Have you ever heard someone say, “You need to get right with God!”? What goes through most people’s minds when they hear that is a list of all the things they must stop doing in order to be in good standing with God. The reality is that we can’t be good enough on our own to justify ourselves. In Romans 5:1 the Apostle Paul writes: “Therefore, having been justified (declared right or righteous) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” You see, the justification comes by faith. Faith in what Christ has done for us. What did He do? Romans 4:25 tells us that He “was delivered up because of our offenses and was raised because of our justification.” He died taking upon Himself the punishment for our sins and was resurrected so that we could be declared righteous. Having faith in and accepting that is what gets us right with God. A person can say, “I am not going to drink, smoke, or chew. Neither, will I hang out with those that do!” While that is a very noble thing to say and do that will not make him or her right with God. Salvation is a free gift. However, the minute I try to pay for it or earn it then it’s no longer free. There has only been One and will never be another who can pay the price for our salvation.
The question remains then that if I can’t make myself right what about all the sin in my life? We focus on what God has already dealt with. The sacrifice was made, and the debt has been paid. Sin doesn’t’ send us to hell. It is the rejection of the free gift of salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that does that. Once I become “born again” or receive the gift of salvation the bible says that I am a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). My nature has been changed. I am not the same person I was before I received the free gift. Religion and tradition has us so focused on trying to stop doing the don’ts. The Lord wants us to simply focus on doing the do’s. There is a distinct difference between living my life trying to not sin out of fear and living my life to please God by faith. Without faith it is impossible to please Him (Heb. 11:6). If I am living a life of faith it will be evident in how I live. There must be corresponding actions to what I believe. Faith without works is dead (James 2:26).
Am I minimizing the power of sin? Absolutely, because the strength of sin is the law. (1 Cor. 15:56) Jesus has fulfilled the righteous requirement of the law which has been fulfilled in us who walk according to the Spirit. (Rom. 8:1-4) There is a life of freedom and liberty that God has called us too that unfortunately many people never walk in because they focus on trying to overcome sin in their lives that has already been dealt with and overcome by the blood of the Lamb.
Now, I am not saying that Christians don’t sin or don’t have sin in their lives. If we say that we have no sin, we lie (1 John 1:8). However, the focus should be that He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness when we confess those sins. (1 John 1:9) How we see ourselves will determine how we live. If we see ourselves as old, dirty, rotten sinners (barely) saved by grace we will struggle to feel worthy of God’s love. However, if we simply see ourselves as saved by grace through faith because of love. We can better grasp the fact that HE thought enough of us to count YOU worthy of His love. He has already made us right with Him. We only need to receive it.