My "unexamined" life in Christ
by Maretha Retief 1/01/2014 / Christian Living
Has it ever felt like you are being examined by God-Am I good enough? Have I done enough good things? Have I read my Bible long enough? Have I prayed? Have I given enough to the poor? Have I served enough people in God's kingdom? Questions I always thought God asked me.
On a daily basis I contemplated these questions to assess whether I am good enough and whether I have done enough for God. Questions I mistook God to be the author of. Each question focused on me and whether I am who I thought I am supposed to be. The more I focused on myself the less I focused on Jesus. A tactic so dearly used by the devil.
In the Old Testament when an Israelite brought an animal as his sin offering, the Israelite laid his hand on the animal before killing it (Leviticus 4:1-4). When the Israelite laid his hands on the sin offering, his sins were symbolically transferred to the unblemished animal and the animal died for his sins. The priest then sprinkled the animal's blood all around the altar and burnt the animal's body on the altar before the Israelite could go free. The animal's blood meant that the Israelite was under the cover of the animal's blood until the next sacrifice.
When an Israelite brought a burnt offering, the Israelite laid his hands on the unblemished animal and symbolically transferred his guilt to the animal (Leviticus 1:3-4). At the same time the beauty, acceptance and perfection of the animal was transferred to the Israelite. The perfection of the burnt offering became an acceptable sacrifice before God to make atonement for him. Once God accepted the sacrifice, the Israelite had right standing before God again. However, when Jesus died on the cross, He became both our sin and burnt offering through His one offering. The great exchange that took place on the cross has set us free forever. Jesus, who was righteous and had no sin took all our sin (present, past and future) upon Him and became our sin offering and He transferred His righteousness to us as our burnt offering (2 Corinthians 5:21). When the blood of Jesus was shed on the cross, it was the final sacrifice for all our sins (Romans 6:10). God promises in the Bible that because of Jesus' death on the cross, He will remember our sins no more (Hebrews 10:17).
Thoughts of condemnation are from the devil to move our focus away from Jesus and the wonderful work He has done for us towards ourselves and our shortcomings. As believers in Jesus we are now free from condemnation. God always sees us cleansed by the precious blood of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. We are covered in His sight with Jesus' righteousness.
I still sometimes find myself in a conversation with Jesus asking whether I am truly good enough to be used by Him. I would remind Him that I have feet of clayI have the best intentions to do right, but I still make so many mistakes, I have self-righteousness, I intent to do good, but I still hurt people and do wrong. How is it possible that He still finds me worthy of His time and efforts?
Nevertheless, every time He reminds me that His picture of me has nothing to do with me and what I do, but it is all about His love for me. The only reason why I am ever good enough is because of Him. I am now deserving because He earned everything for me. It is not for me to try and understand, I should only have faith in Him.
Jesus knows me better than I know myself. He passed the one test so I would never have to be examined again. The only duty I have is to be conscious of His unearned and undeserved favour I have every day.
Author's note: All Scriptures referred to in this article are not direct quotes from the Bible but personally paraphrased.