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Sunday, January 15, 2017

When God Looks At You, He Does Not See Jesus - He Sees You, Sins and All

2 Cor. 5:21, When God Looks at Us He Only Sees Jesus
There's a view gaining popularity among Christians: "When God looks at me, He only sees Christ, not my sins or weaknesses."

It's become such a popular phrase that some Christians think it's found in Scripture. 

But it's actually a misunderstanding of 2 Corinthians 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."  

Believers enter God's Kingdom based on the righteousness of Christ. But God doesn't lose his omniscience when we're saved.  He still sees us as we are, and we can be glad He does.  

We desperately need his loving conviction, rebuke, discipline, and, forgiveness:
Hebrews 12:4-11 
1 John 1:8-10 
Revelation 3:19 
Revelation 2-3(1)
Philippians 2:12-13  

Yes, God sees each believer as an individual, a unique person in His creation, sins and all. He loves us wondrously -- enough to help us change.
(1) Christ both commends and rebukes the Believers in these two chapters. 

Bible study
 
1. The two passages below are often misapplied:  

2 Corinthians 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. This passage doesn't say God no longer sees us for who we are. It says we are saved from who we are by Christ's righteousness. 

This is beautifully stated, but it apparently has caused some people to believe that they are fully righteous, perfect, and holy in this present life or at least that's how God sees them. If that were true, there would be no reason for God to give us so many Biblical commands and instructions for living worthy lives. The way this verse is translated in the New Living Translation helps clarify this point:

2 Corinthians 5:21: For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.  

Another verse often miss-applied is this one:

Romans 8:1-2Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.  

Romans 8 defines the Believer's eternal position with Christ, through Christ, and in Christ. But here and now, even though we are in Christ, we are commanded to deal with our sins. And in the very same chapter of Romans, it says so: 
 Romans 8:11-13And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation —but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.  

Obedience is a sign of our salvation:  
John 14:21Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them."  

And, like Paul, we should make our Christian growth our most important life pursuit: 
Philippians 3:12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  

2. The following passages explain that God convicts, rebukes, corrects, disciplines and punishes Believers. He must see our sins in order to do this: 

Revelation 3:19: Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.  

Hebrews 12:5-6And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” copyright 2017, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

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