The gospel message is that Jesus came to do everything necessary to make us vessels suitable for divine habitation. He came to deal (completely) with our sinfulness – and with everything that sin had done to effect our lives.
The important thing is that we see this as a completed work. Because that’s the way Scripture portrays the work of Jesus. A complete… and a completed work.
There is nothing left to be done… that has not already been done – in order that we may be prepared and ready to be the vessels of God’s habitation.
So why do we so often struggle with failure? Why do we still fight with doubts and temptation? Our addictions? Our character flaws? The chains of our past?
Because we are trying to live the Christian life by our own efforts. We try and live by our own wisdom. Our own ability and strength. Our own way of doing what we think pleases God.
And we always fail.
We fail because human beings can never do God things. We do not have the capacity (in our humanity) to do what God does. So… we try to do perfection (because we think that perfection is what a perfect God is seeking) – and we fail… most every time we try. We want (and try) to do all the things that we think please God (whether moral behavior or religious fervor or great feats, or the sacrifices we make, etc.)
All these things are… US trying to DO what we think God wants.
When all God really wants is for us to trust completely in what Jesus has done for us.
True faith is not faith in what God will do for us – true faith is resting in the completed work of Christ. It is accepting, as fact, that the work is truly finished (nothing left that needs to be done). It is Christ’s work alone that is all-sufficient. It is Christ’s work alone that pleases God. And when we apply what Jesus has done to our every day lives – we are mentally (and spiritually) ready for what God desires to do through us.
As Christians, the temptation is always to try and do Christianity. God simply calls us to BE Christians. He will take care of the “doing” through us.
As most of you are aware… the term “Christian” simply infers that we are “like Christ.” Scripture tells us that we are like Christ – because that’s what Christ came to do for us. He came to (fully) enable us to BE just like Him.
The secret of true Christianity is found in the simplicity that we are not called to do things for God – but that we are to BE what Christ’s work has made us to be… fully enabled/prepared for God to do what He desires, from within us.
From the moment we see that we ARE His – perfectly forgiven, delivered, healed, whole, blameless, righteous and holy (because of ALL Jesus has done) then a whole new world of experience can open up for us.
Jesus DID so we can BE – and being what God has made us to be is the essence of a true faith.