On Monday I blogged about how awesome it is that we are loved and forgiven no matter how much we mess up. Our God is an awesome God. But it’s still so hard for us to trust His love and forgiveness because we still sin. Our flesh is not righteous. Our flesh is not holy. And we know it! Right? It’s hard for us to trust that our sins are forgiven because in our flesh, we’re always committing new ones!
But the flesh is not what Jesus saved. He saved our spirit. Does this mean there are no consequences for fleshly actions? Of course not. There are consequences. But that’s not because God doesn’t look at you as righteous and holy. He does. That’s what His son died for.
If you have to perform to be righteous and holy, then there’s no point to Jesus. I know that’s a shocking statement. But that’s how powerful this idea of trusting God really is. Hear me out. If you have to perform for God, then Jesus doesn’t make sense. If you think you have to live a certain way and follow a list of rules in order to prove to God that you are holy and righteous, then why did Jesus have to die?
The Bible is filled with stories of Jesus dealing with sinners, and He didn’t act like they let Him down. They often felt guilty around Him, but Jesus looked at them and said, “You didn’t let me down. I don’t expect you to be perfect, because you are a human being. The only perfect one that walks on this earth right now is me. So why do you think I’m going to judge you? When you accept me as your Savior, and I say your sins are forgiven, your sins are forgiven. I have not said that your sins are forgiven as long as you don’t mess up or fail. I know you will! Do I think you are wrong in your sin? Yes, I do. Do I think you should stop sinning? Absolutely! But I have said that your sins are forgiven. You are holy and you are righteous before the eyes of God. Live out of that.”
Make your redemption your identity. Trust that you are exactly who God says you are, holy and righteous. When you trust God in that, then you’ll live from the spirit, not the flesh. And when you live from the spirit, you won’t have to perform. You won’t need rules that tell you how to be good. You will simply be good. Instead of avoiding adultery because it’s on a list of sins, you won’t commit adultery because you simply don’t want to. It’s that easy! You won’t hate because you don’t want to. You won’t judge because you don’t want to. You won’t look down on others because you don’t want to. You won’t want to have judgmental thoughts. You just won’t want to.
Now when I see somebody who is messing up or failing, I don’t say, “Oh, you’re not doing a very good job of being a Christian.” No! I say, “Right, I do that too. I know where you’re at. And I understand how it’s possible. I don’t think any less of you. Tell me your story so we can see if we can work with each other. I want to help you. I don’t want to judge you!”
When God says you are holy and righteous, then own it, and feel it, and live it. Then you won’t need a list of rules to tell you how to be good. You will know and understand what that means.
And when we act from the spirit, there is no guilt and shame.