If you and I so choose, we can be saved from eternal damnation! Think of it! Are you smiling yet?
Now when our time came, and we placed our faith in Jesus, God instantly granted us a great salvation. He forgave us of all our sins, past, present, and future. He made us His children, adopting us into His family. He gave us the gift of His Holy Spirit, who gives us God’s power, who pours out God’s love within our hearts, and who tenderly communicates to our spirit that we are children of God and heirs of eternal glory in heaven. In saving you and me, God also freed us from slavery to any and all sins. You and I no longer have to sin again, for sin’s mastery over us has been broken! In saving us, God also justified us (made us worthy or absolved us from guilt). Being justified through Christ means that we have a peace with God that will endure forever. In justifying us, God also declared us innocent of our sins and pronounced us righteous with the very righteousness of Jesus. God also allowed His future and present wrath against us to be completely propitiated (satisfied) by Jesus, who bore it upon Himself while on the cross. Consequently, God now has only love, compassion, and deepest affection for us, and this love is without any admixture of wrath whatsoever. God always looks upon you and me and treats us with gracious favor, always working all things together for our ultimate and eternal good. God’s grace (love and mercy) abounds to us even through trials. Because we are justified, He controls every trial and forces it to do good to us (that is so awesome). When you and I sin, God’s grace abounds to us all the more as He graciously maintains our justified status as described above (thank you, Lord!). When you and I sin, God feels no wrath (anger) in His heart against us. His heart is filled with nothing but love for us, and he longs for us to repent and confess our sins to Him so that He might show us the gracious and forgiving love that has been in His heart all along. God doesn’t require our confession before He desires to forgive us. In His heart, He already has forgiven us. When we come to Him confessing our sins to Him, He runs to us (as it were) and is repeatedly embracing and kissing us even before we get the words of confession out of our mouths (how sweet is this picture)! God does see our sins, and He is grieved by them. His grief comes partly from the fact that in our moments of sin, we are not receiving the fullness of His love for us. He even sends consequences into our lives, but He sends them because He is for us. Because He loves us, He disciplines us for our ultimate good. We don’t deserve this great salvation gift, even on our best days, but THIS IS our salvation, and herein, WE STAND. Thank you, Jesus.