We have been forgiven. Jesus died so that our slates would be washed clean. We know that. We were forgiven completely the moment we said that prayer, the moment we sincerely recognized those ‘ABCs’ of Christianity: Acknowledge, Believe, Confess. That very instant, that first moment that we were cleansed and filled with the Holy Spirit, that moment that we were born again, we were made righteous. Why? Because we believed that we were forgiven.
That moment for me happened for the first time when I was about three. In fact, it is one of my only memories from that age. I was technically still a toddler but believe me, I was sincere. I remember my little tears and my little prayer in my little bed. Now, here I am, thirteen years later and I am still the perfect Christian.
Yeah, right. Just wanted to make sure you were paying attention. Some days it feels like I am on fire for God and pure and right with Him, and other days it feels like I must be the most sinful person on the planet. It never helps to think of other people who may seem worse off than me- because on those dark and depressing days, it’s a one-on-one encounter with God that reminds me who I am.
I’d like to say that every day I am fighting the battle against sin and running away from every temptation, but I would be lying. From the day I accepted His amazing forgiveness, I have lost sight of it time and time again. Sometimes it feels like I have fallen back into the same sin one too many times, and there is no possible way for God to forgive me yet again.
Is it not incredible how God is faithful to us? He is the eternal One. He is the Creator of everything. He is the brilliantly complex Master of the entire Universe who invented light, itself… and He is faithful to us. We must be pretty special for the Maker of all things to make a covenant with us. On top of everything He has done and made, He gave us a gift: freedom from our sinful selves. He took us from being dirty pigs to becoming innocent lambs. He took us from being prodigal children to being His beloved ones. With the words ‘It is finished’ all who put their faith in Him were completely transformed.
We claim to be Christians, now. We claim to be spotless lambs of God. So what are we doing living in the mud where we used to dwell as filthy pigs? Walking around at a farm, seeing a pig wallowing in the smelly mud is nothing of particular interest. That is where it belongs; in the stench, the muck, and the filth. Seeing a tiny, fluffy, pure white lamb jumping around in the pigsty, anyone would be confused. Perhaps that lamb should take a trip to the vet. Everyone knows that the mud and grime is not where a clean, fresh lamb belongs. A clean creature should act like one, and graze in the fresh, green meadows and pastures with the rest of the flock. Of course, now and again, the spotless sheep in the meadows may trip and get a bit of mud splashed on them, but it is nothing the Shepherd can’t clean.
Imagine how confusing it is for people who see those who claim to be Christians indulging in the sinful pleasures that dominate the lives of unbelievers. It makes no sense! How can one who is transformed completely from a pig to a sheep remain in their own lifestyle? Either they need to get out of there fast, or the transformation never TRULY happened.
This is how our outlook on our Christian walks should be. Yes, we may have enjoyed our sinful desires before we put our faith in Christ, but now we are a NEW Creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17~
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.
The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
The old life is gone. The old life which swam in lies, hatred, impatience, and greed. If our new life has truly begun, then we should not be living in that old life! If Christ has given us a beautiful new body of a lamb, we should stop trying to fit into our old, ugly, smelly, dirty pig skin! I want to be firmly grounded in the knowledge that I am a new creation; a spotless and pure lamb.
1 Corinthians 7:23~
God paid a high price for you,
So don’t be enslaved by the world.
Powerful words. Neither you nor I have to live as slaves to our sin- we are more than conquerors! We were bought with the life of God’s perfect Son. We were given the gift of freedom. Maybe it’s time to get that gift down from the back corner of that dusty shelf, open it up, and live in the promise of forgiveness. The life God has waiting for us is waiting for us to get out of the mud, and back to the meadows. It's time to intentionally live in His righteousness.