Rest in Jesus’ Finished Work

Ephesians 2:4–7
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace [unmerited favor] in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Look at the above passage. It tells us that by God’s unmerited favor, we are seated together with Christ at the Father’s right hand. To be seated in Christ is to rest, to trust in Him, and to receive everything our beautiful Savior has accomplished on our behalf. God wants us to take the position of relying on Jesus for good success in every area of our lives, instead of relying on our good works and human efforts to achieve success. What a blessing it is to be in this position of dependence on our Savior!

But instead of looking at Jesus, believers are misled by the devil into looking at themselves. For thousands of years, the devil’s strategy has not changed. He is a master at accusing you, pointing out all your flaws, weaknesses, mistakes, and blemishes. He will keep on reminding you of your past failures and use condemnation to perpetuate the cycle of defeat in your life.

When the apostle Paul found himself sinking into self-occupation, he became depressed and cried out, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me…?” (Romans 7:24). In the very next verse, he sees God’s solution and says, “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Likewise, beloved, it’s time for you to step out from being self-conscious and self-occupied, and begin to be Christ-occupied instead.

Today, you should no longer be asking yourself, “Am I pleasing to God?” Instead, ask, “Is Christ pleasing to God?” Because as Christ is, so are you in this world (1 John 4:17). The old covenant of law is all about you, but the new covenant of grace is all about Jesus! The law places the demand on you to perform and makes you self-conscious, whereas grace places the demand on Jesus and makes you Jesus-conscious.

Can you imagine a young child growing up and always wondering in his heart, “Am I pleasing to Daddy? Am I pleasing to Mummy? Do Daddy and Mummy accept me?” This child will grow up emotionally warped if he does not have the security and assurance of his parents’ love and acceptance. That is why your loving heavenly Father wants you rooted, established, and anchored in His unwavering love for you. He demonstrated His love for you when He sent Jesus to become your sin on the cross so that you can become His righteousness. Our part today is to turn away from ourselves and to look at Jesus!