As I read Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives On The Promises Of God(day 9 – one of the @YouVersion plans) I took special note of how different people respond to God. Here is that lesson…
There Is No Condemnation in Christ
The Bible tells us that our debt of sin has a serious consequence. “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). Our sins have separated us from God.
The realization of this moral debt sends
- some people into a frenzy of good works. Life becomes an unending quest to DO enough, be better, accomplish more. A pursuit of piety. ✔ Attend church. ✔Tend to the sick. ✔ Go on pilgrimages. Yet deep within is the gnawing fear—What if, having done all that, I’ve not done enough?
Other people respond to the list not with activity but with –
- unbelief. They throw up their hands and walk away exasperated. “No God would demand so much!” they exclaim. “He can’t be pleased. He can’t be satisfied. He must not exist. If He does exist, he is not worth knowing.”
No one loved to address these responses more than the apostle Paul. He wrote, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
How could he say this? Had he not seen the debt that people owe—the weight of their sins? Well, he had certainly seen his own. At one time, he had been determined to extinguish anything and everyone Christian.
BUT THEN Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus . . . and knocked him off his high horse.
We aren’t told when Paul realized the meaning of grace. But we know that he embraced this improbable offer that God would make him right through Jesus Christ.
Paul’s logic followed a simple outline.
(1) Our debt is enough to sink us.
(2) But God loves us too much to leave us there. So . . .
(3) God found a way to save us.
None of us can meet God’s standard.
All have failed.
“There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).
But where we failed, Jesus succeeded.
As Paul said , “Christ never sinned” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NLV). When it comes to the standard,
He is the standard.
God could not compromise His standard. He had to satisfy every demand of justice. Yet He also knew that we are made of flesh—and that we can never achieve perfection.
So, He placed our sin on His perfect Son—and Jesus felt the wrath of a just and holy God. Christ’s death brought new life to us. As a result, we can approach Him without condemnation.
When you sin, Jesus stands before the tribunal of heaven and points to the blood-streaked cross.
- “I’ve already made provision,” He says.
- “I’ve paid that debt. I’ve taken away the sins of the world.”
He does not bargain with you, telling you to clean up your life so He can help. No . . . He washes your sins away, without any of your “help.”
Just consider the gift God has given to you.
You’ve won the greatest lottery in the history of humanity, and you didn’t even pay for the ticket!
Your soul is secure, your salvation guaranteed. This is the message of God. This is the promise of grace.
In the section at the bottom of the lesson/reading we read questions that can lead us to respond –
Why is grace difficult to accept?
What do you learn from Paul’s life about the impact of accepting God’s grace?
How is God’s justice a symbol of the depth of His love for you?
How has His justice given you an awareness of your need for His grace?
How have you experienced the fear of not measuring up to God’s standard?
How has freedom from this fear allowed you to share the hope of salvation with someone else?
When dealing with the challenge to respond it is only up to us to simple accept, believe & trust that God makes a way for us to have a relationship with Him.
In a prayer spoken in Church today I heard the person leading the prayer say, “Lord, thank you for dealing with us as individuals and not as whole sale lots.”
I hope this reading from Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives On The Promises Of God helps you as it did mean in seeing that your debit has been paid in full and all you have to do is accept that free gift, you can’t earn it. Relax, God’s got this eternal plan under control.
He paid the debit. He built the bridge.
An old song comes to mind, “He Paid the Debit”
And “Jesus Paid It All”