Sometimes I fail to take time to just stop and be still with the Lord, meditating on just what it means that, “I was sanctified, I was justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.1 Corinthians 6:1-11 NIV
It is truly amazing to know that Almighty, holy God set me apart for Himself, which is what it means to be sanctified. I am holy – set apart – separated from those who do not know Him; set apart from those who have not been washed clean in and by the shed blood of Jesus.
Why have I been set apart? Not because of anything that I have done or could ever do, but because of the finished work of Jesus on Calvary’s cross. When Jesus gave His very life up for me, He had faith that His sacrifice of Himself would pay the price, the penalty, for my sins – past, present, and future! And because someone told me about His amazing atoning sacrifice for me and I believed in this Good News through the God-given gift of faith, I have been justified: I have had my sins washed away by the blood of Jesus! For to be justified means that it is the same as if I had never sinned. To be justified means that I am just, no longer guilty of the wrongs that I have committed; I am innocent before the throne of God! In His eyes, it is as if I had never sinned!
Praise be to God in Christ Jesus our Lord! My Abba! Father loved me so much that He allowed His only Son to suffer an excruciating death for me, for you, for all of humanity, that we might believe and be washed clean in His blood and saved from the eternal death that is the penalty of our sin! And when I accept Jesus’ gift of perfect atonement for me by faith, I am granted eternal life, a life that is meant to be lived with abundant love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and, self-control. I cannot help but think of Psalm 27:1:
THE LORD is my Light and my Salvation–
whom shall I fear or dread?
The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life–
of whom shall I be afraid?. Amplified Bible
But I do get lost in a sea of fear from time to time. Then, instead of running to my Refuge and Stronghold, I forget the Power that is available to me in Jesus. I begin to grumble, like the Israelites murmuring against God and Moses in the desert. Nothing seems right, and I cannot find peace in my heart, for I start setting expectations on others that they cannot possibly meet. Furthermore, I have also begun picking out the splinter in my neighbour’s eye while ignoring the log in my own. Matthew 7:3 For without accessing the power of the Holy Spirit on a regular basis, I fall prey to my own negative attitudes and mind-sets, and I notice I am procrastinating on work projects, becoming fearful of failure and the judgements of others. Why? Because I am expecting them to do to me what I am doing to them! It is so evident that I cannot live this life without Jesus and the power of His indwelling Spirit!
But praise be to God, Jesus is my Deliverer:
I have discovered this principle of life — that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:21-25, NLT
So the moment I realize what I am doing, I can turn in the opposite direction, repenting of my sin and run into the arms of my Rescuer. I can confess my sin to Him, confident that Jesus will forgive me and cast my sin as far from me as the east is from the west:
If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts]. 9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]. 1 John 1:8-9, Amplified Bible
Isn’t it wonderful to know that we are continuously washed clean by the blood of Jesus? We do not have to live in denial or shame when we step out of the will of our loving heavenly Lord; we can simply turn back to Him, and He receives us with open arms, having never stopped cleansing us from our unrighteousness. What an awesome truth: We stand righteous before the Lord our God without condemnation!
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2, NIV84
So let our prayer be united as one in faith with the author of the Book of Hebrews:
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God vv.1-3, NASB
Are you struggling today with sin, guilt, shame, or condemnation? Turn your eyes to Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith, who loves you with an everlasting love, and cast your cares unto Jesus, for He cares tenderly about you.