(Knowing Love)

part 2

Scott Stanley


There is a most wonderful attribute of God's character that has been overlooked by most theologians and it is this: God does not make a record of sin! How do I know this? Because God is love (1John 4:16) and love does not impute (make a record) of evil (1Corinthians 13:5). Remember the message Paul said God had given him to preach?

2 Corinthians 5:
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

God was in Christ NOT IMPUTTING their trespasses.

Psalms 32:
1Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven (lifted up), whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

So, if God does not make a record of sin why did Christ die? Why would He give His life a sacrifice to God? Did Christ pay our sin debt to God? This is how the cross was explained to me all of my life. That Christ had to die before God could forgive us. I would like to challenge this belief and give you something that will change your life even as you read this paper.

The record of sin is kept by us not God. We are the ones who keep the record of our sins and the sins people have committed against us. Our sins cause us to feel shame and guilt. What others have done against us creates anger, wrath, resentment, and bitterness. It is the sin between our ears, stored in our minds that must be lifted up. God has not made the record we have. The cross delivers us from all sin and instills the love of God in our hearts allowing us to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as our self. How does the cross accomplish this?

John 3:16 tells us God loves us as much as He loves Jesus. Jesus is the price God was willing to pay that we might know His love. Therefore, God loves us as much as He loves His only begotten Son. If this be true then God loves us as though we are His very own children. This also means there wasn't a time in your life His love was any different than it is right now. His love is not conditional. God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son. That is a truth that cannot be refuted. Consider the very men to put Christ to death. There isn't a single thing in your life that could even come close to bringing God to the point of anger as watching someone kill His Son. Think about it! Even the very people who killed His Son were forgiven on the spot. This means God forgives you and me. If God does not carry our sin then neither should we. Even what people have done against us. God forgives them too. If God forgives them how can we be any different?

Christ stated in John 3:
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Christ was the serpent lifted up. What He projected outwardly was a picture of the sinner inwardly. His crown of thorns pictured our guilt and shame. (Those thoughts that prick our conscience and cause the inward pain we all endure). His stripes are a picture of what others have done to us. Not one wound or blemish on His body was self inflicted. Hebrews 9:14 states that Christ offered Himself to God unblemished. (Before He died He prayed Father forgive them for they know not what they do). The darkness of the land pictures the darkness we live in before coming to a knowledge of the truth. Last of all is the nakedness we see when looking at the cross. We walk in nakedness when we manifest our own way instead of wearing the robes of Christ's righteousness and living as an example of God's love.
By receiving God's understanding of the cross we learn of His great love and compassion He has for us. We begin to see how He totally understands us and the pain we have endured from others. His message to us is, “I understand how hurt you are and the pain you endure. Remember, vengeance belongs to me. I will repay”. To those who receive the truth of His love He will comfort and lift up the iniquity. For those who reject Him they will discover how they have judged themselves unworthy of eternal life.

Have you ever been afraid of another person? Have you experienced the fear that happens when you see a policeman and you think you have been speeding? Fear and dread will grip you when you think you are going to be caught and have to pay the dreaded fine. Well, multiply that many times over to get the feeling of fear people will have when facing a holy God and believing He is angry with them. Not knowing the truth of God's love will bring about what is described in Revelation 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Why would they flee from love? Only because they never received the love of the truth. They have made God like unto themselves and believed He was keeping a record of all their wrong doings. They never understood that God knows why they do what they do and doesn't condemn them. They will die in their sin never knowing the love of God. How is it that God does not condemn?

Thoughts produce feelings and feelings move us to action. There isn't a thing you can say or do that doesn't start in your mind. If the mind is full of iniquity the result will be rebellion and sin. Iniquity is twisted thinking. Only the cross can straighten out the crooked places and allow us to see with the insight our Father has toward us. God will never condemn a blind man because he can't see or a crippled man because he can't walk. All of us are blind and crippled from birth. The condemnation comes when we reject the light He sends and it comes through our own imaginings. Remember, He isn't keeping a record of sin. He simply wants to help us see the light of His character as portrayed when His Son was crucified. He is not condemning us. If we believe He is we will carry that condemnation until we come to a knowledge of the truth or die of shame in the presence of a holy God.


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