Transformed – teen devotion – March 8, 2020

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:20-24

Sin and grace

God was stuck.

From a human viewpoint, it may appear as if God, the all-powerful, the almighty, the creator of the universe was stuck, the devil had all the power, and we were hopeless. Let me explain.

God is described in two ways that are true yet completely opposite. God is just. At the beginning of time, God made a contract with humans. Those that obey him and do only things that are pleasing to him get eternal life. For those who sin, the punishment is eternal death. We know that all people are sinful. Since God is just, he cannot break his contract. He has to punish sin. This gives the devil power. He could go before God and say, “That person is a sinner. You have to send them to hell. Not because I said so, but because you said so.” And he is right, because God is perfectly just.

God is also love. God wants all people to be saved. He doesn’t want anyone to go to hell. He hates, absolutely hates, even the idea of anyone being away from him even for a moment. He longs and desires that all people be saved to live with him for all eternity. He longs to shut down the devil’s accusation against us.

So, how could God remain perfectly just and punish sin, but at the same time be perfectly loving and not send everyone to hell? The impossible became possible because of the cross. We remember this season of Lent the suffering and death of Jesus that culminated in his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

On the cross, God justly punished the sin of the world with hell and showed his perfect love by punishing his own Son instead of us. At the cross, God gets his justice for sin, declares us not guilty, and gives grace and the gift of heaven to you, to me, and to all.

Whenever you find yourself stuck wondering if God really loves you or is still angry with you because you’ve fallen short, watch Jesus. See the cross. See justice achieved. See grace given.

God isn’t stuck after all!

Prayer: Lord God, we praise and thank you for being perfectly just and perfectly loving. Help us to always appreciate what you have done for us. Amen.


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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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