22 January 2012

The Too Good To Be True News

"Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain, he washed me white as snow."

Paul constantly references the Good News in the New Testament (2 Thes 2:14). What is Paul talking about? Is he just saying the Good News is all about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, then, raising up again after 3 days to conquer death, hell and the grave? Is that what the Good News is all about? Well, yes it is. However, the problem is, it's only the beginning of the Good News.

Two thousand years ago Jesus was nailed to a cross for your sins (John 19). Before you were ever a thought. Before you even had a family tree or before there was such a thing as an America, you were being thought of on the cross. Jesus was like, "That Dathan. Man, I love him so much that I'm going to flip his world upside down. I can't wait to see his face when he realizes what I've done for him!!"

Our lame attempt to reach out to God by Michelangelo. 
You see, Jesus paid it all and did it all for you and me, period. What does this mean? It means you don't have to do anything to receive God's love and forgiveness. But, you already know this don't you? Actually, you don't. If I had a hard time understanding it, then I'm sure you can't wrap your head around it either.

Jesus came to this earth, fulfilled the Law (followed every rule perfectly), showcased the Father's love, and took on all our sin once and for all (Mat 5:17-20). He did it all. It's done. It's finished (John 19:30). There's no more work to be done to save you. There's no Law to follow anymore because he completed it (Gal 4:4-7). We've spent thousands of years proving that we can't even follow the Law, anyway. There's no sacrificial lambs to slaughter; he was the last one. There's no sin that can't be forgiven. He sacrificed himself for all sin; not just the sin from yesterday, but your current and future sins (John 1:29). The sins you haven't committed yet are (already) forgiven.

Then, on top of all that, as if it weren't enough, he calls you his son or daughter (2 Cor 6:16-18). You've been grafted into his family tree (Rom 11:19-24). You've been adopted and are no longer orphans (Rom 8:15). You now have a Father. And, you're his child. A daughter or son owns everything the king owns. Whatever is his, is now yours. And, not only that, a child of the king is heir to his throne (Rom 8:17). Because of God's sacrifice, you now are royalty. You have all power and authority that he gave his Son. And, his Son, who is all powerful and has all authority, is in you (John 14:12-21).

He's looking for those who will humble themselves enough to believe what he did (1 Pet 5:6). He's looking for those who will receive this gift. You don't have to do anything else to receive it other than believe (John 14:10). All he asks is that you believe what he's done. He didn't just die for Christians. He died for all sin - for all humanity (1 Pet 3:18). Either you choose to receive it or not. I accept the gift (Eph 2:8). I accept the fact that I don't have to do anything else for him to forgive me. I no longer have to perform (John 6:28-29). I accept the fact that all my sins, past, present and future have been wiped clean. All I have to do now is receive his perfect gift. And, because I accepted this new role, I have a new family (John 8:35).

I used to think I had to pray an hour a day, fast, read my Bible and do everything right in order to receive his grace and love. But, he loved me first. He loved me in my sin and before I figured this Jesus thing out. He did all this before I had a chance to pray an hour a day. He forgave my sin long ago and forgot about all of it, because he only sees his Son.

He doesn't see anyone other than his Son who now lives in me (the Spirit) (1 Cor 3:16). Jesus is perfect. God only sees perfection. And, I have a new nature (Eph 4:22-24). I have a nature that doesn't want to sin - that despises it. I no longer have to work at not sinning. Now that I have his Spirit living in me, my new nature automatically starts doing things right - it's natural. I know how much he loves me and his love is what makes me not want to do wrong (Psa 103:12). And, when I do jack things up, he picks me up and reminds me that he loves me and already forgave me. He reminds me of his grace. Is it really possible?!

Paul, and the disciples, were trying to show us what God did so you can discover the new you. They wanted us to see what freedom we had in Him. He wanted us to see what Christ really did and what it meant. The Pharisees didn't want to believe all this. They wanted to continue working at being good. They wanted to do it on their own. They couldn't accept the fact that they didn't have to do anything to become right with the Father. But, you can't do that. It's impossible (Gal 3:3).

Quit trying to do good and, instead, begin to hang out with your Father. He will do the good in you, for you. I tried it on my own. I used to be a Pharisee because that's what most churches taught me to be. It doesn't work. So, when someone tries to tell you to do this or that, don't listen. It's not their fault, they just don't know any better and haven't accepted the Truth. Just develop a real relationship with your Father so you can learn who you really are in Him.

He's madly in love with you and he sacrificed everything he had to show it (John 3:16)!

Now, it's your turn to decide if you believe and accept the too Good to be true News.


Craig Stumpf said...

Love the title!!!

I came to your blog from Jon Acuff’s site. He has created a tremendous forum for sharing our blogs and impacting more people with them.

I hope my blog can be an encouragement to you also.

I write it for encouragement and motivation daily.


Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to watching the connections grow!

Dathan Ellis said...

I checked out your blog. Good stuff!