I have heard it said, “God didn’t die for frogs. So he was responding to our value as humans.” This turns grace on its head. We are worse off than frogs. They have not sinned. They have not rebelled and treated God with the contempt of being inconsequential in their lives. God did not have to die for frogs. They aren’t bad enough. We are. Our debt is so great, only a divine sacrifice could pay for it.
– John Piper, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die
Joy in God and sanctification go hand-in-hand. When we enjoy God, we become more sanctified (more Christ-like). Why? The more we enjoy God, the more we become like him because God is the greatest enjoyer of God in the universe. God is completely God-centered. For him to be something-else-centered would make that thing God. If God were enjoying something greater than himself, then we should strive to enjoy that thing.
God is so merciful and gracious to provide his Son Jesus as the atonement for our sins. Certainly, God could have written us a Bible with one statement that said, “It’s your fault you are sinners, so get back on your feet by yourself.” I’m so thankful he doesn’t say that. For those who have faith in Christ as the payment for their sin, they are perfectly accepted by the Father. Romans 8 says that “nothing in all creation” can separate us from God’s love if have been justified by Jesus’ death.
The body of Christ is made up of people who fail all the time, in order that God’s grace may be praised all the more. I love the Switchfoot song “Beautiful Letdown” that reminds us this: “[We are] the church of the dropouts, the losers, the sinners, the failures, and the fools. We are a beautiful letdown.” Sadly, so many people still try to do good things and earn acceptance through hard work, religion, or managing sin. Some of these people call themselves “Christians” and say, “I read my Bible.” I wonder, though, do they actually pay close attention to the people in the Scriptures they are “reading” about?
Had God wished to communicate to us that our acceptance hinges on our goodness, he would have chosen another sort of person than those he most typically uses in the Bible to reveal the basis for our faith. But then he would have revealed himself to be a different kind of God.
The world is not impressed when Christians experience a suicide and have their ultimate joy depleted in sake of living in sorrow and using God as a teddy bear for comfort. The world is impressed when Christians experience a suicide and say, “Jesus is enough. He is my shelter. He will give me hope. I will cling to him. And even in tragedy and despair, he is utterly satisfing and I will rejoice, for he is good.”