Prior to Jesus’ first arrival on earth, He existed in heaven with God the Father. He was willing to leave His royal position to come to earth in the flesh, and be born as a baby, where He lived a life free from sin. And as a perfect and sinless man, He gave His life to pay the penalty of our sins and die in our place.

At Christmastime, we celebrate the first appearing of Jesus on earth. A familiar verse in John 3:16 (Amplified Bible), describes this world altering event. For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Jesus suffered and died to redeem mankind. By becoming the way for fallen, sinful man to come back into relationship and fellowship with God. It is those who accept this free gift of salvation who gain eternal life in Heaven when their time on earth is over.

By faith in His death and resurrection, we are justified. I like to break this word up like this… ”JUST AS IF I’D”. That’s the true meaning of living by faith. Because I have believed and accepted the death and resurrection of my Savior, I am justified by faith. Just-as-if-I… were not guilty. Praise the Lord!

The Bible is an amazing Book. And why wouldn’t it be – since it is written by inspiration of Almighty God Himself. Life-changing truths come almost with each read. The more you learn what God has written in His Word — the better you will know the One True Living God Who wrote it. And the more you learn about God… the more meaning His Word provides.

An example of this comes from Hebrews 10:16-17.  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 

The sins of God’s people are no longer remembered once a person repents and accepts the free gift of salvation through Jesus. This is what being saved by grace is. It’s what being justified by faith is. Being justified by faith means you believe in all that Jesus did on the cross and accept it for yourself.

Before being saved you and I were guilty of sin. Guilty… true. But what Jesus did for those who place their trust in Him… is render a verdict of NOT GUILTY! When you accept this gift by faith, you are justified.

In the Old Testament, under Levitical law, an animal had to be offered every year to atone for the sins of the people. That word “atone” means “to cover” and it’s used often throughout the Old Testament.

Isn’t it awesome that the word atone is not used in the New Testament? The Greek word used to describe what Jesus did for us on the cross is another word altogether. It doesn’t just mean “to cover”. No, it means “to remit.” That means to do “completely away with something,” to “pay in full.”

This means there is no longer an ongoing sin debt. Jesus did away with the need for animal sacrifice because His sacrifice was for you and for me forever.

If you have made Jesus your Savior, He didn’t just cover your sins. Jesus gave you right-standing with God. He re-created you by the Spirit of God as if sin had never existed.

Sadly, most believers haven’t grasped this magnificent truth. Too many Christians get all caught up in sin consciousness. They keep thinking of themselves as sin stained. Instead we need to think of ourselves not as sin-stained, but as blood-washed.

When I was a kid, there were hundreds of times that Christians I loved and respected said, “I’m just an old sinner saved by grace.” There is a portion of truth to this, but it’s not all truth and there is important and freeing insight to be gained from the scripture we read above. “…and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

Because of the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice, you were an old sinner, but His grace changed you forever. As a reborn spirit, you become worthy to partake of the very righteousness of God. You are now His workmanship, created anew in Christ Jesus! As far as God is concerned, when you are justified by faith, your past life is forgotten. It died its own death on the Cross.

So what are you? Sin stained or blood bought? As a believer you are justified and free. JUST-IF-I’D been pronounced “Not Guilty.” Let this insight sink into your consciousness until you can rise up and fully receive the freedom from sin that is yours in Christ Jesus. This does not mean to go out and sin again. Of course not! But if you do sin, run to God quickly and repent. Don’t run away from Him. Again, your sins that have been forgiven make it as if you’d never sinned.

This Christmas, remember what you are celebrating — the greatest gift ever given to mankind. God Himself came to earth to die in your place. You are that important to Him. Take some time to thank Him and celebrate God’s gift of Jesus this Christmas.

Please know that we love you and we are praying for our partners. And remember, with God nothing is impossible!

Dale and Paula


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