I have been listening to my old record of Amick Byram's Encounter. There are a good number of Christ centered songs here.
I was particularly touched again in listening to One Voice.
Taken from John 1:29
29The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold,A)">(A) the Lamb of God, whoB)">(B) takes away the sinC)">(C) of the world!
Carries away the sin of the world... carries away the sin of the world... carries away the sin of the world.
This came to mind as I listened and enjoyed this song: that it is so important to remember that when God forgives it is not an empty forgiveness that he draws from himself, but that there was an actual concrete payment for the sins of which God is forgiving us; Christ bore those sins we are being forgiven for. We like to look away from this and detach it from the Atonement. Even if some one preaches forgiveness but neglects to make us to look at the Cross, that person is not preaching the Word. Other monotheistic religions have a notion of God being merciful too!
To separate the forgiveness of God from the Atonement leaves us with no assurance and leaves us with a God whom we know is a consuming fire. It leaves us a God whom we do not know, we will be left wondering if he may or may not forgive us. This is what happens with those who emphasize the conversion or "born again experience". I fell for this myself. It happens when the Christian is not made to look again and again to the Cross but is indirectly told by impression that they clinched it when they said the "sinner's prayer" and walked down the aisle. My friend, this is not liberation but enslavement again to the tyranny of religion.
But the Biblical story is not that way. It does not present God drawing forgiveness barely from his shear merciful character. His forgiveness is concrete because there was an actual payment made, by Christ, for our sins to God. There was an actual transaction that was made, not by you, but by the Son to the Father.
For God loved us this way -- by sending his Son to die for us, pay for our sins so that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.