Don’t fear failure.
I’m not talking about failure to accomplish some goal you’ve set for yourself. I’m not talking about fear to live up to someone else’s expectations….or even your own. The failure I’m referring to is the failure to live up to God’s law or His standard. All of us at some time in our lives have looked at our sins and faults and thought, “Man, I really messed up this time. How can God love me after everything I’ve done now?”
Through the centuries, mankind has lived with the belief that becoming a Christian means we have to live perfectly without sin. That keeping the Ten Commandments was required or we would lose our salvation or that we were never saved at all. Salvation has never been about what we accomplish, but rather, it is about what Christ accomplished when He went to the cross, died, was buried, and then was resurrected.
Now, I’m not saying that we can’t be sorrowful over the sins we commit. When we do sin, as Christians, it’s supposed to grieve us. It grieves the Holy Spirit, so because the Holy Spirit dwells in us as believers, it, too, should cause us to grieve when we sin. And people grieve differently. C. H. Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher from England, battled depression through most of his life, mostly over sin in his life. Others may just deal with grief over their sin privately and no one notices.
When I say “don’t fear failure”, I’m saying that when we sin, we shouldn’t be fearful that our sin will change our standing with God one iota. God KNEW we would sin. God KNEW that we will continually fail even after our conversion experience. That is exactly why it required Jesus to die on the cross for our sin. Christ had our sins, past, present, and future, placed upon Himself, and when He cried “It is finished” from the cross, He was saying that all of those sins were paid in full. The word “tetelestai” is a Greek word that means “to fulfill or to bring to completion”. It was a banking term that was used when someone came and paid the remaining balance of a loan. The loan was declared “tetelestai” or “Paid in Full”. The loan was now completed. Because of our sin, we had an outstanding debt that we could never, ever pay. Christ, in His perfection, was the Ultimate Passover Lamb. It took His sacrifice to pay that debt completely. Our debt to God was paid in full.
So, when we sin, we should not fear that those sins have any adverse effect on our standing with God. When Christ paid for our sins, we were declared “not guilty”. While it’s true that our sins do cause a sense of distance between us and God, at no time will those sins revoke our salvation.
As Christians, we should not fear God’s wrath for it was Christ who bore the fury of God’s wrath on our behalf when He died on the cross. Those who do not have Christ have no protection from God’s wrath.
Because God knows we’ll fail Him over and over again, He took it upon Himself to remedy that situation through Christ’s righteousness. In exchange for our sin, Christ imputed His righteousness upon us. So, even though we still sin, it’s not our sin that God sees, but Christ’s righteousness because His blood has covered over those sins. He has cast our sins as far as the east is from the west, and into the sea of forgetfulness to remember them no more.
So, while we may sit around and mourn over our failures and believe that those sins have somehow changed our “not guilty” into “guilty”, God wants us to not look at our failures, but look at Christ because it was HIS accomplishment that SECURES our salvation. No amount of sin can nor will reverse that. God doesn’t want us to wallow in self-pity. He wants us to get back on our feet and live in the “joy of our salvation” because our salvation doesn’t depend upon our feeble attempts. Our salvation is secured in Christ’s work and His work alone.