In our weekend services, we’ve been examining some of the fantastic truths that come from the Bible and it reminded me how unbelievably unique Christianity really is. Every other religion says life is about trying, trying, trying hard to live up to standards and if you really try hard, at the end of your life you’ll have a positive verdict. You’ll go to heaven, or you’ll meet God, or you’ll have nirvana, or something. You’re in! But Christianity is absolutely different than that. Christianity is a legal standing that is made about you before God, without you having done a thing except trusting in the one who already did. It’s coming into something that’s been done. It’s being united to God through Christ, once and for all.
The perfect metaphor for what happens is marriage. On one hand, marriage is an active, love relationship filled with “doing.” But it all begins with an immediate and total change in legal status. The moment before you take your vows, you don’t have anything at all; and the second you take your vows, you have it all completely. It’s not like you try, try, try. Instead, it’s done, done, done! It’s a change in legal status and identity that gives way to a whole new life!
This is what Christianity offers, something no other religion dares to offer. It says when you join to God through Jesus Christ, the verdict is in, now. You have the applause, the praise, the delight of God. No one else even begins to try to offer such a thing. Ephesians 5:8 says, “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” In other words, be who you now are! Live as you now stand, legally. What an incredible thing!