“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11).
God is love. God loves me just the way I am.
That’s absolutely true. God is love, and God does love us just the way we are.
The reason for this is that we cannot do anything to earn or deserve God’s love. God’s love is all grace. It’s all mercy. It’s all God. God loves us just the way we are because God is a God of love.
Because of this, many people understand this to mean that God approves and validates us just the way we are. Since God loves us just the way we are, that must mean that God approves us just the way we are.
That is absolutely false. Because God loves us, God cannot leave us in sin. In fact, the reason why Jesus is called Savior is precisely because he saves us from sin. Jesus did not come to die on the cross to approve or validate sin. He came to rescue us from sin.
Because God is love, God cannot leave us in sin. God cannot leave us in darkness, depression, addictions, oppression, and in bondage to sin. That Jesus is Savior means that Jesus frees us from all that once bound and enslaved us.
That’s why Jesus commands us, “Leave your life of sin.”
So, here is what we can declare with certainty:
- God is love. God loves us just the way we are.
- And, because God loves us, God cannot leave us just the way we are.
God’s grace does not mean we have permission to do as we please. God’s grace gives us the power to do what pleases God. No, we cannot do this perfectly, but we can do it better today than we did yesterday.