08 Sep Grace & Love, Not Guilt & Shame
In this series of articles, I am sharing some of the wonderful lessons God has been teaching me in recent years. One of the most profound lessons I’ve learned after more than 50 years as a Christian is that we are not only initially saved by God’s grace when we are born again in Christ, but that He continues to bless us with grace throughout our lives. What a joy it is to see that God is unfailingly gracious even though we still need to grow and change!
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:14–16)
Jesus was tempted just as we are—but unlike us, He never gave in to sin! Because He understands how difficult it is to overcome temptation, He sympathetically helps us in our weaknesses. He does not sit in judgment on us—rather, He runs to help us.
How much more then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! (Hebrews 9:14)
The blood of Christ not only cleansed us from sin when we were first born again in baptism, but His blood also continues to cleanse us throughout all of our lives!
Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (Hebrews 10:14)
Even though I am not yet perfectly holy in my actions, that does not mean I am not perfectly holy in the eyes of God! This is true for all of us who are in Christ. Even though God is continually helping us to become more holy in the way we live, God already considers us to be absolutely perfect in His eyes by the cleansing blood of Christ, which continually cleanses us.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19–22)
In recent years, this scripture has encouraged me that I can persistently draw near to God in full assurance, knowing that I am continually cleansed by the blood of Christ, and I do not have to serve Him out of guilt and shame!
God has used all of these verses to teach me that even though I need to consistently and continually grow, I am still fully united with the Father by his loving grace. I don’t have to be perfect to be loved—Jesus makes me perfect in the eyes of God. As Disciples, we can all approach the throne of grace with great confidence and joy, knowing we are dearly loved and fully forgiven. Now that’s amazing grace!
*Watch the video conversation here!