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Living in acceptance
- Jacob Ninan
It is emphasised often that we are saved by grace through faith and not by our good works (Ep.2:8,9). We are encouraged to come to Jesus just as we are because He loves us and we don't have wait and clean up first before we go to Him. It is a miracle of grace that God accepts us at that point because we are all messed up within us, and there are so many things in us that are abhorrent to God (Ro.5:8;4:5). This is such a powerful truth of God's acceptance that our whole mind gets liberated once we 'see' this. Many Christians live a joyless life because they have not understood this.
What should also be emphasised is the truth that it is on the same basis that we have access to God even after we have come to God! We can access God boldly now, fully confident of acceptance and without fear of rejection, on the basis of 'just as we are!' This is because the basis of our acceptance is still, even after we have become God's children, the blood of Jesus Christ and not some acceptable level of behaviour (He.10:19-22). When the devil accuses us after we have fallen into some sin or made a blunder, he tries to hide this fact from us and highlight how bad we are. This is one place where we need to learn to fight the 'fight of faith,' hold on to God's truth and put aside our feelings and reasonings.
Think of what happens when we try to pray. Do we go straightaway into God's presence and start talking to Him? Or do we hesitate wondering if our life is at an acceptable level before God? Certainly if the Holy Spirit reminds us of something that needs to be set right that is the first thing that needs to be attended to (Mt.5:23,24). But the issue I am addressing here is whether there is a struggle inside wondering if we are acceptable to God or not. If it is there it shows that we have not yet become rooted and grounded in the knowledge of God's acceptance through grace! At that point we are still switching to finding our acceptance on the basis of our own righteousness. And that is impossible.
What about thinking that maybe if we ask some godly person to pray it would have better results than if we prayed? We seem to have lost confidence in our acceptance! We think it is our level of godliness and not the blood of the Lamb that decides our acceptance!
How the devil can keep us down and make us ineffective in God's kingdom through these tactics! In spite of the fact that we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and everything wrong with us has been wiped clean in God's eyes to the extent that it is as if they never existed we are practically living as if it never happened! Paul would have said, "You foolish Christians!"
Yes, surely we should not forget about our accountability towards God, take grace for granted and live as we please. But we must not play that into the hands of the devil and allow him to keep us bound. Let us live and enjoy the life Jesus has purchased for us.