I feel like a brand new Christian. The Holy Spirit, by the grace of God alone, has been working so much in my heart and teaching me so much! I am mostly unlearning a lot of religious moralism and learning about the centrality of the Gospel throughout the entire Bible, not just the New Testament. I come away from my times in the Word with such an excitement and desire to tell people about what I’m learning that I really feel as if I’m reading the Word for the first time!
I was praying for my high school girls small group this morning, and my main prayer for them is taken from Titus 3:
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
(Titus 3:1-7 ESV)
And as I prayed, I finally understood how we can pray. I stared at the passage and said to Jesus “Thank you so much that you have already lived these verses out perfectly! You didn’t fail at any one of these things that we are supposed to do…and because of your victory over these things, we who are your children have your righteousness imputed onto us…so while we may try, we will never live these out perfectly, and the freedom comes in knowing we don’t have to. We are accepted and loved by God the Father because you have already done these things. So our trying does not lead to salvation, because you have already secured that for us. Oh praise you Jesus! Thank you.”
Oh praise Jesus. Oh praise Him!