For years I have been learning about God’s grace. In the church where I grew up, I didn’t hear the word grace very much. I knew that Jesus died for my sins, but then I would hear mostly about law and what I should, or should not, do. When I messed up I heard things like, “You really need to work to get closer to Jesus.”
I ran to the altar almost every week, because every week I would mess up and think I needed to get saved all over again. I knew Jesus loved me but I never understood His true love for me. In my mind, I truly believed that He would remove Himself from me if and when I messed up. That meant I had to work to prove myself worthy of his presence again. I would literally stand in church and think, “The reason I’m not feeling anything is because God has removed his presence from me.”
This condemnation led me to a frustration that gave me no will to fight temptation. So I simply gave up on even trying to make it under the law. That drove me into a spiral all the way down to rock bottom.
After hitting rock bottom at age twenty four, I began to hear about real grace. I realized that the Law of God is holy and should be treated as such, but it is there for us to understand our undeniable need for grace.
The Bible says, “The wages of sin is Death.” (Romans 6:23) This is not something I want to pay for. I learned early on in church, that Jesus paid for my sins so I wouldn’t have too.
It was much later that I learned that I am “…clothed in His righteousness.” (Is. 61:10) This means that when God sees me, He doesn’t see where I messed up last week. He sees me as holy and righteous as Jesus.
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We are clothed in Jesus’ righteousness. This was a huge revelation for me. Now some would think that this sounds like license to sin. But it is not.
As I said, the law is holy it should be respected but not bind you. When you realize you are free from the law and not bound to it this brings a desire like never before to live by it. Psalms 119:11 says, “I run in the paths of your commands, because you have set my heart free.”
I have found freedom and I want to continue in it by obedience. But – and this is a big but – if I do mess up my God (who loves me enough to send his son to die for my sins) will never remove Himself from me. God doesn’t make me start over, I don’t have to “work to get closer to Jesus.”
He is my father and he picks me up out of the dirt and helps me clean any wounds I may have, just like any loving father would do. This is a revelation I learned so long ago, and it changed my life as I hope it changes yours if you do not know this.