Jesus came to give us life to the full. He died to forgive us of our sins and save us from death. This is the best news we could receive and accept.

With this knowledge we can step into freedom. Jesus forgave our sins so we no longer have to be bound by them! It’s like we were in prison and he set us free. Actually, it’s more like we were in the electric chair and he took our place.

Yet, somehow, the vast majority of us still live in our chains. We still think we’re in the chair. We were gifted freedom, but we stay in our sin.

May believe this is just who we are. “We’re all sinners,” is a phrase I hear so often. Well… yes. But also no…

See, we were dead in our sin, but then Jesus died for us to literally take that sin away from us. That’s the key. He didn’t just forgive us. He cleansed us.

Isaiah 1:18 says “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Imagine you were wearing a white coat, so stained you would never know it had once been white, but Jesus just gave you a new, flawless one.

So often we stop at forgiveness, but that’s simply not enough.  Because He doesn’t just look at your stained coat and say, “Oh, it’s okay. I love you anyway.” No. He wants to give you a new coat.

He wants you to walk away from old chains. He wants you to walk into the freedom He died to give you.

God’s forgiveness is amazing, but if that was all we had, we would just be like children, constantly reprimanded and trying to learn how to live better. God would rather have a relationship with you where you’re growing because you’re walking with Him.

Forgiveness was necessary, but it wasn’t all God gave, because He wants to walk with you. So He asked you to join Him in His resurrection.

Jesus resurrected to fulfill prophecy, to show His power over death, and to give us an example of what real relationship with him means. Everything He did was to provide an example of how to walk with Him. His death and resurrection are no different.

So as He died, we die to ourselves. We die to our sin by repenting.

Key in on this word: repentance. Repentance implies a changing of ways, ideas, or the heart. When we truly accept salvation into our hearts and let our flesh die and walk away from death itself, that changes us. The tie of sin weakens.

And as He rose, we rise into new life. So often we just stop at death and forgiveness, and just assume that we are eternal sinners who can only rely on Jesus’s never-failing forgiveness to get us by.

While Jesus is gracious and will forgive us time and time again, He didn’t intend for us to stay in the vicious sin cycle. He intended for us to be cleansed and to rise up out of death and into new life.

New life not bound by sin.

Because yes, you will sin, but your identity is not that of a sinner. The Bible calls believers “saints,” because that’s how he views us.

We get this idea that our hearts are bad, that we can only continuously ask forgiveness for our grossness. But in fact, our hearts are good, and unfortunately we just cover it up too much of the time.

Ezekiel 36:26 says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Yes, our hearts were bad. But when we accept salvation, Jesus takes our stone hearts and gives us brand new, beautiful, good hearts.

You can choose to operate as if you still have a stone heart, but that’s a lie.

In reality, your heart is good. And as all things flow from the heart, if you operate out of your good heart, sin is out of the picture.

This doesn’t mean we’re perfect. If we knew how to fully grasp the power of the new heart Jesus gave us and how to not let deception and lies trick us into our old hearts, then we could be perfect. But we aren’t.

That’s okay. But know, your heart is good. And from it, if you’re truly living from it, good things should flow.

As you face temptation or trial or lies, remember, your heart is good.

Don’t let the enemy successfully trick you into believing you have a bad heart.

Your heart is good. Live like it.

 

By: Victoria Rinear

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by Eikon Church