For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.2 Peter 1:9
The blood of Christ has cleansed us from all sin. This is the starting point of our obedience. Any other line from which we take off from in this race towards glory is sure to fail us. Do we want to be effective for God’s kingdom purposes? Then we must start where he has told us to. Remember that your past sins have been taken care of. You are totally and completely free to run without hinderances from your past. When we do this, we experience God’s grace for our present.
Our present sins can keep us blind from the reality of God’s redemptive work in our lives. It is easy to forget this glorious, obedience-empowering message: Christ has cleansed those who trust in him from all their sins. Becoming absent-minded of this foundational truth affects in every way how we view our present sins. Living without a firm hope in the reality that we have been forgiven leads to our vision becoming short-sighted. We only see what is before us. Pretty soon our life is only the sum of our failures in the past and our inabilities to live as we should in the present. A cycle begins of seeing the standard to which we have been called and being crushed by the weight of falling short. And this, dear friend, is a boulder that interferes with the work of grace in our hearts.
To the measure you remember how forgiven you truly are, is the measure to which you will experience grace-empowered obedience. Some of us try so hard to measure up to be considered as a qualified christian–a mature believer and a strong saint– devaluing the primary quality of every effective christian: Forgiven.
Peter reminds his audience that whenever our lives begin to lack certain qualities such as goodness, self-control, godliness, and love (2 Peter 1:5-7), that should be a loud warning signal to us. And this signal says to us that we are forgetting something of vital importance for our spiritual growth and vitality. That we have been cleansed from our former sins.
Look no other place for freedom from shame. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from short-comings and weaknesses. All strength, delight, joy and wonder is found in what Christ has done for you, not in what you have done for Christ. Don’t go any further into your day today without considering the awesome title God has clothed you with: Forgiven. From there, every character trait and Christ-like quality becomes to you joy, not dread. Victory not failure. This is how we were meant to live.
- What sin are you currently engaging in? Ask God to remind you of his redemptive work in your life. Pray for the grace to receive God’s forgiveness in a fresh way.
- Pray for God to reveal areas of your life where you have become short-sighted and blind to who you are in Christ.
- Read Ephesians 1. Thank God for his defining love in your life.