Are You a Paroled Sinner or an Acquitted Christian?
Many Christians tend to view salvation as a legal idea whereby we are guilty sinners who stand before an angry judge (God). Jesus is our defense attorney and because of His death on the cross, He tells the Judge that He took our place and offers our defense before God. God then declares us not guilty on the basis of Jesus’ defense argument. There are two problems with this line of thinking. The first one is that our salvation is a matter of being brought back into covenant with God, not a legal issue. This isn’t the point of this blog so I will move on to the next point.
The second with this philosophy is that (even it were true) most Christians live as paroled sinners rather than free Christians. Their idea of God as an angry judge is very flawed. They believe that God pardoned them because of Christ’s work on the cross, but they live like they are paroled instead of free. They live like they got to walk out of the courtroom a free man or woman, but they live in fear that if they mess up (sin) then they will be hauled back into court over their offense to face the angry judge once again. I lived this way for many, many years and I know many Christians who still live under this false idea of salvation and the nature of God.
First of all, God is not judging us. Christ didn’t come into the world to condemn people but to save them (John 3:16-17). God doesn’t want to just put you on parole and give you time off for “good behavior”. He wants to set you free from your sin. One of the great things about His grace is not that I am not allowed to sin, but that I don’t have to sin. Sin is no longer controlling me. I once was controlled and dominated by sin, but Jesus saved me from my sin. I am free. Even when I slip and sin, I am still free because my faith is in Christ and His finished work. My sin was forgiven at Calvary and all I have to do, when I sin, is simply receive the forgiveness that has already been given to me. I am not on parole afraid that my mess ups will send back to court to face the angry judge. No, I can come to Christ freely and with boldness, asking for grace and mercy and get grace and mercy with no scolding, shame or condemnation.
This is a real hang-up for many Christians. They tend to live like their salvation is based upon their most recent sin-free moments. I know as this is how I was raised. Growing up, I believed that if I died with one unconfessed sin in my life then I could go to hell because I had “sin in my life.” I had violated the conditions of my parole, so to speak. But that’s not the case. The truth is that Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. Do I still sin…..yes, at times I do. Will it
send me to hell……no, because my faith is in Christ and His finished work on the cross. I am not on parole or probation. I am free. I am a free man. God isn’t mad at me nor does He condemn me. He loves me and is on my side. Am I condoning sin or saying it’s okay to sin? Heaven’s no, but if I do sin it’s going to be okay because I can confess it and receive forgiveness. Don’t underestimate the power of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. It took care of all your sins – past, present and future. So, if you have put your faith in Christ, realize that you are a free man or woman. You have been acquitted of all charges against you. You’ve been declared innocent. Your slate has been wiped clean; your record expunged. You are not on parole, probation or house arrest. You are a free citizen of the Kingdom of God. Now live like a free person!!!!
Enjoy the journey!