Many years ago, a wise person said to me, “Man’s total responsibility to God is simply to respond to his love!” It would take years for me to really understand the magnitude of this profound truth.
I want to spend the next 600 or so words attempting to reveal the gospel in the most pure, bold and exciting way you have ever heard. This revelation has changed my life and pursuit in ministry forever.
We are all born into sin. Bummer, I know. Because of our natural conception, everyone is born with a sinful nature and we are guilty of sin that entered the world through Adam’s disobedience. We can never do enough or be good enough to cleanse ourselves of our sin and deliver ourselves from judgment. Despite our best efforts we continue to sin because it is the nature of our flesh. We all sin. A lot. Yep…even you. When God gave Moses the 10 Commandments it seemed as though man had been given a prescription for righteousness and a roadmap for salvation…quite the contrary. Man was actually given a mirror that revealed the hopelessness of his state and the guilt and shame of his sin. Because of our inability to escape our sin and justify ourselves by the works of the law, we come to realize we need a savior.
God sent his son into the world to reveal his love to us. He didn’t come to judge our sin but to save us from it. Jesus had no sin, yet he exchanged his life for yours thereby paying your penalty. He paid the full price of your sin once and for all, forever redeeming you. He nailed your guilt and shame to the cross. You never have to carry sin’s guilt again because it has been paid for in full. Jesus ushered in grace and mercy and revealed that he alone is the prescription for righteousness and the roadmap to salvation. His offer is the free gift of righteousness by forever cleansing you from the acts and state of sin. You can’t earn this gift; you can only receive it. All you must do is confess Jesus as your lord and savior, believe that God raised him from the dead and ask him to come into your heart. That is how you respond to God’s love. That is crazy. It is not godliness that saves you, but God, through the blood of his son Jesus and the power of the Holy Ghost.
Being born again begins with a spiritual conception. Our spirit is made alive by and joined together with the Holy Spirit. The result is a new man. We are made one with God in spirit and our nature is changed from one of sin and death to a nature of righteousness everlasting life. When we receive God’s spirit in us, our spirit and God’s spirit are knit together forever. We are raised up incorruptible in true righteousness and holiness. This is the new birth and the regeneration of believers. We are justified before God through his son. We become children of God, and our born again spirit is forever separated from our sinful flesh. Our flesh however does not change and will never change. It will always fail and fall short.
For this reason we do not put our confidence in our flesh, but in the power of God. Your failures in the flesh will not undo the operation of God in the spirit. Even when you sin your righteousness and salvation are not put in jeopardy. That would be double jeopardy since Christ already paid the debt for your sins. Your sins are not imputed against you anymore, but Christ’s righteousness is counted for you. You are forever perfected in God’s sight by his love. When he sees you, he sees his son Jesus. Remember that your salvation has never and will never be earned by you. So stop thinking that you lose your salvation every time you sin and rest in the finished work of Christ. You are saved by grace and you will only stay saved by grace.
When this revelation of the new covenant evolves from church theology to church psychology we will see the church rise. God’s love will shine so brightly that sinners will run to God rather than from God in these last days. This is the Good News of Christ.