Well, when Israel tried to be right with God on her own, pursuing her own self-interest, she didn’t succeed. The chosen ones of God were those who let God pursue his interest in them, and as a result received his stamp of legitimacy. -Romans 11:7
Let God pursue His interest.
Where a person can fail is when they try to pursue their interest in godliness instead of letting God pursue His interest in them. Chasing after representations of God has a destination of self-satisfaction. All of the good that we do, the sacrifices we make, are stored in our hearts as ammunition against our sin. We make the mistake of thinking we’re ‘good’ when we are so far from it. We find our ‘good’, our self-worth, in the things we do. It’s the mistake of thinking if they’re big enough, then they can cancel out the other not-so-good we do.
That isn’t how it works.
What is it in you that can bear witness to what Jesus accomplished? That’s the only thing worth your effort.
It takes no amount of faith to show a person where they’re wrong. Anyone can do that. It takes an immeasurable amount of faith to bypass the sin and show, with your life, grace.
If you were called into “court” to testify, who would you be testifying for? There is an accuser: Satan, and there is a Redeemer: Jesus. When you gossip about, make decisions about, or do anything other than take up for the fallen, you are standing with the accuser. This is hard to spot because it’s easy to bury a person in guilt by using scripture. It looks Godly and devout.
There is enough scripture to bury every single one of us.
It takes no amount of faith to be a good person. Anyone can do that. It takes an immeasurable amount of faith to bypass your failures and accept, with all of your hope, grace.
If you are hauled off to “court” as the accused, admit your guilt. Stand in the nakedness with no excuses and leave yourself open, even to shame. Make yourself available to it and the Redeemer, will take up for you. Jesus will cover your shame with Himself. Anyone who attacks you will have to go through Him. They already did. He’s already taken up for you. Every sin was nailed to the cross. All that can be done was done and He didn’t back away. It is finished. A current decree.
People will forget that and you have to separate yourself from them. Don’t let the disbelief of others, no matter who they are, cause you to doubt that what Jesus did was for you, too.
…the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” -Romans 10:11 ESV
There is much to fear. If you stand with the accused, you’ll be accused. If you stand accused and remain naked, they’ll see everything. Love is fearless. Jesus doesn’t need anyone to protect Him. He’s already won. There is not a single person in this world who can refuse forgiveness and grace on God’s behalf. When they do, and some will, they are separating themselves from God. They are pursuing their own interest, but they won’t succeed.
God gets the last word and that word has already been delivered. The Word became flesh, the flesh was punished, the Blood was spilled, the sacrifice was made, and the Son of God walked out of the grave (so you can, too).
It is scary to not pursue your own interest – to not stand up for yourself. Just remember that God chose you to put Himself on display in you. God is Love. The greatest act of love is to lay your life down for your friends (John 15:13). Jesus, God’s act of Love, brands you with legitimacy. Faith fuels bravery.
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, or his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble… -Psalm 107:1-2
This is me saying, “So.”