By Minister Novy Dharmawan
When I think of Easter as a believer, it is such a powerful event that reflects love, hope and victory. The fact that God loves the world and is willing to sacrifice His only Son for us is profound. This was necessary so that we, as His creations, can have our personal relationships with God, just like how it was meant to be when God created Adam and Eve in the Garden. God would walk in the Garden to interact with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8-9). I will share with you three key points that we must understand as believers so that we can receive His love, have hope, and live in victory.
1. God loves you. - Love
Many people know this well-known verse in John 3:16, but I don't believe that many know the following verse after that, which reflects God's heart that He desires to save everyone, including you and the whole world. God is not someone who is looking for your mistakes, failures, critics or any wrong things that you are doing to condemn you.
His desire is for you to receive His love just like any parents who continue to love their children no matter how bad they are, believing that they would become better each day. Jesus loves you, and He gave His life for you to have Him living in you and have eternal life Galatians 2:20).
Stop thinking that He is after you to punish you. Yes, that are some real consequences of sins, but when we trust God, He can deliver us from those consequences to help us and bring us through. Remember, God loves you, and He is for you.
John 3:16-17 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
2. Forgiven & Accepted by God through Christ. - Hope
Jesus became sin for us at the Cross so that we can be forgiven and accepted before God. What a sacrifice that Jesus had made for us. Jesus Christ is our Mediator between God and humankind. He is the Bridge for us to God. (1 Timothy 2:5)
We have been forgiven (Colossians 1:14) and accepted by God (Ephesians 1:6) because of what Jesus did on the Cross. His sacrifice was enough to remove our sins, not just to cover our sins. What great news that our sins were removed once and for all, and we have become a new creation when we accept Jesus. We are a new people and the old things have passed away. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Thanks be to God that He has accepted us to be His children.
Ephesians 1:6 (NKJV)
"to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved."
God also made a covenant that He will put His laws in our hearts and minds because the Holy Spirit lives in us. He also did not remember your sins.
Hebrews 10:16-17 (NKJV)
16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds, I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."
3. Restored & Overcomer - Victory
God has given us Jesus so that we can have abundant life. Jesus says in John 10:10, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly."
We can be restored from anything that had caused us to be broken or destroyed from our past lives. The moment you receive Jesus into your life, you begin as a new person, a clean slate, a new life. Your past life does not define who you are anymore because you have Christ living inside you. God can restore your soul just like how He promised in Psalm 23:1-3.
Psalm 23:1-3 (NKJV)
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
God wants you to live in victory because He will help you be an overcomer, not a victim. 1 Corinthians 15:57 says that God will give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. When we are born of God, we become overcomers, no longer defeated by the evil one. 1 John 5:4 says "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith." You can also do all things through Christ who strengthens you, just like the book of Philippians 4 and verse 13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
So be encouraged, brothers and sisters, that because of Easter,
We are Loved by God,
We are Forgiven and Accepted, and
We are Restored and Overcomers.