Matt White is a former minor league baseball pitcher who played in the Los Angeles Dodgers minor league system. During his time in the minor leagues, he was a struggling pitcher, trying to better himself and make it up to the big leagues.
Matt had an elderly aunt who needed money to pay for her nursing home, and Matt bought her property (about 50 acres) for $50,000. Soon, he decided to build a home on the property, and while clearing a couple of acres to build a home, he discovered stone ledges in the ground, prompting him to have the property surveyed. A geologist discovered that there was about $2 billion worth of stone on Matt’s land that could be used for sidewalks, patios, etc.
Now let me ask you this: AFTER Matt discovered that he was a billionaire, how much pressure do you think he was under to “perform” as a pitcher? (The answer would be “zero”) :). Matt didn’t have to perform at all because he possesses untold riches. He is financially FREE to do whatever he wants! Financially, he is secure for the rest of his life!
This is no less true of the Christian. You have been given untold riches because of Jesus. The apostle Paul in the book of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11states the following: Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
The word “justified” is an interesting word. A lot of Christians use this word to say that it means, “Just if I’d” never sinned. This is TRUE, but there is more to it than that. Biblical justification does not only mean that your sin record has been wiped clean, it also means, “Just if I’d” ALWAYS OBEYED. Marcus Sloan once said, “to speak of forgiveness means to say, ‘you may go; you have been let off of your penalty’; but to speak of justification is to say, ‘you may come.’”
Justification, Dr. Tim Keller states, “is a status with all of the rights, privileges, and benefits” given to you. In other words, because of Jesus’ PERFECT life, death, and resurrection, you have had $2 Billion of righteousness (or perfect performance by Jesus) deposited into your spiritual bank account! You have been FREELY welcomed by God because of Jesus! You will NEVER exhaust or out-spend the grace and mercy of God given to you in Jesus Christ.
This understanding is not meant to drive you into bigger and deeper holes of sin. It is meant to drive you FREELY to God (who completely accepts you in Christ)—to not hide from Him (or perform before Him & others), but to run to Him for cleansing and change.
Now let me ask you this: if this is true (and the Bible states that it is), how much pressure are YOU under to perform for God’s acceptance of you? (The answer would be “zero”) ;).