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Assurance of Salvation (Vol 04) - The Gospel (Part-2)

Sunday English Service - 13 OCT 19

Transcript

For the last three weeks, we have been talking about the assurance of salvation. This series is entitled, ‘The Assurance of Salvation’. Everybody say, assurance. That means being sure about your salvation, being sure that you are saved, being sure that you will be saved for all eternity, that you won't lose the salvation halfway down the line, being sure that one day when you are done with this life, you will go to heaven and you will live forever and ever in the presence of God, being sure that your sins are forgiven. That's what the series is about. Believers need to be sure about this. Being sure that God accepts you, being sure that God will never leave you nor forsake you. The key is being sure. Why do I keep saying that? Because we have doubts. Many believers have doubts. They know but they're not sure. They know they're saved but some doubts are there. Now and then, those doubts creep up because all kinds of problems. So, we need to be able to deal with those doubts. And the Bible talks about this.

And we've been talking about how to receive assurance of salvation. When doubts arise in this matter, what do you do? Where do you go? And we said that the number one place you go is what? Remember? The gospel. Everybody say, gospel. If you have doubts, the first place you should go to is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Why should we go to the gospel? Because the gospel is the thing that led us to salvation in the first place. “I'm not ashamed of the power of the gospel power,” Paul says, “because it is the power of God unto salvation.” We heard the gospel, we believed in that gospel, the good news about Jesus, and that's how we got saved. In fact, the gospel is the thing that actually gave us assurance in the first place. When we got saved, we got a little bit of assurance. It came from the gospel, from that message about Jesus and what He did. So, we go back to that fountain, from where everything sprung forth. If we have doubts, we go back there.

Believers sometimes think the gospel is not for them because once they become a believer gospel is no longer for them, it is only for unbelievers. They think of the gospel like a door through which you enter the Christian life. So, we become saved through the gospel. Once you enter, why go back to the door? “Now, we can go to the living room and the dining room. There are greater and better things. Why go back to the door? The door, that that is only for unbelievers. Gospel is only for unbelievers.” No. The gospel is not like the door, the gospel is like the foundation. You never leave it; you only build on it. So, if you ever doubt whether the building is shaking, and if you have a doubt whether the building is going to fall, what is the first place you should go back to? The foundation. Go back and check the foundation. Go back to the gospel and go deeper into the gospel.

Last week, we started looking at the gospel, but we didn't really get into it. We looked at only the negative background of the gospel. What do I mean by that? See, gospel means good news. It’s not any news, it’s not bad news, but good news. But in order to understand how good the good news is, you have to first understand how bad the bad news is. You have to understand the situation of man without Jesus; the plight of man without Jesus. Only then you will understand the exalted state of man in and through Jesus. What a difference Jesus makes. How will you ever appreciate? See, sometimes people, even believers, don't appreciate the difference Jesus and the cross and the gospel make. That's because they've forgotten how bad things are without Jesus. And that's why last week, I focused on that. Basically, how bad is the situation? I said last week, without Jesus, none of us have a chance. That's the bad news. What do I mean by that? Without Jesus, God can never accept anyone, ever. It's a harsh reality but it's true. This is the background for the gospel. This is the black velvet cloth against which the beautiful gospel must be seen. The background is what? Without Jesus, God can never accept anyone. Why? Last week, I explained. God is so holy, and man is so sinful. People have underestimated the heights of God's holiness and they have underestimated the depths of man's sin.

God is so holy and His expectation is so great, He's saying, “Live like this and then I'll accept you.” Man is so sinful; this gap is too wide. Nobody can bridge the gap. And that is why Jesus comes. He's the only one who can bridge that gap. And so, I hope that you agree with that negative news first. The negative background, I hope you will all agree with me when I say without Jesus, no one stands a chance before God. If you agree with that, then you are ready to hear today's message. If you don't agree with that, my recommendation is, go back and listen last week so that you will be able to appreciate what we're going to say this week.

This week we're going to focus on the good news of the gospel. The basic gospel front and center. It is about who Jesus is and what He did. What is the gospel about? Who Jesus is and what He did for us. It is about the person and the work of Jesus. We cannot forget the person of Jesus. It's not just what He did, it's also who He is. What He did was only so effective because of who He is. It's not like some third person came and suffered and died on the cross. No, it's not like that. The Lord Jesus came and suffered and died on the cross. As unbelievers, when we first heard the gospel, you remember? The way we heard it was almost like, “Someone named Jesus only came and He bore my sin, and He died for me. If I believe in Him, I'll receive forgiveness. Oh, wow.” We didn't really think about how great Jesus is you see. We only focus on what He did. But the greatness of the gospel will be appreciated only if you appreciate the greatness of Jesus first, understand who He is and what He did.

Now, as believers, we can realize and appreciate the greatness of who Jesus is. That is part of the gospel. Remember, Peter’s confession? “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” It was all about who Jesus is. And Jesus said, “On this rock, I will build My church.” He didn't even confess what all He did. He just said, “You are the one.” His focus was on who Jesus is. So, let’s begin. Today, we're going to look at the basic good news of the gospel. And first we look at who Jesus is and then what He did for us. Everybody say, who Jesus is. The person of Jesus. Who is He? Where do we begin this story? When you talk about Jesus, oftentimes, people begin where? 2,000 years ago, Jesus was born. His birthday, so to speak. Christmas Day. We all have a birthday. And if you talk about the story of your life or my life, we have to begin on our birthday because we never existed before our birthday. But when you talk about Jesus, you can't begin with His birthday on earth 2,000 years ago, because He existed before He was born on earth. He didn't come into existence 2,000 years ago. He existed long before that.

So, where do we begin? Well, we begin at the beginning, as John says in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” John doesn't begin with the manger scene. Did you notice that? Compared to the other Gospels, the gospel of John doesn't say, “Let's begin at the manger scene.” No. John says, “In the beginning.” He says, “Go back to Genesis 1. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Who is He talking about? He's talking about Jesus. Jesus was the Word in the beginning. He was there in Genesis 1 as the Word by whom all things were made. John 1:3 says, “By Him all things were made and nothing was made that was made without Him.” Notice what John 1:1 says, “The Word was with God and the Word was God.” Jesus was God from the very beginning. People say, “Where does the Bible say Jesus was God?” Right there. The Word was God.

Who is Jesus? He is God. He’s the Second Person of the Trinity. How long has He existed? From eternity past. He has no beginning. He existed with the Father and the Spirit from eternity past. When the world was created, He was involved in the creation. “By whom and for whom all things are made,” Paul says in Colossians. And after creation also, Jesus was involved. Did you know that? He appeared many times in the Old Testament. For example, who came to Abraham in Genesis chapter 18, and said, “In one year you will have a child”? It was an appearance, or what they call a theophany, an appearance of God. It was an appearance by the Second Person of the Trinity in the Old Testament. Or take, for example, Gideon. Sometimes the Bible says, angel of the Lord in the Old Testament. Sometimes it's an ordinary angel, sometimes it's not an ordinary angel. It is the Second Person of the Trinity. Or take Isaiah chapter 6, for example, Isaiah sees a great vision where he sees the Lord of hosts, and he says, Isaiah 6:1, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up. The train of His robe was filling the temple and all the seraphim and the cherubim they were crying out saying, holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of His glory.” He saw a majestic vision of a glorious God. Who did he see? John chapter 12 verse 41 says, that Isaiah actually saw the glory of Jesus. Read it, I don't have the time to read it. If you want, you can look it up yourself. It says, “Isaiah saw his glory.”

This is the Jesus who entered this world 2,000 years ago. Only when He was born, He became known as Jesus. Before that you can call Him as the Word or the Son of God or other titles like that. But when He entered this world, He laid aside His glory. Philippians chapter 2 says, “He emptied Himself and took on the form of a servant.” He emptied Himself means what? He laid aside His visible glory. He always dwelt in the presence of God with the with the Father, with glory and majesty and splendor, like what Isaiah saw. But, if He comes down with glory, we cannot even see Him. Our eyes will be blinded like the apostle Paul. You remember how Paul saw Jesus in His glory on the road to Damascus? Jesus showed him His glory. And Paul was blinded for three days. How about that? See the glory, and you're blinded for three days. That's why Jesus put aside the glory, emptied Himself of the visible glory and came down in a very humble way, as an ordinary baby. But He was no ordinary baby. He was born of a virgin, the Bible says.

These are not just incidental details, optional details. No. If you leave out the virgin birth, Christianity falls, cross becomes useless. Why was He born of a virgin? At least two reasons. One is to show this is no ordinary baby. This is not just some ordinary human. This is not like any other birth. This baby's origin is not human, it is divine. Mary conceived through the Holy Ghost. Matthew 1:18 says that. No man was involved in the birth of Jesus. It was the Holy Spirit’s work in the womb of Mary. He was fully human and yet He was fully divine. Not 50/50, 100/100. God's mark is different. Don't try to go too much into it, you’ll break your head. He's 100% human and 100% divine. The virgin birth says He's someone special and the virgin birth also says that He was born in a sinless condition, without the stain of sin on Him. The Bible says in Romans 5:12, “Through one man, sin entered the world.” Through which man? Adam. And through that man it entered and it got passed from generation to generation. Through the man’s seed only sin passes from generation to generation.

Have you noticed that we are born sinners? We are born with a talent to sin. Some people they want to sing but they don't have talent to sing. To sing, you need to be born with at least a little bit of talent to sing. No matter how much you try, if you're not born with even little bit of talent to sing, you should not sing. So, some people are born with the talent to sing, some people are born with other talents. But I'll tell you one talent everybody is born with; it is the talent to sin. Wonderfully gifted day to sin. You don't need to teach a little child how to sin. You have to teach them to live right, but you don't have to teach them how to sin. It comes naturally. We're so talented. Every human is born like that. Not Jesus, sinless. No stain of sin. He knew no sin. He was born of a virgin. As a baby itself, He was unique. There has been no baby like Him, there will be no baby like Him.

That's why as a baby, grown men are coming and falling down and worshiping a baby. You think they read the Gospels? Why should grown men fall before a baby? Prostrate on the ground and worship? Because He's no ordinary baby. He is fully God and fully man. He's unique. And think about His life leading up to the cross. You shouldn't go directly to the cross. If you got directly to the cross, you won't appreciate it as much. Consider the glory of Jesus, my friend. Consider the greatness of Jesus. Think about His life up to the cross. Have you thought about Jesus as a five-year-old? Have you imagined? We use our imagination for all kinds of things? Let's use it for this. Just imagine how Jesus would have been as a five-year-old. I guarantee you; He wouldn't have been like every other five-year-old. Imagine how Jesus would have been as a 10-year-old? We're not told much but we're told how He was as a 12-year-old. He was in the temple three days debating with the experts in the temple, the expert preachers of the day. The guys who were the experts of the Bible. He is a 12-year-old boy, He’s asking questions they're not able to answer, they're amazed by His understanding. And His parents come and said, “Three days we were searching for You.” The parents lost him. They didn't know where He was three days. They came frantically and said, “Three days we were searching for You. How can You do this?” You know the reply He gave? It’s in Luke chapter 2. He said, “Why were you searching for Me? Don't you know I have to be about My Father's business.” This is the reply 12-year-old. Very interesting there, you read it. Mary says, “Me and Your father have been searching for You.” He says, “No, no. I am about My Father's business.” It’s a subtle hint, “No, no. That’s not My Father.” Again, virgin birth.

Have you imagined what Jesus was like as a teenager? Just think what Jesus must have been as a teenager, as a young man. Have you thought like that? We are not told much information but I'll tell you what the Bible does say. Hebrews chapter 4 verse 15, says, “He was tempted in all points as we are yet without sin.” Tempted in all points or tempted in every way yet without sin. Like us, Jesus was tempted in every way. You believe that first of all? Most people don't even believe that; don't even think about that. Jesus was tempted to sin. Did you know that? He faced temptations that a normal young man or a teenager would face. Did you know that? Jesus faced every kind of temptation. I'm not saying it, go read Hebrews 4:15. I don't have the time to read it, but you can read it. “Like us in all points, He was tempted yet without sin. This is the kind of high priest we have,” the writer says. What kind of temptations would a teenager have had, a young man in his 20s would have had? Think about that. He had temptation, my friend, and the temptation was real. Having the temptation is not sin, falling into the temptation only is sin. And the difference between Jesus and us is not that He was never tempted. No, He was tempted but He did not fall into even one temptation. He never sinned even once. That is some kind a teenager or young man. Not even once.

Oftentimes, people don't appreciate these things about Jesus. They say, “What brother? What is the big deal? For Jesus this was jujube, as they say. This was such an easy matter. What temptation for Him? Easily He would have overcome the temptation. It would have been so easy for Him.” No. Wrong. The one who overcomes the temptation, faces the strongest temptation. Have you ever thought about that? When we are tempted to sin, have you noticed sometimes we fall early? Temptation comes, what happens? Sometimes we give in early and we fall, “Oh boy, finished.” Next time it comes, we've planned ahead. “This time, no, I'm not going to fall this time.” The temptation comes, so we resist it. And what happens? When we resist, does it become stronger or weaker? Stronger. The more you resist, the stronger the temptation gets. The more you keep resisting, the stronger the temptation is going to keep getting. You and I and every other person on earth has never faced the strongest temptation. There is only one who has faced it in its strongest form. And that is Jesus because every time He resisted, and every time He never fell, and so every time He had to resist the strongest form of temptation.

He was full man also. Do you believe that? He was not just fully God; He was fully man. You have to believe both. He’s fully man and fully God. If you don't believe that, then that's heresy first of all. In the early church, people who didn't believe that were first of all disbarred. Basic truth about Jesus, He's fully man and so as a man, He was tempted in all points yet without sin. Just imagine what kind of a life that must have been. We don't have much detail, but when He was around 30 years old, we have one person saying that He lived perfectly. You know who that is? God the Father Himself. When Jesus was around 30 years old, you remember He took baptism. Remember that? He took baptism. Matthew chapter 3, and He comes out of the waters. Remember? Matthew chapter 3 verse 16 and 17. He comes out of the waters, what happens? The heavens are opened, the Spirit descends in the form of a dove, and then a voice came out of heaven and it said, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Think about the timing of that? Jesus had not even begun His ministry. He had not even preached His first sermon. He had not even done His first miracle. He had done nothing.

Why is God saying, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”? What is He talking about? He's getting His stamp of approval for the 30 years of Jesus' life. And He's saying, “Here is a life lived perfectly.” The Father couldn't keep quiet. He couldn't wait. When He saw the Son come out of the baptism waters, He poured open the heavens and He burst forth with His approval. And He said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” No other 30-year-old has ever pleased God like that. This is the Jesus who entered ministry before entering itself, perfect, full approval. And how did He do His ministry? No man ever preached like Him? No person ever taught like Him. Nobody even told stories like Him. My kids are amazed. I'll tell them stories and they'll think I came up with the story. Then they’ll say, “Did you come up?” I say, “No, Jesus.” “How did He?” Just think about the stories He said, prodigal son and good Samaritan. I mean, the story and the ending and the truth in it just blow our minds. Nobody taught like Him. Nobody performed miracles like Him. Think about the way He healed people. Every kind of sickness, He healed. He didn't make a distinction between a fever and stage four cancer. To Him both were the same. No matter what disease a person had, it didn't matter if they came to Him, they got healed. If they so much as touched the hem of His garment, they got healed.

He spoke one word, and thousands of demons fled. They’re all begging saying, “Can we go there?” And He says, “Go,” and they go. He raised people from the dead. Four days, Lazarus is dead. All he has to say is, “Lazarus, come forth.” That's all. This is Jesus, my friend. The greatest person who ever lived, the one who accomplished more in His earthly life than anyone else. Even if you leave out the cross and all that. This is the Jesus who after all this a life perfectly lived, He talks about Himself in John chapter 8 verse 28. Look at how much He pleased the Father. You need to think about this. Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, that I do nothing on my own authority,” John 8:28, “but speak just as the Father taught me.” He said, “I have spoken only what the Father told Me to speak.” Verse 29, He says, “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” No man can open and say those words. No man can say, “Always have done only what He's pleased with.” People will talk like that. But like I said last week, they can only talk like that because they've underestimated God's holiness and their sin.

We cannot use the word always. As humans, we have no right to use the word always and never about ourselves. We cannot give those kinds of guarantees. I always do the things that are pleasing to Him. No, no. We wish. That's not reality. Only Jesus could say, “I always spoke only what God told Me to speak. I always did only what God told Me to do.” And before He goes to the cross, John 17:4 He says, “I have accomplished the work You have given Me.” Which man can say that? I say all this to say, this is not some ordinary person. This is the greatest person in the universe. The most special person. The most sinless and perfect person, lived a perfect life up to this point. And what does He do after all that? Goes to the cross. The greatest life ever lived, the most perfect life ever lived, where does He go? The cross. People say, “Brother, what wrong have I done? Why did this happen to me?” People question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” There has been no one good like Jesus. After all that good, He goes to the cross. Why? For you, for me. This is the Jesus who went to the cross and this is the Jesus who did amazing things on the cross and through the cross.

I say all this because when you focus on the person and the glory of who Jesus is, that itself will make your doubts flee. People who have doubts about salvation they are looking at themselves, “Oh, I am so [inaudible 00:26:28]. I have done this sin. Oh, look at me.” Look at Jesus, my friend. See His glory, His greatness. This is the greatest person in the universe who laid down His glory and came into this world for you. Lived a perfect life, not to demonstrate His perfection. I'll tell you why He lived a perfect life later. After a perfect life lived, He goes to the cross. What does He do on the cross? Let's consider the work of Jesus on the cross. What did Jesus do? So far, we have seen who Jesus was. Now, let us see what Jesus did. What did Jesus do? We can split up His work into two. Two aspects for convenience sake. Number one, through His death and resurrection, Jesus removes our sin so fully that it is no longer a problem before the Father. Jesus removes our sin so fully and entirely out of the picture that it is no longer a problem for the Father. That's number one.

Let's look at that. Jesus removes our sin. See, we’re talking about basic gospel. When we say gospel, there're so many things in gospel. People talk about full gospel. I'm not talking about full gospel. I'm talking about basic gospel. Today, we're just looking at basic gospel. The basics. The gospel starts where? Jesus removes our sin fully, entirely out of the picture. Believers even look at the cross and what Jesus did and you ask them, “What do you get as a result?” Many people will simply say forgiveness of sin and they don't even understand forgiveness in the way it should be understood. Because when we forgive one another as humans, we do it on a much lower level. We say for example, when somebody does something wrong against us, sometimes we’ll say like this, have you noticed? “I will forgive you, but I won't forget it.” We're saying, we think it's some brilliant idea. You may not say it, but we're thinking it also. Sometimes we say, “I'll forgive you,” but then we're harboring hatred and some kind of spite towards them in our heart. We say, I forgive you, but really, it's not a heartfelt forgiveness. Sometimes we forgive but whenever we want, we’ll bring up what that person did. Whenever it's convenient for us, we'll bring it up. But when God says, “I forgive you,” that's another level because this is forgiveness that comes through the cross. He said in a whole another level. When He says, “I forgive you,” that means the sin has been completely removed. That means it has been wiped out. When God says, “I forgive you,” He will never again bring it up. Once He forgives, He will never again treat you as though you sinned. Do you know that?

People who have doubts about salvation, sometimes old sins come up to their mind. The sins of their past, come up to their mind. The same sins which they have already confessed, God has already forgiven them, but now it comes back to their mind. And how does it come back? The thought will say, “Oh, you forgot about this. Look at this sin. You forgot about this sin. How can you think you're a child of God? Remember what you did back then? There's no way God can accept you.” Where do you think that thought comes from? Like I said, Christians sometimes they are so spiritual, they think every thought comes from God. Wrong. That thought I will tell you comes from the devil. You know why? Because God will not bring up your past sin. Once you have confessed it and He has forgiven you and He has cleansed you, He will not bring it up to accuse you. Never. He will not bring it up to accuse you. I’ll show you.

People have thoughts like that and that just pushes them. They lose their confidence about their salvation. The Bible, when it talks about forgiveness, it is a forgiveness that comes as a result of total removal of our sin. I'm not saying we don't sin. I'm not saying we don't have sin. No, no. We sin, we commit sin, all that is there. I'm talking about removal in the sense that sin is removed from the picture so that it is no longer a problem when the Father sees us. When we put our faith in Christ and when we accept His forgiveness and cleansing, sin is removed out of the picture. That's why you have verses. The total removal. I want you to keep this in mind. People think of forgiveness like God has covered up the sin. No, no. It’s removed. Why are there verses like Micah chapter 7 and verse 19, “You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea”? You’ve seen that verse? You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. Why is it put like that? Because if it's gone to the depths, it will never come back. Another verse, Psalm 103 verse 12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions.” How far is east from the west? Think about it. Imagine. As far as the east is from the west. They never meet. The point is, your sin and you, are so far apart it'll never come back to you. As far as the east is from the west, He removed our transgressions from us.

There is a wonderful picture in the Old Testament that talks about total removal of sin. In the Old Testament, God told the people of Israel every year to observe what is called the Day of Atonement. One day every year where they would make atonement for the sins of the nation itself. And so, they'll come together. This is found in Leviticus chapter 16 verse 20 to around 22. The whole chapter is about that but those are the verses I'm focusing on. And on the Day of Atonement, God said, “Every year, this is what you should do. Select two male goats. One goat should be killed and the blood should be shed. The other goat should not be killed.” Now, why did He do that? Well, He’s trying to show two pictures, both pictures are fulfilled through the cross of Calvary. Jesus will be struck and killed and His blood will be shed. That's like the goat which is killed. But the other goat should not be killed. It should be left alive. Something else will be done. You can read this in Leviticus 16 verse 20 to 22. God gives this instruction. He says, “The high priest must bring that goat which is alive, and place both his hands on the head of the goat and confess the sins of the people. After confessing,” that passage says, “it's as though the sin now went upon the goat.” The sins of the nation went upon the goat. And then what should we do with the goat? Take the goat into the wilderness and leave it in a place where it can never come back.

They followed this. In fact, they followed it very carefully. When they took that goat, it seems, the historians write about and say, some of them got scared, “Will it come back?” So, they'll go to utmost corner in the wilderness in some nook and corner place. It will never come back. Some of them took it near a cliff and just pushed it down for fear that it will come back. Point is what? The sin never comes back. Wonderful picture. It's not about the goat, my friend. No goat can remove sin. It was about Jesus always. Leviticus 16 is about Jesus. The Day of Atonement is about Jesus. It’s the day Jesus was crucified when He hung on the cross and shed His blood. Not only did He die and shed His blood, but He removed our sin as a result so that once it goes it will never come back to haunt you. If it is coming back to haunt you, it is the devil. Removed out of the picture.

Another way the Bible teaches this is through the way of cleansing. Talks about the blood of Jesus cleanses us. Do you believe in that? Do you believe in the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus? What does ‘cleansing’ mean? You have a stain on the ground, after you cleanse it, the stain is gone. If you cleanse it correctly, the stain is gone. It's no longer there. It's like a student asked a teacher, “It seems you're writing on the board and then you're erasing it. Where does that thing go? You erased it. Where did it go?” The teacher said, “I don't know where it went. But I know one thing, it'll never come back.” It's like that. When Jesus’ blood cleanses us from our sin, I don't know where it goes. But I do know one thing, it will never come back. It's gone. That is the kind of cleansing. Go to 1 John chapter 1 verse 7. This is not just for unbelievers; this is for believers. 1 John is written for believers. 1 John chapter 1 and verse 7. This is for believers. Even believers need cleansing. Look at this. I've already told you 1 John is written with the goal of giving assurance. It's a book about assurance.

In the first chapter, look what he's talking about. 1 John chapter 1 verse 7. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. Look what he's saying. He's writing to believers like you and me. He says, “If we walk in the light as He is in the light.” Only believers walk in light. Unbelievers walk in darkness. He’s saying, “If you're a believer, and if you're walking in the light,” what does that mean walking in the light? That is a picture of a believer living a reasonably holy life. That's what walking in the light means. If we are walking in the light, as He is in the light. Do you see that? If we are walking somewhat like Him, that's the meaning. And then look what he says. The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. I thought he said we are walking in the light. Why do we need cleansing? John knows very well even the believers walking in the light need cleansing because they are not perfect. Even they sin sometimes and when they sin, they need the blood of Jesus to cleanse that sin.

Look at the next verse. Look at what he says. If we say that we have no sin. Some believers are saying, “We have no sin.” Some people are portraying themselves as though they are perfect. “No sin. We are so perfect.” Are they? Is that true? Look at what John says. Verse 8, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. He's saying, “If a believer says, ‘I have no sin, I’m so perfect,’ they have deceived themselves. Truth is not in them. They are telling lies.” That’s the plain meaning. Don't ever believe anybody who says, “I'm absolutely perfect, there is no sin in me.” Don't believe that person. Why do they say that? Sometimes people actually believe like that. You know why? I'll tell you again why. Same reason. They have underestimated the heights of God's holiness; they have underestimated the depths of their own sin. That's why they have deceived themselves to thinking they have no sin.

John is saying, “Don't say that. If you say you have no sin, you're deceiving. But instead, what should you do?” Verse 9, confess our sin. Don't hide the sin. Don't act like it's not there. Don't deceive yourself into thinking it's not there. Instead, recognize if there is sin and confess it. Confess it means don't hide it, bring it out in the open and confess it before God. Anyway, He knows you're not going to tell him anything new, are you? Anyway, He knows what you've already done. Go ahead and confess it. It's very important that you confess your sin because you're admitting, “God I've seen I've messed up.” Don't make excuses for the sin, just confess it and say, “God, I've sinned against you.” If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Look at how he says. He is faithful and just to forgive and to cleanse. How does this cleansing happen? That's what in verse 7 he said, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. The cleansing works even for a believer. That's why I said while we were singing, you will never come to the point where you don't need the cleansing work of the blood anymore. You will always need the cleansing work of the blood of Jesus. Keep going back to it and let it cleanse you again and again.

People with doubts will say, “But you don't know about my sin, brother. You don't know how badly I have sinned.” Yes, I don't know. But frankly, that doesn't matter because look what it says in verse 7. The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. Everybody say, all sin. So, no matter what it is, just believe, my friend, don't think of your sin as so big. Think of the blood of Jesus as big and powerful, able to cleanse all sin. Again, in verse 9, he says, cleanses us from all unrighteousness. People have all kinds of false notions and that's why they don't have assurance. Some people they believe like this, until you get saved, all your sins are covered by the cross. Have you seen these kinds of people? Until you get saved, your sins are covered by the cross. After you get saved, well, that's on your own. You got to take care of that. That's nonsense. If you got to take care of your own sin after you get saved, my friend, you're finished. We’ll all end up in hell.

Let me remind you again, he's writing to believers who are already saved and he’s saying, “Don't say you don't have sin, that would be a lie.” Look at verse 10. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar. We make whom a liar? God. In fact, he’s saying, “If you say you have not sinned as a believer, you say, ‘I'm so perfect. I’ve never sinned. I don't sin. I have no sin. Not only are you making yourself a liar, you are making Him a liar, and His word is not in us. So, it's nonsense to say up to salvation, it's covered in the cross and after that no. Cross covers everything.

Some people are more brilliant. What they say is, “Well, now, let’s be careful. The cross covers your past sin but not your future sin.” Now that's a brilliant point, isn't it? So, the people who teach like that, people who believe that are they really thinking that they are not going to commit any sin in the future? If you think that and if you believe that, let me ask you, do you think that you will never commit any sin in the future? That is some big pride there, my friend. Pride goes before the fall. Is that correct? Is that biblical? You see, these kinds of distinctions we make, and it ends up affecting our assurance. What does John say about this? Look, he talks about that. Verse 10 says, don't make him a liar. And then John says confess your sin and He will cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Look at the next chapter, 1 John chapter 2. Remember chapter divisions are chumaar. They're not really there. John did not write chapter 2, new subject. No. Same subject is continuing from chapter 1 going into chapter 2, same subject. Chapter 2, listen verse 1. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. “Let me clarify, I'm writing so that you won’t sin.” John knows, if you teach like this, some people will say, “Oh, if you teach like this, people will start sinning more and more.”

Some people don't like what I'm teaching now. “Assurance? You mean to say you're trying to give the people assurance? Oh, you are doing something very terribly wrong because if you give the people assurance they'll go and end up sinning more and more. If you convince them their sins are forgiven, you don't have to worry about it, they’ll sin more. John knows there are people will say that about him also. That's why he's saying, “My little children, these things I write to you so that you may not sin.” We are not teaching assurance so that you will go sin more. We're teaching it actually so that you will sin less. More assurance will make you sin less. People think totally opposite. See, he's saying, “I'm writing so that you won’t sin.” I want to say the same thing. This teaching is so that you won't sin only. Look at look at what he says, “So, I'm writing so that you may not sin.” He’s saying, “Don't twist my words and use it as a license to sin. Don't sin, you should not sin. I'm writing so that you won’t sin,” but then look what he says next. “And if anyone sins...” He just said, “I am writing so that you won’t sin.” Then immediately he’s saying, “But if anyone sins.” He knows immediately, nobody can be without sinning in the perfect sense. So, he's saying, “I am writing so that you won't sin but if anyone sins.”

Is he saying, if you sin, you’re finished? No. If anyone sins. Is he saying there's a difference between past and future before salvation, after salvation? No, no. If anyone sins. Suppose somebody sins what happens? Don't worry if anyone sins. Look what he says, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He’s saying, “Please don't sin. I don't want you to sin. But I know we're not perfect. And if anyone sins, don't worry, we have an Advocate.” Usually advocate, if you run into some problem, legal problem, you go to an advocate, the advocate has to find a court hearing date before the judge. And he has to wait for the judge to hear the case. But in this case, our advocate is different. He is constantly in the presence of the judge. John is saying, “Don't worry. If anyone sins, don't worry, we already have an advocate ready there in the presence of the Supreme Court Judge, the highest judge, the Father Himself.”

Then look what he says, And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins. Propitiation means the sacrifice that removes sin. He himself is the propitiation or another meaning for propitiation is the sacrifice that completely absorbs the judgment and the wrath of God and takes it out of the picture. He Himself is the sin removing sacrifice for our sins. Some people have taken this passage and they've got all kinds of false ideas. Like, when we sin, Jesus is up there arguing our case like an advocate would argue. First of all, some Christians have a doubt about the Father. They trust Jesus but they don't trust the Father. “Oh, that Father. I can’t trust Him fully. Jesus, He gave everything for me but the Father, He may in the end send me to hell or something.” People think like this. They won't say it out, but inside they're thinking. So, they have the notion sometimes that Jesus is arguing with the Father and pleading with the Father, and the Father is sitting there. Nothing like that is happening. It’s a different courtroom scene. We have an advocate there, Jesus Christ the righteous. In fact, I don't think there is any argument.

Look at how the verse says, He Himself is the propitiation. You see the ‘Himself’ there. He Himself. Everybody say, Himself. He himself is the propitiation for our sins. There is no indication of any argument here. In fact, the argument is the presence of Jesus. What does that mean? Jesus being there in the presence of the Father is the argument, that case. We should win the case, and we have won the case and our forgiveness is secure. Are you following me, my friend? Let me say it like this. Usually, advocate has to get down from his bench and say, “Judge, this is the argument,” and go on talking this and that. You know all Jesus has to do over there? If the case comes against us, He just has to go like this. And the case is already settled. Won.

He's saying, “I am the argument. I am the proof. I am the propitiation for their sin.” The nails print on His hand is still there. The proof that He died for us is still there. His very presence before the Father guarantees our cleansing and our forgiveness. So, don't let all these wrong notions and ideas keep you from believing in the full cleansing power of the blood. God has so removed sin out of the picture. It's no longer a problem. It's no longer a problem, my friend. No matter how great your sin is, it is no longer a problem. Look to Jesus. Look to the cross. Look to His blood. Believe in it, confess your sin and your sin will be cleansed and totally removed out of the picture and God will forgive your sin entirely. Never bring it up. It's the power of the blood. He says so many places in the New Testament and Old Testament, “I will remember your sin no more.” Isaiah 43:25. Hebrews 8:12, “I will remember your sin no more.” Hebrews 10:17, “I will remember your sins no more.”

He can but He has chosen not to remember. It's gone, my friend, completely gone. But people have a hard time. People who have doubts about salvation and forgiveness say, “But how can it go? I've committed such a big sin. How can it go? Just like that, simply it's gone?” It's not simply gone, Jesus suffered for it to go. You think it's forgiven just like that? Is it some cheap forgiveness? No. It may be free for us, highest cost for Him. He suffered. See, this is not some unjust, cheap forgiveness. This is forgiveness that God accomplished on the cross in the most just and righteous manner. God is not just the God of mercy and love and on the cross, you don't see just mercy and love. You see full justice meted out. The justice of God says, where there is sin, there ought to be punishment. You can't just forgive like that. You can't just say, “I'll forget about it.” There has to be punishment. Somebody has to bear the punishment. It has to be real punishment.

Who bore the punishment? Not us. Jesus bore the punishment. Think about the punishment. Our mind is saying, “How can it be forgiven and cleansed and gone and removed like that?” Tell your mind which thinks it knows everything. Tell it, it’s not just simply forgiven like that. Jesus suffered. Think about His suffering. Think about His punishment. The more you meditate on His punishment... Think about His physical punishment first of all. From head to toe there is not one place Jesus was not beaten. Do you know that? They put a crown of thorns on His head and they beat it into His skull. Then only it will stay there. It took a rod and they beat it again and again. You read the Gospels. Have you meditated on His sufferings? Have you considered it deeply, my friend? At least watch ‘The Passion of the Christ’ or something? That's not the best source. The best source is the Gospels. I have preached one entire week on just the physical sufferings of Jesus in my Isaiah 53 series. They beat into His head again and again. They punched Jesus in the face repeatedly. They slapped Him in the face, they spit on His face. They flogged Him with a whip. The Bible says it one verse and goes, He was flogged. That's it.

2,000 years ago, if you write He was flogged, everybody knows what it means. But today, nobody knows what it means. You know what flogged means? I thought that some of the beatings I got as a kid was bad in school or something. Those days they used to still beat in school. Nowadays, they've stopped beating in school. Because we think this beating is something big. No, no. This beating is nothing. You know how Jesus was flogged? The whip. It was not just about beating Him and the pain that came from the beating of the whip, the whip had sharp objects on it, sharp bones and iron balls and so on. And the goal was not just to beat and inflict pain, the goal was to cut through the flesh and tear out flesh during the whipping. That's what happened to Jesus. As He was whipped, flesh was torn out from His back. His back became like a plowed field. In fact, most scholars think that Pilate had Him whipped extra. He had Him flogged extra because Pilate could not find one fault with Jesus. And so, Pilate thought that perhaps if He has Him flogged extra, the people will say, “Let Him go.” But he was wrong. They flogged Him extra.

At the end of the flogging, what would have happened was ribbons of flesh would have been hanging. It's not a pleasant sight. People have the cross framed in their homes in a beautiful sight to see. Before He went to the cross itself, it was the most disturbing sight to the eyes. His back was like a plowed field. And then they took Him to the cross and put nails in His hands and feet. Imagine Him on the cross hanging, blood flowing from everywhere in agony and in pain. On top of all this, the problem in the cross is there is a breathing problem. You cannot breathe normally because your hanging like that. The weight of your body is like that. So, for each breath, you got to kind of lift yourself up a little bit. There's a little stool but it's not really sufficient for easy breathing. You see every breath you have to struggle.

You think the forgiveness was cheap? People say, “How can you just teach forgiveness?” I’m not teaching some cheap forgiveness; I’m teaching the most costly forgiveness. So far, I’ve only spoken about the physical suffering of Jesus. I have not even gone beyond that. Physical suffering was not the worst of it, actually. There was mental suffering. There was mental stress for Jesus. Do you know in the Garden of Gethsemane, He's thinking about how He would suffer on the cross and that itself is giving Him stress? Some people say, “Socrates died boldly, why not your Jesus like that?” Why was Jesus stressing? Why was He stressed mentally in the Garden of Gethsemane? He was not afraid. He was not just thinking about the Roman beatings, as terrible as that is, He had real flesh and blood. You believe that? He had real flesh and blood. If it's painting for you, it would have pained for Him. He was not just thinking about that pain, though, He was thinking about the spiritual suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. More than the Roman beatings and more than the Jewish slapping, what He was going to get on the cross was the sin of the world. He was going to bear the full weight of the sin of the world.

Who has borne that? Socrates? We don't even bear our own sin sometimes. We don't even realize our own sin. And when we do realize one sin, it becomes hard to bear the guilt. Can you imagine bearing the sin of the world? Jesus was thinking about that in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus was thinking about bearing the curse of the world. 2nd Corinthians 5:21 says, “He became sin.” Galatians 3:13 says, “He became a curse.” Both are true. He became a curse. He became the personification of curse. Just as it is written, cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree, Jesus became a curse for us. He was thinking about that. He was thinking about drinking up the wrath of God. When Jesus prays saying, “Father, if it be possible, remove this cup from Me,” the cup, if you do some study on it, in the Old Testament, the cup there signifies the cup of God's wrath against sin.

Jesus knew He was going to drink that cup. This was the thing He was thinking about. Nobody forced Him to do it, my friend. Let me emphasize that. Some people think the Father forced Him. No. The father did not force Him. Jesus at any point He could have come out if He wanted. This is Jesus I'm talking about. No one should have even laid a hand on Him. He's the one who created the fellow with the hand, actually. In fact, the Bible says, by whom and for whom are all things created. In fact, that fellow's hand was made for Jesus and His glory. And with the same hand He was beating Jesus. One word would have put an end to all those people, Romans, Jews and everyone. In the Garden of Gethsemane, when they arrested Him, you remember? More than 100 people, a garrison of soldiers came and they said, “Who is Jesus?” in the night. And Jesus said, “I am and for that I am.” Everyone fell back to the ground. Go read it. It's in John chapter 18 verse 5 and 6. One word, ‘I am’ pushed everybody to the ground. Another thing happened. Remember Peter cut off that guys ear when Jesus was arrested? Do you know these things, my friend? Peter cut off one soldier’s ear. And Jesus said, “Put that sword back in its place. I don't need your help, Peter.” And at that moment, He's arrested and about to go to the cross. He heals that fellow. Did you notice that? He puts his ear back and heals him. I might have just left him like that. He puts his ear back together.

Then He tells Peter in Matthew chapter 26, He says, “I don't need your help. Put it back in its place. If I want, I can say one word to the Father and He will send me 12 legions of angels.” He had all the power in the world, kept it on a leash. Without speaking one word, voluntarily. He was silent. Isaiah 53:7 says, for you, for me, my friend. Think about His suffering. I think the worst of the suffering was this. Jesus knew that on the cross, the fellowship that He had with the Father was going to be affected. On the cross, you remember Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?” That is the most terrible cry in the Bible. This is Jesus.

Again, I’ll remind you, He was eternally in fellowship with the Father. Eternally. Do you know what that even means? We don't even know what that means. The closest thing I can think of is, maybe if you’ve lived with someone 60 years, and then that person dies. Separation you feel there is something close to that. Even yesterday, I was at a death in our church. That person said, “We were so close all our life. We are no more.” And they felt that separation. Jesus felt a kind of separation from the Father on the cross that we know nothing about. And He was thinking about that in the Garden of Gethsemane. The wrath of God, the separation that he would feel from God. And He sweat drops of blood thinking about it. Can you imagine how it must have been to go through it? And the sin and the curse and the wrath was poured out on Him. There is no one like Him in life, in suffering, in death. It’s not a cheap forgiveness. It is not a cheap cleansing. It is the most costly cleansing. It is the most precious, special, valuable person the Creator Himself coming and giving up everything.

And then He says, “I forgive you. Now go.” You're ready to accept that? You better accept it. Those who do not accept it dishonor His suffering. The devil will say in your head when you have doubts about salvation, “How can God forgive you? How can this sin be forgiven? You think this can ever be forgiven?” You tell that devil right back, you got to, you have to reply. You have to say, “Even this in Jesus bore and He suffered terribly for it so that I don't have to bear the punishment.” Why did He bear punishment, my friend? He was my substitute so that I don't have to bear punishment. I don't have to fear hellfire. I don't have to go to hell. I don't even have to fear hell. I don't need to entertain the doubt of whether I will go to hell because Jesus was punished fully. Full justice was meted out. And full forgiveness is given to the believer now.

This is where the basic gospel begins, but it's not where it ends. Where does it end? I have to say this also. God doesn't just remove our sin entirely through the cross. Something else happens. What else happens? Jesus’ righteousness comes on us. Now, this is something different, isn't it? There’s something more than forgiveness, and this is part of the basic gospel. Our sin is totally removed through Jesus’ work on the cross. But after that, Jesus’ righteousness envelopes us and clothes us and covers us. This is also part of the basic gospel. Let me show it to you from Romans. Some people think this is an optional gospel. They think this is like an optional truth. Romans chapter 3. “Righteousness is something optional. You can believe in it or you can live it out. It's not basic gospel.” I'm sorry, but it is basic gospel.

If you believe in the book of Romans, Paul systematically teaches the gospel to believers. And I want you to see how he does that, how he presents the gospel to believers. Romans 1 verse 16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. So, in 1:16 itself, he says, “I'm going to talk about the gospel. I'm not ashamed of it and all that.” So, look at verse 17. 16 and 17 or a bit of a summary of the book. In 17, look what he says. For in it, that means in the gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed. Look how Paul presents the gospel. In summary itself, he says, in the Gospel what is revealed? Righteousness, not just forgiveness. Go to Romans chapter 3 verse 23 and 24. You remember? Up to Romans 3:20 Paul describes the problem, from verse 21 solution. But here in 23 and 24 we have a capsule, a nutshell of the problem and the solution.

Look at 23. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. That's the problem. What's the problem with the world today? Everybody's missed the boat. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Nobody stands a chance. What is the solution? Look at verse 24, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Justified means what? Some people don't understand that word. Justify means to make righteous or count as righteous, or to accept as righteous. Being justified means being made righteous or being counted as righteous freely by His grace. How does this come? Through the redemption that is in Christ? Paul is thinking about the cross. What happens through the cross? If you ask Paul in one word what happens, he's not going to say forgiveness. What is the word he's going to use? Justified. Everybody say, justified. Being justified, being made righteous, being counted righteous, Paul is saying the problem is all have sinned and fallen short of the glory. Everybody's missed the boat. Solution? Through Christ and what He did on the cross, you can be justified, made righteous.

Just mere forgiveness is not enough for God, my friend, listen to me. Sometimes people don't have assurance because they don't believe in this righteousness truth. Mere forgiveness alone is not enough before God. Remember I said, God is so holy. What does that mean? He's holy He never sins. No, it's more than that. Yes, He doesn't sin but He does everything rightly, justly, righteously. There is a positive righteousness in God. Not just the absence of sin but a positive righteousness. And when He looks at us, He expects the same thing. He doesn't expect only us to leave sin, He expects us to actually have a positive righteousness. Remember God is so holy man is so sinful? If He forgives us and removes the sin, it's like we come up here. But for Him, we have to come up here. It's not enough for the sin to be removed, you need a positive righteousness. Remember, I said God gives only two grades, hundred and zero. You either get 100% or you get 0%. If you're only forgiven, it's like you've got the pass mark. But pass mark is not good enough for God. He says, “No. 100, I want.” How do you get 100? He knows we can't get it by ourselves so He said, “Now, here's an offer.” What's the offer? Exchange offer. You know these exchange offers in the world? The board will be very big, the advertisement will be very promising. You’ll go there and they'll say, “Bring your own phone and exchange it for a new phone.” You find out, what they give for the old phone it’s hardly anything so that you can keep the old phone and buy the exchange offer.

God also gave an exchange offer. He said, “Okay, here it is. You're gone. Without Jesus, you don't have chance. I'm giving you one-time exchange offer.” What’s the exchange offer? You come with your sin to Jesus. Your sin goes on Him and His righteousness comes on you. This is why, even though I've gone overboard with the time, I didn't leave out Jesus’ perfectly righteous life. Why was I talking about Him as a teenager and a young man with perfect righteousness and God giving His stamp of approval? “This is My beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased”? Why? Jesus, before He went to the cross, He needed to go as a righteous sacrifice. Perfectly righteous. The lamb in the Old Testament had to be perfectly righteous, spotless, no wrinkle. That means what? Perfectly righteous. And on the cross, what happens is, there is an exchange. It's not just my sin is removed; His righteousness comes on me. The Bible teaches this clearly.

2 Corinthians 5:21. We’ll show finish soon. The well-known verse. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God. Why was Jesus made sin? So that. That word ‘so that’ is very important. So that we might become the righteousness of God. The purpose of Jesus becoming sin was not just so that we may receive forgiveness or cleansing or sin removal alone. Look at how Paul puts it. Why was He made sin? So that we might become the righteousness of God. It’s more than forgiveness. It’s something far more. In what way do we become the righteousness of God? In what way? Is it by our own righteousness? No. In what way was Christ made sin? The Bible says in that place, He who knew no sin, He made Him to be sin. Did Christ commit even one sin? No. Without committing one sin, He was meant to be sin. In what way do we become the righteousness of God? Without our righteousness, we become the righteousness of God because Christ's righteousness is applied to our account.

Why does it say righteousness of God and not righteousness of Christ? Because Christ is God and you can call His righteousness as the righteousness of God. And not only that, this is a righteousness that comes from God. It is not the righteousness that we earned on our own righteousness, comes from God through His Son. When did this happen? When did the exchange happen? Well, the first part of the exchange happened 2,000 years ago. Your sin went on Jesus 2,000 years ago. When did you become righteous in God's sight? See, this is not about righteous in behavior. This is about righteous in God's sight. Righteousness in behavior comes only after this. We'll talk about that later also. Again, I say this series is so that you may not sin. But first understand this, you become righteous in God's sight. When did it happen? When did you receive the righteousness? When you got saved, my friend. 1 Corinthians 6:11. The moment of salvation for you, I don't know when it was, think back to it, at that moment you were made righteous in the sight of God. God counted you as righteous. God clothed you with the righteousness of Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:11. You say, “I don't remember it happening in the time of salvation.” Well, think and look at the verse 1 Corinthians 6:11. Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. Who is he writing to? He's writing to the Corinthian believers. Who is the Corinthian church? If you put a list of one of the worst churches in history, top five list will surely have Corinthian church. So bad they were, such terrible things they did. You can read it. To them he is writing. Remember, to them he’s writing. What is he writing? You were like this but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus. He’s saying, “You were like this, but now you are like this different. Something happened.” What happened? You were washed, you were sanctified, you were made righteous. When did it happen? It happened at salvation, before salvation, they were different and at salvation, what happened? They were washed, sanctified, and justified. Everybody say, washed, sanctified, justified. Notice, all past tense, already happened.

When you got saved, it already happened, my friend. You may say, “But I don't remember it happening?” You may say, “But that sounds too good to be true.” Well, let me say, which baby remembers what happened on the day it was born. You remember your own birthday many years ago when you were born? You remember what all happened on that day? No, nothing. The only reason we know anything about what happened on the day we were born is because our parents tell us, “When you were born, you were born in this hospital. It was like this and that.” You find it hard to believe. But we got to accept it with humility because we don't know. We cannot remember. How can you remember what happened to you when you got born again? You think you can know everything and remember what all happened? No, my friend. That is why this is there to tell you what all happened when you got born again. You accept this with humility. And this says, you were washed, you were sanctified and you were justified. Believe it. Don't argue with it. Just believe it and accept it.

I know we're not perfect. We do sin sometimes. But the Bible says, when God looks at you, He sees you as justified, righteous in His sight. This is about how God sees us, my friend. When you look through a red glass, everything looks red. When you look through a green glass, everything looks green. When you look through Christ, the believer looks perfectly righteous to God. Apart from Christ, the believer is finished. Oh, thank God, He doesn't see us apart from Christ. We see ourselves apart from Christ and that's why we don't have assurance. He always sees us only in Christ. If you saw me without Christ, I would stand no chance and neither would anybody. Only in Christ and in Christ I’m washed, I'm sanctified, I'm justified. I'm perfectly righteous. In Christ, He can look at me and say, “This is My son in whom I am well pleased.” He's actually talking about Christ but now it applies to me because I'm now in Christ.

It’s not my righteousness, He made me righteous. Who made you righteous? God made you righteous. Look at Romans chapter 8 and verse 30. We'll close with this. Whether you can believe it or not, whether you can accept it or not, whether you oppose this teaching even, it is true, if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, if you are truly saved, I say to you, on the authority of the word of God, you are considered righteous in God's sight. Even those who say this teaching is wrong, even they are considered righteous. I'm sorry. God only gives the exchange offer. He doesn't do halfway. If you come to Christ, you get the full exchange whether you believe it or not. Romans 8 verse 33. Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? What he's saying is, who can dare open their mouth and accuse God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who made you righteous? If God justified you, made you righteous and counts you as righteous, sees you in Christ and says, “You are righteous,” who can dare open their mouth? Is it the devil? Is it hell? Is it your thoughts? Everything should bow before His judgment. And His judgment has declared you are righteous in Christ. Last week I said, on your best day without Jesus, none of us stands a chance. On our best today without Jesus and apart from Jesus, none of us stands a chance. We can never be accepted by God. Now, let me say this today, on your worst day, you are fully accepted in Christ.

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