Saturday, January 25, 2014

P2-SFS4 - God's Answer to the Performance Trap: Justification

The Search For Significance –
Seeing your true worth through God's eyes”
Robert S. McGee

Chapter 4 – God's Answer to the Performance Trap: Justification

  • When God thinks about you, does he deceive himself in some way, or does he know who you truly are?
  • If he knows who we truly are, then why do we say, “In God's eyes I am truly righteous”, “forgiven”, “loved”, “pleasing” and so on? Are we trying to say that God is not living in reality? Or that he overlooks our faults?
  • Eiother he knows who you are, or he doesn't. Playing with words like this dishonors God, and it stops us from experiencing the reality of who we are
  • Now, here is another question. If you see yourself differently than God, who is mistaken, you or God?
  • Yet often we allow our minds to overrule what God says is true
  • We were made by God for God
  • He created needs in us that only he can fill
  • One of these is the need for self-worth
  • When we try to meet that need by other people, we will end up frustrated
  • In our minds, we are constantly talking to ourselves
  • What are we talking about? Often it is about how well we are doing, based on our performance, and others' opinions about us
  • We so often fall into the trap of using the formula:
    • Self-worth = Performance + Others' Opinions
  • This is a lie from Satan, designed to lock us into the performance trap
  • God cancelled this equation totally
  • He has given us a secure self-worth totally apart from our ability to performance
  • When Christ died on the cross more happened than just our forgiveness
  • 2 Cor 5:21 “God made him who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”
  • So God placed our sin upon Jesus, and gave us his righteousness. What an exchange!
  • We have been justified – made just
  • Justification carries no guilt with it and has no memory of past transgressions
  • Christ paid for all our sins at the cross, past, present and future
  • Hebrews 10:17 “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” - quote from Jer 31:34
  • We are completely forgiven by God
  • In the same act of love through which God forgave our sins, he also provided for our righteousness, the worthiness to stand in God's presence
  • By imputing righteousness to us, God attributes Christ's worth to us
  • We are no longer condemned sinners
  • Instead, we are fully forgiven, righteous and are now fully pleasing to God
  • God wants his redeemed to experience the reality of that redemption
  • We are forgiven and righteous by Christ's sacrifice, not by our performance
  • So we are pleasing to God in spite of our failures
  • This reality can replace our fear of failure with peace, hope and joy
  • Failure need not be a millstone around our neck
  • Neither success nor failure is the proper pasis for our self-worth
  • Christ alone is the source of our forgiveness, freedom, joy and purpose
  • This does not mean that our actions are irrelevant
  • Our sinful actions, words and attitudes griev e the Lord, but our staus as holy beloved children remsains intact
  • Addiction to the approval of others
    • We look for other people's approval whren we succeed
    • We love it. This can become an addiction
    • Sometimes we enjoy success so much we leave God to one side
    • We may judge those who fail, and consider ourselves better than them
    • Then when we fail we judge ourselves mercilessly
  • Sense of hopelessness
    • This can either drive us toward depending on God, or into passivity
    • Psassoivity will never achieve victory
    • God wants our active cooperation
  • Desire to live life by some formula
    • In order to receive justification and its results, we must receive it through our relationship with Jesus, not by performing some ritual
  • Need to control
    • If we base our worth on what Christ did for us, we will feel a loss of control
  • Christ's love motivates us to live for him
  • Sin is destructive and should be avoided
  • The Father lovingly disciplines us for wrongdoing
    • Not the same as punishment

Punishment : Discipline
Source -  God's wrath :  God's love
Purpose -  To avenge a wrong : To correct a wrong
Results in - Alienation : Reconciliation
Personal result -  Guilt : A righteous lifestyle
Directed toward - Non-believers :  His children

  • His commands for us are good
  • We will receive eternal rewards for obedience
  • Christ is worthy of our obedience
Discussion Questions

  • What does it mean to be justified? Rom 3:19-28, 4:4-5, 5:1-11

  • Are we as righteous as Christ? 2 Cor 5:21, Col 1:22, 3:12, Heb 10:14

  • Are you remembering sins God has forgotten? Rom 4:6-8, Heb 10:17

  • If your good works don't make you more pleasing to God, why should you be involved in good works?