– 2 Cor 5:21
The Burning Stick
One of God’s purposes is what Zechariah described in chapter 3 where he writes, “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire'” (Zechariah 3:1-2). And aren’t we brands plucked out of the fire? God calls us and saves us so that we might “save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh” (Jude 1:23).
Not Sinless but Sinning Less
God knows that when we repent and trust in Christ, we will still stumble and fall into sin; but the difference is that we fall into sin and not dive into it and swim around like the lost do. We will sin; but when we do, we can confess it and be cleansed from all our unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). We are then called to live holy lives but by no means perfect, only declared perfect in His sight because of Christ.
Trophies of Grace
Believe it or not, we will someday be on display for all to see like trophies displayed in a trophy case because God has “raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6-7). In the kingdom, people will not look at us and say, “Wow…look at them”; rather, “Wow, what an amazing Redeemer and good God Who saved them” so that He receives all the glory since He saves us by grace alone and not by anything we did or ever could do (Ephesians 2:8-9).
At one time, we “were dead in the trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5). So God sent His Son to live a sinless, perfect life to die for those who were sinful and destined to die with the wrath of God; and thankfully, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5;21).