We were about 50 people in all. One thing I noticed was that everyone was attentive and interested in the word being preached. They took notes meticulously and responded to the message in excitement. It was all new to me.
“The last thing, I would talk about today is that the new creature is sanctified. To be sanctified means to be made holy. So the new creature is made holy. Let’s read Colossians 1:22.
NLT Colossians 1:22
Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.
“Did you see that? He said, Christ brought you into his own presence and has made you holy and blameless in God’s sight. This has nothing to do with your works. It is as a result of Christ’s sacrifice. If you don’t believe this, then look at Hebrews 10:10.”
KJV Hebrews 10:10
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
We are sanctified or made holy because of the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. This is how you are to see yourself. When you see yourself as holy, you will behave as such but when you see yourself as a sinner, you will also behave as such.
Once you have believed in Christ, you are not a sinner, the old nature was crucified with Christ and now you have a new nature. You are the righteousness of God. Look at what 2 Cor. 5:21 says:
NKJV 2 Corinthians 5:21
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
You are the righteousness of God. You are forgiven. When you see yourself this way, you are empowered to live right and to forgive others too.
Let’s rise and thank God for the wonderful gift he has given to us in Christ.”
With that she brought the message to an end. Eventhough, I didn’t understand it all, I had been so touched by the message. I had been a Christian for a long time but I had never heard anyone talk about these things. I knew I wanted to know more about these things.
“When is their next meeting?” I asked Debbie as we walked out.
“Now you want to come for their next meeting? I thought you were not interested in this church thing,” Debbie teased.
“Well, this one seems different. I was really touched by the message. For the first time, I was in a Christian meeting and the main theme was not sin. That’s different, I want to know more about it,” I explained.
“It felt different too for me. Everyone seemed normal, unlike some people who act all piously in the name of being a Christian,” Selly added.
Alberta, Debbie’s cousin, smiled. “I’m glad you were all blessed by the meeting. The gospel is this simple and assures us of the gift of salvation. You know, many people think that God would have to consider us, if we are to make it to heaven, but that’s not the truth. In Christ, we have received salvation and heaven is our home,” Alberta commented.
I was intrigued. “So you mean to say that going to heaven is based on just believing in Christ, no works needed?” I asked.
“My dear, the bible says we are citizens of heaven. That’s what Philippians 3:20 says. When we believed in Jesus Christ, we were born of God. How can we be born of God and still struggle to make it heaven?” Alberta answered.
“It is not as if God will overlook our sins and make us enter heaven just to increase the population there. God qualified us to be part of his family when he became a man and died for us. That is why everyone who believes in him become a child of God. We belong to God’s family and heaven is our home. We don’t have to work to get to where we come from,” Alberta added.
“So why should we do good things if we are already citizens of heaven,” Selly, who was also listening, asked.
“Good question, Alberta said, you see, we don’t do good things so that God will make us go to heaven. We do good things because of who we are. We are children of God so we live as such. We are citizens of heaven so we live befitting lives. Doing good, as a child of God, is more of expressing who you are than trying to earn something Jesus has freely given to you.”
I was mesmerized. What she said sounded so different from everything I had ever heard, but it was so refreshing and brought a great sense of peace to me…
To be continued…