Cancelling the Records

Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
We are now in the midst of Holy Week, a journey from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, from the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem to his departure from the tomb one week later. In between these two Sundays is Good Friday, the day when Jesus was crucified upon the cross.
In Col. 2:13-14, the Apostle Paul writes of what actually happened on Good Friday, and what it means for us: “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”
This statement demolishes a common view regarding salvation – that we can earn eternal life through our good works. If only our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds, we will balance the record in our favor. But that is not the way God grants eternal life. For one thing, no matter how many good deeds we do, our bad deeds – specifically our sin against God – remain. Because of that, as Paul writes, we were dead in our transgressions. We were spiritually dead, and no amount of good works could make us alive. Good works lack the power to do that.
The good news is that God has made us alive by “canceling the record of debt that stood against us.” When Jesus died on the cross, Paul states that the record of our sin was actually nailed to the cross with Him, so it has no power over us, for Jesus bore our sin.
Pastor and author John Piper sums it up with these words, “There is no salvation by balancing the records. There is only salvation by canceling the records.” Praise be to God that by His mercy the records of our sins have been canceled, forgiveness is ours, and eternal life is our destiny.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Bob

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