Unfortunately, most Christians seem to be more sin-conscious than God-conscious.
And what I’m about to say will probably stretch you, maybe even offend your mind because we’re so steeped in this sin paradigm. But be at peace. What the heart believes usually offends the mind at first. 🙂
But just imagine what it would be like not having to think about or expend energy on sin management–where your thoughts would be free to commune with God.
The sad fact is, many sincere believers only “feel” God when they’re convicted of their sins (which they call revival), which is not how God intended for us to encounter Him on a regular basis.
But the more amazing truth is, sin doesn’t separate Him from us anymore; it separates us from Him. What do I mean by this? First, what I don’t mean…
– I don’t mean that we now have license to sin; we’re empowered by grace to live in the newness of God’s life (Rom.6:1-7; Titus 2:11-12).
– I don’t mean that our behavior doesn’t matter; it’s a question of Who or what is managing my behavior–sin-management or the Holy Spirit? Am I trying to obey commandments or believe promises? For the former was the Old Covenant and the latter is the New Covenant.
– I don’t mean that we don’t sin anymore. I’m talking about its relationship to us and to God.
But I DO mean that the separating issue of sin for God has been completely taken out of the picture by Jesus’ blood on the Cross 2,000 years ago. And I DO agree with Jesus and the Father that His Blood was enough and it is finished.
And that, my friend, is GOOD news!
I want to show a short video clip by theologian and New Testament professor, Dr. Andrew Farley, to help us out here. And, by the way, you and I don’t have to agree with everything Dr. Farley ever says (or anyone else) in order to benefit from what he has to say here. I believe he DOES have a crystal clear revelation on grace and this short clip is worth watching. Shall we?
As Dr. Farley points out, Jesus dealt with all sins–past, present, and future–on the cross. Which means…He can’t be dealing with them now. That would be to insult God’s grace and call Him a liar, which He isn’t. Here’s what the writer of Hebrews says (emphasis added)…
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
And where these have been forgiven,
sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.” (Heb.10:17-18 NIV)
Paul said it this way…
“that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting people’s sins against them.” (2 Cor.5:19 NIV)
Do we actually believe this? Or should we make something else up? The truth is, the only thing we can do is agree and say the same thing as God (definition of confession) that Jesus’ sacrifice took away all our sins–past, present and future. And all means all! They are forgiven and forgotten forever. Our only part is to believe this glorious fact and say, thank You!
So I can just go do whatever I want
and sin to my heart’s content with no consequences?
Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!
That is, if you don’t want to live a toxic life full of defeat, bondage, fear, confusion, brokenness, regret, disappointment, addiction and lots of other garbage piled up in your life that God never intended you to have.
Again, here’s what Paul said about it…
“We are allowed to do anything,”
so they say. That is true,
but not everything is good.
“We are allowed to do anything”
–but not everything is helpful.” (1 Cor.10:23 GNT)
So, yes, under the New Covenant, we can do anything we want. We are saved by grace through faith alone and not by our behavior. Which also means our behavior cannot send us to hell. But it doesn’t mean what we’re doing is good for us or helpful.
Jesus already took sin away from God’s side of the equation. Everyone is already forgiven, but it’s a free gift that must be received by faith alone.
Once I do receive Christ’s scandalous grace, it does matter what I do on my end. For sin has its own punishment by the toll it takes on my life.
In other words, we can be as stupid as we want, live in a cesspool if we want. God will never love us any more or any less.
Nothing will ever change on His end. It cannot change because the covenant was already fulfilled between Jesus and the Father (Gal.3:15-17). We didn’t make it so we can’t break it. We can only believe it and agree.
But we can miss the life of wholeness–freedom, peace and joy–promised to us. That part’s up to us.
Nonetheless, His mercies are new every morning! Beloved, God owns your past; it doesn’t belong to you anymore. Just let go of that and walk in the newness of life that Jesus paid for from this moment forward.
And that’s always good news.