“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’ ” (John 1:29).
AS THE “LAMB OF GOD,” JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONE WHO “TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.” The words “looking to Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2) are powerful. If our sins are to be taken away, it is to Him that we must look. We have no other hope (Acts 4:12).
However, there is a subtle danger in focusing on our need for salvation. I hate to mention it, because the last thing some people need is to pay less attention to their need for forgiveness. But if we’re not careful, we may put the emphasis in the wrong place. It is true that we are a needy people and only God can save us. Without God’s grace, we are lost. But something is wrong if we think of God as existing for the purpose of serving our needs.
So I want to recommend an adjustment to the way in which many of us think about God. As the gospel first begins to do its work, we are most conscious of our sinfulness and need for salvation. Then, if we obey the gospel, we start living on the basis of gratitude for our salvation. That surely marks a huge step forward. But the third stage is even more important: the stage in which we forget ourselves and are focused on God. As wonderful as it is to see that we’ve been saved, it is better to think of the God who saved us. And frankly, I’m not there yet. Are you?
When we get to heaven, we will be completely happy. But I believe our thoughts will not be centered on how happy we are. We will be so completely caught up in the glory and majesty of God that our happiness will simply be a byproduct of thinking rightly about God. The truth about God will have set us free — free from, among other things, any preoccupation with our own salvation.
For now, our thoughts are often about ourselves: our needs and the Lord’s ability to supply them. But we need to be growing toward a greater maturity. When our salvation has reached its final perfection at the foot of God’s throne, we won’t be thinking about ourselves or even the fact that we were saved. We’ll only be thinking of the Savior Himself. And even now, it is beneficial to think less about what we desire from God and more about who He is.
“Looking at the wound of sin will never save anyone. What you must do is to look at the remedy” (Dwight Lyman Moody).