June 9 I Sunday

2 Chronicles 32-33

John 18:19-40

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit...”    —Ephesians 1:13


Every Christian believes that Jesus came to earth to pay the price for our sin so that we may be saved to an eternal home in heaven. When we first become a Christian, we are grateful and humbled by that, and filled with a wonderful sense of joy and peace that comes from God. But some of us can easily get wrapped up in our busy routines, once in a while tipping our hats in God’s direction, perhaps even forgetting that He is even there. Heaven is a magnificent consequence of salvation, which is a certainty for those in Christ, but it is not the goal of the gospel. To miss out on the goal of the gospel, we are failing to understand God’s purpose for us on earth.

Salvation is not primarily from guilt to innocence, from hell to heaven, or even from death to life. It is true the cause of this is that we are forgiven, made clean and will go to heaven. It is also true that the means to this end is being made alive through the gift of the Holy Spirit. “Christ in us” is our only means of attaining to some degree His likeness, which is the goal of the Gospel. Salvation is primarily from unrighteousness to righteousness, it is not earned but received, and does not begin in heaven but here on earth.

Christ did not come into this world to recruit for heaven; He came to reconcile humanity to God so that God’s purpose in creating us might be restored and fulfilled on earth. To illustrate, if our car were to break down on the side of the road and our primary concern is having a garage to put it in when we got home, we are missing the purpose of a car. Our primary concern should be to fix the car so we can use it safely again. It is nice to have a garage to keep our cars in, but we do not repair our cars only to keep them in a garage. We
mend it so that we can use it for the purpose it was made for—to drive.

Restoring the righteousness of God into human experience is likened to mending a broken car that lies on the side of the road. We were designed to “run on” the Spirit, and being reconciled to God is what “mends” and restores our intimacy with Him. In receiving the Holy Spirit, we begin to live the way God always intended for us––as members of Christ’s kingdom,
filled with righteousness, peace and joy, and fully pleasing to God.

Prayer: Righteous God, I pray for a deeper work of Your Spirit in exhibiting more of Your righteousness in my life. Thank You, Lord, for Your abiding presence in me.

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