ON THE PATH TO HOLINESS
Paul confirms our right standing with God through Christ: “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Romans 5:10-11).
Though our hearts condemn us, we are told by John, “If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). Let me give an example of this from Jesus’ own life.
The day before Christ was crucified, He washed His disciples’ feet. He told these very imperfect men, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean: and you are clean, but not all of you” (John 13:10). You may wonder: “How could Jesus say these disciples were clean?” Any casual onlooker at the scene would have been astonished by Jesus’ statement. The eleven men He spoke to had already displayed pride, unbelief, selfishness, ambition, covetousness, inconsistency, and vindictiveness. The fact is, Christ made this statement about them because He had chosen them. He had put them on the path to holiness. It was all by grace!
Jesus also knew what was in the disciples’ hearts despite their utter imperfection. Moreover, He saw ahead to the time of brokenness and contriteness they were about to enter.
Let’s say I asked you to list all the sins that these disciples had committed. I believe I could confidently say that you and I have been guilty of all the same sins during certain seasons in our lifetime. Yet Jesus has the answer for us all: “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).