'What is finished? Jesus, what's finished? What do You mean by that?'
The finished work of Jesus Christ will revolutionize how you look at your relationship with God forever.
What does it mean to us, personally? It can be broken down into four things:
1. Your forgiveness is finished. Your forgiveness is once for all. This is a definitely controversial statement among Christians, but it does help to understand the definition of forgiveness in the Old and New Covenants. The Old Covenant forgiveness comes only if you ask for it. You may hear it from all sorts of denominations, but it is ultimately conditional, and definitely not forgiveness that is once and for all.
This is not the forgiveness that we have. We have the forgiveness which comes from the other side of the cross. Take off your denominational beliefs; Remember the original message, as mentioned in Hebrews 9: your sins have been taken away, and not just temporarily, but forever! There's no reason for Jesus to do anything else for your sins. He died once and for all for all your sins, forever.
If you were not forgiven completely, you would not be saved completely. You are either forgiven, or not. Once saved, always saved definitely gains some traction under the fact that Christ took ALL of our sins, past, present, and future.
When we recognize the finished work of Christ, we recognize that we have forgiveness forever! This does not discount the power of sin - we are not callous to sin by any means, but we are focused on the superiority of the forgiveness that we have through Christ, who is seated at the right hand because all His work is finished. He sat down after making us perfect - not always performing perfectly, but perfectly forgiven, perfectly cleansed, rested with Christ, who said, 'It is finished!'
Standing on the Truth means we sit down with Christ. Paul says to the Ephesians and Corinthians that we have forgiveness. Will you sit down with Christ? Will you rest with Christ? Our forgiveness is forever, and it is finished!
2. Our death to the Law is finished. As Christ died fulfilling the Law, we died to the Law. How theological! But what does this mean? This means all the standards imposed upon you have been met by Christ - the measuring stick has been thrown out. Christ has met all the standards, and now you are fully accepted by God, no longer being measured because you have come out as an amazing, new creation!
This is what it means - you die to the Law, you die to the measuring system. Hebrews 7 says we died to the Law into a better hope. Hebrews 8 says that the old way to be holy, and the old way to be good enough and to measure up has been made obsolete. There are a lot of unbelievers that are trying to measure up, looking from the outside in, looking at what they're doing and calling that the problem... when they should be taken out of the Law, into grace! They shouldn't change their action, but their location - They should be taken out of Adam, into Christ.
Hebrews 8 also says that if the old way is obsolete, the new way (grace bought by Christ) is a better way. Hebrews 7 describes this new way of grace as an oath, a promise between God and God, a covenant between two eternal entities, making this a rock-solid covenant! When we understand that we are just beneficiaries and not participants in this covenant, we understand just how obsolete we are to the Law, and how perfect and liberating the new way of grace is!
We die to constantly evaluating ourselves, and we wake up and come alive to realizing how we are perfectly saved, as we have a perfect Christ who performed a perfect work, ushering us into a perfect covenant! We died to the Law - we are no longer under the system of the Law (for Christ is the end of the Law).
Stop measuring yourself and agree with God about you! You are okay, safe, secure, holy and blameless in Christ! It is finished!
3. Your old self dying is finished. We ought to just stop there instead of trying to overthink it, before we come up with an entirely different theology which downplays the finished work of Christ. Romans 6 mentions that our old self died - this means that we don't have to wake up feeling dirty and distant about ourselves!
We no longer agree with the people who say that we have dirty hearts, because as mentioned earlier, we have been moved from Adam into Christ. We have been delivered from darkness into light. A transfer is a transfer - that's what salvation is. We can leave our dead, old self, because we can live the life of light and abundance, seated in the heavenly places with Christ.
Stop looking at yourself as dirty and distant, but clean and close to God! You don't need to look at yourself with a sense of self-abasement and condemnation! You have been made clean, and you are not of the world, not of sin - you are you, with a new heart, a new spirit, a new life - clean and close!
Paul says to the Colossians that your life is hidden with Christ in God. (1) We aren't alone, (2) we're hidden, and (3) we're safe with Christ, and we are in God. Where we go, the Trinity goes.
Is any of this possible if our old self is still something we need to kill? Why focus on killing something that is already dead when it is our new self which is alive?
4. Your equipping for life and Godliness is finished.
'Man, I wish I could be more patient!' Your equipping for life and Godliness is finished.
'Man, I wish I could be more effective!' Your equipping for life and Godliness is finished.
'I wish I could be more loving and forgiving!' Your equipping for life and Godliness is finished.
Are you expecting God to actually pour out patience and love and efficiency? You already have it. He has already poured out His love. He has already made us a new self, and by nature we have been made patience.
Yes, we are all in process, and we still lack in some aspects - the question is, how do we handle it? Are we still asking God for something He has already given us? He has already equipped us in Christ. If we're having trouble expressing patience and love, are we praying to the Lord for it? If you aren't feeling patient and loving, you can remember that it doesn't take a phone call prayer to God to order it.
The Law cannot equip us, nor can it give us life - but in Christ, we are equipped, and in Christ, we are alive. It is finished. Christ says He will never leave us, so we will always be equipped. Christ saved us by His life - we are saved because we are equipped, and we are equipped because we are saved. 2 Peter 1 says we have everything we need for life and godliness. Colossians 2 says we have been given fullness in Christ.
You are complete. You lack nothing. You have everything you need for life and Godliness. Are you waiting on a package that has already come and made manifest?
What does the finished work for you?
Application 1: Fully Forgiven! - Will you stop asking and waiting for the forgiveness you already have in Jesus Christ?
Application 2: Freed! - Will you stop holding yourself to a standard that God has freed you from?
Application 3: Accepted! - Will you stop seeing yourself as dirty and distant? Will you agree with God that you are clean and close?
Application 4: Equipped! - WIll you stop waiting for more of Jesus? Will you agree with God that you are complete in Him?
It really is finished! Celebrate the finished work of Christ.
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May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26