The Bad Behavior List

Post #3 in A Tale of Two Covenants

An ugly word slipped out.

He snapped at his wife (why did she have such bad timing? Women…sigh)

He forgot to stop at the store… even though he’d promised…

He honked loudly at the clumsy pedestrian…

He cut through a red light. Well, technically, it was yellow. That policeman was just too eager…

He’d had to settle the policeman so he’d let him go…

He ignored the call from his mother…

Finally, he’d made it to work. But now, in thirty minutes time, he’d be knocking on the door of the Manager and inside, he would know whether or not he’d been promoted.

In half an hour…and right now, he wasn’t feeling at all like someone who deserved it, who deserved to be promoted to a position where he had to be cool, calm, and collected … the opposite of the person he’d been this morning.

He closed his eyes and saw himself standing before two roads, and the list of everything he’d done wrong staring him in the face. Thirty minutes wasn’t enough time to correct everything on the list. One road would definitely lead him to his destination. The other was fifty/fifty, and that wasn’t good enough.

He stared at the road signs. The first said:

There’s no bad on you. Jesus took care of that. You’ve got nothing to lose.

The second screamed:

You’ve been a bad boy. But there’s a way out if you tell Jesus just how sorry you are. You’ve got everything to lose.

Which will it be? Road One or Road Two?

When You Do Bad

What happens when you miss the mark? ‘Cause if you’re like me, you’ll probably behave badly before the end of the day. But are you still righteous? Have you lost fellowship with God? Do you have to get right with God?

Here’s the scary, amazing truth- God doesn’t see us in our sins. Oh we sin, but once you are in Christ, God doesn’t treat you in your sinful natural self.

Pause a bit to reflect on how crazy awesome that is. But before you go thinking you’re superman or woman, the reason you are and will remain forever righteous in the sight of God is this- He can’t see past the blood of His Son. When He sees you, He sees the perfect, finished work of Jesus and He just wants to love you to bits.

Still Righteous Even When You Don’t Measure Up?

If salvation depended on how good we are after we’ve been saved, then what was the point of the sacrifice of Jesus? The whole point of Jesus dying for us is because we could never save ourselves, not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

So God sat down and did the math. And He realized that the answer was the blood of His own Son.

If He gave His Son, then no matter what way the equation was formulated, no matter the variables, the answer would still be the blood of Jesus. Once the blood was applied, that person would be made right forever, no excuses, no clauses, no fine print.

And it wasn’t a matter of degree- murderers to liars, traffic offenses to swear words, all would be covered.

And it wouldn’t be a matter of time- past, present, future- all offenses would be covered by the blood. #highongrace

It was a very good deal for man. In fact, too good.

Except God would have to suffer a great, very great loss. Giving up the Son of His love to wicked, slime of the earth, men. And yet… when He thought about the alternative, His heart broke. But He is Love. So He did what love does- He gave.

There was no one to stop Him. He knew if the angels could, they would. The beauty of heaven, sent as man, to die, not just die- to die a horrible, bloody, wicked death. For the sake of love.

All for the sake of that equation. To settle once and for all the price of sin. So that once and for eternity, man could cross the equation from the side of sin to the side of righteousness, through the blood of Jesus, no questions asked. Nothing about what was done or not done. The blood of Jesus would cover all that.

So God made the deal. Righteousness based on blood, not works. Righteousness based on covenant, not performance.

The man remembered the deal.

So in spite of the day he’d had, in spite of what he’d done, he looked up and said- God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for me, that I might become the righteousness of God in Christ- And he walked in through the first door.

Not because of what he’d done, but because of what Jesus had done.

The Grace Equation

But if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old things have passed away, all things have become new. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21)


I’m adding a footnote here because this is one place the grace of God trips people up. Can we sin and behave badly even after we’re saved? Yes, of course. Are we saying it’s all right to sin because we are saved by grace? No, definitely not.

But you will notice that the more you try not to sin, the more it seems everything is conspiring to make you fall into that particular sin.

Here’s what the grace of God is saying- don’t try not to sin. Just believe that your sin has been taken away. Because it has. Keep believing that, keep believing and confessing you are righteous in Christ and God will do the rest. Those sins will fall off.

But condemning yourself does the opposite- it keeps you in the power of sin!

Where we confuse things as Christians is thinking that we are saved by grace and afterwards, we remain Christians by our efforts. Nah. The Christian life is from faith to faith, not faith to good behaviour (Romans 1:17). It is knowing we are already forgiven and saved is what gives us the power to life a victorious life.

And so that this does not become a thesis, read all about it from the lips of Paul himself in Romans 6, 7 and 8. The ways of grace are not the ways of logic. If it were, grace wouldn’t be so amazing.

Join me next week for more on a Tale of Two Covenants.

And just in case you were wondering… In heaven, no one will be showing you a list or video of the wrong things you’ve done. The hard drive of your bad behavior was deleted at the cross. Even if you remember, God will just look at you strangely because He won’t be able to remember (Hebrews 8:12).

Stay high on grace my friend.

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Missed last week’s post? Check it out here. See you next week for more on A Tale of Two Covenants.

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