Just As If I Never Sinned!
Hello Engage Church, Duluth MN, and the surrounding areas!
What Happens When We Break the Rules?
I remember breaking many rules as a young kid, but a time that sticks out to me the most is when I came home from school one day with a pink sheet from my teacher to give my parents, you know the one they have to sign and send back? I had fallen behind on my work in class and was lining up to receive a bad grade. My mom read it, the phrase that all of us feared to hear the most came out of her mouth “I’ll have your dad talk to you when he gets home”. So, there I went off to my room and the next two to three hours I wondered what my punishment was going to be. Summer was right around the corner, was he going to say, no baseball, no beach for a month, or worse yard work duty for the rest of the summer? As I sat, I remember not even thinking of a way out of it, I was busted and I knew I deserved what was coming to me, I just hoped he would go easy on me.
Learning About God's Grace
Then it happened dad came home, time to face the man! My dad came in the room and without even trying to hold anything back, I sat up and said what are you going to do, he looked at me and said, “I’m hungry lets go get a burger at A&W”. I was confused and a little uneasy, still anticipating some type of punishment. We got in the car and started driving, it was killing me so I asked him, “Whats my punishment?” He said we are going to get a burger and a float, then we are going home watching some TV together and heading to bed. My response was, thats it? Thats when my dad taught me me about God’s grace. Do you think you deserve being punished, he asked? Yeah I thought I would be.
God's Love For Us
Thats what God did for us, we all have sinned and when we put our faith in Him and trust Him, He chooses to forgive and forget our sins! I learned a lot from my dad in that car that day. Gods grace and desire to forgive us, and that my dad was still human, because he ended with, “now see this size 12? If you don’t want to know it better you’er going to get your work done from now on!”
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
- ROMANS 3:23–24 -
What does the Bible say?
Many people have a view of Gods grace that is similar to a vending machine, if you put your quarter in the slot, the machine is obligated to give you something in return. In other words, people think that if you do good enough, try hard enough, be kind enough, or do as many good deeds as you can, than God is obligated to forgive you. God is just giving you what He owes you, right? This is a popular belief, but it is not biblical. Gods word tells us that our best deeds are like filthy rages. (Isaiah 64:6) It’s not about what we have done, its about Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. Gods justification of us comes from our need, not our performance. God gives us an undeserving gift, because He is a good God and that is the nature of His heart! Paul describes this undeserving gift from God like this: “ There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) When we put our trust, hope, and faith in the sacrifice Jesus gave on the cross, God declares us free from the guilt and penalty of our past sins (Romans 6:23) and gives us a gift of a brand new start! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Justification could be defined as “Just as if I never sinned” That is good news!
Here are five ideas from the book ( Coffee Shop Theology By Frank Moore) to keep in mind as you think about justification.
- We are justified in God’s sight when we simply trust in Jesus Christ as our personal Savoir. We have saving faith in Him.
- Justification is both an act of God and a state in which we live as we continue to trust in Jesus Christ on a daily basis. Thus, we can say “i have been justified” (act), and “ I am being justified daily” (state) and we can add to it “I will be justified” when I stand before God on Judgment Day and hear Him declare my justification for all eternity.
- Justification takes something away and gives something. Our sinful record is destroyed. God hit the delete button on His computer, and the record is gone forever. He gives us acceptance by adding our names to His list of children.
- The act of God’s justification happens in a moment. We do not gradually grow into it. In the blink of an eye, God forgives us of all our sin, removes our guilt, releases us from sins penalty, declares us righteous, and makes us new creatures so we can begin to live right in his sight. Thats quite a sweeping move!
- God both forgives and forgets our sin. The bible often speaks of his forgiveness (Matt. 26:28, Luke 24:27, Acts 2:38) Ours sins would not really be taken away from us if He continued to remember the ways we had disobeyed Him and held them over our head the way a blackmailer would. “ As far as the East is from the West, so far has He moved our transgressions from us” (Ps.103.12). God exempts us to do the same in forgiving ourselves. C.S. Lewis has it right-if God forgives and forgets, so must we.
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