Hope of a Future
Christianity is not about perfect people. It is about broken people who have a hope in being restored. A few years ago, a former Islamic woman turned Christian, spoke to our church about her conversion. I remember how animated she became when she spoke of the hope that Jesus brought her. It is a hope she had never had before she was Christian. She spoke of trying to be “good enough” yet, never being able to obtain the level of perfection to which she was held. Whether that sense of perfection was from her family of origin or something to do with the religion in which she was raised is something I can not attest to.
In John 3:18 Jesus says, “There is no judgement awaiting those who trust Him [the son of God]. Paul, in Col 1:22, states, “As a result [of what Jesus did], He has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.”
There is no spiritual judgement for those who believe in the sacrifice of Jesus. We have been made blameless and pure through Jesus. That is our hope and our salvation and the thing we should stand on as Christians. Sadly, even in Christian circles, this point is overlooked. Somehow, it is lost between confessing and repenting.
A few years back, before I understood this truth, I was trying so hard to be perfect. And I was failing miserably. I was emotionally punishing myself, thinking if I could just flog myself a little harder, then my plight would be noticed and God would receive my offering. I thought I could be made pure and atoned for through my self inflicted emotional pain. I felt like I was unworthy, and should be punished as such.
One evening after classes I tried to explain my brokenness to another woman. I was hoping for comfort and insight. But as I explained my theology she simply asked, “So, what you are saying is what Jesus did wasn’t good enough? ” The words were not spoken harshly, but they had an edge to them. That edge cut into me. How could I not think that what Jesus did was good enough? It was me, I tried to explain, that was not good enough. Those words cut me, but they were so true.
What I had missed out on is that Jesus had already made me pure. No judgments could ever be held against me because I claim salvation in the name of Jesus. I claim that I am one of His. I didn’t need to punish myself. He had already taken the punishment for me so that I can have hope to see the beauty of heaven. It is more than a hope, it is a security. Spiritually, I am blameless and pure.
It is not our striving toward perfection or goodness that makes us good. It is not the commandments that make us behave ethically. It is the love that the Father has shown to us. It is the light which radiates from us because we have an understanding of what has been done for us.