I have all of these things despite the fact that I am helpless, sinful, and wicked. All these blessings are mine on the basis of the death of Jesus. When God looks at Jesus He sees me (and all my sin) – and when God looks at me he sees Jesus and His perfect righteousness. All I have to do is to accept what He has done for me and this is all mine.

That's a faith statement.

"Thank you, Father, because even though I have felt as if I were on death row, bound by sin, I am not condemned in your sight, because you graciously allowed my condemnation to fall on Jesus."

Amazing! Condemned, by the way, is the same word as judged. My judgment fell on Jesus. It killed Him. That's why Jesus taught that a true believer doesn't have to face judgment-because He's already experienced it!"

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life." John 5:24, NASB.

"Thank you, Father, that despite awareness of my own sinfulness and humanity today, as I look at the cross, I'm just in awe of the fact that You see me just as perfectly righteous as Jesus because, though He knew no sin, He permitted himself to be made sin on my behalf and to suffer the death that I deserve. Thank you, Father." 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 2:9

That's a faith statement. And the moment you say it--the moment you confess--the Holy Spirit brings the life of Christ into you. How do we know that the faith statement above is true?

Because Jesus was sent to death and death is the wages of sin, not of righteousness. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Jesus--even though He never sinned personally--became sin. That's why the Father turned His face away. Not because He saw His own Son, but because He saw you and me hanging there. Jesus took my sin on Himself. “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6, emphasis supplied.

If you ever let Jesus become fully you, what a moment that is! One day I actually allowed Jesus to die with everything on Him that I was. I mean everything. I thought, "Hallelujah!" Jesus took even my weakest, darkest, most horrible thoughts, actions, and attitudes on Himself. And it killed Him! It was a faith step on His part, as it is a faith step on our part to take hold of that and believe.

We know it cost Him his life! Righteous men don't die like that--not the second death. He died the second death--the death of a guilty, forsaken sinner. What an act of faith it was for Him to do that! He had to believe that His Father would raise Him again.

Contemplate the following beautiful quote from Ellen White in Desire of Ages, p. 25.

"Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His."

How is your faith right now, my reading friend? I want to encourage you to write out a faith statement of your own. It shouldn't have anything to do with your struggles in life, with how well you're doing, or how well you're not doing. It should instead bring your focus to the death of Jesus.

In your faith statement, you'll praise God for the death of Jesus, because anything in Scripture that relates to the death of Jesus, you may claim as yours. You simply want to praise God for being so gracious and generous.

Let me give you one more example of a faith statement:

"I'm thanking You this morning, Father, because through the obedience of the one man Jesus Christ, who was obedient unto death, You see me as totally obedient. Thank you, Father! Because when I look in the mirror, that's not what I see, but I'm praising You because that's what you see--and it gives me the courage to press on in Jesus Christ."

So take a moment now and write out your own faith statement. When you do, it will unlock the Holy Spirit in a very special way and you can expect interesting things to begin happening within you!

I also want to encourage you to find a friend or family member and verbalize your faith statement.

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9, 10 NASB

Generous thanks to Pastor Bill Liversidge for his book Overcoming Through Jesus of which major parts of this are an excerpt.

But there is much more than this!

Romans 5: 9, 10 reads “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Yes, there is much more than justification. After being reconciled, we’re saved by His life! Romans 5:9, 10 Christ lived by the power of God and His grace is sufficient for us. His strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 13:4, 5; 12: 9. Through faith there is power unto salvation. Romans 1:16, 17. He gives us the mind of Christ. Philippians 2:5. Not only does He count us holy, He makes us holy by living in us, working out good works that are acceptable to God. Philippians 2:13

What if I fail and fall back? Will I lose everything? Well, what exactly did you have before you came to Christ - besides sin, weakness, rebellion and wickedness? So, you had nothing to boast about. That means you just became like you were – lost. Some will want to make it about them but Paul reminds us to be humble.

"For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?" 1 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)

But you ask, "Don't I lose my salvation when I go back into sin?" Yes, if you went back to sin you would lose your salvation, and if you were to die before you repented, you would be eternally lost. "But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." Romans 5:20

Jeremiah 31:3 says the Lord loves us with an everlasting love and draws us to himself with loving kindness.

He loves us too much to allow us to die in our sins before we’re able to repent. He wants to restore us completely. He will continue the work in our lives right where He left off when we stopped Him by choosing another Master.

"I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]." Philippians 1:6 AMP

Remember that salvation is a free gift - justification and sanctification. God does it all. We surrender or submit to His headship (confident of His love) in response to this extravagant gift. Our relationship with God grows as we let Him save us. We focus on perfectly yielding and, as Paul would say, dying (to our fleshly desires) everyday.

* * * *

You can trust God with the ending of your life, you know. You don't ever have to live in fear of that because, in Christ, you are perfect at each step of the way, just as a flower bud opens up – it is perfect at each step. Your perfection is in Christ, not in yourself. “For by the one offering He has perfected forever and completely cleansed those who are being sanctified [bringing each believer to spiritual completion and maturity].” Hebrews 10:14 AMP

When we receive the Spirit of God, He comes into our minds and renews them. With this comes the ability to test and know God’s will – patience, unselfishness, etc.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will:" Romans 12:2

Here is a beautiful explanation of genuine conversion. "The leaven of truth [a reference to the Spirit] works secretly, silently, steadily, to transform the soul. The natural inclinations are softened and subdued. New thoughts, new feelings, new motives, are implanted.

There is a lot of confusion over what we get "new" but here it is clearly spelled out. When we enter into our new life in Jesus, we receive a new mind. The new life is then lived according to that new mind. The one thing God cannot give us instantly is character. As we act upon the new thoughts, the new feelings, and the new motives, Christ's character is formed within us. That's the meaning of being born again. It's your mind being transformed." Article "Genuine Conversion" from the Review and Herald, July 7, 1904

"Have this same attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus [look to Him as your example in selfless humility]," Philippians 2:5 AMP

"It took me years to recognize that with a new mind, the will of God is now inside me! And when that is true, I no longer have to struggle to do God's will. I will do His will - not because I have to - but because now, Christ in me wants to!"

Generous thanks to Pastor Bill Liversidge for his book Overcoming Through Jesus of which major parts of this are an excerpt.

2 Timothy 2:15