Thursday, February 6, 2014

Clean Sheets

There is something really special about climbing into bed the night after you have washed your sheets on your bed. If you disagree with me, well... hmm... I can't think of why anyone would not love climbing into a bed with freshly cleaned sheets.

At church, we are going through the book of 1 John in a sermon series titled, "Are you Really a Christian?" The title alone is enough to get you to sit up straight and pay attention. A few weeks ago the sermon was on confession of sin and that one of the "tests" of a true believer is a regular confession and turning from sin.

"If we deny our sin, we mock the most important work of God on the cross." As the pastor said this that morning, it really struck me and I have come back to it often in the past few weeks.

So Holly... why is the blog post titled "Clean Sheets"?

Good question... that same weekend about confession of sin, we washed the sheets on our bed. Yes, there is more than a timing coincidence.

As I went to bed, the reality of what work was done on the cross sank in deeply to my heart.

Clean sheets.

His work on the cross 2000+ years ago cleanses me from all unrighteousness. He died for ALL sin... past, present and future. He died for my sin. He died for your sin. He died for THAT sin that no one speaks about in the church. He died for all the unspeakable acts that humanity has done in all history. He died for that rude comment you made today. He died for the jealousy you feel around that friend. He died the angry look toward your colleague. He died. Once. For all.

There is a comfortable embrace when you climb into bed with freshly cleaned sheets. There is an embrace that awaits as we accept the forgiveness he offers us on the cross.

Our legalistic society wants us to focus on the good works we do or the bad works we need to improve on. Christ calls us to understand the ONE saving work he did on the cross. He does not have to die daily on the cross for our daily sins. It was a payment, a ransom... to satisfy our just God that is good for all time... for each of us. Yes, we must be daily confessing our sins... specifically. But, we can live in the knowledge knowing that sin is forgiven, paid for, washed clean.

We cannot pay the debt. We cannot work enough to get there. We cannot get our act cleaned up enough.

The really crazy part of it all is that as we allow ourselves to understand our identity in Christ as a forgiven and adopted child of God we can live with freedom to experience the sanctification and transforming power of the Gospel daily in our lives.

As Josh says, the already, not yet... we are already saved, but we are not yet fully saved from our sinful earthly bodies. We are already made right before God, but we are not yet living in eternity with God.

I'm pretty sure that clean sheets will be the only kind of sheets in heaven!