When we give our lives to Jesus, much more happens than we are aware of. In some ways, we spend the rest of our lives learning about everything God has already done for us in our salvation. This sermon vividly reminds us of the vast number of incredible changes that occur when we move from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.
Before and After: What God Has Done for Us in Christ
When we accept Jesus into our hearts, a lot happens–more than we could ever understand right then. It takes the rest of our lives to understand what transpires spiritually when we come to Christ and start to follow Him.
Let’s take a look at our situation before and after we come to Christ:
We were estranged (alienated, separated) from God because of our sin. That would result in eternal death if not taken care of.
We had a natural disposition to sin. Romans 3:10 Sinning was easy and natural.
We were powerless to overcome sin in our lives. God’s power wasn’t yet available to us.
We couldn’t understand the things of God or could not know God experientially. I Corinthians 2:14 says the things of God are spiritually discerned.
We were not just separated from God–we were His enemies.
We were an object of His wrath. (John 3:36)
We were dead in our sins, and actually slaves of sin.
We become spiritually alive. Sometimes it’s an emotional experience, sometimes not.
Our sins are forgiven, and we are redeemed.
We are justified and are at peace with Him. JUSTIFIED….just as if we had never sinned. When we say that, we mean in terms of how God looks at us, and deals with us.
God doesn’t wave away the just demands of the law or the sentence of death upon lawbreakers when He forgives us. God will always condemn sin–the issue is where the condemnation will take place. He doesn’t set the condemnation aside; it takes place in Christ.
“God would never be so unjust as to make us serve a sentence that He had already completed for us.”
The righteousness of Jesus Christ is ours because of our faith in Him. Jesus kept the OT law perfectly, right up until His death on the cross. His perfect law-keeping gets credited to our account when we come to Christ, and we are DECLARED righteous!
We have eternal life. We enjoy in this life the life of the world to come.
We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us.
We can understand God’s truth and can make application of that truth to our lives. Most of the New Testament is designed to increase our understanding of what God has done for us and how He has saved us.
We can grow spiritually through many different means (living in real Christian community with others, hearing God’s word preached and applying it, reading God’s word and letting the Holy Spirit make application to us).
We are new creatures in God’s sight. We have new hearts.
Trials and sufferings can be used by God to develop Christlikeness in our lives. (Romans 8:28)
We are victors, not victims.
Nothing can come between us and His love. Romans 8:38-39.
We are adopted, and made joint heirs with Christ. Romans 8:15
We have been transferred out of the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of light.
God wants us to experience the full joy of being converted! What we experience is greatly determined by what we know about our miracle of conversion! God ordained your salvation just by His Holy Spirit’s working. Now God wants to continue to shape our lives as we read His word and apply it!