I’m reading John Crowder’s new book on our union with Christ on the cross. It is unbelievable in that it brings back the simplicity of the gospel, the good news. We all look at the cross and we know that Jesus died for our sins, and that if we accept him as our Lord and Savior then we will be “saved”. We will go to heaven and become a child of God. That is the standard for most evangelical churches. We receive our salvation by faith. That’s all right and true. But after that, what happens to us as Christians.
For most of us we have to begin the process of sanctification. We are told that we have to die daily to ourselves. We are told that we are sinner’s saved by grace. That’s partially true. We were sinners and we were saved by grace. But what about our sin nature? Is it still with us? Do we still have to fight against our sin nature? Or are we saints in Christ with the sin nature circumcised from our heart? These are important questions because our answer to them helps determine how we see ourselves. They help determine our identity.
The way I read the scripture tells me that when Christ died on the cross, everything was paid for. I was saved, but also set free of the sin nature. That means that I don’t have to sin. I can walk day by day without sinning. It’s not heresy; it is scripture. But in most churches you are saved by grace, but immediately have to start working for your sanctification. It’s as if Christ died for nothing. We have to work to be free of sin. Why is that? I believe it is because we are taught that we are sinners. Sinners do one thing very well; they sin. If we are sinners; then we expect to sin. So we wind up sinning and then fighting to be pure. If we instead focus on the fact that our sin nature was killed on the cross when Jesus died, then we realize that our identity is as a saint. That identity allows us to focus on creating new life instead of stopping the old one from sinning.
If we realize that we are not sinners, but saints, we can embrace the cross in its fullness. We can understand why we are called Kings and Queens in the Lord because we look like Him. Everything is truly complete. This is really the first step in understanding our identity. God is important, but so are we. We are called to work out our salvation. I don’t think that means to work out our salvation through works, but we have to work it out by allowing our faith to take us into His throne room. We do have access to everything that He has access to. Romans 6, 7 and 8 back this up, but my favorite book on grace is Galatians. The whole book is all about grace and works. The bottom line is this. Grace works! In other words, the only works we have to do is to believe that the cross has taken everything and there are no works that we can do to make it any better. That’s easy to say, and hard to do. I want to begin to learn how to do so much more of what He is calling us to do. My goal for tomorrow is to walk in the grace that He has given me and to release that grace to others.