It’s really so overwhelming being a Christian. There is so much that I believe that really just goes straight against rationality and logic. The thought of John 3:16 where the apostle John writes about why God sent His only beloved Son, Jesus, to die for us, sinners, is not possible for me to fathom. How can God love me so much? I am insignificant and so small yet God still sees the value in me. It’s just amazing! Absolutely mind boggling the love God has for us.
Another amazing truth that I’ll never understand is the absolute immense grace of God. How He continues to forgive and choose to forget our sin is incomprehensible (Hebrews 8:12). I often reach the point where I feel as if my sin has shocked or astounded God, as if He never knew I was going to do it. No wonder Romans 2:4 says that God is so kind, tolerant and patient with us, that it leads us to repent i.e to turn from our sin. His grace is so sufficient and in overflow that it causes you to seek His holiness. His grace is so good, it doesn’t only forgive you, it also leads you to repentance.
Romans 5:20 says that where our sin increases, God’s grace towards us increases even more.
For me God’s grace and love are more believed than understood. I truly believe that God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for us, but do I understand such incredible love, not really no. All I can do is imagine and try to make sense of why such an almighty God would love me so much, because I know I am not worthy of Him. Do I believe that God’s grace is far more than my sin and covers it completely, yes, but I don’t understand the magnitude of my own sin, nor the immense grace of God that is needed to save me.
Something that is just as hard to understand, but it’s believed is the authority and triumph of Jesus over evil. I believe that Jesus overcame satan and his kingdom when He died without sin , but rationally how does one fully understand what that authority and triumph mean and how it impacts our lives?
I am righteous because I believe in Christ.
In Galatians 2:20-21 Paul makes a profound statement when he says that he is crucified with Christ, nevertheless he lives. And that the life he now lives is through Jesus Christ. Paul was not there when Jesus died on the cross, yet he makes this statement that he is crucified with Christ. This crucifixion of Paul is not physical, but through faith. Through his faith in Jesus Christ and what Jesus did, he is made one with Christ. He receives the benefits of an act he didn’t do. We are now righteous, not because we live righteous lives, because we can’t, but because we believe in someone who did live righteous and never sinned. Yet Jesus died a sinner’s death on a cross for the sin of all humanity and because we believe in Him we receive an invoice with the cost of all our sin, but it’s stamped “PAID IN FULL” with the blood of Jesus.
Colossians 2:13-15 NIV When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
So we now understand that through our faith in Jesus Christ we are righteous. This mean that we don’t have to deal with all the guilt and shame of sin, but can ask for God’s forgiveness and through His amazing grace we are forgiven and can then strive to know Him more intimately.
The reality of life and even more of a Christian is that there will be obstacles in life and satan will most certainly tempt you and try to persuade you to sin, but this leads to understanding one of the most mind blowing benefits of believing in Christ! We have authority over everything evil. That means that if it leads you to sin, causes you to sin, motivates you to sin, sin itself, impure passions, desires and instincts all of them. We can overrule these things and say no to all of them all the time. When you’re tempted to look with lust, speak with impure words or do sinful things, you can say no to it and not let it influence you.
Luke 10:19-20 NLT Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.
Jesus actually gave us authority over satan and all evil. We can walk in Jesus’ authority and triumph over satan and live pure. When you’re tempted you no longer have to wonder if you’ll have enough willpower to say no and be strong in a weak moment. You are always strong, because God has given us His authority and triumph and we can say to all things evil that we choose God and won’t follow sin. Sin no longer has control over us. All chains are broken. We are free not by what we do, but by what Jesus has already done for us.
The question now, is why is it so extremely difficult to say no. See the thing is, as Christians, we fight this good fight of faith from a position of victory and triumph. We can say no to everything that tempts us to sin, but we often choose to not use that authority and triumph and choose to ignore it and experience the temporary pleasure of this world that leads to death.
It’s not saying no that’s difficult, it’s choosing to say no.
Yet Jesus says that whoever wants to be His disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross (Matt 16:24). Jesus also says that we cannot be His disciple unless we hate our own lives and the lives of others (Luke 14:26). Meaning that we live to please God, to be approved by Him and to follow His will, not the will of others nor our own will. God must be first and everything else comes after Him.
So what’s up to us, is to choose whether or not we’re going to use Jesus’ authority and triumph and do whatever it takes to choose to say no to this world and yes to God. For as Paul says in Ephesians 6:12 we are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, the powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world, so let us put on the full Armour of God and Fight the Good Fight of Faith.