Reflections on the Gospel

1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous ….

Among others things the gospel assures us that Jesus lived the life that we failed to life and died the death that we deserve to die. Believing this, assures us that we need not live with the burden of trying to achieve our own righteousness to earn God’s favor, nor do we need to live with fear of God’s judgment for our sin.

PB_three cross hillIn his active obedience Jesus, as the second Adam, performed and fulfilled all the righteousness that is required of humanity. It was this righteous life that Jesus offered as a sacrifice for our sins. Since he was the only human being not deserving of death, the death that he died was a willing and efficacious offering for those who deserve death.

Now, being released by the cross from the burden of achieving our own meritorious righteousness, we are set free to pursue a joyful, non-meritorious righteousness motivated by the desire to love and emulate the One who has brought about our rescue from sin’s penalty and power.

Now, being released by the cross from the fear of God’s judgment for our sin, we are lovingly overwhelmed with a sense of God’s holiness justice, mercy, and grace so that we live with the deepest reverence for the One whose holy grace has reached down to us.

Thank YOU for the cross!


On September 10, 1970 I came to understand the great love of God for me, a sinner and a rebel. That evening I received God’s forgiveness and a new life through Jesus Christ, who died in my place and rose again to offer forgiveness and new life. I have been senior pastor for over 30 years planting two churches in Buckingham, PA and Queens, NY and serving two other churches in Brooklyn, NY and Roslyn, PA. I am currently the lead pastor at Grace Church of Philly.

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