Behavior vs belonging
Did this ever happen to you? As a kid You invite a friend to join you for a day of family fun. Then this friend out shines you in every way in front of your parents. They are more helpful, more courteous, more polite. By the end of the day you can’t stand your friend anymore and you are pretty sure that your parents are looking into trading kids. But then the friend goes back to his house and you go back to live with your parents. You are still their kid.
Good works don’t earn us salvation like behaving for our parents doesn’t make us more of their child. The good behaving neighbor kid didn’t earn his way into our family through their good behavior. Our bad behavior didn’t make us lose our last name. Birth makes us a child of our parents. Being “born again” makes us a child of God.
New birth makes us a child of God. Our good works please him but they won’t make us part of his family.
“Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b]gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”’
God wants us in his family.
“‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”‘
When I sin as a Christian, what do I do?
The same man that wrote the Gospel of John also wrote this in one of his letters: 1John 2
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
If we are born again we belong to God, we are part of his family. Our behavior won’t change our family status. If we’ve sinned we need to confess it, admit it and get it cleansed by the blood of Jesus. It’s his death that washes away our sin. We need to Stay clean, but if we stumble, we get back up and get cleaned up. Then we get on with sharing About this amazing God who forgives sin.