There is a right way and a wrong way to read the Bible, and we are bound to misinterpret it if we do not read it through the lens of grace. The finished works of Jesus completely did away with the Law of Moses, which was built on the assumption that the people had to do something first before God could bless them. The Holy Spirit guides us on how Jesus’ finished works impact every area of our lives. We no longer have to work hard to fulfill every commandment, but simply believe in what Jesus did for us on the cross.
In the New Testament, we read that we must forgive others before God can forgive us, but this instruction was given before Jesus’ crucifixion. His death on the cross changed everything, and a study of the Scriptures reveals we are now forgiven. If we are already carrying a burden of unforgiveness because of what someone else did to us, the knowledge that Jesus took care of this sin frees us from this burden. The blood He shed for us means we no longer have to live as if He never went to the cross.
Jesus’ forgiveness even enables us to forgive ourselves for mistakes we’ve made in the past. It eliminates the guilt and shame which causes us to condemn ourselves. God knows how painful shame is, which is why Christ made a point of defeating it, along with everything else that causes condemnation.
This applies to any other sin with which we struggle. Before the cross, people were required to clean themselves up, first, before they could go before God. After the cross, we aren’t required to clean ourselves up. Jesus does that for us. Leaning on Him gives us the strength and ability to do things we could never do on our own.
God, through Your grace You gave us the wisdom to understand Your Word and how it relates to us today. We no longer live under the Law of Moses. Thank You for freeing us to live new-covenant lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.
- Matthew 6:14, 15
- Luke 23:34
- Ephesians 4:32
- Colossians 3:13
- Hebrews 12:2
- Romans 8:1
- Romans 9:33
- Romans 10:11
- 1 Peter 2:6
- Philippians 4:13