27 March 2008

A Prayer and the Finished Work of Christ

In the latest issue of Reformation 21’s online magazine we find a prayer by John Leonard. One portion stuck out to me in considering the finished work of Christ on the cross. But Lord, some days I feel like I can really pray and you hear me because I have been good or done something for you. Doesn’t that place you in my debt? Forgive me for making Christ’s death meaningless by valuing my pitiful acts as more significant than Jesus’ life and death. Why do I, Lord, desire to cover the perfect righteousness of Christ with my own filthy rags? Don’t we often still find ourselves working to repay our debt to Christ or trying to earn his forgiveness? Aren’t we all guilty of this?

In like fashion we read in the Valley of Vision Evening Prayer, But I bless thee that the finished work of Jesus needs no addition from my doings, that his oblation is sufficient satisfaction for my sins. We often need to be reminded that the pathetic works we perform truly are nothing more than filthy rags and that is even when we’re at our best. Moreover, we’re often not at our best and this is where the grace of our Creator is awesome.

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