There is an interesting thing about us. Whenever someone sends us a friend request, the first thing we do is to check up their profiles, look at their pictures and consider if they are worthy to be on our list. We do this especially when our friends’ list is reaching the cap.
Even when it has reached the cap, we may have to remove someone else to add another if the later’s profile is worth it. That is what it is about us but it is not the same with God.
God doesn’t look up our profiles to see if we are worthy. Whatever our profile is, God is not interested. Our qualification is not in what we do because it is not enough and can never be enough.
If our actions and records of good works are what guarantees enjoying fellowship with God, then no one qualifies. The good news is this, nobody enjoys God’s presence on the basis of what they do.
Looking at the ministry of Jesus, he was mad at religion, that which was placing demands on people. Religion says “to receive from God, you must do something… To access open heavens, you must do something. To make heaven at last, you must obey the law. While religion served it’s temporal purpose, Jesus came expressing his Lordship over religion and it’s laws!
Jesus was more hostile to the religious people than he was to unbelievers. In fact, it was the religious persons that called him “friend of sinners.”
We also see that the unbelievers were much quicker in receiving Jesus than the religious folks. While religion said, “if you do it good enough, you’ll enjoy God’s presence.” Jesus came saying “I am the way to all of God. If you have seen me, you have seen him. I am all you need.”
Jesus didn’t come to recognize sin and point out what was sin and what wasn’t sin. He didn’t come with a list of dos and donts. He rather came to deal with sin once and for all. Just one blow was enough and final! Jesus said “I have come that you might have life in abundance… Whosoever believes in me shall not perish but receive this life.” (John 10:10, John 3:16)
Just like we didn’t have to do anything to be sinners, we don’t have to do anything to be righteous. We were pronounced sinful and condemned on the basis of the sin of the first man. In the same way, we are pronounced righteous on the basis of one man’s righteousness. Our righteousness is strictly based on what Jesus has done and to trust that we can get it figured out or earn salvation via our good works is to make light of the blood of Jesus.
Do you see those weaknesses and addictions? As much as you find yourself struggling with it, Christ took care of it on the cross. In the sense of what Christ has done, sin is dead. What this means is that the powers of sin to hold you bound has been destroyed. The Bible says
“Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” – Romans 6:14 NLT
Sometimes, we read the above and think it is saying “you can’t sin anymore, you can’t misbehave anymore, you can’t see that addiction again.” No, what it means is that God will not condemn you even when you seem to fall into one sinful act or another.
Does this imply we go ahead and live as we want? No! If you are born again, you are led by the Spirit of God and you intentionally allow your body to express the love of God which has been shed abroad in your hearts.
If you’ve been set free from the prison, why would you still want to live like a prisoner? Living like a prisoner doesn’t change the fact that you are no longer in the prison but by continuing to live like a prisoner you place yourself on a limitation, you won’t live your best. That is what believers who go-ahead to live sinfully do. Yes, somehow by the display of our diverse weaknesses we put ourselves on self-limitations.
When we embrace the finished works of Christ, sin loses its dominance. We are righteous, we are perfect and we are holy! It is not a thing to boast as our achievements, it is the result of what Christ has done.
The story of Passover tells us a lot! When God instructed that the Israelites paint their doorpost with blood, there was no restriction to who would use it. Had any Egyptian used it? Condemnation would not come to his family! There were those who lied, those who committed fornication, those who did all manner of things but as long as the blood was on their doorpost, death wouldn’t come to them.
This is how it is in Christ! We have passed from death to life, the law of sin doesn’t recognise us anymore. There is the blood of Jesus on our doorpost! We didn’t have to do anything to earn it, we just had to believe.
Many times, people want to criticize others and condemn them for their weaknesses. This is not to glorify weakness and wrong behaviours. However, that you have the privilege to control what another couldn’t control doesn’t mean you are more righteous or better than him or her. We are all subjects to God’s grace.
In your own areas of weakness, the other person you called weak may be strong. Paul wrote
“Accept other believers who are weak in faith…” – Romans 14:1NLT
To accept the weak in faith doesn’t mean to endorse their weakness, it shows you see them as Christ sees them knowing that gradually they will grow in the knowledge of God’s word, allowing the character of Jesus to be formed in them.
God has accepted you just the way you are and he wants you to live out your best. When you stay in the place of God’s word, the character of Jesus begins to take form in you.
This portion of Paul’s heartfelt prayerful writing is also my prayer for you and with that, I end this note.
“We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Then the way you live will always honour and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need.
May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.
For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” Colossians 1:9-14 NLT