Recently I did some major damage to my shoulder. Several tendons and ligaments were torn and I had to have physical therapy for a few months. The therapist made an interesting statement as he massaged and manipulated the injury site: “You have to get blood to the damaged areas; it’s the only way to heal it, even if it’s painful.” The only way to put right what is broken is to force blood into those areas, no matter how difficult the task, and allow the blood to carry away the scar tissue and heal the injury.
The greatest illness, the most devastating injury to the human race, is our sinful state—being dead in our “sins” because of our “disobedience” to God (Ephesians 2:1). But sometimes even believers in Jesus fall into the trap of trying to do good things in order to feel better about our spiritual condition. The fact is, only by His blood are we set free from sin, and only by His sacrifice on the cross can we be assured continually that all of our sins are paid for (Ephesians 1:7). Certainly, He died “once for all” and that sacrifice was a one-time done deal (Hebrews 9:26-28). But we need to remind ourselves daily that forgiveness—even today for the things we continue to do wrong—was bought on the cross by Jesus’ blood (1 John 1:7,8-9). We can’t add to that price and earn forgiveness by anything we do.
In his spiritually freeing words to the Ephesians, Paul spelled out this truth. God forgives us, heals us, and repairs all the damage done by our sinfulness through His Son’s shed blood alone. Grace was extended to us through His sacrifice (Ephesians 2:8-9). We can’t earn it at the point of receiving salvation, and we can’t earn it as we continue working it out. It’s only through Jesus’ blood!
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Daniel 1:1-21
Read Hebrews 9:14 and consider what it means to have your conscience cleaned by Jesus’ sacrifice for you!
Do you ever try to earn points with God? How can you begin living in and enjoying the freedom found in resting in the finished work of the cross?