For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.
—Galatians 5:4 (NLT)
Do you feel that God’s doesn’t love you, and you are struggling for His acceptance? Are you exhausted from striving for His approval? So many Christians labor to feel loved by God, when, in fact, He has already loved them completely through His finished work of redemption on the Cross. “God made Christ,” Paul wrote, “who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NLT).
You can’t make yourself right with God by self-effort. Only the grace of Jesus—His offering for your sin—makes you righteousness. When you strive to win His acceptance and approval, you set yourself up to not feel loved by God. He becomes someone you can never please—someone who is just waiting for you to fail. How far it this from the truth! Jesus is your greatest supporter. He sees your potential through the work of the Holy Spirit in your life—not through your own efforts. When you don’t understand what Jesus accomplished for you on Calvary, you continually do as those who tried to keep the law. You strive to be good enough, and self-efforts to be perfect cut you off from Christ. You have fallen away from Jesus’ grace by striving to make yourself right with God. Jesus paid your debt on Calvary. You are free. You don’t and can’t make yourself righteous.
What about change? What about spiritual growth? Spiritual growth is essential, and you choose it. But you don't change yourself. The Holy Spirit transforms you. As you learn what Jesus accomplished for you on Calvary, you "put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:24, NLT). You received your new blameless nature when you asked Jesus into your heart. You didn't partially receive Jesus. Jesus didn't somewhat forgive you. Your new life takes place in the spirit of your mind. You learn the mind of Christ that you received. This is transformation. The fruit of the Holy Spirit flows naturally. Nothing has to be worked up through self-effort. Peace and joy are the hallmarks of your life.
Knowing who you are in Jesus is critical to understand the new person he has created in you. You have His nature—His blameless spirit. You don't need to fear punishment. He forgives you. When Jesus gave His life for you, God was no longer your judge. He became your "Abba", your daddy. God created each of us with a need to belong. He adopted you the day you asked Jesus into your heart. You belong to Him. He is your identity. He accepts you. He approves of you, or He wouldn’t have given His life for you.
© 2019 Lynn Lacher