“Skin in the Game”

The phrase “skin in the game” is a reference concerning a personal interest that one has in something of great consequence. Often times the phrase is made in connection to a financial investment made with one’s own resources. Consider that description and it becomes easier to imagine how the phrase could be used to describe other situations of personal interest.

When it comes to the salvation of our soul, Jesus put his “skin in the game” both metaphorically and literally! He humbled himself by leaving the glories of Heaven, exchanging them for a life contained inside the skin and bones of the human body (John 1:14, Philippians 2:5-7). He made his body available to receive the pain-filled smacks, punches, whips, thorns and nails that ultimately lead to him experiencing a physical death so he could be our atoning sacrifice and compassionate high priest (Philippians 2:8-11, Hebrews 2:6-18, 10:1-10).

Jesus’ critics can accuse him of a lot of things, but they can never accuse him of not having any “skin in the game” for without his “skin” the “game” would be over for them and us!

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)

Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!” So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.” (Mark 15:12-15)

#atonement, #christianity, #jesus, #salvation, #skin-in-the-game, #the-cross, #vested-interest

Don’t Doubt The Unconditional Love of God

God’s love for mankind is unconditional. Many have a hard time believing and understanding this because of the truthful concepts such as universal justice, judgment and hell.

For some religions, a God who loves all, both friend and foe, is about as foreign and even abrasive as chewing on sand! Their religion won’t allow them to love others the way God loves the world because of how they perceive the enemies of God and how they perceive the love of God. Their religion won’t allow them to love others the way God loves the world because of how they perceive themselves – and in that, this said self-perception, there is a great danger even to God’s people…think Pharisees for a moment.

One can be an enemy of God but still be loved by God. How is this possible one may ask? I ask how is not possible? Besides the expressly stated examples of Matthew 5:44-45 and Romans 11:28, if God does not love his enemy then how could his enemy ever become his friend? For if there is no love at all on God’s behalf for his enemy, they would forever remain his enemy with no hope of peace, atonement or reconciliation.

Every Christian who has ever lived was at one time or another an enemy of God (Romans 5:8-10). This may offend some sensibilities, but to say otherwise is an offence to the cross. And the cross proves God’s love for his enemies. This as well may offend some sensibilities, but to say otherwise is an offence to the cross. For in the cross, God was reconciling the world, his very own enemies, to himself (Colossians 1:20-21, Ephesians 2:16-17). This in fact is the very reason why the cross was such an offensive stumbling block to some – because the love of God doesn’t exist to satisfy our standards, and thank God it doesn’t (1 Corinthians 1:23, 1 Peter 2:5-10). God’s love satisfies his own standard, for any other standard would fall far short of reconciling any of his enemies.

Understanding the difference between unconditional love and unconditional salvation is essential. Two things can look similar, but what they’re made of and what they cost can be something far different. One covered the price of sin that we could not pay through the atoning blood of Jesus (Romans 6:23) while the other will cost us our most valuable possession (Matthew 16:26).

Does God love the sinner? Does God want the best for those who want the worst? Does God love his enemies in ways that are unconditional? Through Christianity the answer to these questions is closed with a biblical, scriptural and joyful “yes!” But whether or not we love God is a more open-ended question that we must answer for our self.

This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. While we were still weak, at the right moment, Christ died for ungodly people. It isn’t often that someone will die for a righteous person, though maybe someone might dare to die for a good person. But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us. So, now that we have been made righteous by his blood, we can be even more certain that we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. If we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son while we were still enemies, now that we have been reconciled, how much more certain is it that we will be saved by his life?” (Romans 5:5-10 – CEB)

#atonement, #christianity, #god, #love, #reconciliation, #the-gospel-of-christ, #the-love-of-jesus, #unconditional-love

Barton W. Stone’s “Atonement” in PDF and e-Sword

I have now uploaded Barton W. Stone’s “Atonement: The Substance of Two Letters Written to a Friend” in PDF format (sized for eReaders, iPads, tablets, and easy reading on the computer), as well as in e-Sword format.

For e-Sword:
http://www.biblesupport.com/e-sword-downloads/file/8990-stone-barton-w-atonement/

For PDF:
http://www.GravelHillchurchofChrist.com and click on “ebooks”

More is coming!

-Brad Cobb

#atonement, #barton-w-stone, #e-sword, #restoration-history

Barabbas. This man had to live everyday …

Barabbas. This man had to live everyday with the understanding he was guilty but freed, while the innocent Jesus was innocent but crucified. Barabbas knew the extreme penalty associated with scourging and crucifixion. Barabbas never felt the nails in his flesh, but he must of felt the weight of an innocent man taking his place. Do you?

phil

#atonement, #barabbas, #crucifixion, #guilt, #innocence