Atoning Sacrifice

He himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2

For all our offenses, Jesus came. Our debt has been covered.  As I reflect on this verse I can think about the guilt many can have from past sin.  Thankfully our advocate we have is Jesus who tells us He came and suffered for the sins of our past, present, and future.  The debt he paid was for you, me, and everyone.  One day when we come face to face with him we can wrap our arms around Him and thank Him as he welcomes us home.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins 1 John 4:10

Jesus ever lives to make intercession for those that come to believe in God through him.  We are all sinners in need of a savior.  The price has already been paid.  It can be hard to forgive yourself, it can even be harder to forgive others at times.  Still, all the sins of all the people paid in full by Jesus, our atoning sacrifice.  No one is beyond forgiveness.

Dear God,

Thank you for sending your son Jesus to be the atoning sacrifice for us.  The sacrifice he made for all of us we didn’t deserve, still, he submitted himself for us paying off all our debts.  God, I pray for those who don’t know you and understand the forgiveness promised we help share this truth.   Help us to continue to turn from sin and when we do fall short turn to you for forgiveness.  God help us to commit our heart to you and not to ourselves or this world.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45


Today’s reading is 1 John 1-2 and Revelation 1.

The Greek word for sin in the original New Testament was “hamartia” which is translated as missing the mark. Have you missed the mark? I know I have…every hour of every day of my life…maybe every minute. It is clear John wants us to realize this. God is the mark, and we miss it and Him. I’m taken back to my roots and part of the Lutheran liturgy with the words of 1 John 1:8-10…

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

Paul also states in Romans 3:23…

..for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

John is clear not only that we miss the mark and sin, but also tells us how to avoid it as much as possible in 1 John 1:15-16…

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life- is not from the Father but is from the world.”

Constantly the world is trying to tell us what is “ok.” It’s on the internet, TV shows, commercials, movies, books, and the list goes on and on. And not only is the world trying to force things God says is wrong upon us, but the world tries to tell us that if we don’t agree with the world we are not only in the wrong, but we are also practicing hate. Isn’t it crazy what Satan is capable of and how he works? He can twist things not only from what is actually bad to make it look good, but also make the world believe what is good is hate. The world tells us we cannot dislike a sin and still love the sinner. We can because we in fact ourselves as Christians are sinners (1 John 1:8-10), and yet Christ loves us.

The first step in finding Jesus is realizing we need Him. How? We have to be truthful with ourselves about our sin problem. Let’s go back to 1 John 1:8 for a moment. We must specifically name our sins. That’s how we realize we have missed the mark and need Him. We must not compare ourselves to others and what the world says is acceptable. John tells us the world is not the mark…God is!

So, what do we do now that we realize we’ve not done what God wants? 1 John 1:9 tells us we must confess our sins, and He makes us white as us from all our dirty deeds. John wants us to know we have an advocate in Jesus who took our place; He is the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:1-2). Through Him, and only through Him, do we please God. He knew we could not do it on our own..that we would miss the mark. John is clear that God had a game plan all along. John tells us God knew we needed Jesus, and Jesus was their all along with the Father from the beginning of Creation (John 1:1-5 and 1 John 1:1-2).

There is no relationship like with Him. All relationships are two sided and conditional….know matter how much we say, or even try not to make them that way. This is not the case in the relationship with Him though..He loved us before we loved Him and still loves us today when we miss the mark. All we can do is try to do our best to follow His will by walking in the light John discusses, and say, “Thanks! Praise be to God!”

My Dear Children…

I don’t get too many handwritten letters anymore but, when I do I think about the time, effort, love, and focus that was put into crafting a letter to speak to someone. When I first read 1 John 2 I sit back and imagine reading such a letter as John starts out, “My dear children…”

Today’s Reading 1 John 2 and Psalm 40

John was an older (experienced) and wise man when this letter was written.  Reflecting on the remarkable life of John I think of the opportunity he had to follow Jesus from his youth. He was our last living apostle and he wrote some beautiful letters to reassure our faith and to remind us to trust God’s word and watch out for false teachings.  This whole letter is full of so may amazing truths about our Father but I selected a few takeaways for today.  1) Know who is on our side 2) Remember how to live out our daily lives 3) Remember the importance of our spiritual growth.

  1. Know who is on our side.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only ours but also for the sins of the whole world.    1 John 2:1-2

We can be reassured that though we are broken and sinners, we can find hope that our advocate Jesus has already paid the ultimate price and will stand with us at time of judgment. Hebrews 7:25 says “Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”

2.  Live out the life God calls us to.

We are then reminded to know and keep His commands.  1 John 2:3 “We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands.”  and 1 John 2:6 “Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.” What joy we encounter when our day is filled with serving Him and submitting to His will.  I pray to have more of these days living in a servant, kind, forgiving, selfless, gracious, and loving way like Jesus did. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.  1 John 2:10

3. Importance of Spiritual Growth

I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on the account of His name.

I am writing to you, fathers (mothers), because you know Him who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you, young men (women), because you have overcome the evil one.

I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, Fathers (mothers), because you know Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men (women), because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:12-14

To all believers of all ages.  continue to walk and search for Him each day.  Stay in His word and take each step with it guarding you in your heart and mind.   Men, women, young and old all have different spiritual walks.  Don’t let this journey get static. Grow, develop, and share His wisdom to not only build you up but to share this glory with others.  Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22  or Ephesians 6:10-18.  


17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 

“I desire to do your will, My God; your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8


Remain in Him and He has promised us eternal life.


Elevation Worship – Your Promises

References: Tyndale & David Jeremiah Study Bibles