Once orphaned

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"For he has made him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that we might e made the righteousness of God in him"  
2 Corinthians 5:21
When God saves a man, He does more than pardon that sinner of his guilt; He also completely erases the old offenses from the "books," cleans the sinners name and gives him the perfect righteousness of the Savior. For that reason, believers may rightly be called saints, for they stand perfect in Christ.
A good friend used to tell of an experience he had while he was the guest of a western sheep herder. One morning, he saw an old lamb limp across the field followed by the strangest looking lamb he had ever seen. It apparently had six legs.  The last two seemed to be torn from the body and were just dangling there. The shepherd caught the odd baby lamb and brought it to my friend for examination.  Closer inspection showed that the skin from another lamb had been attached over its body. The shepherd explained that this little one had been orphaned, and none of the other lambs would adopt it. However, a day or two later, a rattlesnake killed another young lamb. Its bereaved mother could not be consoled.  She also stoutly rejected this orphaned animal when it was offered to her as a substitute. However, when they skinned her own dead baby lamb and draped its wooly coat over the orphaned one, she immediately accepted it, because it smelled right to her. My friend was much impressed, and said, "What a beautiful picture of substitutionary atonement. We too were once orphans -- spiritual outcasts -- without hope of Heaven. We were not acceptable to God because of our sin.  However, the lovely Lamb of God took the sting of the 'old serpent' and died upon the cross for a lost world.  Now, by receiving Him through faith, we are redeemed and made ready for Heaven because His righteousness has been applied to our account."
Sinner, have you been made acceptable to God?
Louis Abel is pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Chiefland.