Standing in the light


In the kingdom of God, righteous pretenders aren't welcome. Only sinners who know they are sinners, and who trust God to forgive them and make them righteous in Christ, are allowed in. Pretenders, who think they are in some way more deserving, or more acceptable, or less dirty than the others, can't stay.

 They remain in their sins because they won't give up their little righteousness charade and trust God fully to be their righteousness.
Knowing what God has done for us and in us, we are led to work on ourselves to overcome the sin that so easily entangles us (Hebrews 12:1-3). But keep this in mind: we are accepted as righteous by God only because of what Christ has already done for us, not by our three-stooges-Keystone-cops-overcoming-performance, which is the best we can ever muster.
The Holy Spirit in us moves us to devotion, but the victory in which we participate is the victory of Christ (Ephesians 2:4-7). We can enjoy the glorious fruit of his victory only by trusting him, not by improving our behavior (Romans 3:27-28).
When we rest in Christ, the peace of God removes our doubt, fear, anxiety and worry (Philippians 4:6-7). We are secure in him, like a helpless baby comforted in his mother's arms.
When God sent his Son to die for our sins and to be raised for our life, he made two things indelibly clear: 

1) He loves us immeasurably and unconditionally, to the point of taking our burden as his own, even to the point of death, and 

2) Our salvation was entirely his work; there is nothing we can do to save ourselves.

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