Okay – if the basis of my relationship with God is the sinless life of Christ and his condemnation and death in my place, and not my behavior…and the basis of His relationship with me is the life and death of Christ and not my behavior or performance…what are the implications in terms of how I live life? Here is number one – with about seven more to follow. Then we will look at the effects of God’s imparted righteousness…but that is a ways ahead.
The first effect of God viewing me through Christ and declaring us righteous is that our sins will never separate us from God again…they will never come between us and God. Isaiah 59:2, “…but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,” will never be true of us again as believers. Our alienation was not overcome by our ceasing to sin and so our sin does not recreate alienation.
So what? Just think of all the effort we tend to put in so we can be closer to God…but what if nothing ever separated us or made more distance that we need to overcome by our effort? What if all we have to do is enjoy the relationship we already have that is based on the life and death of Christ…and not our performance? If we can overcome the distance that “sin creates” by our effort…what was the necessity of the cross? All we would have to have done is try harder…spend more time on the treadmill. Because God relates to us on the basis of Christ and not our effort – we can stop trying to please Him by our effort, our commitments, our behavior, our obedience…He is already pleased with us. When He looks at us He does not see our sin, He sees Christ’s sinlessness.