Written by John Kwok. Artwork by Lorraine Yang.
I used to think that God measures our lives on a scale of good and evil. On one side of the scale is all the good things I do for God – being patient with people, caring for them, and other things deemed worthy. On the other side of the scale is all the bad things I commit against God – lying, being disobedient, and so on. At the end of the day, God would judge me to see whether I was worthy to be called “good and faithful servant”.
As I evaluate my behavior throughout the day, I rejoice at the good I was able to achieve but hate myself for doing anything that would “tip” the scale towards the bad side and try to work even harder to please God.
But the truth is, even though it is good to keep ourselves accountable for our actions (James 3:2), we are not judged as Christians based on our actions. Instead, we are judged solely on our faith in Christ! Romans 8 clearly states that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ”.
Christ has freed us from the law of sin and death. Think about that for a second! God knows that we are sinners (Romans 3:23) and that we sometimes stumble. However, we are gifted with the Spirit who is able to overcome all sin. Christ has come to abolish all sin! Therefore, trust God who has placed the Spirit within you to resist all temptation!
Jesus has overcome what we were unable to do ourselves. He set us free from the law of sin by being a sin offering for all. We have no need to judge ourselves based on our actions. By God’s grace we have eternal life whether we fail today or tomorrow. And as we draw closer to God and are able to follow his Spirit, we will be able to resist temptations!
1. Do we sometimes judge ourselves as being unworthy in God’s presence? Why do we think we are failing in God’s sight?
2. What can we learn when we embrace the grace of God? How does our outlook on life change when we acknowledge that we cannot earn grace?
3. How are we able to move forward towards growing in Christ? What are some ways we can defend ourselves against temptation?