My Senior Pastor, Paul Scanlon, did a recent preach about the abundant life that Jesus came to give us. It was a phenomenal preach dispelling the lie that we need to ‘park up’ at the cross before we can be in His Presence – before we can come before Him confidently in prayer and worship.
Jesus didn’t come to give us an alternative life-style to live He came to get His life into us, to replace our fallen, fractured life.
“For I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live. This life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me”, says Paul in Gal.2:20. This is a phenomenal truth that we struggle to appropriate in our lives. Peterson’s Message version puts this into helpful language for us. (Have a look).
The devil has done a great job of getting Christians pre-occupied with the one thing that is done and dusted – i.e. forgiveness for sins and freedom from any condemnation. When Christ died for your sins, how many of them were future? All of them – that’s it, which is why we can be confident of the thoroughness of Christ’s sacrifice in dealing with all our fallenness. Jesus’ solution of the cross was like bringing someone back from the dead who had died of cancer. There would be no solution in just bringing the person back to life, the cancer would need to be cured also. Jesus did this. He gave us life and that life is free from condemnation and fear – it primarily features grace, mercy and love. This is our God!
In just the same way that an earthly father would give keys to their adult children to let them come round when they want to , to get past alarm codes etc, so we have that kind of access into our heavenly Father’s presence. We should stop knocking and just let ourselves in! How great is that?!
We should be concerned about our sin, yes, but we shouldn’t have an unhealthy sin consciousness. Yes we should blush at sin but we are not condemned when we struggle and fail. Yes we should be grateful for the cross and live in wonder of it but we should live beyond the cross in resurrection power, beyond the veil in the glorious presence of our Saviour.
The Holy Spirit convicts (convinces us of stuff) us but doesn’t condemn us – ever. Our prayer should be, “make me more like You, Jesus”. (See RPM’s latest album “Give My All”, track 9.