We sinned against him,
but he didn’t give us the punishment we deserved.
His love for his followers is
as high above us as heaven is above the earth.
And he has taken our sins
as far away from us as the east is from the west.
The LORD is as kind to his followers
as a father is to his children.
He knows all about us.
He knows we are made from dust.
Psalm 103:10-14 (ERV)
Last night a friend of mine posted this scripture on his Facebook. I read it right before I went to bed and found myself repeating the first lines over and over again in amazement. We have sinned against Him, but he does not give us the punishment we deserve. Did you get that? We have betrayed God, but he has not given us the due punishment that he could rightfully lay upon us.
This is essentially a summary of the Gospel. This is the good news that Jesus Christ came to proclaim. That God desires mercy, not judgement. That God is our Father, and all who put faith in Him are his children. He has forgiven us. He remembers our sin no longer. He sees us as we are- dust- and yet loves us anyway.
This is the message of Christianity. This is the message that the world so desperately needs and that the church has so quickly forgotten. All who trust in Jesus initially put their trust in this truth. But so quickly we fall away from that message and replace it with some other knock off. We have been redeemed. We have been set free from who we used to be. Our sins, our past, our mistakes, they are no longer a part of us. They were separated as far as the east from the west as Jesus Christ stretched out his arms on a cross for us. God no longer sees us as we once were, he sees us a children. He treats us a sons, as heirs.
The Gospel of Jesus is not so much that we are saved from hell, though we are. Nor is the Gospel that justice will be brought to an unjust world, though it will be. The Gospel isn’t even primarily that a Kingdom is being created. Even though that is a large part of it. The Gospel is that Jesus has not given us the punishment that we deserve. The Gospel is that we are children of the God of the Universe. The Gospel is that God sees us, our past, our hearts, our thoughts, and desires us all the more. The Gospel is that we have changed, redeemed, made new, loved, given purpose, and are made to bring share and bring forth the Kingdom of God.
Last night as I laid my head down on my pillow, peace and joy surged through my spirit. This truth has liberated me. It has given me hope. Despite my failures. Despite my wickedness. Despite my hypocrisy. I am loved. I am forgiven. And it’s not that God has gotten Divine Amnesia. He sees me as I am…and calls me Son anyways.
Whoever you are, Christian or not, this is the best news that could ever be proclaimed. May you respond to this news and experience the joy and peace that comes through knowing God as Father and being known by God, being made new, forgiven, and liberated from all the things that you used to be.
Receive this Gospel, friend.