The majority of Christians wrongly believe that God punishes them when they mess up. So, when bad things happen to them, they default to thinking, “I must have committed some sin because God is punishing me. Otherwise, this wouldn’t have happened to me.”
God does not punish us who are in Christ! He cannot! Why? Because all of His anger for our sins was placed on Jesus on His cross. 1 John 2:1 says, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins…” Have we told the Lord lately that we are so glad for our propitiation? Probably not! We may have no idea what that word means. It is a great word and it literally means this. The anger of God towards us because of our sins was completely satisfied by the death of Jesus on the cross. If all of our Father’s anger for our sins was dealt with on the cross, then He cannot and will not ever get angry with us or punish us again, because He punished Jesus who took all our sins for us.
In the movie, Double Jeopardy, a wife is convicted of murdering her husband and goes to prison. While in prison, she learns that her husband faked his death and framed her. Another inmate tells her that if she gets paroled, she could kill her ex-husband and would not be tried for murder because of the 5th Amendment. According to the double jeopardy clause, a person cannot be tried for the same crime twice.
We were tried for our crimes of sin and found guilty. Our sentence was death but Jesus took our place and died for us. As a result, we cannot be found guilty again by God for our sins because they are already paid for. God the Father will not ever be angry with us because of our sins, even the ones we have not yet committed.
Because He loves us, He does sometimes discipline us according to Hebrews 12, but that is not the same as punishment. Punishment is when we are required to pay for our sins. Discipline is when sin gets us off track and God is working things in a way to get us back on track. Back on track, in depending on Him and enjoying our union with Jesus Christ.
Then does God feel anything when we sin? Yes, it hurts Him like it would any parent. That is why we are told not to grieve the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 4:30.
If we believe God still punishes us, we don’t really understand the gospel. That is why our slogan at Grace Life International is that we are all about “Sharing the Gospel with Christians.” We were a mess and someone shared the transformative gospel of grace with us, which continues to free us from pain and religion. We are now passionate to walk with others in their journey of God’s grace.
What peace, relief and rest we can experience when we understand and believe God does not punish us for our sins. Do we really believe in the whole gospel? If you have never attended one of our Grace Life Conferences where we spell this out using lots of Scripture, please visit our web site for more information and come join us for one of our monthly conferences.