I didn’t expect the path You would lead me on this morning, Lord. But I joyfully follow You… excited to discover whatever breakthrough You have in store for me!
Today’s journey began as I was speaking some Key Declarations You have given me concerning my security in You. I came to one in particular:
“I am free from any condemning charges against me.”
I spoke it out loud, along with the Scripture that undergirds it.
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all — how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charges against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8:31-34)
As I spoke this out loud, Lord, a thought popped into my head:
“You are just a sinner saved by grace.”
I have heard that preached from the pulpit more times than I can count. I have heard it spoken by Christians more times than I can count. This morning, I heard it with fresh ears…
… as a cleverly-camoflauged LIE from the enemy, designed to keep us in bondage.
It sounds like the Truth, Lord. We are saved by Your Grace. No one could ever do anything — everything — well enough to meet Your standard of perfection. You came to do what was impossible for us to do!
“… we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:3b-5)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Maybe that’s what I heard this morning, Lord. The disconnect between this “just a sinner” teaching and the radical transformation You have already completed. The old is GONE!
“You are just a sinner saved by grace”… ???
What is the emphasis of this declaration? That I am just a sinner. That was true before You came into my heart and my life, Lord. But now, You say I am so much more!
I am Your child. (John 1:12)
You have adoped (chosen) me. (Ephesians 1:5)
I am Your friend. (John 15:15)
I have been justified. (Romans 5:1)
I have been redeemed and forgiven. (Colossians 1:13-14)
I am free from any condemning charges against me. (Romans 8:31-34)
Maybe that’s what I heard this morning, Lord. There’s a condemning charge in that teaching. “You are just a sinner.” Where does this condemning charge leave us? And where does it lead us?
To focus on our old nature, and elevate it in our thinking so we convince ourselves of its immutable [unchangeable] “reality”?
“I think, therefore I am.” (Rene Descartes, French Philosopher, 1637)
To resign ourselves to complacency… accepting our continued propensity to sin as inevitable, because that’s “just who we are”???
Whose agenda is better served by this thinking, Lord?
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” (John 10:10)
“He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
But what do You say, Lord?
“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin, the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.” (1 John 5:18)
How can this be, Lord? We are not perfect, so some sin is bound to be part of our “life picture” this side of Heaven… right?
Right. So You make provision for us… AND You call us out of complacency and into action that helps us grow in holiness and righteousness.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness… For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness… knowledge… self-control… perseverance… godliness… mutual affection… and love… If you do these things, you will never stumble…” (2 Peter 1:3-11)
To say I am “just a sinner saved by grace” let’s me “off the hook”… doesn’t it, Lord? Or maybe it just hooks me even more… on Satan’s “fishing line”???
Oh, Lord… I don’t want to be “just a sinner” saved by Your Grace. By Your Empowering Spirit and Your Transforming Truth, I want to become all You have created and called me to be… that I may sing (and live) Your praises now and forever!
“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accord with His pleasure and will — to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves…” (Ephesians 1:4-6)
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the Hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and the incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:18-19a)
Amen & Amen!!!
Climbing higher, by Your Spirit and Strength — one choice at a time…