“And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.”
God chose us. He called us. He gave us right standing with him. He gave us his glory. All we have to do is come. It isn’t about what we have done or can do. We can’t earn His love. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it (Ephesians 2:8-9).” None of us can boast. As that old Howie Day song says, “even the best fall down sometimes.” None of us are perfect. A lot of times, we compare our “behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel,” as Steven Furtick once wrote. The thing is, we see our struggles. If we look through Instagram or Facebook and see everyone’s seemingly perfect life, we will exhaust ourselves with the thoughts running in our minds as to why that isn’t us. In reality though, we all struggle. We all face difficulties, just differently.
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet, God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty of our sins.”
I love how Paul writes: “Everyone has sinned; we ALL fall short of God’s glorious standard.” It’s the truth. It’s a fact. If we stopped reading, it would seem as if we didn’t have any hope, any purpose. The story seems to be over, right? The beautiful thing is though, the next line reads: “Yet, God.” God sees our sin. He sees our inabilities. Yet, He loves us. He came for us. He chose us.
To declare something means to “make known.” So, when God “declares that we are righteous,” He is saying, “this one belongs to me. I’ve already paid for them.” Imagine being in line at the grocery store. This last paycheck wasn’t what you had hoped because you had to leave work early a few days last week. You know that the bills are almost past due but that your children need to eat. You begin to put your groceries on the belt and realize that the person in front of you is standing there watching you. The person in line in front of you looks at you smiles, and says to the cashier, “I’m paying for hers.” Can you imagine how you would feel? At first, we would probably think it was some kind of joke. No one is that selfless, right? After all, you don’t even know them. This is what Jesus did for us. He took on our sin, “our bill,” so that we could live. He knew what it would cost but He realized what we needed. As 1 Peter 2:24 says, “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.”
He also makes us known. Isn’t that what we all really want to be known and yet loved anyway? He knows everything about us (Psalm 139). Through Jesus, we can have that personal relationship with Him, truly know Him, and let Him love us. We all want to belong; to be loved for who we truly are. Yet, God, knowing our sinfulness, looks upon us with love and smiles while saying, “this one belongs to me. They are so infinitely and perfectly loved. Come. My arms are open.”