“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, thento the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. – (I Cor. 15:3-11 ESV)
I belong to God and nothing I can do will ever diminish or enhance my status as a son. God is my Father, Jesus is my elder brother, and I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We relate to the one true God in the three person Trinity. God has transferred us from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light. And we are now spiritually seated with Christ Jesus in heavenly places. This statement can be made about every follower of Jesus. We are His body – his family on earth.
The Gospel is all about what Jesus has done, it’s not about our good works. My calling and yours is to believe, repent, trust, obey, and rely on Jesus who lived a life of perfect obedience to His Father. And, who died for our sins and rose from the dead. He defeated Satan at the cross and was victorious over sin and death. The good works God has called us to do are the fruit of our salvation, not the cause of it.
You see, Jesus died in our place because someone had to pay the price for rebelling against perfect Love Himself. All the children of Adam suffer as the result of offending the One who is greater than any King or President who has ever lived. If we had been declared guilty of breaking earthly laws, we would have had to pay for our crimes. But the Gospel (Good News) declares that all those that trust in Jesus’ payment for our sins, are declared, not guilty. Our eternal status was not decided in an earthly court of law – but in a Heavenly one. It may sound to good to be true but it isn’t!
This liberating good news doesn’t make us want to sin more – it actually makes us want to sin less. In fact his victory over sin frees us from sins domination. We must repent to get in on this. Repentance (with the help of the Spirit) is changing the way we think, by seeing our hopeless situation and trusting Jesus to change us. Change takes time, but God is patient, and like the Apostle Paul he gives his enabling grace to us. He’s a good Father.