Even before God created the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. But the powerful God who made us was pure and holy, and sin separated us from His presence. God loved us so much that He made a way for us to have an intimate and loving relationship with Him. It was God’s great pleasure to send His dear Son, Jesus, to us—not to condemn us but to save us from our sin so that we can have a relationship with Him (Ephesians 1:4-5, John 3:16-17).
When we accept Christ as our Savior, our sinful nature dies. It is crucified with Him (Romans 6:6, Galatians 2:20). We are newly reborn creations in the redeeming grace of Jesus—all the old is dead and gone (2 Corinthians 5:17). We receive the righteousness of God as our new identity (2 Corinthians 5:21). By His grace, Jesus redeemed us from all sin—he redeemed us from the curse of sin by becoming the payment for our sin (Galatians 3:13). We, who once were orphaned by our sin, are no longer orphans. God in Christ has adopted us as His own children. We are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6).
—And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
—Galatians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
The presence of the Holy Spirit within us proves that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16). The Holy Spirit within us cries out to God saying, “Abba.” “Abba” is a term of endearment that indicates a deeply loving and intimate relationship with God. God is our Abba Father—our loving Father who looks past the sinful nature that once identified us and sees Christ as our identity. Instead of being a slave in bondage to sin, we are “slaves” to God. When we believe without a doubt who we are in Christ, we live the fruit of God's righteousness imputed to us (Romans 6:22, Galatians 5:22-23).
God sees the identity of His Son when He sees us. He sees the new creation Christ has made. When we see ourselves as God sees us, we see the new identity He has given us. We see who we are in Christ, and our sonship to God brings a sense of worthiness that we are at complete peace with Him—that we are without fault in His eyes.
Believing God loves and accepts us because Christ has made us worthy is the opposite of believing we are slaves to sin. Considering ourselves as slaves to sin instead of being children of God who are alive in Christ, comes against the power of His grace in our lives. It creates the need in us to earn God’s acceptance and love. There is no way to be at peace in the presence of God if we believe we have to earn His love. When we continue to believe we are still unworthy in God’s eyes after receiving Christ, then we remain a slave to the old person we were before we received Christ. Praise God! We are no longer slaves to that old sinful person who lived in fear of God’s wrath and tried to prove his own righteousness. We are heirs to God’s love that was revealed to us in Christ.
—For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
—Romans 8:15 (NKJV)
The Law made God our judge but the Grace of Jesus made God our Father. We are no longer under the Law but under Grace (Romans 6:14). God desires for us to know Him, not as the Father who judges, but as the Father who loves us. As His adopted children, we don’t need to fear His judgment. He doesn’t want us to have a fearful relationship with Him. God longs for us to know that we have the freedom to boldly come to Him in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
When you believe you have to earn God’s love, you don’t walk in the redemption of Christ. You try to find your identity, acceptance, and approval in people and circumstances instead of Jesus who has already made you worthy. The Law makes you insecure because it creates the need to earn acceptance. But the Grace of Jesus gives you unshakeable security because Christ has earned your acceptance and approval. He has given you His identity. And Christ is within you crying out that we are no longer slaves to the law, but a child of His Grace.
—To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
—Colossians 1:27 (NKJV)
The love of God has been made known to us in Christ. Christ lives within us, the hope of glory. We receive our identity and our acceptance from being His and being in Him. As Jesus is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). When God sees us, He sees the identity of His Son. Just as much as God loved and accepted His Son, He loves and accepts us.
The person we believe we are in Christ—our identity in Him—our sense of worthiness in Him—makes all the difference between living a defeated or victorious life.
—For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
—Romans 8:29-30 (NLT)
You were chosen by God to receive His love in Christ. He has called you to come to Him. And when you come to Him, don’t miss the truths of your relationship with Him. You have right standing with God. And having right standing with God, you have received His glory. You have Christ within you, the hope of glory.
We praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son (Ephesians 1:6)!
© 2023 Lynn Lacher