If you do, then, hey, you’re free from the pressure to perform for God and others to approve and love you. For God delivered to you every thing you could ever need or want for life in Jesus’ righteousness and delivered the just penalty for your sin, God’s wrath, to Jesus in your place.
If you don’t believe that, then you will need to make the right decisions continually with the right motives for God to remain pleased with you, thus excluding you from his atonement for your sins.
Me, I believe in both. And you know, I find it incredibly freeing to trust Jesus’s words “It Is Finished!” See I need not obey for God’s affection and embrace, but I get to obey because God adopted me and God’s affection and embrace are now mine, which enables my obedience.
No longer does what I do or say define me. That secret thing no one knows about? Jesus’ grace covered it. I’m forgiven. Everytime, I confess it. Repent. Then trust Jesus is better. It’s a continual battle because I’m in the flesh. I’m weak and that’s ok. I’m not supposed to be strong. Jesus is.
So Christian, that guilt you are living with for not doing that one thing (or many) you were always preached to do, Jesus covered it too. You’re forgiven. You’re righteous, as if you’d never sinned. Perfect. God sees Jesus’ perfection when he looks at you. And make no mistake, he sees you, or Jesus covering you. You matter. Romans 5. There is no sin too great, no person too bad (and we are ALL bad), that God cannot and will not redeem and restore.
As a Christian, live free. Jesus’s work on the cross wasn’t so you could remain in the bondage and shackles of making right decisions and performing well to merit your significance and rescue. It wasn’t so you could take from others by having to prove your argument or your point is right. He didn’t live a perfect life, die a violent death, walk out of the tomb three days later, so you could find your identity writing social media posts about your right to bear arms, or how the killing of an unarmed black teen was warranted or unwarranted, or so you can show the world that you care about disease with buckets of water and challenges. (Though expressing your belief on those matters is certainly welcomed.)
Jesus died, that people may be set free from needing any or all of that. He died to purchase your identity, so none of that (see last paragraph) matters in your account to God. Now with Jesus as your identity before God, you are free. Free to love and serve your neighbors. Or those who don’t look like you. Or those who don’t approve of you, your enemies. Or the ones who aren’t hip and cool. Or the desperate, clingy and needy. Or the ones who annoy you with needless complaining. Or the hard to love. Or the ones who won’t get you recognized or pay you.
After all, we all were that to God. Yet, through Jesus, God purchased us and adopted us anyway. Making his enemies, his friends.
That’s the freedom Jesus purchased. And because of the double imputation, He gave you His righteousness and adopted you. And sent the wrath for your sin, His just fury and anger, upon Jesus on the cross. You matter to Him.
Rest. Love. Celebrate your identity. Live from victory and not for victory.
It is Finished!
P.S. See theology does matter.