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Being 'accepted' by God isn't enough.

One of the members of The Good and Noble Heart community I moderate asked a great question.  The core of her question goes to real the offer of Jesus.  Here's her question:

What exactly did Jesus accomplish for us? I really believe that He brought us to a place of being able to be with the Father, unrestricted and free. That's how I life my everyday life with Him. But I really don't know how to see myself...am I really good now and therefore can go to the Father, or still the same old me, but completely accepted through Christ's dying on the cross, and that being accepted as I am gives me the hope and strength to be able then to change.

Her confusion is understandable and common to many Christians:  Am I merely accepted by Jesus (which is a beautiful thing in itself) but am still essentially the same person I was before I met him; or did he do something to me -- making me truly good and pure of heart? 

The trouble with seeing ourselves as only forgiven and accepted is that is doesn't solve the root problem -- a diseased and fatally-incapacitated heart.  If Jesus were to 'accept' us without giving us the capacity to love and relate well to him, we would not be able to live or love as he did -- unable to fulfill the command to "love God with all your heart...."  It would be a cruel and unfair expectation on God's part. 

Further, we would be debilitatated and diminished in our capacity to love others:  "Love one another as I have loved you." You can't love like Jesus unless you have his heart.  And that's exactly why his offer includes acceptance ... and a gloriously new heart.

The salvation Jesus offers is a rescue of the heart. It has to be.  There is no loving and living well without a reborn, alive and supernaturally-vibrant heart. 

Is this understanding of the Gospel what you were taught?

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