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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.
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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

15 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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  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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  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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