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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"It is finished"

Cary writes: Christ sat down at the right hand of God after He was resurrected from death which upon dying He said, "it is finished". At that point, the washing was completed...sins were nailed to the cross. There is no "purgatory". From God's perspective, all our sin was thrown into the sea of forgetfulness to be REMEMBERED NO MORE. When did this happen? It was 2,000 years ago at the cross.......not at the point when we accept the sacrifice. Forgiveness for ALL sin was completed at that point.......all sin we (you and I-everyone) have completed in our life was future at that point and all was taken care of. I was washed, you were washed clean. Until we accept what Christ did, we are still forgiven "dead" people as far as our spirit goes......we are not yet reconciled to God. What brings our spirit to life is that acceptance of His finished work, the Holy Spirit coming to dwell within us to bring the life of God to flow through us. Those works flowing through us are works that are "alive", that have merit. Until then any "good works" that are performed are meaningless because they are dead works without Spirit life........all the little religious acts we become so proud of are nothing to God......they are the dead works that needed cleansed away so we can serve the living God in Spirit and in Truth.

My response: I agree that Christ is seated at the right hand of God. But we disagree on what "it is finished" means. You see it as "the washing is complete" when Jesus said "it is finished" and seem to see this as a sort of justification to conclude there is no purgatory. The "it is finished" is Jesus saying He has finished his work on earth. He had fulfilled all the prophecy about Himself and could now be our Sacrifice on the cross to bring Salvation to those who truly make Him Lord of their lives. That does not mean that "the washing was complete" for every human being on earth. Human's are still sinning and our "washing" is not complete as long as we continue to sin. You say "all our sin was thrown into the sea of forgetfulness to be remembered no more", but that is not true of unrepentant sinners. Repentance is a requirement for our sins. We must repent, not only in our words but truly feel sorrow and regret in our hearts for our sins to be forgiven. You go on to say that "forgiveness of all sin was complete at that point" and that our sins past, current and future were forgiven then too, but you are forgetting the requirement: repentance. We MUST repent to receive that forgiveness. You say that "acceptance of His finished work" brings our "spirit to life". I disagree. A Christian is brought to life by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can bring an infant's "spirit to life" without the infant first having to "accept His finished work". That is part of the Grace of God. You then go on to the topic of "works" and have concluded that some "good works" are meaningless as "all the little religious acts we become so proud of are nothing to God". What "little religious acts" are those? If a person is doing a "good work" it is not meaningless to God. God sees all, and all acts of kindness and charity to others are "good". I once met a person, who told me only the "good" that Christians did mattered to God because everyone else didn't have the Holy Spirit so their "works/deeds" mean nothing and are as "filthy rags" to the Lord. Do you agree with that view? I don't. A true act of kindness or charity comes from a compassionate heart, someone willing to put themselves out there to help another (Matt.25 the "sheep" who fed, clothed, welcomed and visited others). That does not go unnoticed by God and is not "meaningless". Remember the story of the "Good Samaritan" (Luke 10:25-37)? Was that meaningless or like "filthy rags" to our Lord Jesus Christ? No it was not. The only "dead works" are those done only for a reward and not from a willingness to help others.

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