Many years ago when some folks approached me about having a relationship with God, I bristled at the thought of living a religious life where my every action was studied and judged. I still feel that way today. It seemed like the advertised life with God was mostly centered on requirements and things I had to give up. Several years after those early offerings, a man invited me to a Christian fellowship promising me that life with God wasn’t so much about what I did, but rather what God had done for me in Christ. He and the ensuing fellowships I attended painted a very different picture. They taught me that God was not only always for me and loved me, but that He had given the life of His son to forever solve the sin issue in my life and the lives of all people. The Word they taught me from the Bible was abundantly clear in outlining the details of how God’s perfect son who never sinned was crucified for me thereby providing me with the ultimate freedom; freedom from sin and a never ending sin-free life with my Heavenly Father. What a revelation to my soul! What a stark contrast. What a tremendous opportunity I had to live a joyful life with God. Wouldn’t you like to experience that ultimate freedom? I know you would.
I have to admit that the devil has done a bang up job of portraying God to be someone He is not. When people think of God, instead of having feelings of love and thankfulness, they typically think of themselves and where their lives do not line up with the rules; the commandments. Their unlearned minds and hearts begin to accuse them of the many years they lived in sin and the many things they did wrong in their lives. They picture God as a judge doling out punishments and sentences based on how they behaved. They wrongly conclude that in order to access God’s benefits and His blessings they must somehow clean up their lives and “get right” with Him. In this they have been fed a lie from the author of lies. The enemy of mankind knows that on their own and of their own devices, mankind can never be made right based on the works they do. Ever since sin entered the world with its associated misery, human beings have been born with a sin nature with sin preexisting in their blood lines. There is no amount of discipline and effort and “living right” a person can do to remedy this situation. All of your good works avail nothing as the sin nature is in your blood. Only God could solve this dilemma by sending His son with perfect blood, sinless and always obedient, as a substitute for sin by surrendering his life for you and me at the cross. The perfect for the imperfect. The sinless for the sinner. The righteous for the unrighteous. Your freedom doesn’t come from anything you do, but rather what God did for you in Christ.
Can you begin to perceive what God has already done for you and me? God knew that you and I would never get it right on our own and made a way for us to finally be free from the claims of sin. And as obvious as this is in God’s Word, the world remains largely unaware of this great reality. If you listen to the proponents of religion, you will find their advice always centered in what you must do and not do in order to have access to God. And while such advice seems religious, it actually drives you further and further away from God. Instead of trusting God to meet your needs, your focus turns inward clearly outlining how you are not worthy of His love and care. The harder you work to please God and do things that are right in His sight, the more you fail (as you necessarily must) leading to an endless cycle of things you have to do and even more things you have to give up. No-one wants to live that way. No-one! And the ultimate irony is that attempting to do so does not improve your relationship with God at all. We think that God is somehow not familiar with our condition. We think He somehow cannot understand the very people that he formed, made and created and remains repulsed by our sinful behavior. Further, we surmise that all kinds of things are sin when they aren’t sin at all. In this our lives are stifled and restricted and robbed of blessings and joy. We cannot even live one day without some reminder of our past mistakes and our every foible and absurdity. This is not freedom, it is slavery and bondage.
The reality of what God did for us in Christ is almost unbelievable. Through the life of His son God forever freed us from the claims of sin. Once you confess Jesus as Lord in your life and believe that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10), God creates a new creation in you (spirit) and from that moment forward you are forever righteous in His sight. No matter what you do with your remaining life His seed remains in you and because of this, you cannot sin in His sight. God made you righteous by the substitute of His son. I’ll say it again. God made you righteous in His sight and there is literally nothing you can do to add to it or subtract from it. He set you and me free! He did it! And, He did it because we could not do it on our own. He forever solved the sin problem in our lives. Can’t you see it or begin to comprehend it? We are forever free from the claims of sin. Our focus no longer needs to be centered on ourselves, but rather on what God did for us in Christ. We live by the faith of another man! Now, God bless you, you can live your life without always looking over your shoulder and worrying about the consequences of your sin nature. You do not owe the adversary anything and he no longer can claim control over your life. And now, maybe for the first time in your life, you can breathe the free air of freedom. Now you can live and move and prevail. Now you can get your prayers answered. Now you no longer have to skulk around fearful of your missteps. You have been set free and you didn’t have a blessed thing to do with it. God did it for you (and me) so that we could finally live. Imagine a life where sin no longer exists. Imagine freedom to do as you dang fool please. Being set free from sin doesn’t make you sin more, instead it sets you free from the claims and bondage of sin so that you can actually live. God has given you the ultimate freedom! What are you going to do with it?
If there is anything God wants you to know in this life it is that God has given you the promise of a new life in the life of His son. God solved your problem for you because you could not do it for yourself. God wants you to be free. He desires that you turn your focus from yourself and your foolishness to Him and what He did for you. He wants to help you and give you the things you need and want. He wants your heart to be at rest in what He did for you. He wants your love and adoration, not because of your fear and sin, but because you are free to express it in every conceivable way. Don’t you want to experience the freedom that God has provided for you? I know you do. God has given you the ultimate freedom.
Just some good thoughts…