By Emily Rose Massey, Crosswalk.com
Stand Confidently in Christ
By Emily Rose Massey
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” - Romans 8:1 ESV
For years, I was driven by perfectionism and the idea that I had to work successfully or perform well to be loved by others, especially by God. On the outside, I looked like I had it all together- high honors throughout school, hyper-involvement in extracurricular activities, serving in any ministry I was asked to be involved in, star of the high school plays and musicals, head cheerleader, a first chair clarinet player in the band, and the list goes on and on …but on the inside, I was empty and searching for true fulfillment. I knew God was there for me, but somehow, I thought I could do this “life thing” on my own. Because I'm human, I failed time and time again. I made a mess of things often. Guilt and shame pushed me further away from others and God.
Even when I came back to church and began reading the Bible in my early 20s, I still believed I had to be perfect (in my strength) in my walk with Him. If I didn't read my Bible every day, pray longer, or fast more often, I somehow felt like less of a follower of Christ. I was on a Christian hamster wheel; It was so exhausting- emotionally and spiritually. I allowed self-condemnation to take root in my heart, which heavily weighed me down. Thankfully, today, I no longer live burdened by that anymore because I began to understand my identity before the Father- who I am in Christ- forgiven and justified because of the finished work of the cross of Christ. In Romans 8:1, the Bible tells us that we should not carry condemnation in our lives when we are truly in Christ:
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
This means embracing what Jesus did for us with a sincere heart full of repentance. We rest in His performance on the cross and stand before the throne of God without any shame or the heavy burden of our failures and sin. We stand before the Father, completely blameless. Jesus took all our shame and condemnation upon Himself, and it has been cast as far as the East is from the West. We no longer have to live with the weight of our failures. We can come boldly to the throne of grace because it worked for us. We can rest assured God sees us as blameless and perfect because Jesus is blameless and perfect for us.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Have you ever experienced thoughts of condemnation when it comes to your walk with God? Thoughts like: I didn’t pray enough today. I haven’t read my Bible in over a week! Man, why can’t I get over this sin?! I am such a failure! Am I even saved?
As Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, we know that we cannot earn our salvation because it is a gift from God, and just as God is sovereign in salvation, He is also sovereign in our sanctification. He is the one who matures us on our walk with Him. The same grace that saved us is the same grace that keeps and molds us into the image of Christ daily. From the moment of your conversion, you became God’s work-in-progress, and the greatest news is that He doesn’t grow weary, stressed, or exhausted with you. He will complete the work He began! Your inconsistencies and failures are not going to change. Your disobedience, your lack of trust- none will change the work nor thwart God’s plan in your life. God starts it. God finishes it. Simply lean on His strength and grace and ask for wisdom to walk in obedience. The Holy Spirit is our Helper and will help you walk in God’s will. You don’t have to muster up your faith muscles to see that happen. You simply need to trust God’s plan will be accomplished, not because there is anything good in you, but because of His goodness and faithfulness! Stand in Christ and remember that you are justified and forgiven because of the cross!
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/RyanJLane
Emily Massey began writing short stories and poetry as a little girl, entered the blogging world in her early 20s, and published her first book in 2015. She enjoys being a stay-at-home momma while still being able to pursue her passion as a writer. Believing she has been forgiven much, she loves much, and desires to point others to Christ and His redemptive and transforming power, especially by sharing truth found in God’s written Word. If you would like to connect with Emily, you can visit www.emilyrosemassey.com
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