One sin can ruin a soul for ever; it is not in the power of the human mind to grasp the infinity of evil that slumbereth in the bowels of one solitary sin. There is a very infinity of guilt couched in one transgression against the majesty of heaven. If, then, you and I had sinned but once, nothing but an atonement infinite in value could ever have washed away the sin and made satisfaction for it.
But has it been once that you and I have transgressed? Nay, my brethren, our iniquities are more in number than the hairs of our head; they have mightily prevailed against us. We might as well attempt to number the sands upon the sea-shore, or count the drops which in their aggregate do make the ocean, as attempt to count the transgressions which have marked our lives.
How great then, beloved, must be the ransom of Christ, when he saved us from all these sins! The men for whom Jesus died however great their sin, when they believe, are sanctified from all their transgressions. Though they may have indulged in every vice and every lust which Satan could suggest, and which human nature could perform, yet once believing, all their guilt is washed away.
First, tell how high is sin, and, then, remember that as Noahs flood prevailed over the tops of earths mountains, so the flood of Christs redemption prevails over the tops of the mountains of our sins. In heavens courts there are to-day men that once were murderers, and thieves, and drunkards, and whoremongers, and blasphemers, and persecutors; but they have been washed they have been sanctified.
The God of the Bible is not the God of some mens imagination, who thinks so little of sin that he passes it by without demanding any punishment for it. He is not the God of the men who imagine that our transgressions are such little things, such mere peccadilloes that the God of heaven winks at them, and suffers them to die forgotten.
No Jehovah, Israels God hath declared concerning himself, “The Lord thy God is a jealous God.” It is his own declaration, “I will by no means clear the guilty.” “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Learn ye, my friends, to look upon God as being as severe in his justice as if he were not loving, and yet as loving as if he were not severe. His love does not diminish his justice nor does his justice, in the least degree, make warfare upon his love.
The two things are sweetly linked together in the atonement of Christ. But, mark, we can never understand the fullness of the atonement till we have first grasped the Scriptural truth of Gods immense justice.
There was never an ill word spoken, nor an ill thought conceived, nor an evil deed done for which God will not have punishment from some one or another. He will either have satisfaction from you, or else from Christ. If you have no atonement to bring through Christ you must for ever lie paying the debt which you never can pay, in eternal misery; for as surely as God is God, he will sooner lose his Godhead than suffer one sin to go unpunished, or one particle of rebellion unrevenged.
You may say that this character of God is cold, and stern, and severe. I cannot help what you say of it; it is nevertheless true. Such is the God of the Bible; and though we repeat it is true that he is love, it is no more true that he is love than that he is full of justice for every good thing meets in God, and is carried to perfection, whilst love reaches to consummate loveliness, justice reaches to the sternness of inflexibility in him.
Love hath its full sway, and justice hath no narrower limit than his love. Oh! then, beloved, think how great must have been the substitution of Christ, when it satisfied God for all the sins of his people. For mans sin God demands eternal punishment; and God hath prepared a hell into which he casts those who die impenitent.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible