Why do we compare ourselves with other Christians?
Why do we make our own guidelines and definitions of what a Christian 'is, what a Christian isn't, what we should be, shouldn’t be, how we are to act, speak, etc? Why do we measure one sin greater than another? We say we don’t, but we do. Why do we advise people to work for their freedom instead of receiving the freedom God has already given us?
In short, why do we choose to live under the old covenant when we have been given a new one?
The enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy. What's the root way he does that? Through our identity. He wants us to spend our lives, trying to work towards our salvation, to feel like we can never attain the righteousness that was given to us through Jesus. He wants us to live lives never fully free so that we can never reach our full potential. He wants you and me to believe that we are not worthy, that we are not pure. He feeds us lies that we are sinners, broken, flawed, messy, and even repulsive in the presence of The Lord. I'm talking to you Christian. Literally some of you reading this see yourself like this. You see yourself as someone who is constantly broken, a person who will never be worthy of Jesus. Someone who enters into his presence with shame and guilt every time you are with Him. You talk to him and spend all your time apologizing and asking him to help you be a better person and Christian for the people around you and you never take a moment to stop and listen to Him.
How do I know this? Because not long ago that was me. I would spend my days telling God to help me just be a better person. Help me to just stop screwing everything up. I would feel unworthy entering His presence. Because every time I did I was so disgusted with the person I was. I wasn't where I needed to be in order to fully behold Him and His glory.
Paul talks about this very thing in 2 Corinthians 3. He is trying to communicate to the church that we are no longer ministers of an old covenant but a new one because of Jesus.
'Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills but the Spirit gives life."
If you read all of this chapter (which you should stop right now and do) you'll see that the letter Paul is talking about, is the Ten Commandments and the covenant that Moses was given in the Old Testament. He calls the old covenant the ministry of death and the ministry of condemnation. Can you believe that? The Ten Commandments were a ministry of death and condemnation!! Why? Because the Israelites knew they could never keep them, they were constantly working toward something they could not attain on their own. Paul even talks of Moses putting a veil over his face so that the Israelites wouldn’t have to see the glory of The Lord for it was too bright to behold. In the same chapter Paul speaks of this new covenant as the ministry of Righteousness and says that it was a covenant not written on stone but on tablets of human hearts. He calls us people of hope who are bold. He reminds us that when we turn to The Lord the veil is removed. We can now with unveiled face, behold the glory of The Lord and be transformed into His image. For the new covenant gives Life, not death. Do you see what happened here? Because of Jesus we have a covenant written on the tablet of our very hearts, we are bold, we are free! The Veil is gone and we can literally stand, uncovered, just as we are in the presence of The Lord. Because we ARE worthy through Jesus.
Now through the Spirit, we can take on our new identity.
Just as Paul said, this revelation doesn't mean that you sin more so that grace may abound, it means that you don’t have to work for your salvation friend! You no longer have to spend all your time worrying about how to fix things and how to be the best Christian and do everything right. You of course will make mistakes, you'll feel your stomach drop in the moment you make a dumb decision, but you HAVE the victory within you!! It's already been won. Quit fighting and working towards it, you're fighting for something that all you have to do is receive.
Scripture says that Jesus died for you knowing all you that you have done, are currently doing, and will do. So stand in front of him, in any of every state and be creatures of light. Repent, and move on. You are FREE, you are BOLD, you are LIGHT.