“God says he will accept and acquit us—declare us ‘not guilty’—if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like.” Romans 3:22
Would you be surprised to know most people do not accept themselves? I’ve been a pastor now for few weeks I’ve talked to a few people, and I’ve found that most people really don’t like themselves. They wish they were different. They wish they looked different. They wish they acted differently.
If you’re like most people, you don’t accept yourself so you spend your life trying to find acceptance among other people.
And you don’t just work hard to get other people to accept you. You work to get God’s acceptance too. You know in your heart you have a big problem: God is perfect but you’re not.
But there’s good news. God recognized the problem too and has a plan.
First, let’s make sure you understand the problem: God lives in a perfect place called heaven. And if he allowed imperfect people into a perfect place, it wouldn’t be perfect anymore.
Next, the plan: God’s plan is what is sometimes called “The Great Exchange.”
You’re not perfect, but Jesus is. So God says, “We’ll do an exchange here. Jesus will take your sins, and you’ll get his goodness in your life.”
The Bible says, “God took the sinless Christ and poured into him our sins. Then, in exchange, he poured God’s goodness into us!” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Because of Christ’s death and Resurrection, you don’t have to work to be good enough. Christ’s goodness makes you acceptable to God. And it will allow you to live with him one day in heaven, his perfect place. That’s quite a deal!
Many people feel trapped by their past. They say, “If you knew what I’ve done, you’d know I’ll never be acceptable to God.”
I don’t know what you’ve done, but God does and he still accepts you: “God says he will accept and acquit us declare us ‘not guilty’ if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like” (Romans 3:22).
It’s time to stop living your life trying to be acceptable to God and to other people. Because of Jesus’ death and Resurrection, you are acceptable.