The Christian life is not about becoming someone or achieving something. It is about discovering what Jesus has already done for you, what He has freely given you, and who you already are in Christ. Christianity is also not merely “pie in the sky when you die”. It’s also “steak on the plate while you wait”!
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved (Greek word: Sozo) through him.
John 3:17 (ESV, brackets mine)
God sent Jesus to save the world. Salvation is more than just forgiveness of sins. The Greek word for “saved” is “sozo” which means to heal, deliver, prosper and make whole. Salvation includes freedom from darkness, healing of sickness, provision and prosperity and wholeness, in thislife.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
Colossians 1:13 (KJV)
This verse shows us that our deliverance from the power of darkness is past tense; it has already happened. Many Christians are trying to get free from the devil – but through what Jesus has done for us, it is already done! You have been delivered (rescued) from the power of darkness, which means that darkness no longer has any power over you. The devil is powerless against you. The enemy’s only power over you is deception (John 8:44), and as soon as you know (or realize) the truth, the truth will set you free (John 8:32). When you realize what Jesus has done for you and who you are in Him, you will begin to experience freedom and life abundant.
We are no longer under the dominion (control) of the enemy, but have been translated (transferred) into the Kingdom of Jesus (the Kingdom of light). We’re not trying to get into this kingdom – we’re already in it.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:20 (ESV)
We have been translated or transferred out of the kingdom of darkness (out of one way of doing things) into a new kingdom (into a new way of doing things).
We have been taken out of sickness and placed into health. We have been delivered out of sin and are now holy and righteous; out of bondage and we are now free; out of depression and have joy and peace; out of confusion and we now have a sound mind.
By the which will we are sanctified (made holy) through the offering (sacrifice) of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:10 (KJV, brackets mine)
Jesus was the Lamb of God that took away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Through the sacrifice of His body, He has made us holy. We do not make ourselves holy – He has made us holy. Holiness is not something we become; it’s who we are because of what Jesus has done for us. In our spirits we are perfectly holy. When we realize that we are holy, and when we focus on that holiness that is given to us, we will start to see it affect our souls (emotions, decisions) and bodies (actions). We are holy, in Christ.
He is the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:2 (ESV, brackets mine)
Jesus was the atoning sacrifice (the payment, or sacrifice that satisfied God’s wrath against sin). The sin problem has been dealt with. Sin no longer separates you – or anyone else – from God. Sin has been dealt with – not only for believers, but for the whole world. There is no longer a sin problem between man and God.
That is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them…
2 Corinthians 5:19 (ESV)
Sin was a problem. But through Jesus, God was reconciling the world to Himself – resolving the sin problem and re-establishing a close relationship between Himself and mankind, and not holding men’s sin against them. God dealt with the sin problem. Sin does not send a person to hell – because sin has been paid for through Jesus’ sacrifice. A person’s rejection of Jesus is what sends them to hell, not sin. The worst unbeliever that ever lived was as forgiven as Mother Teresa was. The difference is that one accepted the gift of salvation in Jesus, and the other didn’t.
The whole world is forgiven and God is not holding anyone’s sin against them, ever. As believers, we are now saints (holy ones) and have been made holy and righteous because we are in Christ.
For he (God) hath made him (Jesus) to besin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (Jesus).
2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV, brackets mine)
As believers, we are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. This means that we are 100% right before God – not because of our own goodness, but because Jesus has given His goodness to us and made us right. This means that we are always in God’s good books. We never have to and can never earn favour with Him. We never have to do anything good to be in God’s good books, and we can never do anything so bad that we’d be out of His good books! We are completely accepted, highly favoured and deeply loved, independent of our performance or lack thereof!
… as He is, so are we in this world.
1 John 4:17 (KJV)
As Jesus is, so are we in this world (right now, not in the life to come). This verse shows us that our righteousness (right standing with God) is 100% equal to that of Jesus’ righteousness – it is His righteousness which He has given to us. When God looks at the believer, He sees the believer in the same state of perfection as Jesus.
There is therefore now no condemnation (or disapproval) for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1 (ESV, brackets mine)
Now the decisive conclusion is this: in Christ, every bit of condemning evidence against us is cancelled.
Romans 8:1 (Mirror Translation)
We are completely forgiven, completely righteous and completely holy. There is no place at all for any shame or condemnation in our lives. Any shred of condemning evidence against us has been cancelled (destroyed or invalidated). We should not allow ourselves to suffer any guilt or shame. Jesus has made us worthy!
Therefore, since we have been justified (made right) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1 (ESV, brackets mine)
We have peace with God; God is not against us. He is not angry with man. The sin problem has been dealt with and we have been made right with God by believing in Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
(This is one of the lessons from a discipleship series I have recently written. It will be available soon!)