Do You Feel Condemned?
I know that some people celebrate and condone sin. But most people I know, and most people that would show up to a church feel more condemned for their sins. Sometimes they think that God is condemning them, sometimes they feel like others are condemning them, but most often we just feel condemned in our own hearts.
God's love is universal, sacrificial, merciful, eternal, and transformational. I love that on a day like Easter we can tell the good news of Jesus Christ and full and free forgiveness in him.
To "perish" means to be apart from God forever. Having eternal life in Christ means being safe and secure and kept in a state of forgiveness forever.
It's really easy for us to let the sins of others flavor our thinking of them. It is hard for us not to relate to them on the basis of their past sins rather than on the basis of their present life and character. But God is so gracious. When he forgives us in Christ what he is saying to us is this: I will no longer relate to you on the basis of your sins, from now on I will relate to you on the basis of Christ's sacrifice for your sins. No longer will you be rejected, you are forgiving and reconciled and being restored.
I love that this is how God sees us in Christ. Not with the filthy rags of a false man-made righteousness, but with the righteousness of Christ. He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him. It is our new identity in Jesus. It is our eternal destiny because of him. And it gives us such a freedom to be able to share that same love freely with other people. It is what makes Christianity contagious. The love of God shed abroad in our hearts in Christ. All because of the cross. All because of the resurrection. Awaiting that day when Jesus will bring all things together in his perfect kingdom.