The Good News of GRACE - Three Gifts Jesus Gives…
Jesus lived a PERFECT LIFE - He completely satisfied the requirements of God's Holy Law. He was perfect in his love and life - his character, motives and behaviors. He gives His perfect record to sinners like us so we can be accepted by a Holy God. Because of Jesus' perfect life, given to us (imputed righteousness), we are accepted, adopted, and delighted in. Irrespective of our behavior we can hear the Father say "These are my children with whom I am well pleased."
He died a PERFECT DEATH - He gave his life as a ransom for sinners. Jesus' death perfectly paid the penalty our sins deserved. We committed the crimes against the Holy Law of God. The sentence has been determined. And Jesus paid it on our behalf (substitutionary atonement). Because of Jesus' death, we can be perfectly confident that "God is not mad at me anymore." Our guilt and shame have been removed. "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus"
He gave us His HOLY SPIRIT - After the resurrection, Jesus sent His Holy Spirit to work in those He saved. The Bible calls this being "born again," "made new," "new creations," and "a new nature." The Holy Spirit's job is to apply the gifts of God (forgiveness and a new life) to our hearts. The Bible urges us not to exhaust ourselves striving to get our behaviors right, but rather to "keep in step with the Spirit" and to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling because God is at work within us to want (desire) and act according to His good purpose." Because of the new Spirit at work within them, true Christians can relax from endless self-help and self-improvement and respond to the New Life given to them.
The Good News of NEW LIFE …
Like a beautiful diamond, the new life the Lord imparts to us has many facets; but simplified, it satisfies our THREE most basic needs:
Our need for Spiritual Connection (Communion) - Not only are we reconnected to the spiritual world, but the gospel is a message of reconciliation with God himself. We are reunited with God in a loving interactive relationship. Because of grace, God adopts us as His beloved children. In Christ, our dad is the Holy King of the Universe. There really is more than the here and now!
Our need for Intimacy (Community) - The gospel connects us to one-another. We are not only reunited to the Father, but we are also given brothers and sisters in a family driven by loving, serving, and encouraging one-another. You really can have the friendships you long for!
Our need for Meaning and Significance (Commission) - The gospel enlists and equips us for a unique and satisfying place in the Father's family business. Each person is given gifts and opportunities to serve others, improve the quality of life on our planet, and leave a spiritual legacy - all to the praise and glory of the Lord! Your life does matter! You really can make a difference!
We are called to simply believe in the gifts of God. Forsaking our efforts to
impress God, you and I are invited to receive and rest in the goodness and
the work of Jesus. Imagine resting and rejoicing in the fact that nothing you
can do improves or interferes with the acceptance and favor of God, secured
by the work of Jesus. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Now we
can wake up each day looking forward to new opportunities to grow in the
new life, not out of fear or duty, but rather because it is a gift to be explored
and enjoyed. Why settle for less? This is real life!