God loves me anyway
8th June 2018
Over recent weeks, I've been thinking about this verse:
As I said last time, Blessed are those who know they're sinners. Blessed are those who know they're not OK. Blessed are those who know they need forgiveness and healing. Blessed are those who cry out to God for mercy. Blessed are those who know that there's no way they can justify themselves or their actions. They're blessed because God is merciful to those who ask for mercy.
As Paul said:
Blessed are the poor in spirit because they can be justified by faith in the redeeming blood of Jesus. Blessed are the poor in spirit because God freely gives them His own righteousness. Blessed are the poor in spirit because they can find peace, knowing that we can't justify ourselves, and that we don't need to. Blessed are the poor in spirit because they can be forgiven. Blessed are the poor in spirit because they don't need to be good in order to be loved.
But many, many Christians somehow forget that we are justified by faith. They lose all their joy and peace. They try again to justify themselves. They may even tell other Christians how marvellous they are - or they may sink into despair because they know they're not all that marvellous at all, really. They go back to trying to impress God. They can also fall into the trap of criticising other Christians because they think they're not good enough for God. They've forgotten the Gospel of justification by faith and gone back the hopeless religion of justification by works.
God loves you. Jesus has paid the price for all your sin. You can't justify yourself, but you can accept the justification that Jesus has won for you. You're a sinner, but God loves you anyway.
Blessed are the poor in spirit because Christianity is not about us trying to be good so we can be accepted by God. It's about God accepting us even though we're sinners, and gradually making us good. Christianity is about our being reconciled to God not through anything we do, but by something He has already done - dying for us on the cross.
Blessed are the poor in spirit because we're free from the need to impress God or anybody else. God loves us. God forgives us. God adopts us as His children. God puts His Holy Spirit in us. God guarantees us eternal life. God does all this because He loves us. He loves us even though He knows what we're like. He loves us anyway.
Blessed are those who are so poor in spirit that we've stopped trying to impress God, stopped trying to earn our salvation, stopped trying to look good. Blessed are those who accept the free gift of God' love and forgiveness.