It’s all about Jesus! Always. Through Christ, we are forgiven! In Christ, we are justified! With Christ, we are glorified!
When I began my journey with Christ several years ago, I understood my forgiveness and was so grateful to God for it. I was even equipped with a lot of good teaching on justification and hope for glorification. However, I also had a strong desire to please God in my actions, which ultimately fed on my fears and lusts; so rather than growing in Christ, I grew more in my attempt at “doing Christ”. Not that I thought I was in any way able, but I did feel responsible to make it happen.
We can’t “DO” Jesus
I was born again for a new life. I wanted to be pleasing to my Father. I wanted to live up to Christ-likeness. This sounds righteous and noble, doesn’t it? When we’re young, we can—maybe– do Jesus pretty well for a while. We have both youth and zeal that can carry us far into adulthood.
For me, I made it for the first seventeen years of my walk with Jesus; failing, for sure, but always getting back up, working harder, praying longer, and earnestly trying to “do the stuff”. Then the Lord said one day, “You have come as far as you can come on your own.”
I was both shocked and relieved. I had already known for a long time that I was not doing this whole thing well. Definitely not well enough.
Religion is never enough.
Religion is man’s attempt toward God and will make us hypocrites, rebellious, or simply hate ourselves. Religion is never enough. It promises us control and acceptance, but in the end, demands slavery and exposes our inadequacy.
But God! Through, In, and With Jesus
Through Jesus, we are forgiven and made free; not just when we first get saved, but forever. Jesus became our sin so we could be forgiven forever. He paid for our sins so we could be freed from sin forever. Jesus Christ did this for us… forever!
In Christ, we are justified. Jesus was raised from the dead because of our justification. “In Christ” is the key. Not apart from Christ, not trying to act like Christ, or be good like Christ. It’s our being in Christ that makes us justified.
With Christ, we are glorified. The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus in glory, and transforms us with Christ from glory to glory. This is why we rejoice in the hope of glory, because our glory is with Christ, and when Christ appears, we will appear with Him in glory.
Nowadays, I no longer try to “do”. Instead, I spend my time worshipping Jesus for what He has done! I enjoy Jesus instead of trying to earn Jesus. I rest in Jesus, knowing His very appearing will be with me in glory. I practice being forgiven, justified, and glorified– through Jesus, in Jesus, and with Jesus always.