It is Finished!
By Mike Gendron
Ever since man first sinned before our holy and righteous God, he has been trying to cover his guilt and become acceptable to God through self effort. Adam and Eve tried to make a covering for their sin by sewing fig leaves together, but God showed them that sin could never be covered by the works of man. Innocent blood would have to be shed. An animal had to be slain so God could use the skin to cover their sin (Genesis 3:7, 21). This act of God's mercy foreshadowed the shedding of His Son's blood for the forgiveness of sin for all who believe, "for without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Hebrew 9:22).
Adam and Eve's futile attempt to become righteous before God was indeed the first religious act by man. Since then, thousands of religions have sprung up, each creating their own worthless set of rules and rituals designed to gain acceptance before God. Religious work can never earn acceptance from God. Jesus said that it is impossible for man to save himself (Luke 18:24-27). There is absolutely nothing man can do to make peace with God. Only when we realize our hopeless condition can we begin to understand the good news -- that which is impossible for man has been accomplished through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The mission Christ came to earth to do for sinful man has been finished. The work of salvation is done. The eternal debt for sin has been paid in full.
Sinners must understand that perfect righteousness is necessary for entry into God's Kingdom. Since sinful man can never be righteous, Christ is his only hope. "Christ is the end of the Law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes" (Rom. 10:4). Had Jesus sinned, even once, He would have been disqualified to pay the ransom for our sins. He willingly died for our sins, in our place, to pay the debt that we could never pay. "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness: by His wounds you have been healed" (I Peter 2:24). How devastating it is that Catholics continue to trust in things that cannot save them from God's wrath. No one would be foolish enough to copy a $100 bill and trust that it would have purchasing power. Yet Catholics trust in the sacrifice of the Mass (a blasphemous copy of Calvary) as a sin offering to God, rather than trusting in the one-time, sufficient, sacrifice of Christ. Jesus appeared "to take away sins once for all" by His sacrifice (Hebrews 9:26). "Through His blood God made Him the means of expiation (of sin) for all who believe" (Romans 3:25). Vatican II denies the truthfulness of these sacred Scriptures by teaching that "Sins must be expiated...on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and trials of this life and, above all, through death. Otherwise the expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments" (page 63, Vatican Council II Documents). What a terrible deception to impose on faithful Roman Catholics who look to their church for the truth! The very reason and purpose Christ became man and suffered such an excruciating death was to expiate sin, once and for all, by His perfect sacrifice. How can any church, which claims to follow Christ, withhold this truth from its people and create in its place doctrines that nullify the Savior's finished work?
Roman Catholic teachings also nullify another accomplishment of Christ -- the purification of sins. The writer of the book of Hebrews declared that "after He (Jesus) had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in Heaven" (Hebrews 1:3). The apostle John also proclaimed that those who trust Christ are purified from all sin, by His blood (I John 1:7). It must really disappoint our gracious Savior to see His purging sacrifice erased by the Catholic Church and replaced with the purging fires of purgatory. Vatican Council II states that "in purgatory those...who have not made satisfaction with adequate penance for their sins and omissions are cleansed after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt" (page 64). Jesus reconciled the world to God, changing its relationship with God from hostility to harmony. The completion of the reconciliation of man to God occurs when an individual repents and trusts Christ as his Savior. "It is in Christ and through His blood that we have been redeemed and our sins are forgiven" (Ephesians 1:7). Being reconciled to God is difficult for Catholics to comprehend, for they have been taught the only way to make peace with God is through a life long journey of works -- receiving the sacraments, going to Mass and doing penance. The only response to the accomplishments of Christ that will reconcile one to God is a response of repentance and faith. We must put our trust in Christ and cease from trusting in anything else.
What Jesus Accomplished for the Whole World
- He provided the only way for sinful man to be saved (Acts 4:12).
- He testified to the truth. Those who seek the truth listen to Him (John 18:37).
- He came to give life to a world condemned to death (John 14:6).
- He showed the world the only way to the Father (John 14:6).
- He gave His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).
- He bore our sin in His body on a tree (I Peter 2:24).
- He died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6).
- He gave Himself up for us as a sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2).
What Jesus Accomplished for Those Who Repent and Believe in Him
- He died for us so that we may live together with Him (I Thessalonians 5:9).
- He gave Himself for us to purify a people that are His very own (Titus 2:14).
- He died for sins, once for all, to bring us to God (I Peter 3:18).
- He became sin for us so, in Him, we could become the righteousness of God (II Corinthians 5:21).
- He has forgiven all our sins (Colossians 1:14).
- He purified us from all sin (I John 1:7; Hebrews 1:3).
- He has reconciled us to God, changing our relationship with Him from one of hostility to one of harmony and peace (Ephesians 2:14-18).
- He redeemed us from the power of sin (Galatians 3:10-14, 22).
- He justified us (declared us righteous) (Romans 4:23-25).
- He expiated (took away) our sins and will never count them against us (Hebrews 9:26; Romans 4:6-8).
- He saved us from condemnation (John 3:18, 5:24).
- He delivered us from the dominion of Satan (I John 3:8).
- By His atoning sacrifice He satisfied (propitiated) completely the wrath of God for our sin (I John 2:2).
- He transformed us into new creations that long to obey God (Galatians 2:20; II Corinthians 5:17).
- He brought us into His kingdom (Colossians 1:13).