One of the
first steps toward becoming a Christian is repentance, or confession that we
are sinners. To admit to God and to ourselves that we are sinners is to put
aside our human pride and confess the truth of what we really are.
But we don’t
make that confession blindly, and we don’t make it out of any sense of
humiliation. We make it knowing that the God to whom we are confessing our
sinfulness loves us completely, unconditionally and eternally. And we make it
knowing that he has already made atonement for us in Jesus Christ even before
we were born.
By knowing God loves us in this way, we are free in Christ to
honestly acknowledge our sinfulness before him without any fear. We can trust
ourselves to him fully and without reservation. Knowing we are safe in his
love, we can confess to him and trust him with even the most crushing burdens
of our darkest sins and fears. That is freedom indeed.
But how do we
break free of our sinfulness? How do we enter into that new life of righteousness
and obedience? When we try to do that on our own, we find ourselves failing. We
fight against our old ways using all our willpower and devotion, but we lose so
often that we can easily fall into despair.
But there is no
need to carry such burdens. That’s because God not only forgives us, he
transforms us into a new creation in Jesus. Jesus is not only our Redeemer; he
is our Righteousness and our Life!
The Son of God
became one of us, human as we are, to do everything for us that we could not do
for ourselves. During his life, he obeyed the Father perfectly in our place. In
his death, he took the consequences of our sins in our place.
resurrection he conquered death for us. And in his ascension, he places us with
himself at the right hand of the Father. He represents us before the
Father and he substitutes for us before the Father. He paid for our
sins, and he is our life and our righteousness. In Jesus, we are a new
We still often
fail to live up to who we are in Christ, of course. But we also live by faith,
trusting God to be who he says he is for us, the One who forgives us and who
makes us new in Jesus. And we look forward to the day when we will fully
experience what we for now, only experience in part.
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a
new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
No longer must
we live in opposition to God, ourselves and our neighbors. God has broken the chains of darkness and sin,
freeing us to be a new creation, a new person – redeemed, healed and complete
in Jesus Christ.
Tkach, speaking of LIFE.