In this world we are like Jesus. 1 John 4:17

How can this possibly be true? How can fallen people be like Jesus? The verse is in the context of Christians having confidence on the Day of Judgment. God has so completely dealt with our sins that our standing before him is the same as Jesus’. The Message puts it like this: “… our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s.” How amazing is that! We have the same standing before God as Christ.

It demonstrates the effectiveness of Christ’s sacrifice. He has dealt with our sins past, present and future. Some suggest we start our Christian lives with a “clean sheet” but that’s only partly true. God also credits us with righteousness at our conversion. We don’t start our Christian life at zero and then spend our time earning “bonus points” for good behaviour. We don’t “pay our way” since we are already in God’s “good books.” We start and continue our Christian lives in complete credit (Romans 4).

We live from a place of being free from condemnation (Romans 8:1) because not only has Jesus done everything necessary for us to have forgiveness but he has also done everything so we can live from a place of freedom from guilt.

“Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters” (Hebrews 2:11). We are Jesus’ brothers and sisters because our standing in the world is identical to his. What an extraordinary act of grace for God to take us from our sin-stained lives and place us on the same level as his Son, declaring us to be holy. Wow, what a Saviour!