The church has proclaimed the good news that every single sin of humanity was placed upon Jesus at Calvary. However, this wonderful truth is merely the white shell of a dead interior.
Perhaps the greatest hypocrisy of the modern church is that Jesus bore every sin. On its own, this is a wonderful truth. We are told that Jesus, being the sinless and perfect Son of God, chose to sacrifice Himself on the cross, bearing the wrath of God and every single sin you have ever and will ever commit. All of your guilt and shame, past, present, and future, He carried. Anyone hearing this will understand what kind of saviour Jesus is. He has defeated sin and death and saved humanity from its sins, despite everything it has done to Him and how it has rejected Him, making certain its final destination and perfection in Him.
And He is the Head of the body, the ecclesia, Who is Sovereign, Firstborn from among the dead, that in all He may be becoming first, for in Him the entire complement delights to dwell, and through Him to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens. (Colossians 1:18-20, Concordant Literal New Testament)
And yet, in spite of this incredible truth, walking into the church we hear another message altogether. From the Love Worth Finding blog,
People don’t go to hell primarily because they lie, steal, or cheat. It’s much worse than that. People go to hell because of unbelief. Unbelief is the major sin—the mother sin, the father sin, the sin out of which all other sins grow. It is the one sin that will damn you and send you to hell.
We read the truth on the church message board but inside we hear the real story. We hear that Jesus bore every sin except one, the most powerful sin of all, capable of thwarting even God’s plan to save humanity. And unfortunately, this “father sin” is the sin millions of people commit every day and it will send them to Hell for eternity. But if a superhero, who chooses to save people despite their personal feelings towards him, is a greater saviour than the Jesus you proclaim, it might be time to run from your religion.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:27-28 ESV)
The Pharisees’ hypocrisy came in the form of self-righteousness and the modern church falters in much the same way. Jesus’ work is complete and He bore every sin of our past, present, and future on the cross. But then you must choose to believe it, repent, and complete the work or else your unbelief will send you to an eternal hell. Jesus can’t save you from there. We see the outside of the church and admire its beauty but inside we simply find another deceptive tongue that expects humanity to overcome its sinful state by its own strength and will. We must somehow summon the faith from somewhere inside and believe, yet in our own human ability this is impossible (Romans 3:11). There is a powerful reason why we were made in such a way, but I’ll save that for now.
Let us be hypocrites no more. Let’s provide the world with the glorious and joyful truth. Jesus bore every sin on the cross, including unbelief. The cross is for the glory of God and in His ability to save, not ours. Salvation belongs to God, not in the choice and ability of man. The wonderful result of this is that even those who disbelieve now will eventually abide with God in His majesty and love for all eternity. How does this happen? The same way it did for you and me. God’s sovereignty and will overcomes man’s stubbornness and imparts to us the faith to believe and everything else (Romans 12:3 and Acts 17:25). This way God receives all the glory and praise He’s due. Let’s look at another victory the cross accomplished….
….or since, in fact, through a man came death, through a Man, also, comes the resurrection of the dead. For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22 CLNT)
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:18-19 ESV bold)
If by one man death entered into all then by one man life will also enter into all. Adam’s mistake does not rule over Christ’s work, and yet it now astounds me that Christianity teaches the opposite with a straight face. Adam’s mistake managed to condemn all of humanity but Christ’s work accomplished nothing if you don’t actually believe it. Why is this hypocritical? Because eternal damnation will be the fate of millions, despite them not actually believing in that too! This is the danger and hypocrisy of free will. Paul painfully laments this very thing,
For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. (Philippians 3:18-19 ESV bold mine)
The “earthly things” Paul is noting here aren’t the sexual or gluttonous passions of non-believers, as Christians have portrayed it, but rather it is the saving of ourselves through our own flesh and will which thereby leads to boastful self-righteousness. It is not giving glory to God for His marvelous work but glorying in ourselves and claiming to be on the right side of history all because we had the sense to “accept” salvation and allow Jesus into our lives. Christianity teaches that you are saved because you believe, yet Paul says something entirely contrary to that,
…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 ESV)
Friends, did you catch that? While we were still sinners, being that while we were rejecting Him, spitting in His face, and living for ourselves, Christ died for us. What that means is that Christ bore all of our sin, including our rejection and unbelief, while we hadn’t done a single thing for Him. Now the Gospel is this: We aren’t saved because we believe, we believe because we have first been saved. Salvation is a truth for all, the only difference is that some are given the faith on this earth to believe and experience the joy and blessing that brings, others will be given faith during a future eon (“eon” being the Greek word for a portion of time, such as an era or an age and these we will soon examine in another article). This is all part of God’s sovereign will and purpose for each and every person and whether one believes in Him now or later does not make that person better than another. This is why Paul completely levels the playing field before presenting his gospel.
We are saved by grace and justified “gratuitously….through the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24 CLNT). That is a powerful word. Gratuitously. It is defined as having done something “without good reason.” And there’s the key to deliverance. There was absolutely nothing in you and I that was worthy of salvation and yet we were saved and justified anyway. How? Because Jesus bore every sin.