Recently as I was meditating on the Lord, the Holy Spirit reminded me of one of the most important truths from scripture He ever showed me. This passage is Romans 5:8-10:
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
These verses are powerful because they have multiple dimensions. The first dimension is that Jesus loved us so much that He died for us while we were sinners. He didn’t wait for us to get our act together before He came for us. He died for us in the midst of our brokenness.
The second dimension is the one that revolutionized my life as a believer. I believe if you get a hold of this truth, it will revolutionize your life too. This second dimension of truth is that not only did He die for me to save me from my sin – past tense, He has now cleansed me and reconciled me in the midst of my present tense sinful actions. I’m not saying this to condone a sinful lifestyle. I’m saying this as a reminder of the hope we have when we sin as believers. According to Romans 5, if He was for us when we were the enemies of God, He is for us MUCH MORE now that we have been reconciled to God and saved from the wrath which is to come.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard Andrew Wommack teach this truth at a Gospel Truth Seminar in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This truth was so radical to my religious brain I almost didn’t believe it was in the Bible. I had always thought that when I sinned as a Christian, I had stepped out of a position of being usable by God. I didn’t necessarily see myself as unsaved because I sinned, but I felt like I needed to repent and arrive at a certain level of maturity so God could answer my prayers, bless, and use me. When I saw that I received more favor as a believer after I sinned than I got as an unbeliever who Jesus pursued and brought into His kingdom, it radically changed me. It got me to take my eyes off of me and put them on Jesus. It also motivated to pursue Him because I found out how much He loved me.
This truth allowed me to get off the hamster wheel of life. What’s the hamster wheel of life you ask? It’s when we live like hamsters running on a wheel to chase a piece of cheese called sinless perfection we’ll never catch and wear ourselves at in the process. This is how many Christians live. They feel like they have to achieve a certain level of sinlessness, personal holiness, or maturity in order to receive answers to prayer or to qualify to be used by God. As much as they mature, the devil or religion will always bring up one more thing they must do in order to receive from God. They run as hard as they can to hit the standard they believe they must achieve only to always wind up falling short. They believe this keeps them unusable or barely usable for God so they stay stuck in the same place just like the hamster on the hamster wheel.
A revelation of our righteous position in Christ and God’s unconditional love for us releases us from a hamster wheel mentality. When we know it’s all about what Jesus did, we can stop worrying about what we aren’t doing right and can set our sights on Jesus and boldly pursue His plan for our lives! How awesome is that?
If you’d like to learn more about the unconditional love and grace of God, check out this message I taught at Grace Life Church.