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By Joyell Nevins – CFFM Blogger

 “The finality of the cross is not about giving us a license to sin all we want; it is about the freedom to let God love us and to love God in return…if we truly believe in the finality of the cross, we can stop focusing on sin and start focusing on life with God.” James Bryan Smith

Imagine (or relive) two scenarios: one, you work for a boss who critiques your every move. He or she watches your behavior closely, snapping and correcting whenever you make a mistake.

In the second scenario, your boss pays attention, but values your contribution. He or she offers suggestions and acknowledges when you make a mistake, but doesn’t harshly brow beat your action or decision.

Which of those bosses are you more likely to work the hardest? One sets up a culture of fear; one fosters a culture of collaboration and growth.

Having lived through both of those scenarios, I have seen much more business and personal success in the second setting.

No More Taskmaster

Our spiritual boss works the same way. The law was a taskmaster, pointing out every sin or mistake we made.

“But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Galatians 3:22-25 KJV

 Did you catch that last verse – once Jesus came, once he sacrificed his life on the cross for us, and we confessed and believed in that sacrifice and his Lordship (Romans 10:9-10), the law is no longer our boss!

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Romans 10:4 NKJV

We still make healthy choices and follow the law of God, because He’s the One who created this life and knows the best way to live it. We follow His guidelines because we love Him and want to honor Him.

What we don’t do is follow His law out of compulsion or fear. The finality of the cross allows us to breathe in His grace and make decisions from a place of love and security.

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession…let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16

We can come boldly, without fear or shame, to the throne of God – not under a cloud of judgement, but of grace. Jesus’s shed blood and risen life has paved the way to the heart of the Father.

Once and For All

The high priest reference in Hebrews 4 is from the covenant that was set under the law, where physical animal blood was shed for sacrifices for sins. You can read the details for the sacrifices and ceremonies in Leviticus, but Hebrews 10 offers a quick summary:

 “And on the one hand, every other priest stands ministering day after day and offering the same sacrifices over and over, which are never able to take away sins.

 But on the other hand, this priest [Jesus], when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down on the right hand of God, from then on waiting until his enemies are placed as a footstool for his feet. For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10: 11-14 REV

Later on in the chapter, we are reminded that where there is forgiveness, there is no longer a need for offering for sin (Hebrews 10:18). Jesus’s blood is so powerful, so cleansing, that we are covered once and for all.

   Image by Tony Melena

We don’t need to live in a culture of fear or sin-consciousness. We still have to deal with choices and consequences, but we can make those choices out of a place of love and security.

We can come out under the shadow of the law and judgement. Instead, we can come boldly to the Father’s throne of grace, covered by the finality of the cross and our High Priest’s sacrifice.