“Someone died for this slightly off-base irritating brother. He is Abel offering his blood sacrifice, and love says I count his offering as sufficient.” From the book Grace in Community by Jim McNeely I wanted to return to the very powerful and fruitful story of Cain and Abel as it pertains to the idea of […]
I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins. Isaiah 43:25 For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more. Hebrews 8:12 He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under […]
We, as a group, are a community of sinners who have mercy and grace in His blood. We are new creatures in Christ, but sin still lives on in us as a kind of living dead zombie presence. We should be very very clear that the heart of the gospel is not that we are personally transformed. It is that we are justified. We are redeemed. We are reconciled.
So even if you affirm the truth of God’s wrath as a point of doctrine, you must come to the place where you celebrate it. You must see that He loves dearly and so He stands passionately and completely against anything that would harm us.
My contention is that ‘substitution’ is not a further ‘theory’ or ‘image’ to be set alongside the others, but rather the foundation of them all, without which each lacks cogency. If God in Christ did not die in our place, there could be neither propitiation, nor redemption, nor justification, nor reconciliation.
We will be continuing to do all we can to expand the reach of Therefore Now Ministries as well; we see these two ministries as being very closely tied. All new study and speculation and out-loud thinking over theological issues will continue to happen on thereforenow.com, which is my main personal blog.
In the end the important transformation is that we enter the community of the beloved and redeemed. Anyone can be personally holy if they section themselves off from all society and influence. We are not called to the darkness and isolation of theoretical holiness, we are called to the light of relationship with real imperfect people.