Date Posted: April 23rd, 2012
Nothing to Prove
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25
Why did God save you? What did God have in mind when He sent His Son into the world? Is it that you should sin less? It’s more than that. Is it that you should serve more? It’s more than that. Is it that you should get out of hell and into heaven? Then why would God want you in heaven?
I think we get a clue to the answer when Paul says: “For I am convinced that… neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
God’s rescue is more than justification and more than sanctification. It involves adoption, in which God makes us His own children. God’s rescue ends with God’s people rejoicing in God’s love forever. That’s what we’re saved for!
God makes us His own
Notice how Paul keeps emphasizing that we are “sons” or “children” of God:
“Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (8:14)
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” (8:15)
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (8:16)
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…” (8:17)
Adoption is the grace by which God makes us His own, bringing us into the enjoyment of His love. Most people live far below this. They are not sure that God loves them. Many Christians believe that God has forgiven them. They believe God is in the business of making them better people. But they are not sure that God loves them. Don’t miss the whole point of salvation, that you should enjoy God’s love!
Sons not slaves
“You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear.” Romans 8:15
Notice, the Holy Spirit does not make you a slave “again,” by putting you in the position of trying to prove yourself to God. That is slavery—always trying to prove your worth, never sure of your position. That means you never have joy, never have peace, never feel that you’ve done enough.
That’s the relationship you have with your employer, not with your father! The relationship you have with an employer depends on you demonstrating your value on a continuing basis. That’s how some people try to relate to God, “Look what I’m doing for You, God! See how hard I’m working for You.”
Is that how you think about God? You need to do something to make him happy: Go to church, say your prayers, read the Bible, give some money, go on a missions trip. Do something to evoke God’s pleasure? That’s slavery. And it kills love! That’s why religion can so easily become the enemy of spiritual life.
God says, “That’s not the kind of relationship I want with you. If you’re always trying to prove your value to Me, you’re a slave!” Christ did not come to make you a slave, but a son.
Your son comes to you and says, “Dad, do we have to go to church?” You say “Yes, you have to go.” He says “Why do we have to go, Dad?” You say, “Because that’s what we do.” Your son knows that you believe in God and that you obey God, but does your son know that you love God?
Many people have a relationship with God that is based on belief and obedience, but it is a relationship without affection for God. Paul says that this is precisely what Christ came to rescue you from! As long as you are attempting to prove yourself to God, you will be a slave to fear. And this kills love.
This LifeKey is based on the message “Rescued From Fear,” by Pastor Colin S. Smith, from the series, “Rescued!” preached on June 29, 2008.