Sometimes as Christians, we can take for granted what we have in Christ that we didn’t have before. We can forget and become complacent about all the freedoms and blessings we receive but don’t deserve. Before we were born again, we were caught in the cycle of continually trying in vain to succeed through our own self-effort. Because of what Jesus did to bring us back under God’s favor, we’re now delivered and set free from useless struggles.
Jesus’ death and resurrection freed us from the guilt and condemnation of past sins in which we were previously trapped. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, NIV). This takes a great weight off our shoulders, and allows us to move forward confidently. We can look with compassion at others who are still caught in the same struggles from which we were liberated, and give thanks for God’s grace toward us. We’ve been empowered to reach out to others and offer them the same life-changing love we received.
The world still operates according to the harsh, unyielding Law of Moses. Most people are accustomed to receiving what they feel they deserve according to their actions. Believers have been liberated from this. God has chosen to forget our past sins and instead show us mercy. “He has not dealt with us after our sins nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great are His mercy and loving-kindness toward those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:10-12, AMPC).
Religion continues to focus on sin; it reminds us of what we’ve done wrong. This keeps us tethered to the past and drags down our spirits and souls. Grace allows us to instead focus on Jesus. It makes allowances for our errors and offers us forgiveness not only for past mistakes but also for sins we haven’t even committed yet. “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant” (Hebrews 9:15, NIV).
God made us free moral agents, and He’ll always respect the freedom we have to make our own choices in life. Sometimes we make the wrong choices and suffer the consequences of our decisions. However, God never abandons us, even when we ignore what He tells us. When we’ve made a mess of things and ask for His help in getting out of the pit we created for ourselves, He intervenes on our behalf. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Christ gives us hope that the world doesn’t have. This hope has transformed and illuminated our lives. It gives us direction and purpose that others are searching for but can’t find. “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7).
Christ has allowed us to experience this eternal, elevated life right now. We stand out like bright lights in a dark room when others see the successful, peaceful, joyful lives we enjoy. The example we set is the most powerful testimony of the Gospel of Grace we could ever give.