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10th February 2013
The Bible tells us that at one time we were objects of God's wrath – and we couldn't do anything about it! This wasn't because God is mean or angry, but because we had deliberately rebelled and turned our backs on Him.
When Jesus came, everything changed, and when you accepted Him, it was a defining moment in your life. From that very moment, you became 'in Christ', and "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Bible describes this as a radical change.
When you became a Christian, you didn't just get salvation, forgiveness and a place in heaven. You also received a new nature and identity: you became a saint, not a sinner. So many of us think that on the inside we're still as filthy as ever, and we've only been given a makeover on the outside. But that's not what the Bible says: you are now righteous through and through, because you are in Christ and therefore have His righteousness. In the New Testament, believers are never called sinners, but they are called 'holy ones', 'righteous ones' and 'saints' over 200 times!
How can this be, when we still sin? We are saints because of our position in Christ, not our performance. If you don't believe this about yourself, it will cripple your walk with God because defeat comes from not realising you are not merely forgiven, but you're changed. Changed behaviour comes from realising you are a whole new person.
Our new identity in Christ is not something we have earned. It is a free gift, by the grace of God alone. Our response is to believe what God says about us. When we sin, our relationship to God and position in Christ does not change. God will never reject you. You can never again be an object of wrath, because you are His child and He is your Father. When you sin, that doesn't change. You can come to God and confess your sin, because Jesus has atoned for it!
What can you do to be acceptable to God? Nothing. Your acceptance is based wholly on what Christ has done!
To download the 'life application' questions and sermon, click here.
Posted by Paul Mann