Who has done more for us than Jesus? Who’s ever come close? No one loves like Jesus. No one and nothing delivers on their promises like Jesus. The good news of forgiveness from all of our crimes, being made a child of God and a co-heir with Christ, does the heart good . Forever. Jesus has wounded the Dragon, and he is coming back to get his girl, his beautiful church.
the tale of tales
The Bible is the tale of tales. A Jesus-exalting view of the Bible means that you refuse to view the Bible (and the Christian experience) as mere regulations and sanctions for life on earth. The Bible is way more than that. Children’s book author Sally Lloyd-Jones says it best:
No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules , or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne —everything— to rescue the ones he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life! You see, the best thing about this Story is— it’s true.
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby . Every story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in the puzzle—the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
What beautiful picture? A crucified, risen, sin-pardoning hero—your hero. Your Savior. Your Jesus, and he killed the big bad wolf. Your sin is finished. Do you believe it? As in all good tales, the enemy is vanquished. It’s time to believe it— that’s part of the “happily ever after.” As in all good tales, the enemy is vanquished. It’s time to believe it – that’s part of the “happily ever after.”
As in all good tales . . .
As in all good tales, the enemy is vanquished. It’s time to believe it—that’s part of the “happily ever after.” How would you describe your relationship with sin? For the Christian, only one word in the Bible fits: deceased. God’s Word doesn’t say that we are simply weakened, cold, hardened, or numb to sin; it declares that we are dead to sin and alive to God because of Jesus. “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6: 11). If you’re like me, you probably don’t always feel this way toward sin, but the gospel brings great news. You are no longer under the power, control, and kingdom of Satan and his toxic meal-deals
If you are in Christ, look at how the Bible describes your relationship with sin. I heard these from the great Scottish theologian Sinclair Ferguson, in a seminary class, and I pass them on to you:
- Sin is no longer your king: “Let not sin therefore reign” (Rom. 6: 12).
- Sin is not your commander: “Do not present your members to sin as instruments [weapons]” (v. 13).
- Sin is done being your dictator: “For sin will have no dominion over you” (v. 14).
- Sin is no longer your master: “You were slaves of sin” (v. 20).
- Sin is no longer your employer: “The wages of sin is death” (v. 23).
Sin controlled you, but no more. You are free. Jesus smashed sin’s scepter, and now he reigns forever. The Lion of Judah roars against all other predators.
back to the gospel—again
Go back to the gospel—again. Not for conversion, but for comfort.
But maybe you don’t feel like you are dead to sin. There is hope. If you are a Christian and your life still sleeps in the pigpen—it is time to confess, repent, and walk in the freedom that Jesus has already purchased for you. Go back to the gospel—again. Not for conversion, but for comfort. The gospel— Jesus’ death and resurrection—is a one-time event, but we believe it more than once—we believe it and re-believe it every day. God’s gospel declares that you are free. You are safe in Christ, and he is ready to help you. Go to God. Cherish the foreverness of Jesus’ work for you, walk in grace, and life change is on the way. In fact, it has already touched down.
Paul’s instruction from Romans 6: 11 is clear: “You also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Believe it. Don’t close this book till you do. Your being dead to sin is as true and real as Jesus being alive. Christian, you must consider your ties with sin to be forever severed by the blood of Jesus. This is what it means to believe the gospel again—believing the glorious gifts of the gospel.
We will still sin, and Jesus will continue to own us. Sin is no match for Jesus. He’s already shown what he can do. Jesus is bigger, stronger, faster, and greater than all our sin: “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3: 3). Do you believe that you are dead to sin? Do you believe that you are alive? What sin do you think you’ll never have victory over ? Today that lie ends; the crimson flood swallows it up—your joy is found in gospel truth. Jesus is the great curse -lifter promised in the garden of Eden (Gen. 3: 15), the great gloom-cleanser of the land, the heavenly and human harbinger of joy.
J.A. Medders is the Lead Pastor of Redeemer Church in Tomball, TX. He and Natalie have two kids, Ivy and Oliver. Jeff digs caffeinated drinks, books, and the Triune God. He blogs at www.jamedders.com and tweets from @mrmedders. Jeff’s first book, Gospel-Formed: Living a Grace-Addicted, Truth-Filled, Jesus-Exalting Life, released this November from Kregel.
Excerpted by permission. Gospel Formed: Living a Grace-Addicted, Truth-Filled, Jesus-Exalting Life by J. A. Medders, Kregel Publications 2014