I am currently preaching through a series at my church titled, “The Christians true identity.”
This week I will be preaching on our identity being found in the reality of Christ’s pardon of our sins.
As Christians, we are Pardoned, in Him (Christ).
The following questions and answers are a collection of thoughts I have written out on the topic to prepare my heart and mind to preach on the topic. This is not my sermon but prep work for my sermon.
I pray you are blessed by these glorious truths.
What does it mean to be Pardoned?
To be pardoned is to be forgiven for an offense that you or someone has committed. The pardoned person has been released from the charges that were held against them previously.
What is the offense of the person you have in mind?
The person who stands in Adam is seen as a sinner before God because he has that head as his representative. This person can do no good that can gain him heaven as long as he is found in the guilt of his first head (Adam). This sinner must receive pardon for his sin through faith in Christ and repentance of sin.
What does the criminal deserve for breaking the law?
The criminal deserves the weight and penalty of the broken law to fall on Him. Because he has broken one law, before God, He has broken every law. Therefore, his punishment for the breaking of God’s holy law is death.
On what basis is the pardon given to an individual?
On the basis of someone else paying the fee of the guilty party. Jesus, came from Heaven to earth as the second Adam to perfectly accomplish what Adam failed to accomplish, namely perfect obedience. In His life, Jesus obediently and willingly submitted Himself to His Father’s will and commands, found in the Law of God (This can also be referred to as Christ Active obedience).
Moreover, Jesus bore the full wrath of God on the cross for sinners bearing the shame and the guilty that we deserved. Not only did Jesus suffer on the cross for our sin but Isaiah tells us that his life was filled with suffering (Man of sorrows). Jesus suffered in His life and in HIs death (This can also be referred to as Christ Passive obedience).
Jesus became a substitute for all those His father gave him and in doing so He completed the work of redemption for all of God’s elect.
What does the pardoned person receive once his penalty has been forgiven, removed, and covered?
The person who has been pardoned from his sin has been pardoned on the basis of Christ’s perfect life and sacrificial death applied to them. This pardoned sinner has received complete forgiveness of sin and he has received the imputed righteousness of Christ.
As a result, this former cosmic criminal has now been justified and stands before the thrice Holy God, no longer clothed in his own righteousness (which was filthy rags before God) but now he stands covered and clothed in the purple garments of Christ royal righteousness.
How should this former cosmic criminal see himself after the pardoning of his sin?
Through faith in Christ and repentance of sin, which was extended to him by the grace of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, this former criminal, now turn saint should spend the rest of his days on earth believing and embracing his new identity, most clearly seen in the person of Christ as written in the scriptures, which is the word of God.
This new creation in Christ is called to grow in Christlikeness as he renews his mind through the reading and meditation of God’s word, conforming his life to the whole of scripture and doing whatever the Lord commands him through the law-word of God, in the spirit of a child who obeys their parents (God said it, I believe it!).
This process of growth is what the bible refers to as sanctification (the process of being conformed into the image of Christ) and that pursuit of Christ is a lifelong journey that the Christian partakes in until the return of Christ.
Does the sinner deserve death?
Absolutely! “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
Does the sinner deserve mercy and grace?
Absolutely not! The only thing the sinner has earned and can ever earn within himself is his wages which he has earned, namely death.
How can God forgive sinners?
He can forgive them based on the offering up of His Son who became a substitute in place of those sinners. As a result, Jesus was the just, justifier of those who put their faith in Him (Romans 3:26)
In Christ, we receive a full pardon for our sin. That pardon (forgiveness) is given freely, and abundantly to undeserving sinners who know they have nothing to offer God in themselves and in turn trust in Christ’s life on their behalf.
Is your identity found in the reality of what Christ accomplished on behalf of sinners? Or are you still standing in your own righteousness today?
I pray that you turn to Christ by faith today if you are not in Him.
He is a gracious and merciful savior to those who flee to Him and abandon all hope in themselves.
Ask Him to forgive your sin today, as you confess your need for him, by turning away from your sin (repentance).
Today is the day of salvation.
If you are in Christ, then continue to walk in Him by faith as you constantly meditate on these beautiful realities that Christ accomplished on your behalf.
Grace and Peace.