I just drove it off the lot. It was an $18,000 Saturn, brand new. I called the salesperson, told them what I wanted and when I showed up, they gave me the keys and I drove away. I didn’t give them a dime, not one cent. More than that, the car was mine. There was no other name on the paperwork. It was my car and I got it without writing a check, pulling out cash, or using a credit card. They just gave it to me. Well, that’s how it seemed anyway.
Credit is a strange thing. When I go to the dealership, the department store, the gas station, they treat me as if I have money that I don’t. I didn’t have $18,000 in my bank account when I bought that car. It’s been a while, but more than likely, I didn’t have $1000 in the bank, but suddenly, I owned this car. -CRAZY! And that brings us to our Verse of the Day:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (NIV)
The Apostle Paul is building on the idea of credited righteousness (Genesis 15:6). Jesus had been made sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) on the cross and sin was crucified. For all who put their faith in Christ, our sins were crucified in His body on that day in Jerusalem. Our past sins alone were not crucified, but all past, present, and future-were crucified. This is our old self that was crucified (Colossians 3:3) and now we are credited with righteousness. We are credited as if we have no sin. We have plenty, but God treats us as if we have no sin just as the dealership treated me as if I had $20K when I didn’t. They gave me financial credit and God has given us credit in righteousness.
The biggest difference in buying a car and salvation is that car debt remains a debt that we must pay, but when Jesus died for us, we are credited with something that we could never achieve. I can pay off a car, but I will never be able to stop sinning and erase all my past sin. Yet, this is what Christ did. He credited us with absolute righteousness so that when we leave this Earth, there will be no stain on our life’s book. We will enter Heaven pure, without any sin.
But how do I know that I have truly accepted this gift of righteousness when I still sin. I don’t know about you, but I have been a Christian for a long time and though I am not who I used to be, I am so far from perfect. So how can I know? The proof that we have accepted that God has credited us with righteousness is to live by faith.
Ok, we have heard this before. We know we are supposed to live by faith, but what does that mean? It begins with gratitude. We when we understand and truly believe that He erased all of our sin, gratitude will bubble up out of our souls. This gratitude changes us from hoarders to philanthropists. We honor Him by giving our life away to others. Because He loves them, we give ourselves to them in love that they might know He loves them.
Giving away our time, talent, money, effort, energy, and love prohibits us from using these things for our own benefit. If we give all we have away, who will take care of us? Well…this is what Paul was talking about. We live by faith trusting that if we give ourselves away to honor Him, He will take care of all our needs. This is living by faith. We give our time to others trusting God will do more for us in less time. We give our money away trusting God will provide for our needs. We give our love away trusting God will love when others fail. We give our talent away to build others up trusting God will exalt us in His time. Living by faith is not a lifestyle of following rules, but a lifestyle of gratitude for His sacrifice to erase my sin.
Leave me a comment and tell me how Christ’s death has affected your lifestyle.
Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!