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The Atonement

The Atonement

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY GEORGE HODGES

The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin. —
1 John 1 : 7.
BY GEORGE HODGES

The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin. —
1 John 1 : 7.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Mar 10, 2014
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03/10/2014

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THE ATONEMENT BY GEORGE HODGES The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin. — 1 John 1 : 7. The last word comes first. The first thing is sin. This is the order of time : first sin, then salvation out of it. This is also the order of understanding : first the realization of sin, then the desire to be saved. These two facts  — of sin and of salvation, — are at the heart of these words. The first thing is sin. We are not suffi-ciently conscious of it. We do not perceive it with sufficient plainness as an individual quality, a personal reproach, something which is actually and acutely the matter with us. When we say the proper words of the appointed confessions, and declare that " we are heartily sorry for these our misdoings ; the remembrance of them is grievous unto us ; the burden of them is intolerable," — are we honest with God ? Is that a true expression of our real feeling ? I am afraid not. I am afraid that
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the words exceed our genuine emotions, and represent an ideal of penitence which is very remote from us. Even the petitions of the 241 242 THE YEAR OF GRACE litany suggest a mental reservation, and we question whether after all we are such " miser-able sinners " as we say we are. St. Paul called himself the chief of sinners, and was in fear lest having preached to others he himself might be a castaway. Again and again he is heard crying, " Miserable man that I am ! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? " It seems unreal to us. Is not that the truth about it ? We look with perplexity at that good man, and wonder how he could have talked that way. It does not touch an answering chord in our experience. If it does, thank God ! But does it ? No ; the honest truth is that most of us have
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an excellent opinion of ourselves. So had the scribes and pharisees. So had all that com-pany of excellent, well-behaved, even pious per-sons who took their great parts in the tragedy of the cross. Everybody praised them ; all the reputable opinion of their day approved them ; and they believed in their souls that everybody was right. They had no consciousness of sin. Let us say it over to ourselves. They who brought Jesus Christ to the death of the cross were eminently respectable people, church members ; some of them were ministers. They said their prayers several times every day, and never missed a service. And they killed Jesus THE ATONEMENT 243 Christ. They crucified the Lord of life. They came out of church and did it, and then went back with a good conscience and a sense of righteous satisfaction and thanked God: thanked God that they had killed His Son. Let us say this over to ourselves lest we should imagine, as they did, that because we have only
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