Do you ever feel like you’ve ruined your life, like you’ve sinned too much, and that you’re beyond forgiveness? Are you trying to please God by your good behavior now? Oh, how quickly we depart from gospel truth as soon as we’re dealing with sin in our lives. How quickly we resort to winning God’s affection through obedience and good works. What would it take to believe that we were declared, once and for all, righteous before God?

In Isaiah 53:5 we read, “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”

Because of Jesus, we meet God’s righteous requirement.
Because of Jesus, we’re released from the punishment of sin.
Because of Jesus, we’re not condemned.
No matter what.

This declaration is the most astonishing, history-changing, cataclysmic message to Satan: You have no power to condemn me because of Jesus. Jesus’ death on the Cross and his shed blood secured righteousness for those who have received him. We’re covered by it now and for always, and it extends into our past and far beyond ourselves to even atone for future sin. This good news provides an answer to the rejected, lonely, confused soul who now has been welcomed into God’s presence and belongs forever in his family.

Heather Holleman is the author of Guarded by Christ. She is a speaker, writer, and faculty member of Penn State's English Department. Adapted from Guarded by Christ: Knowing the God Who Rescues and Keeps Us by Heather Holleman © 2016. Used by permission.