The Atonement

The Atonement

FIRST, a thrilling statement of the Apostle Paul: ‘In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation’ (2 Corinthians 5: 19). Think about that. The message of the Gospel is not about the appeasement of a God who is angry at our failings: it is about a God of love, in His mercy providing a way for us to be reconciled, after our failings have alienated us from Him. Now the Apostle John: ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ (1 John 1: 9). What does that mean? We are sinners, by our nature we are unrighteous. But God wants to cleanse us from our unrighteousness. Clearly it does not mean that God will make us into sinless people, because we

Jesus the Saviour

Jesus the Saviour

YOU MAY HAVE HEARD it said more than once that the Bible teaches that we are all sinners. That there is none that is good and that all are equal in the sight of God. Equally sinners. That this is true there can be no doubt, but sometimes sinners can be encouraged by the knowledge that they are sinners amongst so many others. Looked at like this, being a sinner does not seem half so bad. But to be a lone sinner —a personal sinner—is a very different matter. In such a situation our sins take on a different hue and our position takes on a different perspective. It is true that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, but if you are to be saved he died for your sins in particular. If he is to save me personally, then his sacrifice could not have been avoided,

For those who have Lost their Sheen

For those who have Lost their Sheen

LOTS OF US are kind of broken. We’ve been through things in our lives we’d rather forget. If I was a car, I’d be the one with the scratched and dented bodywork and some trouble starting up. For people like us, there are words of Jesus which will come like music to our ears: “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavour, how shall it be seasoned?” (Luke 14:34). For other people, the ones with pristine bodywork and an engine that starts first time, this might go straight over their heads. If they are paying attention, they may simply think: “If salt has lost its flavour you’d just throw it out, wouldn’t you?” But it was those whose lives had lost their sheen to whom Jesus spoke: “Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to him to hear him” (Luke 15:1). It’s obvious, isn’t

Getting to Know the Devil

Getting to Know the Devil

THE DEVIL is something that many people fear, believing it to be a powerful evil being or force, the enemy of God who incites us to do bad things (or sin). Mythology, art and horror fiction have added to the idea; it is also convenient to have something to blame for our own misdeeds! Let’s look for the truth about this subject. The Bible is the Word of God, and so is the only authority we can turn to. The fact is that the devil is less frightening but more personal than we might think. Let’s start with the good news. Whatever we will discover about the devil, whatever it is, it has no power to harm us. The Bible explains that Jesus destroyed the devil, through his own death as a perfect sacrifice: Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared in

Your e-mails- April 2021

Your e-mails- April 2021

JG writes: “Will God forgive all sins we commit in the future, including sins we do not confess and sins we do not realise we have committed? And what about sins we deliberately commit?” This is the second of two questions on the crucial subject of sin and forgiveness. You can find the first question at www.gladtidingsmagazine.org. THE DEATH OF the Lord Jesus Christ is effective to forgive sins for those who are in a covenant relationship with God. In the last issue we saw that the key requirements for forgiveness are: • understanding and believing the Gospel as revealed in the Bible • repentance • baptism (by immersion in water) • and then a life lived in harmony with God’s commandments. But what happens if we continue to sin after our baptism? More Sin, More Grace? When God forgives sins it is an act of ‘grace’—undeserved favour. It seems