If we don’t even realize what we have, we’ll never enjoy the full benefit. There are subtle but drastic perceptions that can cloud our view of who we are that leave us scrambling to try to get something we already possess. It’s a self-defeating errand as we burn out trying to act like something instead of just being someone.
In Romans 5:17, Paul makes it clear that we have been given the “free gift of righteousness” through the blood of Jesus. It’s a free gift and there is nothing we can do to make it better. Righteous is righteous on our best day or our worst. Yet, we often fall into the trap of attempting to become “better” instead of just agreeing with His righteousness which we have already been given.
The result is that we see ourselves as “sinners” instead of “righteous.” According to Revelation 12, the accuser stands before the Father day and night saying the same thing about us. So Jesus says we are righteous through His blood and the accuser says we are not. When we believe we are sinners progressively being transformed into better standing with God as we work it out, that means we are agreeing with the accuser over Jesus.
Sure, we have things to work out. Paul said he was working his salvation out, and so are we. In the middle of the working out, though, is the core truth of who we are. The working out isn’t a development of our identity, it’s an exchange for the things that are damaged in our soul for the fullness of what He has transformed our spirits to be. Our spirit is our core and He dwells there if we’ve accepted His invitation to do so. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, so why do we think there is anything progressive about the absoluteness of His presence?
Redemption is trading in something for something else. We are redeeming our crap for His glory, for sure, but underneath all of that is nothing short of a saint, bought and paid for by the Blood of Jesus and fully approved of as a son to the only Father that ever needs to tell us so.