Sin once ruled in your body, completely. Because of Jesus that sin was paid in full, completely. There is nothing you can do to add to what he accomplished on the Cross. You were completely incapable of restoring yourself to the living God but because of Jesus and his blood shed for you on the cross, you are now hidden in Jesus Christ and restored, completely. His work is done and it is finished. Your work and deeds at the present time are thank offerings. They are signs that your spirit resembles that of Jesus and not your old self. You tithe not because by tithing you will make your status as “saved” MORE saved. You love your neighbor not because by loving them you will be approved and loved more than if you didn’t. You read your Bible not because by reading the Bible you will inherit more in the Kingdom of Heaven than if you didn’t read at all. No. You do these things because all of these are expressions of an active and transformed relationship with your Father in Heaven grounded in love and to neglect these works and deeds would contradict your new character in Christ as a son and daughter in Christ. There is nothing you can do to add to what Jesus has already done. It is finished. You are right now completely saved to the extent of your needing to be saved past, present and future. You are completely forgiven. You have your inheritance in Jesus. There is nothing more to gain. It is finished. It is done. Live to honor him. Live to thank him. Live to obey him. Live to know him. He knows how sinful you were and are. He knows how intense the fight against the flesh was and is. And he paid the debt, he forgave, he saved, he loved in full. It is finished. That bill was paid and no longer exists. It is finished. It is done. You were lost completely but because of Jesus you are forever found, completely. Now, love him with your life, completely. Do more but earn nothing. Stay busy but consume yourself with his will. Suffer not to earn your stripes but to live a life worthy of his stripes. Live to bless the cross and the son that bought and brought you back to the Father in Jesus’ name, not your own. Don’t hold your breath hoping and praying that you hold on long enough. Instead, breathe a sigh of relief and thankfulness that Jesus lives and that it is finished.
The Spirit of Jesus shines a heavenly light upon sin. Sin is revealed in the presence of the living God. The Spirit of Jesus in you will reveal your sins first and the sins of this broken world second. Our world is broken and you will see it. As God takes you deeper into a genuine faith in Jesus Christ you will undoubtedly see it more and more. You will see those around you spiritually walking themselves toward the edge of a cliff. You will see it. You will care. You will want to act. You will want to save them. But, you can’t. The love of Jesus will often restrain you. The love of Jesus will often reveal that there is little that you can do. You are not the Savior. You don’t know what he knows and you can’t do what he did. You yourself needed saving. You needed him on his terms. It was not by coercion or pressure that you experienced the saving grace of Jesus Christ. It was at a time when you were helpless and there was no one, but Jesus. Many wanted you saved before you were and perhaps many tried to intervene and open your eyes to the approaching cliff. But, you were blind until the living God opened your eyes by grace. For it was by grace you were saved. You yourself needed to see his presence. You needed to see his outstretched hand. You needed to reach out and grab ahold of his undeniable love. The Spirit of Jesus Christ lives on in the Church not by coercion but by grace. It lives on not by the works of man but by the miraculous revelation of the Kingdom of Heaven of God himself by God himself. God is able. He knows. Do you want to intervene? Do you want to act? Do you want to speak up? Pray, Pray, Pray. Wait, Pray and prepare to wait longer. Pray for your brother in need but pray that God would intervene. Don’t pray that their suffering end? Pray that they see Jesus. Pray that they hear his voice. Pray for discernment. And if the Holy Spirit is compelling you to speak, speak to your brother. But keep your head and search your heart. Avoid a discussion that revolves around the root and possible solutions to problems. How can the sick heal the sick or blind lead the blind? Desire a discussion that revolves around Jesus. Remember Jesus. Remember his love. Let Jesus reveal the problem. Let Jesus reveal the conviction. Let Jesus reveal the solution. Love your brother and compel your brother to turn his eyes upon Jesus.
You did not always understand the power of the Gospel. You did not always believe in Jesus. You did not always carry yourself in a way that reflected the righteousness of the living God. There was a time when you neither worshipped nor glorified the living God. There was a time when you actively and persistently denied and opposed the living God. There was a time when you were “not in.” There was a time when you preferred being out. But, by grace you were saved. By the loving pursuit of the living God and by the death of Jesus you were brought back. Knowing this to be a trustworthy saying, what right do you have to position yourself on the judgment seat over those around you? What authority do you possess? What leads you to believe that you have anything over those that are presently exactly where you were? Love broke your chains. Love healed your wounds. Love brought you back to life. How can anything but love be your offering to those around you? Empathy in their alienation should drive you to pray for them as many surely prayed for you. You’ve been where they are. You were where they are. They are you and you are them. How can you believe anything else? Christ’s love breathed life into your dry bones and the same can be true for them. Are you not forever thankful and full of praise that you are alive in Jesus now? Want this for them! Pray this for them! Take no pleasure in their alienation and rejoice when they stand shoulder to shoulder with you having been lost but now perfectly and wonderfully found.
The Gospel will never be popular. We must understand that from the start. With the heart of Christ we always endeavor to bring more souls into the Father’s presence but we will never be the majority. We will never find society as a whole sharing in our visions, motivations and priorities. Get comfortable being outnumbered now! The message of Jesus was rejected from the beginning of his ministry. Furthermore, the message of Jesus was rejected from the very beginning. Because we are sinful in nature we have always rejected the idea that we are better when under the authority or sovereignty of something or someone other than ourselves. We are comforted by messages that preach self-love, self-worth, self-worship and glorification. We love ourselves. We think extremely highly of ourselves. If left up to our own devices we would erect monoliths to ourselves all over the world taking pleasure in the global worship of our name. In Jesus Christ all of these are rejected as deadly lies. Your faith and the Gospel can only truly be measured by how your life is growing daily to know Jesus more. Do you rely on him more than you did one year ago? Do you take more pleasure in knowing him, learning about him, listening to him than one year ago? Are you partaking more and more in his suffering in this world as a result of the growing presence of his life in yours? You are not here to win arguments. You are not here to win people over by forcefully convincing and intellectually strong-arming them into grace. You are called to press on. You are called to give up increasingly more control over your own life letting God direct your steps in the present and the future. Are you rejected? So was Jesus. Are you ignored? So was Jesus. Are you mocked and humiliated, cast out and cast down? So was Jesus. Take comfort, Christian. You are valued by your heavenly Father and in Jesus you are welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven with the inheritance of the Son. Meditate on such things. Know him more. Pray for the world more. More will come to know Jesus before he returns but you are not here to win more. You are here to die more daily so that Christ can be revealed in you. But make no mistake, as Christ is revealed more in you, you will inevitably share in his rejection and persecution more and more. Never mistake your rejection for yours alone. Your rejection is His so that you could be forgiven and accepted like the Son.