“Do you realize this: On the greatest day you’ve ever had in the living out of your Christ-likeness you’ve fallen miserably short. You are under unfathomable grace on that day. What’s the basis of God’s acceptance of you? It is the same basis of God’s acceptance of this thief: The shed blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ.” – Jesse Barrington
Here's the beauty of the gospel, you ready? We feel like, as my brother preached, at times, we make contributions to our salvation. It is wrong, but we feel like that. We talked about the "good day". "I had a good day, surely God accepts me more today." "I had a bad day, surely God can't accept me like he would on my good day."
What have you done in that moment? You've moved your works into the equation of justification. Do you see the error there? The error in our thinking. And my brothers right, if we do that you'll never have peace of assurance. The arrogance that we think on our good day that we somehow appease the righteousness of God.
Do you realize this: On the greatest day you've ever had in the living out of your Christ-likeness you've fallen miserably short. You are under unfathomable grace on that day. What's the basis of God's acceptance of you? It is the same basis of God's acceptance of this thief. The shed blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ.
How much does God accept one who has received the forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ? Kind of accepted? Contractually? "Oh I didn't see that paragraph", accepted? "I guess I'll take you." No. Declared righteous, perfected, accepted.
Do you realize this you cannot improve on God's acceptance of you and justification. You can't improve on it. And you can't take away from it. You know why? It was never based on your performance in the first place. It is based on the performance of another.
Do you know how freeing that is? Do you know how liberating that is? To know that my righteousness is not my own.
Now the fear many people have, Don mentioned it, we talked about it yesterday with the sister; if the gospel is really this free, and has nothing to do, if my justification has nothing to do with my works, won't people continue in sin that grace may abound then? Yes. Unless they are born again. The failure to realize that under the umbrella of salvation comes the justification through the atoning death of Jesus Christ. But in there also comes regeneration, the transformation, the recreating, the making of a new person, whose heart has been changed, and no longer loves sin, but it's still tempted by it, but loves Jesus Christ. And can't continue in sin because they've been born of God 1 John 3:9-11. Don't ever be afraid to speak and proclaim and herald and shout the freeness of justification through faith in Jesus Christ. If out of fear that they'll take it and run with it in sin, you will taint the gospel.
We feel like, "Man I got to add something to that works thing or they're gonna be running out sinning." No, you don't. Your job is not to change that gospel. Your job is like a waiter to take it and deliver it without spilling it. That's your job.
And when the Holy Spirit comes, like we see with this thief on the cross, and changes hearts, and awakens them to sin, and grants them faith, and they receive it, and they are declared righteous; but they've been changed and now they live to glorify the One, who has made them righteous, not to earn favor. Big difference. Big difference. We are saved wholly of grace.