One day, Michael came into my office to tell me some very confidential information about one of his fellow students. As I was lecturing in one of my sessions at Charis Bible College, it appeared that Patricia was writing herself some notes on her legal pad. Her notes contained these statements: "I am loved, I am pretty," etc. Patricia was also the kind of person that always dressed in a way that brought attention to herself. The real reason that Patricia expressed these words was the fact that she didn't feel loved or pretty, but felt rejected and unloved.
As humans, we all have the same basic needs—the desire to be loved, accepted, and valued, as well as having a sense of self-worth and knowing that we are right with God. A lot of religion today makes us feel unloved, not valued, and not accepted. One of the greatest strongholds that Satan uses against believers is the feeling of guilt and condemnation, while all along making us feel quite spiritual about it.
Here's a question: How many of you when you first came to Jesus were told that not only did He love you, but by accepting Him, He would become your perfect righteousness? In fact, the righteousness He would supply would be all the righteousness you would ever need (1 Corinthians 1:30 says, "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption"). This is the good news of the Gospel: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:16‑17). "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Romans 4:5). God did not call us to have faith in faith or faith for stuff, but a confident, reliant, dependent trust in Him.
God can't love you anymore than He already does. He is love (1 John 4:8). But you can receive it more, feel it more, and experience it more. The more you believe it, the more you will find yourself loving God. The Scripture says, "We love Him, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). Think about this, believe it, and receive it!
- Read Romans 8:38‑39."38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:38‑39What was the Apostle Paul persuaded of?Answer
- When I was in Bible college, I had a professor who passed out some notes that stated: "Justification is the judicial act whereby God declares righteous anyone who believes, not makes righteous." As I studied the Scriptures for myself, I became convinced that justification is a gift of righteousness that makes you righteous in God's sight. Read Romans 5:19."For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." - Romans 5:19Through Jesus Christ's obedience (of keeping the Law and going to the cross), many will be:
- declared righteous.
- thought to be righteous.
- made righteous.
- Read 2 Corinthians 5:21."For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." - 2 Corinthians 5:21"For he [God] hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin [He never sinned]; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ" (emphasis mine).Answer
- Read Colossians 1:21‑22."21And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight." - Colossians 1:21‑22Jesus Christ came to earth and died for our sins. Because of this, we stand in God's presence as people who are holy, faultless, and innocent in:
- your spouse's sight.
- your friends' sight.
- God's sight.
- Read Ephesians 1:6."To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." - Ephesians 1:6We will praise God throughout all eternity for His grace because He hath made us accepted in the Beloved (that is, Christ).Answer
- Read Hebrews 10:14."For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." - Hebrews 10:14Through Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross, we have been perfected for how long?
- Until you sin again
- Until you go to church
- Read Hebrews 10:15‑17."15Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." - Hebrews 10:15‑17In the New Covenant God promises to remember our sins:
- every time we commit one.
- when we don't pay our tithes.
- no more.
- Read Romans 6:1‑2."1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" - Romans 6:1‑2God's grace is greater than all our sin. Should we continue in sin so that God's grace can be shown to be great?Answer
- Read Hebrews 9:12."Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." - Hebrews 9:12What kind of redemption (freedom from the penalty of our sins) did Jesus obtain for us?
- Temporal redemption
- Partial redemption
- Eternal redemption
- Read Romans 8:33."Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth." - Romans 8:33Name someone who can bring a charge against God's chosen people.Answer
- Read Romans 8:34."Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." - Romans 8:34Name someone who can condemn (that is, bring into judgment) God's people.Answer
- Read Romans 8:35."Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" - Romans 8:35Name someone who can separate a Christian from God's love.Answer
- Read Romans 8:31."What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" - Romans 8:31What is the conclusion to this discipleship lesson?Answer