“(God) has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing…” (Ephesians 1:3)
As Christians, the greatest struggle we all face is two-fold: knowing, and living by, who we ARE and what we HAVE in Jesus.
Many Christians are unaware that the Bible clearly teaches us that everything we need to be (as God wants us to be) has already been provided to us.
But it is more than that… Everything that we were (ALL our sin, failures, shame, weaknesses, brokenness) is dead and gone – and we ARE completely new creations.
This is not something we are hoping to be. This is not something we are striving to be. This is not something we will be (after decades of God’s handiwork in our lives). The Bible teaches us that this is what we ARE now – because Jesus came for that very purpose.
We so often miss that.
So many of us have been trained that God is gradually fixing us over the course of time – and someday (who knows when?) we just may get to be what God wants us to be. But it’s going to take time… it’s going to take lots of effort… it’s going to require lots of sacrifice… and lots of activity (and surrender) on our part.
“But it’s worth it,” we are told. “The journey is worth every arduous mile.”
So when someone (like me) comes along and declares that Scripture says that God’s work is already done – that everything that needed to be done has been done already – it sounds a little foreign to us. No… it sounds… wrong.
Where’s the painful struggle? Where’s the process? Where’s the losing to gain?
As Christians, we need to be reminded of all that Jesus came to do for us. He came to take all that we WERE upon Himself. When He went to the cross, He was not just carrying our sins – He was carrying our entire condition.
All our sins. All our shame. All our guilt. Our failures. Our weakness. Our sickness.
AND… He carried everything that had been done to us – by people who were sinful, shameful, guilty, twisted, and broken.
AND… He carried all the consequences born out of our sinful condition. Our addictions. Our maladies. Our self-effacing, self-destructive tendencies.
AND… our overwhelming hurt and brokenness… caused by all of those things.
Jesus carried all of that with Him to the cross. And every second of relentless suffering was for every single one of those things that plague us, torture us, tear us apart, and keep us wallowing in our flawed (and failing) human state.
And when Jesus died… all that He carried, died with Him. WE died with Him. WE were buried with Him (see Romans 6!). Putting all that we WERE to rest… forever.
But that’s only a small part of the story… That was the ending (of all that we were).
Jesus’ greatest work was being the initiator (Author and Finisher!) of a new beginning for each and all of us. To provide us with far more than just a new leaf (to turn over) – but a new life to experience in all its fullness.
All this week we want to look at the wonder of who we are… and what we have in Jesus…