Behind the Music
The gospel is infinitely beautiful. We can spend our entire lives exploring this beauty and not scratch the surface of God's infinite goodness displayed in Christ. The Glories of Calvary is a great song put out by Sovereign Grace Ministries that is all about proclaiming the beauty of the gospel, using lines like, "Where your boundless love, Conquered by boundless sin." (See Full Lyrics Below)
One of my favorite truths that we get to proclaim together is the phrase, "By our Savior's Crimson flow, Holy wrath has been removed." Why is that my favorite phrase, you ponder? Well, I am glad you asked! The more life experience I attain, the more I see my own depravity and the need for God's anger and wrath to be placed on someone else. When I hear statements like, "How could they do that?" (sometimes from my own mouth) I only have to look inward to answer that question. Without the work of the Holy Spirit urging me to serve Christ, I would choose my own desires, lusts, and wants every time. If you read that last statement and thought, "Not me!" then you are actually pretty self-righteous and do understand your own heart. Humans will naturally always choose their own interests first, even when it looks like they are "doing good."
Paul shares this truth in his letter to the church in Ephesus when he writes,
...so I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Before Christ, our minds were selfish and cut off from the life of God. However, Paul encourages his readers to put off our former way of life and live as we are created by God to live, "in true righteousness and holiness." However, the reason Paul encourages his readers to actively put off their old ways and put on the new is because of the lingering effects of sin and our tendency to revert back to our former ways.
Remembering that the holy wrath of God has been removed from me motivates my daily commitment to follow Him. Ask God today to show you where you are living in your former way of life and where you are living in true righteousness and holiness. For me, a good litmus test is to reflect on my motivations for decisions made throughout the day. Am I choosing to serve my church, family, and neighbors, or am I choosing to serve only myself?
Lyrics to "The Glories of Calvary"
Lord, You’re calling me to come
And behold the wondrous cross
To explore the depths of grace
That came to me at such a cost
Where Your boundless love
Conquered my boundless sin
And mercy’s arms were opened wide
My heart is filled with a thousand songs
Proclaiming the glories of Calvary
With every breath, Lord how I long
To sing of Jesus who died for me
Lord, take me deeper
Into the glories of Calvary
Sinners find eternal joy
In the triumph of Your wounds
By our Savior’s crimson flow
Holy wrath has been removed
And Your saints below
Join with your saints above
Rejoicing in the Risen Lamb