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You are altogether beautiful
- Jacob Ninan
You have probably heard the chorus that says, "He is altogether lovely." This is how we find the Lord Jesus Christ when we have come to know Him closely. But will you be surprised to hear that what Jesus thinks about us who have become children of God is, "You are altogether beautiful, my darling, and there is no blemish in you" (So.4:7)? That is because He has washed us thoroughly with His blood and made us whiter than snow (Isa.1:18). All our sins have been washed away and we have been 'justified' in God's eyes, when we acknowledged our sins, repented, and placed our trust in Jesus. Someone has said that 'justified' implies 'just as if I'd' never sinned. We are spotless and without blemish in His eyes.
Sometimes it is very difficult to believe this, especially if we are sensitive to our inner nature, and notice all the things that go through our mind and what we say and do. We wonder how God can think like this about us when we are absolutely clear that we are far from being without blemish! We ask ourselves the question how God can accept us the way we are when we can't accept us ourselves.
If we have never wondered about this question, perhaps we have not thought much about what it took for God to forgive our sins, why Jesus had to actually die, and what it means for us. It is good to get a clear view of this in order to get a good foundation in our Christian life.
In giving us salvation, God has done what was impossible for us. We know that all of us have sinned, and grieved God who created us, took care of us and did many good things for us (Ro.3:23). On the other side God is absolutely holy. The justice of God demanded that we should be punished, but the love of God longed to take us into His arms. God found a way through this stalemate by letting Jesus die in our place. Therefore when we placed our trust in Jesus, God has forgiven us all our sins. This much is common knowledge to all believers.
The next aspect of the truth is that in forgiving our sins God has also accepted us as we are, without waiting for us to come to a certain level of holiness first (Ro.4:5). He loves us so much that He does not focus His attention on our faults but on our love for Him and what He is going to bring out in us even though both these are still small and underdeveloped right now (1Pe.4:8;He.8:12;Is.62:3-5).
Of course God is not blind to our lacks and failures, and He is working in us and outside in order to mould and shape us into what He wants to make of us (Php.2:13;Eph.2:10). His love for us is so full of hope that even now He is shouting over us with joy (Zeph.3:17).
Do we 'see' this? Let us not condemn ourselves even if we have fallen, because when we confess our sins God is faithful to wash us thoroughly again and restore us to full fellowship (1Jn.1:9), nor lose courage when we see our lacks and failures because His love for us is much stronger than our lacks.