THE ATONING SACRIFICE
1 John 2:1-2
1 My little children, I write these things to you so that you may not sin. If anyone sins, we have a Counselor with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. 2 And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. (WEB)
The Apostle John starts off chapter two of this letter by addressing his readers as 'My little children'. He carries a father's heart for those he is addressing and it is his heart that they would not sin. Though all of our sins (past, present and future) are dealt with by the once and for all sacrifice of our Jesus Christ, the consequences of our sinful choices still hurt us.
While we are free from the power of sin and are completely forgiven by the blood shed by Jesus on the cross, we still carry within our body the ability to be ensnared in sinful actions and mindsets. John reminds his dear children that if anyone sins, they have an Advocate with the Father whose name is Jesus Christ. So even though we sin, there is no condemnation awaiting us because we are in Jesus (Romans 8:1).
It is amazing to think that Jesus paid the ultimate price of His very own life as a sin offering not only for those who would receive Him, but for those who would reject Him as well. As John says... And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sin, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. (WEB) It blows my mind to think that Jesus died to forgive the sin of ALL the world. Whether people receive salvation or not, the shed blood of Jesus Christ is the atoning sacrifice for all sin.
Does that mean everyone is going to heaven? Absolutely not. While the price for our sin has already been paid, we still need to receive this free gift through faith in the finished work of Christ. If we don't receive what has already been done on our behalf, we cannot enjoy its benefits. Simply put, if I offer you a gift, you must receive the gift in order for you to enjoy the gift. If you don't receive it, then it is not yours until you do.
That is why it is so important for believers around the world to share the good news! God is not counting people's sin agains them (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). All we have to do is simply believe that this is the truth and by faith receive the life of Jesus in exchange for our life.
My prayer today is that every believer would truly be convinced that all of their sins are dealt with on the cross... past, present and future. I pray that this revelation would vanquish every expression of guilt and shame in our lives. May the end result of us being completely and eternally forgiven cause us to boldly proclaim to the rest of the world that Jesus Christ is the atoning sacrifice for their sins too!
2 Corinthians 5:18-20
18 But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation;19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation.20 We are therefore ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (WEB)