When we live by works-based righteousness, we are never sure when God is pleased with our behavior. We are never certain that we are loved. How do you know when you've been good enough if his acceptance of us is based on our behavior? When you live a performance-based life, you enter into a false "spiritual identity protection program." The religious person has an image to protect because he wrongly believes that God accepts, loves, and blesses him based on his behavior. If your behavior does not live up to the standard, then God and people will reject you.
When you don't realize that Jesus is the basis of acceptance before God, you hide or protect your image through deception. If you come clean with your issues, the jig is up and you are found out as not being perfect. The gospel of grace informs us that Jesus went to the cross fully knowing our issues and imperfections, and died for all our sins.
I no longer have to hide my sins, because God the Father's acceptance and love for me is based solely and completely on Jesus. And the more I realize this gospel truth, the less I sin and the more I grow up as a follower of Christ.
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