The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
Throughout my years as a pastor, it has not been uncommon to hear people in the church, young and old alike, who have been saved by grace through faith, say, “I’m sure God is angry with me for what I have done!”
Allow me to clear this up right now: Jesus Christ received all the anger, wrath, and judgment for your sins while He hung on the cross, paying the penalty in full for your sins; because He did that, God can never be angry with you. Let me say that one more time: God can never be angry with you.
When Jesus cried out “It is finished!” from the cross (John 19:30), He meant what He said! God’s anger against your sins was fully exhausted on Jesus Christ. Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath and completely satisfied the justice of His Father in heaven. Because of what Jesus has done for fallen sinners who have trusted in Him, we are declared “Not guilty.” As Paul explained so well, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).
Because God condemned Jesus on the cross, He can never and will never condemn you for anything. Now, that does not mean that you will never be disciplined for the times you rebel against God. God disciplines His wayward children, just as any loving, responsible parent will do. But this discipline is delivered in love for God’s glory and your good.
All too often, we anxious sinners start listening to the devil’s accusations and we start believing them. “How could you possibly have done that?” the serpent hisses cruelly at us. “You really blew it that time! God must be FURIOUS with you. Why, you’re probably not even saved! What kind of a real Christian could do a thing like THAT?!” We’ve all heard those sly whispers; what we must remember is that the devil is a liar and has been since the beginning (John 8:44). We must listen to our Lord, not to the liar; when we do, we can rest assured in our redemption, knowing that the Almighty is not angry with us.
Perhaps there was a time in your life when you found yourself in a relationship where someone cast you aside, kicked you to the curb, and walked away from you. Hear me well when I say this, Christian: Jesus will never do that to you! When He hung on that cross, you were on His heart and your name was on His cracked lips. Jesus lived for you. Jesus died for you. Jesus rose from the dead for you. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God the Father making intercession for you at this very moment. And one day, Jesus will return to set the new heavens and the new earth in place, where all the saints of God will live together Coram Deo — before the face of God.
You remember that Peter denied Jesus on the night He was betrayed — not once, but three times. Do you remember how Jesus responded after His resurrection? He restored Peter to his position as His disciple by asking a simple question — not once, but three times, “Peter, do you love me?” Each one of Peter’s replies — “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you” (John 21:15) — was drawn from Peter to act as a divine eraser for each one of his cowardly denials. Amazing grace! How sweet the sound of our Lord’s forgiveness!
Christian, your standing with God does not depend on what you do for God; it depends on all that God in Christ has done for you! That is done; it is finished; God can never be angry with you!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!