Its a fearful thought to have walked your whole life as a Christian and then to mess up at 1 minute to midnight. This question is similar to yesterday ‘how can I be sure I am saved’. It springs from the notion that there is something I do that adds to or takes away from my salvation. One of the hardest things for mankind to accept is that God has ceased from scrutinising your life, a remnant of guilt and condemnation always seems to linger.
Rom. 8:1 says ‘there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’. That means that God’s awareness of our sin ended when we received Christ’s righteousness. From that moment on God can only see us hidden in Christ, we are lost in His virtue. We are forever imprinted with Christ’s perfect DNA, if we still feel guilty then it has got nothing to do with God… feeling guilty is agreeing with satan as opposed to God’s word.
When Christ removed our sin nature at the cross it means that all of the sins we have committed or may still commit, have already been repented of. It is not about keeping short lists anymore… its about trusting that all my sin was nailed to the cross 2000 years ago, even the one that I don’t get time to repent of.
Stressing over failure is un-Godly living, it is fixing our eyes on ourselves instead of on Christ – Heb. 12:2. Religion is wrapped up in doing things to stay in God’s good books, relationship is resting that my name is forever written in the book of life. This kind of living is very different from the way humanity operates, it takes some effort to retrain our thinking… but the prize is worth the effort. Heb. 12:2 goes on to say ‘Christ is the author and perfecter of our faith’, it seems to me we should restfully allow Him to undertake His job description in our lives – perfecting our faith.
Perhaps the biggest transition to take place for a Christian is the one where we truly believe and trust that Christ did everything necessary, and for me to relax in His love and goodness.
‘God’s Word’ is such a loaded statement in the mind of a Christian. Just the mention of it and Christians will give a passionate defense of their point of view.
Pre or post tribulation; literal 6 day creation; wearing hats in church… these and a hundred more subjects have become the theological battle ground of Christendom through the ages.
The question is not whether our doctrinal position is the correct one, but whether the whole point of the Word of God is about something far more important than doctrinal positions.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t have correct theology. What I am saying is that Christ came to give us LIFE (John 10:10), and it would be an insult to the sacrifice Christ made, to reduce the very life He came to give me to a theological position.
The point I am making is this; have I sufficiently processed the 2 previous questions ‘is God good’ and ‘does God love me’, that I am ready to entrust my very existence into His words. Am I at the point where if God says ‘never will I leave you, never will I forsake you’ (Heb. 13:5), that I let go of fear and begin to rest in His goodness.
One of the mistakes we Christians make is thinking that God’s Word needs defending, as if winning a debate about a doctrinal position somehow makes it true. God’s word is proven to be true when we take the risk of believing it in our everyday lives and situations, when we take the message and by faith lose ourselves into its fidelity.
Back to the original question ‘can I trust God’s word ?’ We have to believe something – if your circumstances are saying God doesn’t care, but His word say’s I do care, just look at Christ’s sacrifice, then we have a choice to make – will we take the risk of resting in His word?
It is a big step to go from a theologically based Christianity to faith based Christianity. It may seem reckless and perhaps even unwise to risk so much… the alternative may be an even bigger risk!
For the second day in a row this question seems a bit too elementary to be a part of a serious blog…
Every Christian knows the general truth about God’s love, we know ‘God is love’ and John 3:16 ‘God so loved the world’ but then we go on to base our self worth in what we do, how we look, how good a parent we are, our contribution to church or charity. That is because as much as we appreciate the new covenant that came with Christ it is difficult to escape the gravitational pull of the old covenant as we live out our daily lives.
The old covenant has left an indelible imprint on our mind that goes something like this; God’s love flows into my life as I attempt to live a life worthy of Him. The more genuine I am in my devotion and service to God – the more His love and pleasure are released to me. It certainly is the way of the world to function this way and it takes a huge shift in thinking to escape from it. Taking a general truth and making it a personal reality are 2 different things.
The fact is that God’s love is able to flow freely in our lives because Christ released us from the curse that was over us. That curse was a works based practice of performing religious activities – even good ones like prayer, bible study and worship. By satisfying the law’s requirements, Christ has set me free forever from any form of expectation I might think God has of me. In fact the more I try to win God’s favour by doing good, the more I diminish the complete work of Christ.
God say’s; come to me confidently clothed and identified in Christ – when you do that my pleasure and favour are released like a flood.
Imagine God is behind a one way mirror, constantly enjoying you because He views you in perfect union with Christ His precious perfect Son.
Now thats what I call ‘the GOOD news’….