When God Looks At You, 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.
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(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 misapplied 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

46 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hebrews 12:4-11
      1 John 1:8-10
      Revelation 3:19
      Revelation 2-3(1)
      Philippians 2:12-13

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  2. A sqewing of the truth. When you are a christian you are a new creation as old things have passed away. When you confess your sins, God wipes you Clean and puts your sins, transgressions as far as the east is from the west. It's a lie from Satan that God would not see Jesus when he sees you. It may not be explicit in a scripture verse, but Christ bore our shame so we could stand white, sinless (washed by the BLOOD of the Lamb) before God...Every tune we repent. The saying is true because it recognizes God as redeened. Dont believe you're unworthy of this promise, because Christ, God has clothed you, wraps you in his righteousness like the father of the prodigal son did. Alleluia! He saves!! ~peace, LE

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    1. This devotion doesn't say you aren't forgiven or you aren't a new creation. It says that God sees your sins whether you are saved or not. And you can disagree, but you are disagreeing with Jesus, not me, because Jesus said, "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent." If He loves you, He sees your sins.

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    2. But the Bible also says AFTER the rebuke and discipline (and repentance), and forgiveness, your sins are as far as the east is from the west, and that God remembers them no more. He sees when we sin, He points it out, we get cleaned, then He forgets it.

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    3. Hi Unknown,

      So you believe that you know something God doesn't know.

      And, according to your belief, if you have a problem with a particular sin and you've asked forgiveness but you continue giving in to a particular temptation, you can't go to God and ask for help with this sin pattern because He will say, "I don't know what you're talking about. This is the first time you ever committed this sin."

      I'm glad that God knows everything about me, good and bad. I'm glad that when he "forgets" my sins, He does it legally, but He never forgets a single detail of my life. People get dementia, people forget things, but my God knows every word I've spoken, every thought, every sin, every good thing, every challenge....That's the God of the Bible, and that's my God.

      I'm perplexed by people who want a God who actually forgets their sins.

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  3. A sqewing of the truth. When you are a christian you are a new creation as old things have passed away. When you confess your sins God wipes you Clean and puts you're sins, transgressions as far as the east is from the west. It's a lie from Satan that God would not see Jesus when he sees you. It may not be explicit in a scripture verse, but Christ bore our shame so we could stand white, sinless (washed by the BLOOD of the Lamb) before God, and we recieve this Everytime we repent. The saying is true because it recognizes God as redeemed. Dont believe you're unworthy of this promise, because Christ, God has clothed you, wraps you in his righteousness like the father of the prodigal son did. Alleluia! He saves!! You are loved. - LE

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    1. hi LE,
      I agree that Christian's sins are forgiven and we are saved for eternity because of Christ's perfect sacrifice for our sins.

      But I believe what Scripture says about God seeing our sins, convicting us of our sins, rebuking and disciplining us for our sins.

      A popular saying, no matter how popular, cannot change these truths in Scripture.

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    2. I think perhaps a key concept that needs to be mentioned is that when we get to heaven, our sin is totally wiped away and God sees it no more, remembers it no more, and sees only the righteousness of Jesus. What a beautiful thing to look forward to!!

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  4. Beautifully and well said Gail. Stay blessed.

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  5. Of course GOD knows all about our sins

    What does it mean that God forgets our sin? Does He forget?
    In Isaiah 43:25 God declares, "I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins." In talking about Jesus as a perfect, once-for-all sacrifice for our sins, the writer of Hebrews says, "For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 'This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,' then he adds, 'I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.' Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin" (Hebrews 10:14–18). What does it mean that He "will not remember" our sins? Does God forget our sin?

    We know that God is omniscient, meaning He knows all things. Thus God cannot forget in the sense that a human does. It is not that our sins slip God's mind somehow. Rather, He chooses not to remember our sins. When we receive God's forgiveness, He does not hold our sin against us or treat us according to what our sins deserve. Psalm 103:12 says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." There is immeasurable distance from east to west. In going around a globe, there is really no point where a person starts going east and stops going west, or vice versa. God completely removes our sins. He does this through the Person and work of Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on the cross, He made payment for our sin. When we come to Him in faith, we receive complete forgiveness. God does not treat us as sinners deserving of death (Romans 3:23; 6:23), but treats us with love and grace (Ephesians 2:8–9). Second Corinthians 5:19–21 says, "In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. … For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." God not only makes payment for our sin, but puts our sin completely out of view and replaces it with His own righteousness.

    That being said, it is true that Christians will still struggle with sin (1 John 1:8). And we still need to ask for forgiveness of our sin to restore open fellowship with God. But, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). Romans 7—8 is a beautiful depiction of how a Christian can struggle against sin and still trust in the faithfulness of a God who forgives and chooses to forget. Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). God will not rub our sins in our noses or remind us of our sins to shame us. He lavishes us with His love and His grace. When we fall, we come to Him in humble confession, accept His forgiveness, and then move forward. We can remember that we were once sinners, enslaved to the flesh, but we need not endure accusations or feelings of fasle guilt over these sins. God forgives completely, and we can rest in that. With Paul we can "forget[] what lies behind and strain[] forward to what lies ahead, [we] press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13).

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    1. Hi I thank you for your explanation. I would like to know your thoughts of what the Bible says about a person who excepted Jesus as his savior and loved the Lord but was taken out of the world from a stronghold of drug addiction. I know this person loved Jesus and he confessed his salvation with Jesus. What are your thoughts. My thinking is that Hod knows the heart and although there was a strong hold that caused death that the soul of the person loved Jesus and accepted Jesus as his savior, that God would live him and keep him.

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    2. Hi Jerry,
      If the person was a genuine believer, he will be in heaven.

      Drug addiction is a serious sin and a powerful temptation, and for some people it would be a proof that they never really knew the Lord, but we can't make a flat statement about such things. Only God can perfectly judge the heart.

      If this person was a loved one, I would recommend that you believe he is in heaven with the Lord. I have some loved ones whose lives caused me to question their faith, but it does me no good to feel sorrow if they are actually with the Lord. So I recommend you think the best.

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  6. I HAVE BEEN IN A DISCUSSION MOST OF THE DAY WHERE A GENTLEMAN SAID...WE CAN NEVER DISPLEASING TO GOD BECAUSE HE SEES HIS SON WHEN HE LOOKS AT US....TEACHING IS A VERY DIFFICULT THING TO DO WHEN THE ONE BEING OFFERED TRUTH WOULD RATHER WALLER IN THE FLESH EVEN WHEN CLEAR AND SIMPLY SCRIPTURE IS PRESENTED FRO GODS DOCTRINE...EXCELLENT ARTICLE....

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  7. It's very important that in explaining the gospel of God's grace(good news),our understanding must be devoid of mixture of the law and partly grace.

    We should never use our human imperfections to judge the PERFECTION of Christ in us.Let God be true and every man a liar.Wliar.We who God says we are in him.Whim.We declared not guilty(justified)...Romans 5:1.The Christian has absolute PEACE with God.God says ....their sins and unrighteousness I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE....Heb 8:8-13.
    God means what he says.
    He calls us Holy BRETHREN....Heb 3:1

    He says we are justied,sanctified and glorified. He has perfected us in his son Jesus by one Perfect Offering.

    The challenge today about God's good news(almost too good to be true) is the many are sin conscious than Christ conscious.If we get more conscious of what he says we are,we won't meddle with sin in this world.Halleluya.Halleluya God sees us in Christ .....Apostle Paul puts it this way....I am crusified with Christ nevertheless I live yet not I but Christ......Then he says...I do not frustrate the grace of God.

    We are forever perfected in Christ.As he is ,so are we in this world....1John 4;17.

    He sees Christ.Christ has no sin.As he is ,so are we in this world.Glory to God forever.

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    1. If you ignore all of the Scriptures listed at the bottom of this devotion and multiple other passages not listed in this devotion, and if you believe the Scriptures you've listed go beyond their intended meaning, you can come to your conclusion.

      But your conclusion is different than the view offered in the full counsel of Scripture, and one Scripture alone refutes your view and it comes from the mouth of the Risen Lord:
      "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent." Revelation 3:19


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  8. Thank you,Gail for taking a stand on this subject. I often hear it said that God does not see our sin after we are saved. I have been looking for answers and so far your's makes the most sense. Prayerfully yours. Tom

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  9. Unless you are fighting against the thought that we can become perfect in this world, which I couldn't tell if that was the ultimate goal or not, I'm not sure I see the point of the argument. It seems like our brains trying to figure out something of God that we can not. He is outside of time. Can any of us really understand that? God has to just see Jesus in some respect when He looks at us or He couldn't have relationship with us. We are God's temple. (1 Cor 3:16) We are the residence of the Holy Spirit, God. We must be covered by the blood and only be righteous. Yet, even Paul says he does what he doesn't want to do and doesn't do what he wants (Romans 7:15), or in other words he keeps on sinning. And of course God sees our sin and has compassion and discipline and mercy through it. But again, He is outside of time. So I get the truth about both sides of this, but I'm not sure I understand the importance of arguing against this idea of God seeing Jesus in us. (again, unless you're trying to debunk the idea that we can be perfect in this life; but if so, that wasn't made clear) It is our true identity as believers. We are a new creation. (2 Cor 5:17) Yet we have the old flesh somehow still (lots of verses). Again, a concept that is hard to understand. But if I had to err on one side, I believe our identity in Christ is how we have freedom in Christ, so I would say God sees Jesus in us if we are born again. Just my thoughts. Thanks for the post

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    1. Hi Trunk,
      I mostly agree with what you've written. However, I get lots of feedback from professing Christians who have the same problems as some of the Romans whom Paul addressed in Romans 6: they think it doesn't matter whether they sin because they are saved and forgiven. And this popular maxim about God only seeing Christ when he looks at us promotes that thinking. And, most importantly, it's not found in Scripture.


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    2. I think your key word there is "professing." Our life in Christ is all about a relationship with the God who created us. Jesus tells us what eternal life is in John 17:3 - Knowing God. That's why he died. (2 Cor. 5) So my point is that I believe it is in scripture, very much so. God, holy, holy, holy God, lives in us, has relationship with us. And unless I am covered by the blood of the Lamb and actually righteous, that is impossible. I fully agree that the problem of people living in sin because they think they are saved is awful. Probably the saddest thing ever. I cry over those who will hear Jesus say "depart from me I never knew you" when they were deceived into thinking they were saved. But I don't think owning our true identity is the problem. Those "professing" Christians who live that way may very well not be new creations, or born again. The problem is not understanding that following Jesus is all about relationship. It's not segmented; think about and talk about Jesus today, but not other days; pray only when I'm in trouble or as a part of a to do list; etc. It's also not about following rules or earning God's love. So I would propose that both of these things promote the "fire insurance" thinking actually. I have to lean on the truth of my identity. It brings freedom. It's who I really am.

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    3. And actually, I just read Romans 6 again, the one you quoted with the Romans having this problem. And Paul's response was to remind them of their identity! "We are those who have died to sin:" So I love the fight against the "fire insurance" thinking. I would just say that the exact verse you used to describe the problem also describes the solution. It is our true identity in Christ that makes us different from the world. Not my thoughts this time. Paul's/God's. :)

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    4. I agree that it states problem and solution, but it never says God only sees Jesus when He looks at us. I'm not sure why a non-scriptural description is so important to Bible-believing Christians, especially when it leads to errors and compromise.

      I'm sticking with the way God describes our position in Christ, and I'm grateful He's not blind to my sins because I need His conviction, rebuke, counsel, and guidance and I can't get that from a God with dementia.

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    5. God doesn't think we're perfect, but we are perfectly covered by Christ! :)
      I think anyone with the Holy Spirit living inside of them, when corrected by the Holy Spirit, will turn and receive the forgiveness and cleansing power of His blood EVERY TIME they sin. God doesn't look at us and see those cleansed sins from our past. He only sees since that hasn't been brought to the cross! This is my understanding of Scripture. Thanks!

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    6. I'm not sure what you mean about what God "sees."

      The important truth is this: God is all knowing.

      If He forgot our sins, that would mean that we know things God doesn't know. And that's not true and never will be true.

      God knows every thought, word, deed, and sin we've committed. That's what Scripture teaches.

      I'm not sure why people want a God who literally forgets their sins. Isn't being forgiven for eternity enough?

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  10. Look, here's the deal either Jesus' blood wiped out all our sin or none at all, there's no partiality. Being born again means dead to sin and alive in Christ(Rom 6:11)

    Likewise when you are a new creation, you are literally a new creation, that person who sinned no longer as exists. The death of Christ wiped out our record of sin and the power of sin over your life. Your old nature is dead, period!

    Honestly to think God still sees your sin when you're clothed in Christ, is to mock the power of His blood. We tend to feel good about ourselves to moan about being unworthy, of course we're not! But He thinks we are because He sees something in me and it's time I accept this (umerited) gift and live the Christian life.

    We try to remain humble by focusing on yesterday's condemnation, which only keeps us focused on ourselves instead of Him. When we received free forgiveness, the one who gave it to us is honored.

    He disciplines us not as sinners but as sons and daughters (that's who we are now!)because He loves us! Jesus addressed believers as saints. The momement you receive Him, YOU ARE NO LONGER A SINNER BUT A SAINT. That's not to say you can't sinner, you're no longer an expert at it.

    So friends, please renew your minds and see you how He sees you. You'll walk in this heart-liberating new life with Him as your Shepherd.

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    1. There are a number of errors in what you've written that could be clearly refuted with Scriptures, but I feel like I've done that in the devotion and other comments, so there's no need to do it again.

      You are mixing up apples and oranges, acting like God being able to see our sins means we aren't forgiven. And that's not what this devotion says at all.

      No matter how clearly Scripture refutes it, this popular saying ("When God looks at me He doesn't see my sins") is here to stay. It's just a clear proof that if you say something often enough, even if it's completely wrong, people are going to believe it.

      But, no matter how many people disagree with me, I'm sticking with the teachings of Scripture, not popular manmade doctrines (Colossians 2:8).

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    2. Why? This is what I tried to ask earlier. Why such the focus on this? I think you responded that the main reason you are so strong on this point is because you think that it is what causes people to live in sin and just count on the ticket to heaven they got when they prayed a prayer. I really don't think we see things too differently, as I have that same concern. I just don't think this is the thing that makes people live that way. And why not live in the freedom of our new identity in Christ? Or maybe you agree with the fact that we should and we are just disagreeing because of semantics. I'm not sure here. Because I love your heart for people to live for Jesus and your heart to follow Scripture. So I think we'd be in unity on that. But the post by Unknown is simply saying we are new creations. That's Scriptural. Why wouldn't we live in the freedom of our new identity? Just please help me understand the why behind your conviction on this. (and maybe discover that it's semantics and not a true disagreement)

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    3. Trunk,
      Perhaps we are just talking semantics, but I must be faithful to the speak about the things that God lays on my heart. And even if you don't hear people using this phrase to excuse their sins, I hear it frequently in emails, comments, conversations, and articles.

      It’s extremely important that we share the Gospel as Scripture shares it, not with popular maxims. We cannot live in the freedom of our new identify if we consider it a license to sin, and that is how many people use this phrase.

      And I don't agree with you about the previous comment. We are saints who are still sinners and if we think otherwise we are fooling ourselves. Living in our new identity isn't lying to ourselves about our sin nature, it's being aware that we are in an important process of getting rid of sin in our lives out of deep love and respect for our Lord:

      "Continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ]. For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure...I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]… Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers [in this world] to abstain from the sensual urges [those dishonorable desires] that wage war against the soul…. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]. (Philippians 2:12-13, Philippians 1:6, 1 Peter 2:11, Romans 12:2 -AMP)

      So, we will have to agree to disagree and I can guarantee you will read more about this subject on my blog as the Lord leads me. I see the modern church as compromised and complacent, like the people of Romans 6, content to be forgiven with little concern for finding out what pleases the Lord (Eph. 5:10).

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    4. It is interesting how different focuses in different areas with different people is how God has always worked to build His Kingdom. So maybe those you're reaching are hearing exactly what they need to hear to be brought out of the lie that we can live however we want and still be a Christian.

      But for me, I still don't think it's the root issue. Why would someone say that phrase and use it as a license to sin? That will get to the root. I propose once more that the real reason is that they don't understand the fact that it's all about a relationship. John 17:22-23.

      So I will keep pushing that focus, and God will keep using you to push what He puts on your heart and we will see Him continue to do mighty works as we simply trust Him and obey.

      Thanks!

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    5. Unknown your fighting against the spirit of the law. This reeks of self effort a DIY message.The word says they have blinders on and they are not able to Hear Gods true Love message. Gail you need to re-read Galatians the revelation is waiting for you. In His service.

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    6. Dear Unknown,
      You need to read it as well, and then you need to re-read this devotion. No where is there anything about DIY or law. You are exalting a man-spoken word above the Word of the Living God. Scripture says that God sees our sins and helps us deal with them. You can believe man, or you can believe God. But accusing people of things they didn't say doesn't change the facts of Scripture.

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  11. No He dont see your sins. You dont have any.

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    1. Hi Unknown,
      You can believe that if you want, but it's 100% wrong.

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  12. I believe every word Gail says. How can u not? Your foolish to believe this garbage of God doesn't see your sins. This means we can sin as we wish with no change as long as we believe in jesus. Remember, the devils believe also

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  13. The following scripture from Ephesians 4:29-32 is written to believers and talks about how our sins can grieve the Holy Spirit. Clearly God sees our sins during this life else how would He be grieved? 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

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  14. Yesterday the very thought dawned on me and I shared a message using Isaiah 55:6-8 and Luke 15:11-24.
    How do I see myself. I feel good and humble and to a great extent self righteous when I see myself weak sinful unworthy etc. But I believe the scriptures say that God sees me as a new creation. Forgiven. A son.
    He sees the blood of Jesus and Jesus.
    God can't see me he sees the blood. I am under the blood. God is not looking for sin, he is looking for righteousness.
    This is a most important and pivotal truth that the believers need to understand.
    Let's live in the light we have received.
    To conclude. Isaiah 55:8 My thoughts are not your thoughts....
    Blessings.

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    1. Where does this devotion say that we are not forgiven, a new creation, and redeemed by the blood of Christ?

      Are you saying that if God sees your sins that you cannot be forgiven and redeemed?

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

      If Jesus can't see our sins and "is not looking for sin," as you claim, then He can neither rebuke nor discipline us.

      The pivotal truths we need to understand as believers are in Scripture. And that's one of them.

      You said feeling weak and unworthy makes you feel self-righteous. Feeling unworthy and being self-righteous are opposites.

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  15. Gail, there has been a lot of commenting and a lot of scriptures quoted here in support of both views. You stand by your position that God does not see Jesus when He looks at us but sees our sin. So let me ask you a question: what is the benefit of your viewpoint in sharing the Good News of a loving and gracious God (John 3:16) to a lost and dying world? I honestly am not seeing the benefit of your view in living ourselves the abundant life Jesus came for us to have (John 10:10), a life in which Paul tells us we are more than conquerors through Christ (Romans 8:37), and in leading people through the Gospel from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.

    Also, my offering to the conversation: it seems to me that if God has placed Christ in us, which He has (Colossians 1:27), then He would have to see Christ in us, whom He placed there, when He looks at us. How can he look at us and not see Jesus whom He placed there?

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    1. Hi Tim,
      Let me respond to each of your statements:

      You wrote: “there has been a lot of commenting and a lot of scriptures quoted here in support of both views.”

      What Scripture has been given that says when God looks at us, He doesn’t see our sin? People have given me Scriptures about being redeemed and forgiven, and being “in Christ,” but none of the verses say that God cannot see our sin. Not one.

      I have given multiple Scriptures that clearly explain that God is aware of our sins and involved in helping us deal with them. I’ll repeat one of those many verses here: Writing to the church of Laodicea (believers) Jesus says, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” Revelation 3:19

      You wrote: “You stand by your position that God does not see Jesus when He looks at us but sees our sin.”

      No. I never said that “God does not see Jesus when He looks at us.” Not once.

      I said that God sees our sins. And that’s not my position. It’s the Bible’s position. To believe that God cannot see our sins is to call Jesus’ statement in Revelation 3:19 a lie.

      You wrote: “So let me ask you a question: what is the benefit of your viewpoint in sharing the Good News of a loving and gracious God (John 3:16) to a lost and dying world?”

      Are you saying that the Gospel isn’t good news if God can see our sins? Should we present the Gospel inaccurately in order to win converts?

      You wrote: “I honestly am not seeing the benefit of your view in living ourselves the abundant life Jesus came for us to have (John 10:10), a life in which Paul tells us we are more than conquerors through Christ (Romans 8:37), and in leading people through the Gospel from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.”

      If I hear you right, you are saying that being forgiven, saved for eternity, and filled with the Holy Spirit isn’t enough. The Gospel isn’t attractive unless we can assure people that God can’t see their sins? Wow!

      I suppose it would be a “benefit” to some people to think that when they are committing adultery or cheating on their taxes or lying to their neighbor or watching pornography that God is looking down smiling and only seeing Jesus. But that’s a lie.

      And who is promoting that lie which is not found in Scripture? Let me quote on of the Scriptures you reference: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

      Satan loves promoting this belief as well as a plethora of other false beliefs that sugar-coat the Gospel and lull people into compromise and sin.

      I regularly hear from people who believe that because their sins are forgiven, that sinning is no big deal. And if you look at the modern church, you’ll see that attitude is widespread: premarital sex, adultery, divorce, worldly values, etc.

      Why? Because they are following the false teachings of popular sayings like this one and not checking them against Scripture.

      You Wrote: “Also, my offering to the conversation: it seems to me that if God has placed Christ in us, which He has (Colossians 1:27), then He would have to see Christ in us, whom He placed there, when He looks at us. How can he look at us and not see Jesus whom He placed there?”

      Just like every other person who has disagreed, you offer a Scripture that doesn’t say anything even close to what you are proposing. Why do you think that it’s impossible to have “Christ in you” and still have God see your sins? That means that when you go to God and ask Him to help you overcome a sin, He says, “What sin?”

      I really don’t understand anyone wanting a God who has a memory problem, who can’t really help them because He doesn’t know what they are talking about.

      But the bottom line is this: It’s a man-made saying. It’s not found in Scripture. It contradicts Scripture. It distorts the truths of the Gospel. And I will continue to write against such false beliefs.

      Many will not listen. But some will.

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    2. Tim,

      Here is a partial list of Scriptures that you must deny in order to hold onto your belief that God cannot see your sins when He looks at you.

      It would take too much space to put the hundreds of other passages that deny your belief, but this should give you a hint of the mountain of truth you must deny.

      Paul says that God judges him. God couldn't do this is He couldn't see Paul's sins:

      1 Corinthians 4:4-5: My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

      God's Word judges our sins:

      Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

      Everyone will be judged for their sins:

      Matthew 12:26: But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.

      All will appear and be judged for good and bad. Believers will be forgiven, but still judged:

      2 Corinthians 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

      Notice that Judgment begins with believers:

      1 Peter 4:17-19: For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? 18 And also, “If the righteous are barely saved, what will happen to godless sinners?” So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.

      When believers face the final judgment, they will be judged but they will not be punished because Christ is their Savior, but they will still be judged:

      Revelation 20:11-12: Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

      God tests our hearts which means He sees our sins:

      1 Thessalonians 2:4: On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.

      Confession of our sins would be meaningless and impossible if God could not see them:

      1 John 1:8-10: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

      Whoever has ears, let them hear.
      Matthew 11:15

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  16. Let me say first that I agree with everything you have said. I agree with the 2nd part of your article title. I embrace as truth, the infallible truth of God’s inerrant Word, all the scriptures you have cited. But it seems to me that you and I are talking about two different things.

    I don’t normally blog. But I wanted to participate in this because of the title of your article, which appeared in my google search’s tag line. In your response to me you said, "No. I never said that “God does not see Jesus when He looks at us.” Not once.” Yes, you actually did say that. It is in the 1st part of your article title, in big blue letters at the top of this page. This is why I entered the conversation. I respectfully disagree with you on this.

    I also need to correct something you said about my response. I never said God does not see our sins. Go back and look at what I wrote. I agree with you. God does indeed see our sin. Very clearly. One of the the Holy Spirit’s main roles is to convict us of sin, which He must see in order to do that. Your comments are focused on that God sees our sin. Mine are focused on that God sees Jesus when He looks at us. I believe it is a both/and.

    I do not believe that God sees our past forgiven sins when He looks at us, His children. Jesus dispensed with them on the cross. Forgiven through His blood. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery that He did not condemn her (John 8:11). Paul said there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). God will no more hold us accountable for the sins He’s already forgiven us for than an earthly judge will haul us back into court to face again charges for which we have been previously pardoned.

    God definitely sees our sins. He dispenses with them through His grace when we confess & repent. He promises to do that (1 John 1:9). Because He sees our sin, He leads us to repent daily, and continually, when we sin. But I don’t believe He is sin-focused when He looks at us. I believe He is righteousness-focused, intent on expanding & increasing the righteousness He has given us through Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21).

    I have three children, all grown. When they were growing up, they messed up. Repeatedly. I had to point that out to them & correct them repeatedly. But when I looked at them, I did not continually see their shortcomings, failures, rebellion, etc. I wasn’t focused on that. I saw their potential & helping them to become that. In the story of the Prodigal Son, the father did not focus on the pigpen filth covering his wayward son when he came home. He had a fine robe put on him and they celebrated. All that sin, in the father’s eyes, was gone. Forgiven. Same way with us. When God forgives our sins, He dispenses with them forever (Hebrews 8:12; Micah 7:19, Psalm 103:12), and He sees them no more. I don’t believe God stares and glares at our sin. He’s made a way through Jesus blood to erase them from His sight.

    This is how I have personally experienced God’s eternal amazing grace. My eternity began the moment I surrendered my life to Jesus. My abundant life (John 10:10) began at that moment, too. Holy Spirit helps me to grow more like Jesus every day, to think, speak, and act like Jesus, and to grow in the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Holy Spirit sees my sins daily and points them out to me. I confess and repent as He convicts me and He cleanses me from all unrighteousness. When God looks at me, He sees His dear Son who gave His life for me, who lives in me, and in whose image He is conforming me. I love Jesus. His is my life.

    Bless you, Gail. We agree on far more that we disagree on. Iron sharpens iron, the Bible says. May we learn from each other. You’ve reminded me of some critical truths. Thank you for that. And bless you on your journey of faith and your leadership in the Kingdom.

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    1. Hi Tim,
      Yes, we do agree on most everything.

      And you made a Good point. My title should have read "He Doesn't Only See Jesus." I chose to re-title the post, leaving that phrase out completely since it's better explained in the post itself. Thanks for that correction ("sharpening").

      In this comment, the only thing I might disagree with is this paragraph:
      "I do not believe that God sees our past forgiven sins when He looks at us, His children. Jesus dispensed with them on the cross. Forgiven through His blood. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery that He did not condemn her (John 8:11). Paul said there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). God will no more hold us accountable for the sins He’s already forgiven us for than an earthly judge will haul us back into court to face again charges for which we have been previously pardoned."

      If you mean God doesn't "see" our past sins meaning He doesn't hold them against us, I fully agree. If you mean He literally can't see them (i.e. doesn't know we committed them), then I disagree.

      God knows everything about me, past, present, and future. He knows if I have sin patterns and repetitive sins, not just the sins I committed today.

      Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote about his past sins. That shows us that God knew about Paul's past forgiven sins and saw good reason to share them with all Christians who read His Word. Hearing of our past sins can be an encouragement to others, and if we are lead by God's Spirit to share our past, then the Holy Spirit is fully aware what we will be sharing.

      I see no good reason that God should literally forget my past sins. Being aware of my past sins doesn't make his forgiveness less wonderful. In fact, it makes it more wonderful.

      Nor do I see any Scripture to support that view. I've actually written about the figurative ways "forget" is used a couple of places in Scripture. It's a legal forgetting as someone forgetting a debt. It's not about memory; it's about payment.

      He can't be all-knowing and all-wise if He doesn't fully understand our sins.

      But let me say this in closing. I don't have the same concern for your view as the view of many others I encounter. I don't hear you downplaying your sins or acting as if they don't matter. So, as you say, we agree on the important things.

      God bless you.

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  17. If you do not understand that you are spirit, soul and body, then you will not understand your righteousness. Only your spirit got saved at the new birth. In your spirit where God lives you are perfect. Your body is a piece of meat. Like a caboose, it follows your mind. Your mind is the key. Your mind is up to you. You can renew it, by allowing your spirit to have an effect on your otherwise carnal mind, or you can remain a "carnal" Christian. Therefore, in your spirit you ARE righteous. You are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus, and God does not see your sin. He DOES see Jesus. He orchestrated the whole plan of redemption that way.

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    1. You have shared your opinion without Scriptural support. There is some truth in what you've written and some error.

      No where in Scripture does it say that when God looks at a believer he sees Jesus. No where. Not once.

      Some people use 2 Corinthians 5:21 to support this claim. It reads: "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

      This talks about our "position" in Christ. It says nothing about God only seeing Jesus when He looks at us. It means that because of Jesus's righteousness, true believers can enter heaven.

      In addition, Scripture does not support someone remaining a "carnal" person after salvation. Paul rebukes the Corinthians for being worldly in 1 Cor. 3:1-3, but he rebukes them and expects them to change. A person who remains carnal has no confidence in his salvation.

      Can you be saved and not love Jesus? No.

      Jesus says, "Whoever 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." John 14:21

      In the parable of the weeds in Matthew 13, Jesus explains that there are "weeds" among the wheat. They look like Christians but they are not Christians.

      All Christians start out "carnal" but genuine believers change. They don't become perfect, but they begin changing and keep changing throughout their lives. We cannot have the Spirit of God in us and remain carnal.

      Anyone who continues to live a carnal life after accepting Christ cannot be assured of their salvation.

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  18. I think when they say God sees Jesus in us, it does not mean that is all he sees. When I read that, I am relieved that my sins are covered by the blood of Christ. I think what is missing is to then acknowledge the importance of the "relationship" we have with Jesus. Because God sees Jesus in us, does not mean we no longer need to work on our relationship with Jesus by continuing to do our "best" to follow the laws that will also bring quality to our lives. We will NEVER be able to be perfect in the law, which is where our relationship with Jesus intercedes with God.

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