronouncement from our good Father that we satisfy him. Christ made things right, reconciled us to the Father. And we can see the smiling satisfaction of our Father who loved us from the beginning. We can delight in his satisfaction, which then leads us to be satisfied wholly in God.
He is faithful and right to forgive us. He is satisfied with us.
If you would like to hear a bit more from my teaching this past Sunday, you can click on the icon below or check it out at iTunes.