Credit, where it is due
The correct and proper emphasis of the Christian life is always upon God and His gracious provision to our lives. We can take no credit for living a life of godliness. It is only because our Savior went to the cross (on our behalf) shedding His blood so that we could all be forgiven once and for all. At the cross He died, the innocent for the guilty, and through His death, He enabled all who would place their trust in Him, to die as He died.
Scripture declares that not only did we share in His death, but they took Him down from that cross and buried Him in a tomb – and we share in His burial. But then, the greatest of all possible news: Jesus was raised from the dead, by the power of God to live a new kind of life – never to die again.
In the power of this resurrection, Scripture declares, we also share. Having died to our old lives, we emerge from death as entirely new creations, outfitted with the ability to be the righteousness of God.
We are given a new nature, God’s Own nature, to lead our liberated spirits into the fullness of the abundance of life. We are enabled, through the work of Jesus’ suffering, death, burial, and resurrection, to truly live as God’s people, restored back to His original design and purpose. Jesus, and His complete redemptive work, are the culmination of God’s great desire for humanity – a people in love with their Creator, and living life daily honoring and glorifying Him.
But all this work can only be applied by faith. We must embrace Jesus, and what He has done for us – and we must act upon what He has revealed to us about His completed work. We must take account of what we have received – we must count ourselves dead to sin, and now alive to God. We must personally connect with Jesus’ death and resurrection – and live by faith in all He has provided to us.
We must also put off the old self (dominated and ruled by the self-serving sin nature) and put on the new self which has been created to be like God in righteousness and holiness. All these things have been done, so that God may fulfill in us what His work has accomplished – to make us all saints (holy ones) and to make us people through Whom He might will and act “according to His good purpose.” (from Philippians 2:13)
Everything that needed to be done, has been done, through our Savior. Nothing is left to be done, except for our hearts to embrace the grace of God, so abundantly provided to us.