Jesus is on the Cross, with the weight of the entire world’s sin on His shoulders. And He says three powerful words that will be taken out of context by many believers, skeptics, and non-believers for years to come.
“IT IS FINISHED”
- John 19:30
Now, our default mindset as strugglers in Christ, is to look at that statement with a broad, lacking in discernment mentality, and believe that God’s work in us is completely over. As if to say that now, it’s all about God’s tolerance and patience with our imperfections, as we continue to struggle to live out all that He would call us to be. It’s what I call a microwave Gospel. We want everything to be quick, easy, straight to the point, with barely any effort from our own hands and feet.
Here’s the HUGE problem with that kind of perspective:
IT DOESN’T TRANSFORM.
One of my biggest fears for this generation in Christ, is our misconception of God’s grace and salvation. Sometimes we think of our salvation like a bunch of different bottles of water on a random shelf in a corner store. God’s grace is the door “that’s always open”. So everyone is aloud to just come in and choose the bottle of water that they want this time. No matter if it’s every other day, week, or year.
“Oh yeah, just come back and take the kind you'd like when you’re thirsty again!”
While some of that concept may be relatable and comforting to us, none of it actually aligns with God’s true character. Jesus describes Himself as a one, specific “Living Water”, in which anyone who drinks of this water will NEVER have to thirst for righteousness again. (John 4:14)
The Cross may have been the finished work of systematic rules and religion, but it was the initial spark of relationship and the heart’s conformity to a new life in Christ.
The truth is, there is no such thing as a real Christian, who understands Biblically what being a Christian means, yet continues to live a life full of sin without the slightest conviction to know God fully and desire to change. A Believer who professes the hope that we have in Christ, should live a lifestyle that bears the fruit of this belief. Anyone who has a strong belief, should make it apart of themselves, before they can impart it on others and claim it to be true. And our allegiance to our faith should always be portrayed through our obedience to God’s Word. We can accomplish all of this by understanding that Grace is not a license to continue sinning, but it’s the difference between the harsh feeling of defeat and a chance to start over, and be made new.
It’s true that salvation is not found in what we do, but in what Jesus has already done. And it’s true that we will never be good enough to save our selves. But there IS a balance to this truth. The faith we have in God’s grace to save us is fulfilled by the life we live in honoring Him. This is how we know that the work God began in us on the Cross, is coming to completion.
Now that scripture clearly reveals how far Jesus is willing to go for our redemption, our hearts should be relentlessly tormented by our own sin. In an edifying way. So to the point that every time we fall short, it should make us want to do more than just ask for The Lord’s forgiveness. We’ve got to stop confessing our sins without conquering them. That gives the enemy a foundation to continue watering the bad seeds planted in us by a lifestyle that’s in opposition to God’s plans for us.
Listen, I’m not saying that any of this is going to be easy. In fact, there is NOTHING easy about walking this walk in a world dominated by the desires of the flesh. I, myself, have some struggles that I seriously want to destroy by the grace of God. But what I am saying is that God is worthy of our discomfort and our disposition. In fact, I believe that the majority of the sufferings we endure in this life should be the result of the inconveniences we face in striving to get to know, serve, and be more like Jesus.
I just refuse to believe that God wants us to feel stuck or incompetent to overcome the weight of sin. Which is why I encourage you to take all of this to The Lord in prayer and ask Him to break down whatever it is that is hindering you from living out all that He would call you to be. Because it’s when we are truly broken down, and exposed to our inner core that God can take His Hands and reach us with His saving, transforming grace.
If I could encourage you to take 5 things away from this post it would be:
- Never blindly believe in God’s grace without humbling yourself and asking Him for His guidance to overcome wrongdoing.
- Ask for the kind of faith that transforms your walk.
- Be intentional about overcoming desires that are in opposition to God's character.
- Know that living a Godly life is evidence that God's grace is triumphant in our walk.
- NEVER forget that God's grace doesn't ignore our sin, it empowers us to overcome it.
With love and . . . . .a few sips of Starbucks,
Dylan Rucker | Unashamed Impact Leader
@Dylan_Rucker | Dylan@unashamedimpact.com