God Sacrificed Jesus So That We Can Live Victoriously
December 22, 2022 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

God did not make the infinite sacrifice of sending Jesus to take upon Himself our sin and to suffer the most grotesque treatment, shameful rejection, horrible abuse, and disgraceful death in order to secure for us the privilege of breaking His law in this life and the future eternal life. It is a lie of Satan that Jesus died so that we could be saved in sin. Jesus died so that we can be saved from sin. As John the Baptist said, Jesus came to “take away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), not to take away the punishment of God for our sins.

Jesus came so that we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10), and life in God’s universe is built to operate upon His design laws for life, the protocols the Creator built for the function and operation of all living systems and organisms in His universe. Jesus came to restore His living law of love into humanity; to write His law into our hearts and minds (Hebrews 8:10); to restore sinners to rightness with God; to cleanse our hearts and minds; to heal us; to renew us; to remove fear, shame, guilt, and distrust; and to restore us to right, whole, and pure living in harmony with God—all of this is known as righteousness.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV84, emphasis mine).

It is a lie of Satan that Jesus died so that we can continue to break God’s law. It is a lie of Satan that Jesus’ death was the means to do away with God’s law, to set it aside, to somehow pay a penalty so that it isn’t applicable in our lives any longer.

And these lies of Satan are rooted in the main lie about God’s law—that His law functions like human law, imposed rules that require inflicted punishment, a law that is separate from the actual function of life itself. In this false view, the sacrifice of Jesus is seen as a legal payment to the ruling authority that takes away the punishment for sin rather than taking away the sinfulness in us. This false human-law model results in the theology that teaches that when we claim the legal payment of Jesus’ death to God or God’s law, instead of becoming the righteousness of God as Scripture teaches, we are legally accounted as righteous even though we remain unrighteous. This false legal view of salvation has deceived billions into a hopeless religion of recurring cycles of sin followed by guilt, shame, fear of punishment, desperate confession, pleas for forgiveness, and various forms of rituals, penance, and fear-based living—a form of godliness but with no power to live victoriously (2 Timothy 3:5).

When we return to the worship of God as Creator and realize that His laws are the laws upon which life and health are built to operate, we understand that it is sin that injures us, harms us, separates us from God, and that results in our ruin and death unless our loving Creator intervenes to remove the sin and restore us to harmony with Him by writing His living law of love into our hearts and minds. All the metaphors of Scripture teach that the action point of the plan of salvation, where God must make a change in order to save sinners, is not in heaven, is not in God’s heart, is not in a courtroom or legal registry—but is in the heart, mind, and character of the sinner:

  • We become children of God when we are reborn, not when God receives a legal payment (John 1:13).
  • We are reconciled to God when we die to sin and rise to a new life in Christ, not when God gives up a demand for vengeance due to the pleas from His Son (Romans 7:6).
  • We move from death to life when our hearts are circumcised by the Holy Spirit, not when a legal pardon is registered in a heavenly tribunal (Romans 2:29).
  • We become like Jesus when our hard, stony hearts are replaced with tender, loving ones, not when human blood is applied in a legal registry in heaven (Ezekiel 36:26).
  • We become part of the family of God when we receive a new heart and right spirit, not when an adoption certificate is registered in a cosmic court (Psalm 51:10).
  • Our old sinful self disappears and the new person who lives to love others comes forth when we enter into a trust relationship with Christ, not when Jesus does something to influence His Father (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  • We are set right with God when He writes His living law upon our hearts and minds, not when legal adjustments are made in parchments (Hebrews 8:10).

We cannot have good health while violating the laws of health. Since God’s laws are the laws of life, health, and happiness, it is only by being in harmony with God, being reconciled to our loving Creator, trusting Him and allowing His Spirit to write His living law of love into our inmost being, that we can be healthy—eternally healthy. It is only by receiving Jesus into our hearts and having His law written into us that we receive life and are enabled to live abundantly.

“This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:2–4 NIV84).

It is not burdensome to live in harmony with the laws of health. It is burdensome to break them, for doing so results in disease and disability. It is the violation of God’s laws, including His moral laws, that causes soul wounds, guilt, shame, fear, and selfishness. There is no rest, no peace, no joy, no health, and no happiness for the one who persists in sin. Life and health are found only in reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ and having His law of life restored within us. Then, in that trust relationship, we are empowered with new motives, wisdom, insight, and strength to resist every temptation and live victoriously:

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV84).

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37–39 NIV84).

When we return to worshiping God as Creator and understand that His laws are not like human laws, that His laws are not imposed rules that when broken require God to inflict punishment, then we stop living in fear of God and realize instead that He is our loving Creator and that, like a loving doctor, He sees that we are sick in sin, dying of this terminal sin condition, and rather than condemning us, rather than letting us die, He sent His Son to provide the remedy to heal us and restore us to righteousness, to unity with Him so that we might have everlasting life.

So run to Jesus, throw yourself at His feet, and, as King David did, eagerly invite Him to search your heart and find any wicked way, any elements of the infection of sin, and remove them to create in you a clean heart and right spirit so that you can live the victorious life of love that He has designed for you to live!

 

 

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain. In 2022, Dr. Jennings became Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Lynchburg, Virginia.