By Brooke Holt
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17
Have you felt the sting of condemnation? I sure have, and it hurts! Being told you don’t measure up, that you never will measure up, and that there is no hope for you brings devastating pain.
It is from this pain and bondage that Jesus came to free us. He knew that we could not make peace with the Father on our own. In bondage to our sin; we had no way out and no hope to change. Jesus came to make a living sacrifice so that we could be set free from the effect of sin, the bondage of sin, and that we may live with hope, peace, joy, and love.
Far too often in the church, we hear about the rules of the faith and the expectations the followers of Jesus Christ are supposed to fulfill (rules and expectations that are often set by the church leaders). The fire and brimstone sermons make believers squirm and may lead to some quick pleas for forgiveness. However, does this reflect how Jesus communicated or led people to follow him?
The Lord sent Jesus so people may know they are loved, wanted, and forgiven. Through Jesus, God made it known he was not looking for religious performances but for relationship. Jesus fulfilled the rules and expectations of the Law. As Paul wrote, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
You are free! You are wanted; you are loved; and you have been called to live in an intimate relationship with the Lord. Jesus did not come to condemn you but to make the way for your salvation.
Are you living in this freedom today? Are you sharing the way of salvation with others and telling them the good news that Jesus came to save and not to condemn? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Could you use some hope right now? Join Peter’s first audience—“elect exiles” undergoing persecution—and experience the apostle’s powerful call to follow Jesus in the midst of life’s challenges, knowing your Living Hope is not a distant one, but a daily, glorious, life-giving reality! This unique six-week small group Bible study, A Living Hope: A Study of 1 Peter, helps you uncover the priceless promises written specifically to the struggling and the hurting, with pastoral gentleness and bold confidence for the future. This study of 1 Peter will help you become utterly convinced that Jesus is the only sure, true, incorruptible, and permanent hope for you.
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