In yesterday’s article, we took a look at how sin (choosing to act contrary to God’s instructions) stains us, and there’s nothing we can do – on our own – to clean up past, present, or future sins enough to warrant justification before God.
Understanding that God is all-knowing, it is not surprising that God knew that we were weak, and wouldn’t follow our obligations to do the right thing. He knew that we couldn’t fix ourselves. Instead, we needed a fresh start or something new.
What is amazing, though, is that God is not only just (i.e., fair and consistent), but also loving (see 1 John 4:7-21). He wanted so much for us to return to Him, that He found a way to make us brand-new! If you have heard about Jesus, but aren’t clear about His purpose, here you go: Jesus was God (and human at the same time), lived a perfect life (showing us what God is like), and then allowed Himself to be killed – trading His perfection for the death penalty that we deserved. In return, if we accept Jesus, and turn our lives over to Him and His direction, we exchange the stains of sin for the perfection and the family relationship with God that Jesus had.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 NLT
Thinking back to the premise of sin: we don’t need to keep scrubbing the old shirt with the intractable stain – we need a new shirt! Jesus provided us that fresh start, and this time, the new spiritual clothing that we receive no longer gets contaminated.
After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar,
“Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne
and from the Lamb!”
Revelation 7:9-10 NLT
See also Psalm 51:1-2, Psalm 51:9-10. The Bible also talks about this as a [miraculous] cleansing, like in 1 Corinthians 6:11, Titus 2:11-14, Hebrews 1:1-4, Hebrews 10:19-25, and 1 Peter 1:19-25.
Similarly, Galatians 6:15 talks about becoming a “new creation”: we become brand-new: unstained, perfect, and welcome into the family of the holy God.
So, how about you? Are you trying to patch things up with regards to a perfect, holy God? (Even followers of Jesus sometimes forget this.) Trying to “get God to like us”, or “be good enough for Heaven” is like having an axle break on a vehicle, and then trying to repair the axle with school glue, or tying the wheel back on with twine (because that’s all that we have to work with).
Instead, take your stained past (we all have one), and trade it out wholesale for a new life. Choose to let Jesus make you into a new creation, and then – once you have done so – don’t forget that your stains (all of them: past, present, and future) are gone. No duct tape required!
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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