Have you ever forgotten the sermon before you even get to your car? That is why it is so important to take notes and review at lunch what you learned from the word, and think about how you are going to apply it throughout the week. This blog post is about reflecting on Sunday’s sermon, “The Grace of Substitution” while seeking to apply God’s word through the week, so that we will not be forgetful hearers, but effectual doers (James 1:25). Feel free to share how God’s word challenged or encouraged you this past Sunday.
It is an honor to be held accountable for my actions.
I think when we agree with Scripture’s assessment of the nature of man, my nature, then the grace of the substitution of Christ becomes all the more wonderful. I am accountable for my actions. I can’t blame them on others. However, someone was there to willingly take the blame for me, be my substitution and to atone for my sin.2 Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
God made Jesus to be sin for me. I began to think about what all that entails…the punishment, the shame, the guilt, the separation from God. That was all placed on Jesus instead of me. That is so encouraging. The purpose is then revealed to challenge me. Jesus’ substitution is not so that I can live however I want, but so that I might then “become the righteous of God in Him.”
There is so much packed in the words, “become the righteousness of God in Him.” My purpose for God’s substituting Jesus in my place is that I would then be freed from sin to bear the image of His righteous character. This is to be done in relationship with Christ as I am “in Him.” In other words, I need to live out my trust in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ in a way that I reflect the character of God because of my close, intimate union with Christ, the One who took my punishment.
His death freed me to live for Him.
I also have a new definition of “man up.” It doesn’t mean to believe you are the best and to just try harder; it means to admit your nature as a sinful man, run to the cross and trust in the substitutionary death of Christ. I pray that my family see me as a man who takes responsibility for his actions and sin and regularly admits his need for the substitutionary atonement of a perfect Savior.
How did Sunday’s message challenge and encourage you?