Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile, in a Muslim-Christian Dialogue held in Dubai, answering the question : How can we find forgiveness from a Holy God ?
The atonement work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross as the perfect Lamb of God provides the means of propitiation and satisfaction to a Holy God. (Rom 3:25, Heb 2:17, 1Jn 2:2, 1 Jn 4:10) It is the only way that a Holy God can remain as just and also the justifier of the ungodly sinners. (Rom 3:26) This is the “scandal of grace”. Forgiveness of ungodly sinners brought about by God demonstrating amazing grace in imputing the sinners’ sins upon His only Son Jesus Christ (Rom 5:8) and then pouring out His righteous wrath in executing penal judgment on His Son and thereby crushing Him on the cross (Rom 5:9). That was what the Old Testament sacrificial system of bloody animal sacrifices has always meant to point to. (Heb 9: 11-15) God will provide a sacrifice, a perfect Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world.
In a post titled A Bloody Religion – Pure Church, Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile wrote that Christians must remember and be constantly reminded by their pastors that their forgiveness and acceptance by a Holy God is on solely on the basis of the Lord Jesus Christ’s bloody, perfect, penal and sacrificial atonement on the cross. Jesus Christ is that perfect sinless Lamb which was slaughtered by God. Jesus Christ shed His blood to bring about the remission of sins. A Holy God already judged and duly canceled the past and future sins of the ungodly sinners elected by His sovereign grace. That is how ungodly sinners can find forgiveness from a Holy God.
“That’s the Old Testament sacrificial system. It’s bloody.
But do we imagine Christianity to be an less bloody? Do we imagine the fulfillment of those patterns and prophesies to bring a more sanitary, sterile, cleaner religion? If we do, we’ve lost sight of significant realities.
Is not our salvation purchased with blood? The blood of the Son of God still flows. It flows to the chief of sinners. It still washes and cleanses. It doesn’t drain into a basin, but reaches the nations. And without the shedding of His blood, there is no remission of sins. ….
What about you, pastor? Does not our continuing ministry require blood? Do your daily ministrations involve less blood than the blood Old Testament priests once put their hands in? If so, you’re doing it wrong. Are our people any less broken by sin? Do they need repentance less? Can they leave off confession and forget to seek a good conscience? Certainly not. But how will they be comforted? How will they be assured of their forgiveness? What will they do with their guilt? Do we not return them to that precious fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins? Do we not stand awash in blood and with our hands of counsel rub blood–not on an altar–but on our people? And are they not cleansed of all unrighteousness when they’re taught to confess, repent, and return to a faithful and just God who is pleased at the sight of His Son’s blood? We remind them that atonement has been made, which is to remind them of blood–Jesus’ blood.
Ours is a bloody religion.”
Past related posts on Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile‘s participation in previous Muslim-Christian Dialogue also held in Dubai.
Who is God and how are we saved? – Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Muslims
Who is Jesus Christ ? – A former Muslim explaining the Gospel of Jesus Christ