By Jim Anderson
And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. II Corinthians 5: 15, 17-19.
Each week we are going through the entire New Testament of the Bible, from Matthew to Revelation, stopping at each verse that tells us how we might gain eternal life in heaven.
These verses tell us that we are "reconciled" to God "by Jesus Christ." It is sin that keeps us from God. But these verses tell us that we can be "reconciled" to God, which means that we can live with Him in heaven forever, and that this comes "by Jesus Christ." These verses explain that our trespasses (or sin) will not be "imputed" to us because of Jesus. And how can it be that our many sins will not be imputed to us by God? How can we be "reconciled to God?" How can God overlook sin? The answer is that God can't overlook sin because He is holy. A price must be paid for our sin. But, Jesus paid that price on our behalf when He suffered and died on the cross at Calvary.
When we simply believe and trust in Jesus (John 3:16), our sins are no longer imputed to us but the righteousness of Jesus is imputed to us. When God looks at us, He sees Jesus blood covering our sins (I John 1:7) and He also sees the righteousness of Jesus (Romans 3:22) that we gain by simply trusting in Jesus.
Does this seem too good to be true, even though God tells us it is true? Does this mean that we can then go out and sin all we want because our sins are no longer "imputed" to us? I'll let you answer that question. If someone gave you a great gift, would you want to go out and hurt that person? I think our first verse answers this question. When we realize what Jesus has done for us, and when we trust Him and thus gain eternal life, we should no longer live for ourselves in our sin, but rather we should live for our Savior, who died for us, and do what we can to please Him. Our good works have nothing to do with our salvation, because our feeble good works could never cancel our sin, and God tells us this (Ephesians 2:8-9). But, our good works have everything to do with our expressing gratitude to our great Savior for what He has done for us!