When we turn to Jesus as our Savior and Lord, there is a mystery that occurs beyond human comprehension. The sin that once marked us is gone.
As if it was never there.
Yet, sin… it’s always “there”.
When one receives Christ, the payment of sin, being eternal death, turns into eternal life. There’s a contract on all of our heads. We came into the world vulnerable and helpless. We can’t help ourselves but to sin and to be destined for the results.
Sin creates a problem. It distances us from God. His hand is extended toward us to breech that distance and we can touch it, feel its grasp, and be rescued from eternal death. The only way that we are able to be rescued is through Jesus Christ. God saw that we needed a Savior. He provided one. And just as if your boat capsized and you were afloat in the ocean, and a rescue boat comes to your aid, you have to at the very least, extend your hand for the rescue to be successful.
You may not like the kind of boat that came to rescue you. Instead of a 65 ft vessel with Coast Guard written on the side, it’s a little row boat. Instead of the rescuer having bulging muscles and fearless eyes, he is a skinny, old man. So, you may not like to hear about God and all this Jesus stuff, but there you go. Take it or leave it.
Once you take hold of the Savior, He has the power not only to rescue, but entirely blot out your sin. The old contract is void. The new contract is in effect.
Now what? We still sin, don’t we?
Yes! But we are not enslaved to it. There is now power over sin that wasn’t there before. We can say no. We can say no because we know why we say no.
It is not because we are trying to adhere to a list of dos and donts. That didn’t work before Christ and it doesn’t work now.
It is not because God requires us to be good in order to have eternal life. That didn’t work before Christ and it doesn’t now.
So before you sin, you have to ask yourself this question: do I want to blatantly sin against the one who took the bullet for me?
We have to realize that our eyes are now opened to truth. There is no turning back. We may try, but we cannot remove TRUTH from our hearts. Just as sure as we came into this world with a bent toward sin, after Christ, we now have a bent toward not sinning because deposited within us was a piece of God Himself. And no matter how far you try to stray, no matter what you do, you are now marked with that truth and you cannot escape its knowledge.
That said, the temptations are still there. The ability to sin is still there. The desire to sin is still there. Yet, if He has become your Lord, you will not just be saved but a follower of the One who took the bullet. If we would be indebted to someone who truly saved our life here on earth, how much more should we be indebted to God, the Creator of the Universe, who saved our life? More abstract thinking is required, but that is where faith comes in. We cannot deny what we see in creation. We cannot deny what we feel. We cannot deny the truth that permeates our desires that wants to tell us otherwise.
You have to extend your hand to God if you want to be rescued.
He died for the whole world. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. There is a rescue boat for each person. Not everyone will get in.
One by one, He reaches down to those who will extend their hand to Him and pulls them to safety.
It’s always there.