God wants us clean and spotless, washed by the blood of Christ.
Many people fall prey to the wrong idea that since “God loves them the way they are,” they don’t strive to repent of their sin and turn back from the things that God actually hates. While it’s true that God loves us unconditionally, there are some things we need to understand about it.
And one of that is the fact that while God loved us even while we were sinners, He will never want us to stay sinners.
A Big, Fat Lie
Did you know that the statement “God loves you just the way you are” can be very misleading, even dangerous? This might sound shocking to many out there, but this statement isn’t entirely true.
The Bible tells us that God loves us so much alright, but His love for us is a life-changing one. God saw the pitiful state that we are in, and because He loved us He gave His one and only begotten Son to save us from sin and death and redeem us for Himself. Simply put, there should be a change in us after coming to know Christ.
To help you understand, here are some key truths to remember:
1) Everyone falls short of God’s standards
The Bible tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (see Romans 3:23). We all do not measure up to God’s standards, no matter how good we think we are. And yes, on that note, the Bible also tells us,
“For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
No human measures up to God’s standards.
2) Without Christ, we are far away from God’s original design for us
Did you know that God created man to be so much more than what we are today? The Bible tells us,
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)
God created us with such purpose. We were made in His image and likeness, were made to be in relationship with Him, and we were meant to do His will on earth. But what happened? We sinned and fell away from our relationship with Him and from what we were supposed to do.
We ended up trying to make names for ourselves apart from Him. We ended up trying to earn His forgiveness by our own futile means. We ended up a people not knowing right from wrong. We ended up separated from Him.
Is there something there that God would like?
3) God’s love lifts us up from the muck we are in
Now here’s the best of all truths: God loved us so much that He sent His one and only begotten Son to save us from sin and death, undo the works of Satan in our lives, and make us conform to the image of His Son. (Read John 3:16-17; 1 John 3:8; Romans 8:29)
If Christ came to save us from the sorry state we are in, who are we to say that God loves us just as we are? God loves us alright, but He doesn’t want us remaining in the same sinful and unrepentant state that He found us in! Telling ourselves God loves us just the way we are can end up being an excuse not to put in the effort and hard work necessary to overcome our weaknesses or temptations, like that short temper you’ve hard for a while or laziness with morning devotionals.
Whatever it may be, God does not love those things. He loves us in spite of those things. And while God has done His utmost to free us from the bondages of sin, we must do our part in walking out God’s Word and living upright as the people of God. That requires effort, self-denial and sacrifice.
Read what Jesus Himself has to say to everyone who calls himself a Christian:
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”” (Matthew 16:24-25)
Christ Himself said that if we want to follow Him, we have to deny ourselves – the very self we declare that “God loves.” God loves us so much that He wants to change us and mold us into what He wants us to become, and that requires that we submit to Him, repent of our sins, and strive to live holy lives.
Remember this verse:
“…but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
So, does God love you just the way you are?
He loves you enough to change you so that you will never ever be the same person you were when He saved you through Christ. He loves you and wants you to be like Christ.
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)
(Editors Note- For power from God to help you overcome he gives you his Spirit, the new birth to change you. Follow the instructions given by Peter in Acts 2:38 and you will never regret it. )