Do you see yourself as “the one Jesus loves”? That may sound self-absorbed, but I believe it shows faith. The Apostle John repeatedly referred to himself as “the one Jesus loved.” See John 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, 20. Any of the disciples could have used this description. Jesus loved them all (Jn. 13:1). But John personalized Jesus’ love. Jesus loved John!
Too often, I hear Christians emphasizing where we fall short. After hearing a message, many leave feeling beat up instead of built up. Focusing on our sin instead of on God’s gift of righteousness undermines the message of grace and the role of faith. This works-centered focus promotes a self-centered life instead of Christ-centered one.
The Apostle Paul wrote,
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (italics added; Rom. 1:17 NIV).
It’s illogical to tell unbelievers we are “saved by grace through faith” and then tell ourselves we are accepted on the basis of our performance. Continue Reading