Do you think of justification as an insurance policy?

An insurance policy and justification both have a pretty similar outcome. Both start with me being in the wrong and both end with me in a returned-state; perfected. The debt is paid off, the car/holiness is restored as though it never happened, you know… justifiedjust-as-if-it-hadn’t happened.

But God’s justification (and the faith that is associated with justification) is not like an insurance policy. Imagine I crashed my car into my Insurer’s CEO’s car… I can do one of two things… I can a) grab my insurance policy and say, “Look, I’ve taken out a policy that says you will make everything ok and pay off my debt!”, or b) I can ask the CEO to forgive me based on his personal mercy.

Being a Christian is latter, not the former… we just happen to know the CEO is a very very gracious guy!

We must be careful not to let our acceptance of God’s promises become the basis of our assurance. God’s promises are the expression of his character – God himself (made known in Christ) is the basis of our assurance; not “our acceptance” or “our faith” in His promises.

Or, to put it another way; don’t think of your faith as eternal-insurance, rather think of God’s grace as eternal-assurance.

Rather than “repent”, should we say “trade up”?

What does it mean to repent of sin? It’s more than just feeling remorse for sin. It often entails taking definitive action… saying sorry, giving the item back, making amends. But it’s more than performing certain actions too. We’ve all seen the child who gives-in and reluctantly returns the toy to their sibling.

Christian repentance must have something to do with Jesus. And the best way I can think of this is like trading-up.

Repentance is when you admit to Jesus that you were wrong, that you wanted the wrong thing – even if you didn’t DO it, you still deserve punishment… and admitting that you’d like to trade it in.

“Jesus, my heart wanted something you hate. I even acted on that desire. I rightly deserve wrath. But if you’re willing, I’d like to take up your offer to trade-in my wrong for your forgiveness and righteousness? That’s an amazing deal I don’t deserve.”

See, repentance is the action of giving our wrong desire to Jesus, and asking him to take it away from us so we don;t do it any more… and asking him to replace that wrong with his righteousness.

We’re a people who keep trading-up, day after day!